Disneyland gets ready to Rock Your Disney Side with another 24 Hour Party as ticket prices go up again

Written by Andy Castro. Posted in Dateline Disneyland, Disney, Disney Parks, Disneyland Resort

Published on May 19, 2014 at 5:44 am with 151 Comments

About Andy Castro

Andy is a Southern California native, raised with Disneyland and a life-long fan of Disney theme parks and animation. Andy writes the weekly Dateline Disneyland column, which can be found every Monday on MiceChat.

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  • LoveStallion

    In 1994, the cost of Disneyland admission was $31.00, which is $49.59 in today’s money.

    In 2004, a two-park, one day pass was $69.00, which is $86.60 today.

    Disneyland to Southern California: we hate locals.

    Welcome to Florida, everyone. Pretty soon they’ll revert the Fantasyland design to a bunch of tents.

    • FerretAfros

      Very little permanent additions have come to DL since 1995, yet the admission costs don’t reflect that at all. Obviously there are still plenty of people willing to pay it, but it really does make you question the value of a DLR vacation (even compared to WDW, where 5+ day tickets are a more realistic option for most visitors)

      • LoveStallion

        Precisely. And bear in mind I’m by no means some Disney-hater. I grew up at Disneyland and I absolutely love the place and wish I could go there every day (more so now that I live back east).

        But there’s been this strange, bullish shift over the past few years. Even five years ago it wasn’t a big deal for me to pick up a SoCal Select passport. $150 was worth it to me to be able to duck into the property every so often. It worked and was fine.

        There’s no way I’ll shell out $500 for a premium pass.

        The interesting thing is that for $634, one gets an annual pass at Disney World to all parks (water parks excluded) with free parking and no blockout dates.

        Obviously, Disney knows that there are far fewer locals around Orlando, so they can get away with having an annual pass program that’s actually cheaper per park than Anaheim’s equivalent.

        Strange waters, these be.

    • Larry Parker

      No question, price increases have been excessive, and at a time of record park revenues. I believe a culture of profit seeking to the point of greed began with former CEO Eisner, and now continues with his hand-picked successor, current CEO Iger. Very demoralizing/even sickening to the long-time Disney fan..

  • LoveStallion

    Building on that, attractions added over the past ten years (excluding DCA, parades and retooled fireworks shows):

    2004: None
    2005: Buzz Lightyear, Space Mountain reopening
    2006 None
    2007: Nemo Subs, Pirates Lair
    2008: None
    2009: None (Disneyland begins monthly payment option on annual passes)
    2010: None
    2011: Upgraded Star Tours
    2012: None
    2013: None

    • ravencroft

      The profits go to the C-Level execs, not to improvements in the parks! This posting is good evidence to support this!

      • LoveStallion

        Unfortunately, one of the downsides to publicly-held companies is the need to appease shareholders and increase share price, both of which nearly always comes at a cost to the consumer.

      • swrdfghtr

        I don’t know that it’s about “appeasing” shareholders. Remember, it’s the shareholders that loaned the company the capital money in the first place. The shareholders literally own the company. The company is obligated to think of its shareholders. Obviously, keeping customers happy will benefit the shareholders – but there’s a broad area of “happy.” There’s no physical evidence that Disneyland has hit its price limit. Apart from a very tiny minority of engaged fans on sites like this one, most folks continue to renew their passes. In business, you charge what people will pay. Convince everyone to stop buying annual passes and day tickets. The prices will come down.

    • jcruise86

      I think it’s a bit unfair to not list both parks when discussing Disneyland Resort additions & improvements. To the unsedentary, the walk from Main Street to Carsland is a fast, scenic & energizing walk that burns off too few calories to rationalize half a churro.

      The parks in WDW are inconveniently distant for quick park hopping, and even at Universal Orlando, the two park entrances are a little hike. But at Disneyland the parks face each other and the small, attractive area in-between gives us the most wonderful dilemma of “Which beautiful, attraction filled park to visit?” One of the nicest choices on earth with both entrances tempting those willing to turn their heads.

      ANDY CASTRO, this was an outstanding update! THANK YOU! You called out flaws and displayed merchandise with gusto. You rule! Micechat should reward you by letting you review a Disney Cruise, the new Ratatouille area in Paris, and/or Tokyo & Hong Kong Disneylands with all expenses paid. C’mon Dusty, keep this guy happy!

      • sixalex

        I’m hitting the “like” button for this post. Especially the last paragraph. Of course, if Dusty sends Andy on a Disney “World” tour, he’ll be forced to raise the price of admission to Mice Chat!

    • Jmullen23

      DCA was a huge investment though. I think they spent $1B+ on the entire redesign project. I don’t think all of it went to the C-Level execs.

      • FerretAfros

        But DCA has its own turnstiles and people buy tickets to go there. If we want to consider DL and DCA as one big mega-park for comparison to the “old days”, then we need to use the $150(!) one-day park hopper price, which makes it look even crazier

    • CaptainAction

      And still this is better than WDW track record of late, with 43 square miles of land left by Walt for the imagineers in Florida.

      The execs tear out old attractions for new attractions like they are landlocked. Whenever they decide to grace us with a new attraction every 10 years or so. It’s cheaper. Less to maintain.

      I’ll show Disney My Disney Side.

      It’s my backside walking away. That’s my Disney Side.

  • tooncity

    I have money and I CAN afford to pay this. But I won’t, my first rule, is I won’t get ripped off.
    A fool would pay these prices.

    • jcruise86

      (Doing my moderately praised Elvis impersonation) “Treat me like a fooooool. Treat me mean and cruel. . . .”

      Actually if I do get my 7th AP (I’ve had 6 in the last 8-9 years, not including APs for our other family members), I might wait a 3 or 4 years and get them mostly with Disney Visa Rewards dollars AFTER I’ve had a year visiting the incoming Universal Hollywood’s incoming WW of Harry Potter and another year at our beloved Knott’s with their ridiculously underpriced & misnamed “Season Passes.”

      So much to do in California! I’m glad the Disneyland Resort is so close, whatever they’re charging to get in. Only them park fans in Tokyo and arguably Orlando have it as good as we Southern Californians. (And as wonderful as Florida is, I’ll take S. Cal.)

      • jcruise86

        “Them” should be “theme” in the last paragraph,
        and the first “incoming” should be delated from the second paragraph.

        (Ahhhh. I remember the good ol’ days when we could edit our posts after articles
        after we posted them.)

  • ravencroft

    Thank you for your thorough update and pics. Very much appreciated.

    On the news of the price increase, that is to be expected. The poigant point is that the prices rise while so much of the park is unavailable. I mean, even if you plan your visits during the slower days of the week, you still don’t have the entire park available.

    I am thankful for the experiences our family had before Disneyland arrived at this state. Our family is getting into Camping, Fishing and hiking now that the children are older and Disneyland is a more money and hassle that it used to be.

    My wife pointed out that we can stay in Hawaii for a week for what we pay in our AP renewal for one year. True that is one week vs. one year at Disneyland but we are not making it down from North LA County as much (have you seen I-R lately?) and the kids have seen it all for the last four years.

  • DisneyLover66

    Spectacular update! I loved the photos!! We’re tourist and vacation in Disneyland once a year. I don’t want a price increase, but…we’ll most likely continue to vacation in Disneyland. We always have a great time while we’re there.

  • Susan Hughes

    The Disneyland Resort’s BIGGEST mistake was to create the monthly payment plan for the annual passes. When I first got mine in 2007, crowd size was pleasant, and there were (from what I read) only about 100,000 APs. Then the monthly plans were started and it didn’t take long for the madness to begin and the numbers to swell to over one million.
    To try and solve this problem, Disney did some major price hikes in 2012. The result…record attendance and AP sales. So I applaud Disney for turning down potential revenue and suspending/cancelling some of the passes.
    If they would just get rid of the monthly payments, that would be the BEST solution of them all. That would separate the “Annual Passholders” from the “Annual Passholes”.

    • ravencroft

      I agree wholheartedly. There was an article in the OC Register about a guest who punched a towel dispenser off the wall in the mens restroom in DCA. I am sorry to say this but I think their pricing policies are responsible for this kind of occurence. There are attractions all over southern California: Knotts, Six Flags, Universal – Disneyland used to be considered more exclusive before the monthly payment plan was made available.

      • Susan Hughes

        I agree with you. There are those who will no doubt HATE ME for saying this, but the passes should only be available to those how can afford to pay for it in full. No monthly payments.

      • LoveStallion

        Or actually finance the monthly payments to make them less appealing. Disney seemed downright generous when they established monthly payments without any interest attached.

        Take the $289 passport. Knock off the $96 due up-front and you are left with $193. Finance that for twelve months at 15% APR and the total monthly payment goes up to $17.42 That only represents $16.04 more overall for the passport, but it’d be enough of a deterrent. Plus, $16.04 x 100,000 = $1,604,000. Let that pad out for a few years and you have enough scratch to handle OSHA upgrades.

        There’s your smart money, Disney. Reward those who will pay up front and make some extra cash off of those who opt to pay monthly. It’ll drive down the number of annual passholders while not being so inanely douchey to everyone else.

      • dizneedoll

        Oh so the pass is only for elitists like yourself and someone like me who can have the pass and enjoy the parks but only on the monthly plan is a “passhole?” Because surely all those who can afford to shell out $520+ at a time for each pass wouldn’t be a “passhole” right? Didn’t Walt say Disneyland was supposed to be for everyone?

      • bestwishes

        Exclusivity. Club 33 must be your wet dream.

      • innerspacenut

        Why stop here? Let’s check people’s credit ratings before they enter! Maybe try to determine what neighborhood they come from before granting them the right to purchase a pass.
        There are valid arguments both pro and con for price increases at the parks, but to try to frame it as a “certain people” problem is arrogant and elitist.

    • Disneymike

      “That would separate the “Annual Passholders” from the “Annual Passholes”.”
      Wow, I would hate to live in your little elitist world.

      • bestwishes

        It’s okay, Mike. Susan Hughes clearly can’t be bothered to mix with the riffraff.
        It’s interesting to see the class warfare come out of hiding when price becomes an issue. If prices are raised and payment plans are kept, then some may still have the option to afford that lower-tiered pricing making an Annual Pass more accessible and less of a luxury-item. There are clearly those here (I’m thinking they are old as balls/baby boomers/anti-millennials) that want Less People in the parks and the most efficient and expedient way to achieve that goal in their view (and possibly the Parks’ view as well) is to reestablish Disney Parks as a luxury brand instead of a People’s park.

        What’s essentially being suggested is turning the Disneyland AP system into a country club.

        If Disney eradicates the AP payment plan in the future to reduce guests, I’ll be disappointed and angry, but ultimately it’s a for-profit business and that’s their priority. If Disney eradicates the AP payment plan in the future to reduce guests, and the people (read: white & solvent) like Susan Hughes, Love Stallion, and Ravencroft celebrate they are disgusting.

        Keep on being elitist, jerk-offs.

    • bestwishes

      What does your privilege taste like, Susan? I bet it has the faint aroma of disposable income. Do you wash your hands after touching a Millennial, too?

      • blue32

        It’s not being elitist to say you should be able to PAY for something when you buy it! Why does everything in this country need to available on credit? Borrower is slave to the lender…..

    • airick75

      Just in the interest of facts, I don’t have the exact answer, but from all that I’ve read and remember, it seems very, very unlikely that there were only 100,000 APs in 2007. I can’t say for sure, and I don’t have time to research it right now, but anyone reading this should take that statement with a rather large grain of salt.

    • dland72

      I totally agree with ditching the monthly payments! I did notice once that started that the place was ALWAYS crowded. I miss the days in the 80’s and 90’s when it never seemed very crowded, now its only on a mid week in February. Just have the premium pass and make it around $500 and pay upfront.

    • Susan Hughes

      It’s really quite simple; the monthly payment plan caused all this mess! There are no other factors to blame. Disney is now desperately trying to stop the damage caused by it. That’s why they need to get rid of it.
      For those who only bought a pass because they could now make a monthly payment that’s less than their phone bill…SAVE!!! By the end of the year you can have enough to pay in full. If you lack the discipline and organization to do that, then that’s your fault, not Disney’s. I shed no tears for you.

  • Bullarja

    After just visiting this past weekend, I will not be returning anytime soon. Ride after ride kept breaking down, lines starting to become extremely long do to the lack of rides that were operating, and the expect me to pay how much to endure this?

  • Retrolane

    From a business side they will of course keep increasing prices until there is a breaking point. That’s just standard business practice.
    The problem is really too many people visiting the parks. They say it themselves. That’s a problem I would like to have, too many customers.
    Instead of trying to lower the amount of local repeat customers they need to either expand the current parks or build a 3rd gate.
    Even though there hasn’t been alot added to Disneyland they did just complete a whole redo of DCA and I think the overall park maintenance and upkeep is far superior to what’s going on in WDW.
    They need to dump profits into expansion and current maintenance.

  • DCACM

    In other news, the Cast Members still get a 3% “cost of living” annual increase.

    • Mousecat

      After paying more for health insurance and other salary givebacks.

  • eicarr

    Cars Land had justified all increases for me, but that is wearing out. If they announce Star Wars additions to Tomorrowland, they can double prices again, and I’ll still go twice as much as currently without Star Wars. I just need to see investments in major new attractions, not kiddie parades/shows, refurbishments and new walkways.

    Stunned that people can still get an annual pass for under $100 per month in 2014. Compared with modern cable bills…

    • Westsider

      Stop being so rational eicarr, you are ruining the outrage!

      Premium AP is 50 bucks per month, down to SoCal AP is only 16 bucks per month. An amazing bargain!

      16 bucks per month doesn’t even get you a Friday night movie ticket and a small popcorn, much less multiple days admission to one of the best theme park entertainment complexes on the planet.

      And then you compare that monthly price to one crummy roof seat at an NBA or NHL game that START at 40 bucks per seat for a 3 hour game. Or nosebleed-binocular seats at a Chargers game that START at 70 bucks per seat. Or the average AT&T iPhone monthly bill of 100 bucks. Etc., etc., etc.

  • thebear

    I really don’t think the price increases have anything to do with the amount of new rides or what is open. California is raising its minimum wage on July 1st, I believe. Even if Disneyland Resort cast members don’t make minimum wage their is still an expectation that employees’ pay would move up a corresponding amount. Hopefully this is the case. If I was a cast member making $1 over minimum wage I would expect to still be $1 over minimum after the increase. Along with this, certain food costs like beef and dairy are at all time highs. Health care, utilities, etc. all continue to go up. It just seems to be the cost of doing business in California. Of course, as consumers, we always decide if it’s worth it or not, regardless of the reasons. I love Disneyland but would rather get an annual pass to both USH and Magic Mountain for what it costs for a one day park hopper to Disneyland/DCA.

    • disneychrista

      Unfortunately, expecting a raise and getting one isn’t the same.

  • DanO

    This is standard yield management. Disney has a set capacity they would like to keep the attendance at. That’s somewhere below their legal capacity. They don’t like hitting that maximum capacity because turning away people is even worse PR for them. They also suspended the sales of new So Cal passes to reduce the number of pass holders.

    They could get rid of the payments and that would reduce some passes. Other options would be to add more blackout dates, but increasing the price is a fairly egalitarian way of maintaining attendance levels.

    • Susan Hughes

      Dump the monthly payment plans. That’s what caused all this trouble in the first place. It went from manageable to out of control very quickly once monthly payments were allowed.

      • Imagineer2B

        I completely agree. The monthly payment option should be eliminated. Average locals will still visit the parks, but they will purchase a multi-day park hopper option and visit the resort a handful of days in the year vs. showing up a handful of days in a month.

  • tooncity

    The ride break down price is about $12-$15 a ride. Based on the average ridership per visit. it costs that much based on 10 rides a visit. is the Matterhorn, Peter Pan, Star tours, jungle Cruise, Pirates, haunted and others worth that kind of money. NO Way.

    Stop going to this broken down, dated museum of the Past. They have NO interest in providing you VALUE. Junkie, Dated, mimimul updates. Entire lands Neutered. What a joke. Only a gullibly moron would swallow this tripe. Wake up folks, it’s just not worth it. I Gave up my Ap in 2007 based on this trend. I am a big stockholder. from that point of view I LOVE IT. I just feel really bad for the folks who love Disney and just can’t afford this.

    It’s really sad. In the long run, this is really bad for Disney. They are NOT creating a childhood passion within children 9future paying customers). If children don’t go and fall in love with the place, then they wouldn’t come back with passion as adults. they’ll go to Knotts, MM, Uni, Sea World, LEGOLAND and develop a childhood passion for those places. They’ll return as adults to those place and NOT Disneyland. The Disney Arrogance WILL catch-up with them.

    I hate to say, “What would Walt do….” Well, I think we can all say he wouldn’t be doing this.

    • ayalexander

      You can’t just tell people to “wake up”. The people that still go to Disneyland are people that still feel like the price is worth it. If that’s how they feel. Leave them alone. I still feel the price is worth it because there is no way in hell I’m going to any other theme park other than a Disney park. I still enjoy the experience I get at Disneyland. You can’t call all of Disneyland a broken down, dated museum of the past. The rides are there until no one wants them anymore, so the rides that you refer to as a museum, are still there because people want to see them. You can’t say ALL of Disneyland is that way, only a few things in tomorrowland are that way. But that’s a Tomorrowland issue, not a Disneyland issue.

      • tooncity

        Yes, Wake UP! They keep taking more and have no reason to build anything that’s actually NEW. They have 1000s of ideas, characters that they can be leveraging but they do NOTHING because they can. Because they have a built in money train that will take anything they’re given because it has a stupid Disney name slapped on it.

        All the defenders dance around on this site, I love Disneyland, I love it and I’ll go no matter what. Get a life! You’re living in a fantasy world. This park will NEVER build anything until the attendance goes DOWN. I would like them to expand. Build New amazing stuff. Increase the available capacity to 100,000 a day. But they’ll never do it if the Disney Religious Freak don’t stop pouring into the place.

        What a bunch of Saps!

      • Cory Gross

        Tooncity, MUST YOU?!

        Seriously, MUST YOU?! How insulting do you have to get? Really now.

      • ayalexander

        Tooncity, just leave micechat, you’re obviously not here to go get your “disney high” so leave. No one needs you here, insulting people and calling them saps. Leave Micechat, why even read the posts if you are just here to bitch about them. There are people that actually enjoy reading up on what Disney is up to and learning new things about Disney. If you’re not a fan, don’t be on a fan site.

      • Marko50

        No, tooncity is right. I am a sap. I read his posts knowing that he would say the same-o same-o again. And again.

    • Cory Gross

      I don’t need to “wake up.” As I keep telling you guys, I am a conscious, conscientious consumer who is interested in purchasing the product that Disney is selling. Even with all the things they do that I disagree with, they haven’t yet come close to the point where I would write them off (and ironically, that point would probably be when they start doing a lot of the things you guys would want).

      I’ll also give you another FYI: I work in a museum and I can tell you definitively that museums are not places where you go to see things that are OLD. They are places you go to see things that are GREAT. All those “dated” attractions have lasted as long as they have because they are GREAT and Disney fans know it.

      So yeah, seriously, what is with you guys that you have to get so personally insulting because Disney fans don’t share your personal tastes? Like, really, MUST YOU?

      • ayalexander

        I couldn’t have said it better, myself.

      • tooncity

        Why don’t you two get a room at the Disney Religious Freak Hotel. Just shinning the light on ignorance.

      • Cory Gross

        What is your problem tooncity? Seriously! Ease up and back off. You don’t have to get insulting just because we don’t have the same burr up our butts that you do. Chill out and stop being so insulting.

    • CCS

      Move along, ToonCity. Take your Disney stock and just move along.

      • Marko50

        And “shin” your light elsewhere. Seriously, you should proofread your posts before you start talking about ignorance.

  • Wendygirl

    As an older adult there is not as much that I can do in the way of rides anymore (though Big Thunder is very good now). I mainly go for the entertainment but now my favorite group is gone (Billy Hill) and I know for a fact something else I love to watch is leaving this Summer. I can no longer justify the price of an Premium Pass. Fortunately I still have until November to use it. I will renew for one more year at the lowest level (but have to add parking which is a bummer) and that is only because I want to go during the 60th anniversary year. After that come November of 2015 I probably won’t renew. Knotts Berry Farm is a much better value for me as a Senior (and they treat us well there).

    It is my opinion that the over crowding started with the monthly payment plan. If they wish to cut back on the crowds, then they need to do away with that plan instead of dropping options. I know not everyone can afford to pay the price in one lump sum, but that is why you save your money. I have a plan that works for me so that when I need that lump sum of money when the time comes, I have it.

    By the way if you want that So. Calif. Pass that is not available, go to your grocery store as soon as possible and get the gift card for that Pass as it doesn’t expire until Dec. 31 and they will honor it. The Vons near me had tons of them but when word gets out, they will disappear fast. Also if you want to save a few sheckles, they have other passes and park hoppers gift cards too.

    • Susan Hughes

      Totally agree. The monthly payment plan is the root to all the evil. Eliminate it and watch the conditions (and the undesirables in the parks) improve drastically.

      • Disneymike

        Hmm… maybe you are one of those “undesirables” yourself since you seem to
        think you are above everybody.

      • ayalexander

        HAHAHA Disneymike that was hilarious.

      • jcruise86

        Susan, what do you mean by “undesirables”?

        Sounds creepy, to use about the nicest accurate word I can think of. At best (which is not to say it’s good), by “undesirables” you mean people who behave badly behavior, right? Or DID you mean any particular racial/ethnic groups?

        Even if you were only stating that lack of money =s bad behavior, do you see the offensiveness of believing that we ought to try to prevent every Bob Cratchit from taking his Tiny Tim to Disneyland (whatever their color/nationality, etc.), while you breathe a sigh of relief next to the ever-so-classy Donald Sterling and Justin Bieber? Yes, Tiny Tim is fictional (not a lot of famous poor kids I can use as examples) and Disneyland is one of the things that makes me want to earn money so I can attain more than the basics, but you’ve got to feel sad for a parent who always responds “No” to her child who asks to go to Disneyland, which is so close to their home. Imagine of every kid but Charlie got to tour Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. Of course, no one has a right to go to Disneyland, but it’s still sad to me when kids can’t go and parents can’t take them.

      • jcruise86

        ^ ^ Should be “imagine if” not “of” in the last paragraph.
        (My many typos are “undesirable.”)

      • jcruise86

        Regarding ^ ^ “behave badly behavior” in my second paragraph. Sorry readers!

  • Internitty

    Admission rises:
    Court of Angels closed.
    Nemo probably closed may open for a short period next year for the 0th then most likely gone for good around the time of the next price rise.
    Little Mermaid touched up but no proper ending for Ursula.
    Small World and Space Mountain in desperate need of cosmetic maintenance
    Additional Disneyworld merchandise
    If it wasn’t 3am I’d go on but you get the point. At least there will be more money to pump into My Magic +

  • Larry Parker

    Price increases the last few years have been excessive. I believe the reason for this is a culture at Disney Corporate conceived by former CEO Eisner of profit(greed)above all else. Eisner’s long gone but his unfortunate legacy remains.(Recall current CEO Iger was hand-picked by Eisner.)

    • DLFan1995

      Price increases, along with everything else they can find to up-charge on, seem to be the focus for corporate profits. Disney is satisfied with doing as little as they can, as far as new attractions, as long as people keep pouring into their parks.

      Universal is doing whatever they can to challenge Disney, and are pretty successful at it. But, even though their improvements increase THEIR attendance and bottom line, until it actually cuts into Disney’s, Disney probably won’t counter with any significant response (given that they consider the Magic Kingdom’s Fantasyland update as a “Potter Swatter”, which it clearly ISN’T).

  • Ravjay12

    Wow! Disneyland is definitely done for our family. We went there to see Carsland and it turned out to be the most overhyped disappointment we ever saw. The constant price hikes just ruined it for us for good. We have family there who have the Southern California passes because that’s all they can afford. I can’t believe how anyone can support this kind of lack of respect they have for the millions of people who visit and spend their hard earned money there. Disneyland claims to make dreams come true, but only a select privileged few. Pretty soon the Club 33er’s will be the only people in the parks, but maybe that’s what they want. Sorry everyone, just venting my frustration.

    • flyfishnevada

      I agree with what you say to a point. As an occasional visitor, I’m frustrated by the crowds and the. at times, poor experience. But the prices aren’t so offensive I can’t save up for a trip once a year or so. I just don’t want to spend the money to be greeted with 90 minutes waits on every decent ride, the inability to experience any special events (WoC, Fantasmic, Fireworks, Etc.) and crowds that you can barely walk through.

      Honestly, Disney will raise prices as long as the market will bear it. Right now, it’s pretty obvious that the current prices (as of Saturday) haven’t reached that point and probably aren’t even close to it. Disney just needs to balance it’s guests so the occasional guests that spend money in the parks aren’t disappointed. I’ll pay the new prices if they improve the guest experience and limiting APs is one step towards doing that, I hope.

  • CasaFamilia

    Our passes are a must for the family.(As much as a luxury expense can be a must.) For our autistic twin daughters Disneyland is embedded into their weekly routine. Could they learn to live without the Parks, of course but as long as we can, we will allow them to continue going and having so much fun and joy. Just like the fact we could make them wait in standby, and we did Saturday 30-minutes for JC, but we also used DAS which helped keep them from getting over-stimulated and made the day better for all of us.
    If it were just my wife and myself I don’t know if we would continue to have an AP. We first got them in 2000 when I was liberated from being a Cast Member and we would go about once a month. Now for the twins it is once and sometimes twice a week.
    The payment plan is allowing us to continue with our Premium passes while I am closing in on three years of part-time work; Disneyland Resort is pretty much the entirety of our entertainment budget. We are hoping it continues until I can get back to full-time. We are fairly close to a time when they will price us out. It seems like a lot of other people, keeping the AP is more “painful” and we may complain but that hasn’t stopped us yet. I suspect from posts on this board and conversation with others they may be right at that tipping point where they will start to lose some passholders.

  • bayouguy

    Well, this could be our last year for renewing our passports. I think the worst part of all this is having to read the lies of Disney with their spin on media. Suzi Brown ought to be ashamed that she has to do this.

  • flyfishnevada

    This isn’t greed and Disney doesn’t hate locals. Disney is raising the prices because they can. DLR is so popular that it is at or near capacity much of the time and the guest experience is eroding. Supply and demand dictates they do something. The price is too low and demand is overwhelming supply. I agree, DLR should expand but that takes years of planning and construction. Should they allow the parks to be overwhelmed with guests, locals and otherwise, in the meantime? Should they allow the love for and popularity of the parks to turn into anger and frustration?

    And who said locals can’t buy APs? The SoCal APs are ridiculously cheap and have far too few restrictions but locals can buy regular APs. Locals crowd out non-locals too often. I don’t blame locals for taking advantage. Disney has failed to manage the situation. This is an attempt to do so. Whether or not it works, we’ll see. They need to do something before DLR is known not as the cream of the theme park crop but for their maddening, frustrating lines and wait times.

    • ayalexander

      I agree with you, I don’t know where people came up with the idea this was about greed. You are right that the Disney experience is eroding due to the full capacity of the park. How is a family supposed to have a full day of un-interrupted fun if they are waiting 60 minutes for each ride. Therefore if they raise the prices, less people will go to Disneyland, and yet they don’t lose too much money because the prices are higher. Its just a way to water down the crowds and increase the experience from within.

  • themur

    How many people who are paying on monthly payment plans don’t have a credit card; I imagine that is a very low number so the whole idea of monthly payments as the root of all evil seems a little weak to me; they could make monthly payments via their credit card. Disney is saving you a few bucks by keeping it off your credit card for a short period of time. Some people might say that is a small but nice thank you to a pass holder.

    I appreciate that everyone views the value of DL differently. I guarantee you for some it still feels like an exceptional value at increased prices (and how many of the people commenting here are really buying a one day ticket!) and some don’t. Calling someone a fool for paying for some sort of entrance media is really unkind. I don’t criticize people who buy designer clothes or shoes or spend too much on Starbucks or Peet’s coffee. Everyone gets to evaluate if the price for entrance and the experience you get (rides, shows, entertainment etc.) is worth it to them. The large crowds indicate that there is a robust population that fees that they get a fantastic value. It is not the Disney company’s responsibility to make it affordable to all but they do a pretty good job of keeping it available to as wide an audience as possible.

    Related to the closures for updates, repairs etc….this group would be yelling even louder if they weren’t maintaining the park. The park has very little down time during the 12 months; there is no real good time to close attractions.

    Thanks for the always lovely photos of the park. For those of us out of the area it is a small but nice connection to DL and DCA.

    • DLFan1995

      “Related to the closures for updates, repairs etc….this group would be yelling even louder if they weren’t maintaining the park. The park has very little down time during the 12 months; there is no real good time to close attractions.”

      Maintaining the park has become an immense challenge since they went to whole park ticketing and annual passes. EVERYTHING is being overworked and abused throughout the park. Maintenance crews (those that still remain) are overworked.

      When Disneyland first opened, the park was closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. The park was VERY well maintained for several decades. Unfortunately, in the 90’s, thing started to falter and the maintenance (and thus the park) began to deteriorate.

      The reason people are complaining now is that the park has now become crowded all year and maintenance that used to be handled during “off season” now seems to be ongoing all year.

      I think the only way Disneyland can maintain their attractions at peak level all year with as little downtime as possible would be to greatly increase their maintenance staff so that serious maintenance can be ongoing during after hours.

      • tooncity

        Yes, close attractions for maintenance, but don’t charge full price for it.

        I remember Disneyland use to discount the off season when many attractions where closed. It was a $22 special when ticket prices where in the mid $30’s ( you can still see the commercials on youtube). Very reasonable and fair. Not like today.

      • thebear

        Aren’t they discounting prices when a SoCal local can go to the grocery store and pick up a 3 day park hopper for $159?

  • swrdfghtr

    I think the Disney super-fans sometimes put the company between a rock and a hard place. One the one hand, “no new E-tickets in 20 years” vies with the anger everyone vents if the company tries to retire an existing attraction.

    First, the massive refurbs of Space Mountain and Big Thunder were probably 90% the cost of a new attraction. So should the company have let those continue to slide, and built net-new? If the mantra is, “we only get value when you add new,” then there’s little reason to maintain existing attractions right?

    And Disneyland is “full.” Where would a new attraction go? Could we rip out Jungle Cruise to make room? You could probably fit a couple of big-name rides in that huge space. Wipe out Big Thunder Ranch? Probably wouldn’t raise too many jeers, although if there was still a beloved musical act back there, people would be upset.

    How about ditching the Nemo subs in favor of an all-new attraction – something that seems likely to happen anyway?

    Point being, y’all do tend to play both sides of the argument. “We want new, but don’t take away anything” is a bit tough with a park that’s clearly developed out to the very limits of its property lines. And even without net-new attractions, prices will rise. Gas prices go up, and you don’t get any additional “value” from the same old gallon of gas. Same thing.

    • TodAZ1

      Innoventions leaps to mind.

    • LoveStallion

      Big Thunder Ranch was long slated to be Discovery Bay. That whole area could be redeveloped.

      Indiana Jones represents a brilliant use of space that didn’t exist, and woven seamlessly into the rest of the park. I doubt it would have ever been built if the DCA/Downtown Disney project would have been done before then.

      Or take out some backstage areas right on the Fantasyland/Frontierland border and put a Frozen attraction in. Have the entrance be where the Skyway station currently is.

      There are options. None are perfect. Disneyland is boxed in and doesn’t have the space luxuries of Florida, so a removal of backstage areas comes at a cost. But there’s stuff that can be done and done well.

  • Algernon

    Its all supply and demand. If somebody sold donuts, and they had long lines and their prices were astronomical, other donut shops would open to get some of that money, and the prices would go down. Las Vegas, are you listening? Back in the 1990’s you were on your way to becoming a city-sized Disneyland, with free parking, free shows, and WAY cheaper food. Then you decided you wanted to cater to the 20-somethings maxing out their credit cards, with trendy nightclubs where the doorman makes $400,000 a year in tips, just to let the non-rich, non-beautiful people past that velvet rope (can anybody say Club 33?). The fifty cent hot dog gave way to the $65 lunch. Gift shops gave way to boutiques. Treasure Island took down its Jolly Roger sign. They blew up the Stardust, Frontier, Westward Ho, and replaced them with nothing. Everybody else de-themed. All the new properties, like Cosmopolitan and City Center look just like downtown anywhere. Coins no longer clink out of the slot machines. In my opinion, if Las Vegas ever got back on track again, it would clean up.

  • Awe_inspired

    Wow Andy, that was a massive update. I know it took a lot of work! Thank you. I appreciate it.

  • DL_beats_reality

    Perspective from someone who doesn’t live anywhere near SoCal (about 1500 miles away), for what it is worth:

    1 — I’ve been fortunate enough to bring my family to Disneyland about a half dozen times in the last 15 years. We are a close family and we have a lot of good memories, but the best memories we have by far are those vacations. I can’t put a price tag on that experience. Though we aren’t rich and couldn’t easily afford it, I would’ve found a way to go even if the costs were twice what they were.

    2 — For us, the entire AP program is a problem. The reason that a family like mine may not get good value for their dollar has little if anything to do with new attractions, upkeep, food offerings,etc., it is all about the crowds. Carsland is great, and a wonderful experience, and the kids loved Radiator Springs Racers — the one time we were able to ride it. With 2 hour wait times for a 5 minute ride (or whatever it is), even the kids couldn’t justify more than that. The best thing DLR can do to improve the customer experience is lessen the number of customers, and it’s pretty clear that they know that.

    3 — It’s a free market economy, folks. Demand is very, very high, and supply (arguably) can’t be raised to compensate. The most obvious solution to achieve balance and maximize profits and the customer experience at the same time is to lower demand, in this case through higher costs.

    4 — Re: the comments on monthly payments, though it does seem obvious that some of the folks there really can’t afford to be there, I’ve never had any trouble with anyone: rich/poor, majority/minority, whatever. The guy with a tattoo on his leg of a stark naked woman engaged in a private moment was a bit off-putting, but the kids didn’t even notice.

    • ayalexander

      What guy with what tattoo?

    • Cory Gross

      “The reason that a family like mine may not get good value for their dollar has little if anything to do with new attractions, upkeep, food offerings,etc., it is all about the crowds.”

      Well-said!

  • Cory Gross

    “Is it sustainable when the cost of admission has more than doubled since 2003 and there have been no new E-Tickets added at Disneyland park in nearly 20 years?”

    Evidently that is the wrong question to ask, since the problem is that Disneyland’s attendance has grown to capacity in spite of the lack of E-tickets.

    If the problem is overcrowding, then it totally makes sense to take away the programs that were instituted specifically to raise attendance. So-Cal passes, payment plans, lower-tier APs, and other such things were created to get people in the parks. Now they’re here, and there’s too many of them. Therefore, get rid of those things. That is entirely separate from the question of E-ticket rides, and I don’t think that building new things that people will flock into the parks to ride is really a good solution to the problem of too many people in the parks.

    This is a case where I feel a bit of a moral quandary, because this whole situation actually works to my benefit. I’m one of those non-local, infrequent visitors who tend to spend a lot of money when they come. Looking at the handy chart that Andy provided, the price hike is virtually negligible for me. $5 on a 5-day parkhopper? Yeah, not an issue. The #1 thing that diminishes my experience of the parks is crowding. My fiancee and I deliberately pick the off-season to travel anywhere, because we’re not big crowd people. I just don’t like ’em, but she actually gets anxiety in large crowds. If there is no time of year that Disneyland has crowd levels lower than, say, a 5 out of 10, then we would definitely reassess whether we would go at all. Reducing the crowds works in our favour.

    However, I am aware that reducing the crowds is going to affect those people who want to experience Disney but will now be priced out of range. I’m not going to make any moral judgments on “undesirables” or “Passholes” or anything like that. To want to go to Disney and not be able to would suck, period. I totally sympathize with that, and it’s unfortunate that Disneyland isn’t a socialist non-profit post-scarcity good. Unfortunately it is a business and it only has so much capacity. Something has to give. But then it’s “giving” in a way that works out for me, so that’s easy for me to say, and that sucks too. Somebody has to not be there in order for me to be there, and vice versa.

    If the price hikes were about to affect me, I think I would have to start adjusting my behaviour more. I already stay at one of the $40 motels behind DCA, which enables me to stay longer and spend more in the parks. Next, I guess, would be going down to 1-park/day (we’re already doing that to shave a bit off of WDW in September) followed by reducing the number of days we stay. I suspect, though, that if they started affecting non-locals, the hotel owners would start getting on Disney’s case too. I’m not sure exactly what point Disney would have to hit to make me not want to come anymore. That is, beyond allowing +5 crowds every day of the year. Double-price for 5-day parkhopper? When it would cost us as much to go to DLR as it would to go to DLP/TDL/WDW? Demolishing Tomorrowland and building Star Wars Land? Hopefully I never have to find out.

    • ayalexander

      I agree too. My biggest problem isn’t “the lack of new E-tickets” I’m still very engaged in the current rides. Very much. My problem is the crowds. Disneyland is too crowded. By raising the prices, that is the best way I can think of to water down the crowds and also not have to turn away so many guests at the gate.

      • Cory Gross

        Yup… That’s part of why I don’t get these “DISNEYLAND IS A MUSEUM!! THERE’S NOTHING TO DO AT WDW!! NEW E-TICKETS ARE THE ANSWER TO EVERYTHING!! DISNEY IS WORSE THAN HITLER!!” comments come from. Like, sorry, when did the Haunted Mansion, Enchanted Tiki Room, Jungle Cruise, Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, Peter Pan’s Flight, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, Splash Mountain, Mark Twain Riverboat, etc. suddenly start sucking so bad? Granted, a ride CAN be made to suck (see: Pirates of the Caribbean), but that’s still a thankfully rare case.

    • Aurora

      As someone who is only able to make a Disney trip once every 4 years or so due to the expense of the entire trip (living 3,000 miles away from DL, 4,500 miles away from WDW), I completely agree here. I really miss the relatively uncrowded, pre-AP Disneyland that existed for my first few trips. My last couple of trips were occasionally quite frustrating due to the increased crowds.

      While I have always envied those who live near Disneyland and are able to take advantage of APs to visit all the time, it’s obviously unsustainable to keep APs in their current form. It seems like they could keep the same structure that they have now, with the same pass levels and blackout days, but put limits on the number of entries per year. I don’t know what the statistics are on how frequently APs visit, but as an example, maybe something like 24 entries per year for the SoCal Select (for a current cost of approximately $12.04 per day), 36 entries per year for the SoCal ($10.53 per day) and 52 entries per year for the Deluxe ($9.98 per day) could help reduce crowding. Obviously some people would be upset, but these would still be amazing deals compared with regular ticket prices. Unfortunately there are just too many people in the parks these days for management not to raise prices. 🙁

      • Cory Gross

        Good points. Another thing that is lost in the people complaining that Disney hates So-Cal residents is that So-Cal residents still have the same right to buy a regular AP or park tickets like anybody else. A So-Cal pass for visiting almost whenever they want as often as they want cost $50 more than my 5-day parkhopper. THAT isn’t fair.

  • Dfan55

    I don’t mind the price increases. The cost to go to DL is high, so I will not be able to go as often as I would like but when I do go I know what I will be getting. If you want cheap, go to the fair.

  • GhostHostJeff

    Disney is a business and must make money to keep the stockholders and investors happy. There is so much $$$ that goes into running a theme park that it would probably boggle your mind, people are still coming to the parks due to Carsland and the additions at DCA. The market is up and people are spending more money. The payment plan was probably one of the smarter things they have done. Disney can keep increasing the prices on the AP’s and people will still buy them because they can spread out the payment, thus Disney still getting that revenue.

    • DLFan1995

      Disney must invest money in order to keep their customers happy. That should be their ONLY focus.

      When your customers are happy, they will spend their money on your product – thus profits. the profits will then make the stockholders happy. END OF STORY.

      When the focus is on making stockholders happy, often, the customer gets the short end of the stick. Cutbacks, reductions, quality shortcuts, etc. result in shoddy products that the customers eventually get fed up with. They then go elsewhere. When you loose your customer base, you loose your profits. Unhappy stockholders.

      • El Bandolero

        Jack Welch famously called focusing on Shareholder Value “the dumbest idea in the world.”

        The cult of focusing on the Shareholder has been thoroughly debunked in academia; unfortunately, this is still the dominant paradigm in most businesses. Leaders have not yet caught up to study after study showing exactly what DLFan1995 just said: The Customer should be the focus; the Shareholder can be ignored. Delivering a great product to the Customer will translate to happy Shareholders.

      • LarryDL1984

        “The cult of focusing on the Shareholder has been thoroughly debunked in academia”

        Classic. I’m sure in “academia” it has been debunked, but for those of us who live outside the ivy covered walls in a place called “the real world” where such things as investors, analysts, and quarterly targets determine your ability to raise capital for your business, it is still important to focus on your owners – also known as your “shareholders”. When I need a good laugh, I’ll be sure to call on “academia” for advice.

  • tooncity

    To all the Disney Religious Freaks that come to this Happy Place, Welcome. Give me your Wallets and relive the past of poverty and overpriced Disney World Items. Here you can travel on rides that are dirty and break down. The privilege of Paying full price for attractions that are only open for 6 months of the year. Stand in long lines so you can only get on 10 attractions per day. Spend your money on $10 hotdogs so Iger can make his bonus money. Witness the Magic of the Ghost of Michael Eisner morph into Bob Iger. King Iger can do what he wants now that Steve Jobs and Diane Disney are departed. Witness the Lemmings as they walk right off a cliff. It’s Magic I tell you. Do what I order you to do, spend money, spend money while we give you crap!

    • ayalexander

      Dude… let me give you the number to a therapist… you really need help. Seriously, i’m not even joking, im not mocking you, i’m speaking as a concerned citizen. You need to seek help. You have been damaged by something in your life and its effecting you. Disneyland is just a historical park… its not a monster under your bed, its not the devil incarnate trying to eat you. Its a place. Look just, get ahold of a doctor. It may also help if you don’t visit micechat anymore since it may further upset your psychotic break. SEEK HELP.

      • tooncity

        Everything I’ve said is the truth and factual, you should learn from it. Being open to diverse opinions will enhance your life.

      • ayalexander

        You’re manipulating facts to support your cause. That’s what youre doing. I may be a “superfreak” but I do have many objections to the company. I only meet them at 40%… but I don’t freak out over it like you do, because as they say: “it is what it is” they are a company, they are responsible to the shareholders. Its illegal for them to not make choices in the best interest of its shareholders. that just it. there’s no more to it.

      • angle

        On the contrary, I think tooncity would have a very bright future in talk radio.

      • Cory Gross

        I think we broke tooncity.

    • Stanley

      You will only get on 10 rides a day if you have that attitude. I went on a very crowded day last November and went on all the rides(except Big Thunder, it was the only ride down for refurb). Just get there early, have a plan, and you can ride everything. But, you have to go with a positive attitude.

  • tooncity

    Everybody seems to forget that this is the company that Corporately Murdered that Father who was KILLED on Big Thunder. This company purposely and maliciously chose to NOT do maintenance on Heavy Industrial machinery that carried human cargo. T Erby’s directive to ‘’….run the attractions until they break’’ was approved at the corporate offices at the Burbank Studios. Yet, NOBODY went to jail, Disney paid off the family, the politicians, the police and everybody else. How does that square with your Holier Than Thou Disney religion. By NOT demanding more from this company and HOLDING them accountable you are, in some small way encouraging like behavior in the future. WAKE UP! You people are BLIND!

    • ayalexander

      First of all. The COMPANY was NOT responsible for that accident. It was the fault of a lazy maintenance worker that skipped out on his responsibility, and he was fired. Next, accidents happen at Theme parks all the time, the only reason why we hear it from Disney more than others is that Disney is a corperation and a story like this makes for bigger headlines than “accident at six flags” -people would just be like “oh… ok?” but since the headlines read “death at Disneyland” -automatically people tune in. The other thing was, it was an ACCIDENT, what can disney do? Pay god to bring the person back to life??? no, Disney paid off the family so the persons medical bills would be covered, and the family wouldn’t have to deal with financial and judicial problems on top of the death of a loved one. Read up dude, and calm down. You’re just a troll. Leave the site.

      • tooncity

        Alalexaner you are a FOOL. You know nothing.

        T Irby, was a retired Army general recruited to turn Disneyland’s Facilities department upside down under Paul Pressler. His orders were to cut maintenance cost, no matter what. That includes putting lives in danger. that he did. Cutting budgets for nuts and bolts and the hours that were required to make the Engine on the train (which is cosmetic) wouldn’t fall apart and decapitate a man in front of his children. can you imagine the horror! Alalexaner put your head out!

        The Disney corporation murdered that father and left 4 children without their father for life, so Disney could have a good quarterly report.

        Alalexaner your assertions are simply asinine! Stop talking you look foolish!

      • Marko50

        Actually, tooncity, you’re the only one looking foolish. You can’t even spell the man’s screen name correctly even though it’s right above your post.

        And yes, you are a troll.

    • Cory Gross

      So it’s not enough that Animal Kingdom doesn’t have a Jungle Book ride. Now Disney ARE MURDERERS!!!1!

      We’ve hit Poe’s Law head-on.

  • Westsider

    Every year they raise prices due to record crowds, and every year people claim they are dumping their AP because of it. Some might actually do that, but obviously there are more consumers who buy an AP. For those who leave, there are two people waiting to take your spot.

    And every year I’m baffled at the commentary. Yeah, a price hike stinks. For anything. But do hardcore Disneyland fans do anything else in SoCal? Have they ever priced out a day at Universal Studios with FastLane access? Been to Sea World lately and used QuickQueue? Have you ever tried going to a Clippers, Chargers, Ducks, or Angels game for 3 hours? Have you ever bought a ticket on the Catalina Express? Or priced out a seat for the LA Philharmonic at Walt Disney Hall? Or a good concert at the Greek or Hollywood Bowl or Honda Center? Or a seat for Pageant of the Masters this summer in Laguna Beach? Rented sea kayaks for the afternoon in La Jolla lately? Visited two good museums on Wilshire Blvd. for the afternoon? Ever price out a Saturday ski lift ticket at Mammoth?

    Do Disneyland fans have no exposure to ANY local entertainment or cultural attraction besides Disneyland???

    Are people really that provincial and sheltered and uneducated? Or is it just selective memory that prevents them from remembering how much the hundreds of dollars they shelled out for the half-decent seats at Honda Center last month?

  • Rex Dopey24

    what a bummer

  • HauntedPirate

    A couple of things.

    1. Profits from the Theme Parks aren’t just funneled back into the Theme Parks, a lot of their profits are used to off-set weaker divisions within TWDC. Yeah, some of the profits are reinvested in the parks, but the percentage reinvested compared with the percentage of profit funneled elsewhere is heavily tilted towards elsewhere.

    2. AP’s. The logic behind the elimination of lower-priced AP’s is simple, and was stated in the artlcle – Those guests tend to visit more often but spend less $$$ than non-AP-holders.

    The ticket price increases are nothing but a money-grab by Disney. And as has been stated repeatedly, they won’t stop until attendance levels off and/or drops, that’s just Business 101.

    We’re a family of 6, all currently AP-holders at WDW. We’ve been fortunate enough to be able to take many trips over the past 10-12 years, for a variety of reasons, and we’ve had AP’s for roughly 6-7 of those years. But the reality for us is, prices in general at WDW are quickly approaching a level where we’re going to have to start looking at reducing the number of days we visit each year, reducing the amount we spend at the parks, or simply start having non-park days when we visit. Even being AP-holders, food prices have gotten outrageous. We took a long weekend about 2 weeks ago, and I noticed several price increases, particularly on my favorite treat – Mickey Ice Cream Bars. The increase was “only” a quarter, to $3.75 from $3.50 per bar, but that also represents the 3rd increase in prices in the past 3-4 years, when bars were $3 a piece. That’s a 33% increase over 3-4 years. Meals have gone up in price a similar amount. Other snacks, drinks, etc., have also increased at a similar rate. When you take a step back, you realize how much these “little price increases” add up very, very quickly. An annual Disney vacation is starting to become out-of-reach for a lot of people. And while it’s pretty well known that WDW is really catering to the first-timers, those of us repeat customers generate a decent chunk of revenue as well.

    The biggest weapons guests have are their wallet, and word-of-mouth. Disney only responds to the first one, but the second one can have a major impact on the first one. Utilizing both of them is the only hope for those who want to curb the price increases, whatever their reason(s) may be.

    • tooncity

      Hey Disney Religious Freaks Read this.

  • HT77

    Today I sent a letter to Suzi Brown at Disney. It’s my open letter here for you. Dissect (as folks on message boards are wont to do), but know that even us shareholders think that the prices are getting out of hand.

    ****
    Dear Suzi,

    I hope this email finds you well.

    I have been a Disney fan for a number of years. I remember my first day walking through the gates at Disneyland Park, and how struck with wonder and awe I was at the magic being created around me. The escape from the real world – something that was all on its own, unparalleled by any experience that the theme park world really had to experience. Yes, there were other theme parks with larger attractions, but it always felt as though it was extraneous noise – never the show that Walt Disney, the founder of the park had envisioned when he put together his theme park for families. It was missing the magic, the story, the vision. Most often, those theme parks were overpriced for a level of quality that was slightly better than the traveling carnivals that would come to town.

    As I grew up, my love of Disney continued to flourish. So much so that a friend bought me a share of stock in Disney as a birthday gift. It was one of those stocks that was purely decoration, but something that made me feel something for this park that had so many memories attached. I was an owner of something I believed in, something that stood for something, a company who while recognizing they were a business, also recognized that they were doing a huge service for those out there who still believed.

    Over the years, I’ve watched the development of the company continue to evolve, to change, to do its best to adapt, and with that comes the annual price increase.

    Today, one such price increase was announced yet again. And it’s this price increase that is causing me to write.

    Walt envisioned the park as a place where families could come to have an experience, to create memories, to deepen those relationships within their own relationships. It’s a prevalent theme in almost every Disney movie – family, the need for belonging, the desire to know that one is loved. The case could even be argued that the movies that carry the Disney name which do not feature those themes don’t do as well. It’s something that resonates deeply with the core fan base, new and old alike. We all want to find our place, to know we’re worthy, to be right where we belong.

    The price increases have been something that most likely has been a result of union wages as well as the normal everyday operating costs needed to run a behemoth such as Disney. Certainly, no one would begrudge Disney from staying profitable.

    However, what’s happening is that Disney is slowly pricing itself out from the family business and into the elite business.

    Case in point – the recent Club 33 expansion. What was always a “secret” society for well-to-dos as well as VIPs is slowly encroaching onto the area used for the every man. It’s becoming something that is representative of the company and the culture at Disney as a whole.

    The price hikes reflect this as well. A family of four of two adults, one teen, and one young child currently comes to $378 for one-day’s admission.

    As a family of six, growing up, our family would have had to pay $564 for a one-day adventure to Disneyland’s park.

    By no means were we rich, but we never considered ourselves poor. We had our needs met, we had food on our table, we had clothes on our backs. We were the epitome of the middle class, doing our best every day, buying some nice things, and moving forward.

    But if you consider all of the other expenses factored into life in general, a $564 price tag for a one day experience is astronomical. That doesn’t factor in the cost of travel, the cost of hotels, the cost of food, the cost of any souvenirs, the cost of anything else.

    Disney is pricing itself out of accessibility to the normal family. Instead, it’s becoming a playground for the super rich – further separating itself from the people who make up the bulk of their consumers.

    The rich, the privileged, the ones with more means often take for granted the themes and lessons taught by Disney because they’re able to escape whenever and wherever they want. The normal, everyday families are not. Those escapes to a place full of wonder, of magic, of enchantment, of thrills gives you a chance to feel as though you’re part of something special – and it equalizes you.

    No matter if your family is poor, middle class, rich – we’re all on equal footing and can experience the park without having to worry about whether or not we can afford to go on rides, or have a character interaction.

    But now, it costs so much to be able to do anything at the parks, families I know have commented to me on more than one occasion that they are looking elsewhere to take their hard-earned dollars to spend. They simply don’t see Disney as a value anymore. And I hate to say it, as someone who believes in the Disney dream, that I’m starting to find myself in that camp. It’s no longer about the core mission, the core values that Disneyland was built upon. Instead, it’s about pricing itself out so the average family of three or four can’t experience the wonder and magic that awaits them.

    As Walt Disney said, “To all who come to this happy place; welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past…and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams and the hard facts that have created America…with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world.”

    I do not believe that Disneyland is my land anymore. A fairy-tale land that has been taken over by the plutocrats. And for the first time as a Disney stockholder, I am ashamed of this company. The belief that they will always do the right thing is quickly waning.

    Sincerely,

    Harry Turpin
    Disney fan (for now) and stockholder

    • Carrie317

      Wow Harry that was quite a speech. It was extremely well written and thought out. My husband and I used to live in Vegas and were annual passholders at Disneyland about 10 years ago. We moved to Florida and now possess APs for WDW. We cannot believe how much the prices have gone up out there. It is almost the same as here if not more. The odd thing is our pass includes 4 parks and 2 waterparks, no blackout dates and parking. I would not be able to justify having a pass out there anymore. The crowd levels have gone up, the number of rides in refurb at any one time have gone up, the food prices have gone up – all with no regard to any kind of current rational inflation numbers. I believe our last pass which was a premium one was like $299. In ten years, it has doubled? Seriously??? That is insane. Everyone has their right to spend their money on whatever they choose, it is just sad that a company takes people’s Disney nostalgia for granted and is constantly robbing their pockets.

      • HT77

        Thanks Carrie. I appreciate the kind words! I feel your pain.

    • angle

      Nicely written, and I certainly think you articulate how many people feel about the current situation. It brings up a question that I’ve been trying to work out for some time now.

      It seems to me that lots of companies are intentionally skewing their products & services to appeal to a higher and higher income bracket. While we can all bemoan this trend, it at least makes logical sense that a for-profit company would target the audience that has the most disposable income to spend.

      So how is it that places like Disneyland are experiencing record attendance numbers? If the vast majority of people attending the park were truly in the upper income brackets (by definition, a smaller, “elite” group of people) the attendance numbers should be decreasing, not increasing.

      As others have pointed out, there’s no reason Disney would not raise admission prices as long as capacity crowds are willing to pay it, and it’s arguably necessary to do so to keep the attendance numbers within their functional limits.

      There’s a discrepancy between what you’d think would be true (declining numbers as only the wealthier people can afford to go to Disneyland) and what’s actually happening (record attendance numbers). So what’s going on here? Anybody have any theories as to how this is possible?

      • tooncity

        Disneyland capacity has been decreasing because if the closures of attractions. Not because more people are visiting the park. As a stockholder of this company for more than 30 years, I know. This is bogus information that is being put out by various propaganda channels. Stop defending people who are charging more for less and less. That’s just ignorant.

    • Westsider

      Did you really send that letter to Suzi? You do realize she’s just a spokeswoman, right? She has no decision making power, and she doesn’t even work inside the parks in a way that could have any impact on day-to-day operations.

      She works in a cubicle in TDA. Her job is to receive talking points from the executive steering committee, and then she wordsmiths them into appropriate sound bites to be delivered to the media via email and PDF files. She doesn’t even meet most media in person, it’s just emailed responses to their queries on a particular story.

      She belts out a few press releases each day, and if she’s feeling plucky she’ll make a Starbucks run to Downtown Disney. No one ever asks for her opinion on strategy or operational direction for anything. I’m sure she’s a nice person, but she has about as much decision-making power as TDA’s elevator repairman and the mailroom clerk.

      • Disneymike

        Gee Westsider, how about instead of demeaning Harry’s sincerity in submitting a
        what appears to be a heartfelt letter to Disney’s spokesmouth, you point him in the right direction? Maybe a little nice CM instead of the usual grumpy CM?

      • Westsider

        From the Disneyland.com website, letters may be addressed to:

        Disneyland
        P.O. Box 3232
        Anaheim, CA 92803-3232

        You could address it to whichever executive you wish, but do realize it will all end up in the same TDA cubicle run by the Guest Communications team of hourly CM’s sorting letters and sending form replies.

        Is that nice enough? Or do you want me to lie and say that someone in TDA really cares about your concern over the price increase they just approved to help deal with record crowds and consumer demand for the excellent product they sell?

    • DisneyLover66

      Harry, You wrote a clearly passionate and intelligent letter. Someone will definitely notice it. I love Disneyland, and it’s great to connect with people who share that same passion.

  • holierthanthoutx

    To everyone who is complaining about the price increases:

    Do you serious want to go to a Disneyland that is packed to capacity every day?

    Do you want to have to wait hours to get in, because the front gates have been closed due to capacity crowds?

    Do you want to have 120+ minute waits for every attraction in the parks?

    Do you want the FastPasses to run out by 10:00 a.m. for every attraction in the parks?

    This is what you get if prices are low. This is what you get if 5 million people in Southern California have annual passes. This is what $150 annual passes would look like today.

    Personally, I’m happy to pay a bit more to be able to go to a less-crowded Disneyland. I’m happy there might once again be a concept of an “off season.” The passholder situation has just gotten out of control, and it’s a very good thing that Disney is doing something about it.

    • tooncity

      Your facts are wrong.

      Disney has been closing attractions at a 4 to1 pace; to building them. That has cut capacity, leaving more people on the paths instead of waiting in a line. In addition, The park is crowded because of FP. Now they’re going to add MBplus so you won’t be standing in line for an attraction but a line for a overpriced ticket from Disney World. Pressler, Eisner and the latest stooge Iger have just ruined this place.

      Stop talking you look stupid!

      • jcruise86

        Now it’s time to say good-bye
        to Too-oo-oon-city.
        M-I-C. . .

        Seriously, your tone undermines your points.

      • tooncity

        Tough to argue with facts. Add something useful.

      • Marko50

        Here’s something useful – probably to anyone except you, tooncity. When people talk about Disneyland’s capacity, they’re talking about how many people are in the park – how many clicked the entrance turnstiles. THAT is fact. It has nothing whatsoever to do with what they can, can’t, will, won’t or are capable of going on inside the park, at least in this discussion’s context. THAT is fact, even if there is nothing to go on inside.

        Get a clue.

  • daveyjones

    if park admission had kept in line with inflation from 1982 (when ticket books were eliminated), today it would cost $29 to get in.

  • Mousecat

    Once upon a time, Disneyland had so many attractions they were able to accommodate more than 85,000 guests in one day. That would be almost twice the number that would fit in there today. It is not that more people are going. It is because there is a lack of capacity for the existing crowds. Build something for people to do and they would not be in the walkways.

  • indiginerd

    Thank you so much for these updates. Really outstanding work and much appreciated.

    I’m scared of what the parking situation will be this Friday, or I’d probably bring my family to the resort. I know my daughter would love the Frozen sing-along in the Muppet Theater. They should do that type of thing more often. Daytime regular Muppet 3D show, night time – sing-along screenings. The attraction capacity is so under utilized right now and Frozen mania is so high – add in special appearances with Olaf and Sven and that place would be packed every night for multiple screenings.

    If I was 15 years younger I would definitely be braving the all-night event. I hope it’s a fun filled (and logistically smooth) night as can be for all who attend. And yes, hats off to the CMs for taking on the insane workload this weekend.

  • jcruise86

    Best comments section ever! (Kidding–partly.) Then again I like “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” and “War of the Roses.” And when when a couple at a restaurant table next to me is having an argument, I feel like I owe a surcharge. An entertaining mix of thoughtful and horribly inappropriate comments–even one Hitler reference–though that was in a comment about comments.

    On one hand–when I was a kid–going to a Disney park meant more to me than my birthday. And taking my daughter to Disneyland accounts for many of the very best days of my life. On the other hand, if you have a library card (or if you can get one), you SHOULD be set for many hours of high quality entertainment. And if you’re in or going to visit Southern California, check out this thread and one it links to:

    http://micechat.com/forums/disneyland-resort/192703-visit-these-places-d-land-s-california.html

    And thanks again, Micechat god Andy Castro, who usually doesn’t seem to read these posts. Maybe he’s too busy making fantastic updates for us.

    And one final word! Knotts! 🙂

    • jcruise86

      (^ ^ I posted that ^ ^ before I read the 4:30 post from Tooncity, who, by calling a fellow Micechatter “stupid” decreased the my interest in this thread. I wouldn’t mind if his “stupid” thread were edited, and then if my objection after that (which would make less sense) and this post were all deleted into whatever the toons were dipped into in Roger Rabbit.)

      • jcruise86

        ^ ^ And by “thread” I meant “post.” Oops.

      • tooncity

        How obtuse of you.

        All of my posts are responses to ME being attacked for having a truthful, honest, actuate and factual opinion. Being told to leave and to get off a chat that belongs to nobody is arrogant and inflammatory. Many of the people on this board are the people who are responsible for giving Disney carte blanche to continue to be obscenely tone deaf to it customers. The bleeding heart Disney religious freaks keep giving this company a pass.

        My opinion is just as valid as anybody else’s. I don’t appreciate the many attempts to devalue me as a human being.

        A little revolution now and then is a good thing.

      • Kenny B

        Tooncity

        You say your stating facts – your stating opinions. You’re being short, mean and bullish. Everything that has been directed at you is warranted due to your name calling and ill behavior. Someone makes a general positive remark about DL and you respond with “So you like that Dated and Neutered Tomorrowland”. You have been out of line numerous times in this thread, acting like a bully who can’t take what he dishes out. Your a troll, and not a Disney Shareholder.

        Good day.

      • ayalexander

        tooncity, you are going to speak of people devaluing YOU? You bully everyone! I asked you to leave the site because its better than having you stay here and name call, bully and undermine people. You mock people, you make fun of them and you purposefully start problems. You did all this before people asked you to leave. And you know what? No one has reverted to name calling on you. Yet you name call on others. You are not a victim, you are an instigator.

      • Marko50

        No, I have to disagree, ayalexander. I have definitely called tooncity names. After he has, of course, but I guess two wrongs etc. And I think I may do it again – tooncity, you certainly have a right to your opinion. But you spare no opportunity to hammer it down people’s throats. Guess what? People tend to not like things hammered down their throats. That includes both your opinions as well as raised prices.

        As for those opinions, you are apparently the only one who thinks they are “truthful, honest, actuate and factual “. And you tend to jump all over people who don’t react the way you want them to (read: everyone else).

        Now who looks obtuse? I think it’s the person who won’t listen to others. I HAVE listened to you, both in this thread and others. I don’t agree with you (ever, I believe) and likely haven’t reacted the way you would have liked. But I HAVE listened.

  • Cyette

    Excellent update, Andy, I enjoyed this update thoroughly.

    Kudos to all the commenters here (most of them) as well. Extremely well-thought out, passionate, and personal stories and I could relate with so many of you.

    We have raised seven children and have never been able to afford taking them all at once to Disneyland, but that’s okay. We’ve enjoyed our humble existence and I never felt “due”. So, in my golden years, as it were, it’s just my husband and me, and we still can’t afford to come from out of state all the time. And it’s okay! It’s life. We each have our own paths and challenges. And yep, if we were locals, you bet we’d be saving up our money to get those APs.

    Truly, I am delighted this could be the beginning of smaller crowds. The few times we’ve gone in the past few years have been overshadowed by long lines, crowded intersections (example: Hub to Adventureland; Cars Land, you name it) and the feeling that we never could truly relax and wander around and delight in the ambience that is Disney Magic.

    Costs are rising, like a few have mentioned, for everything. Welcome to 2014 and beyond. It’s going to be the reality for generations, I guess. I continue to see tremendous value in the fireworks, the shows, the truly great attractions (GREAT, museum-worthy, right?) and the Cast Members, who despite their hardships, continue to make total strangers’ days.

    I’m still down with it all. I still believe. Let’s hope your good suggestions fall on hearing ears, and truly, if DLR is no longer working for you, find a new passion. No amount of mudslinging is going to change the course of the executives in charge and the cost of doing business.

    • tooncity

      So you like that Dated and Neutered Tomorrowland? Where Disney has closed every last thing that moved. Did you know, that in the world of collectibles, anything that is 25 years or older is considered VINTAGE. All of Disney’s e-ticket type attractions are vintage, except Indy, which will be vintage very soon.

      fireworks are nice but you can go anywhere to see them for free.

      Crowds are the creation of Disney. They have closed 30% of attractions without replacement s over the last 20 years. They’ve added Fast pass, so you’ll spend less time in an attraction line, so you can spend more time buying overpriced $10 hotdogs.

      Carsland was a give to fans. it was a fix to a bad decision that was costing the company money. The lack of attendance created a better attraction. that’s what I want. Less attendance so Disney will build Disneyland attractions. replace that horrible tomorrowland. To Not spend the money on that awful Magic Bands Plus, which is coming our way.

      Yes, costs are rising as I get a increased Dividend check every years. As a stockholder I love it. As a fan, it’s wrong to take some much and give so little in return. it’s bad business.

      If you just keep spending with asking for more, everybody loses. You’re letting your love blind you.

      • ayalexander

        Stop attacking people. You have no right to humiliate and undermine people. You are being a bully and you are trying to get under people’s skin. Its okay to have an opinion, but it seems whenever someone has an opinion that differs from yours, you bully them for it. Stop calling people ignorant, stop calling them saps, stop calling them stupid, asinine, and fools. You have no right to talk to people that way. This is a fan site for people who LIKE Disney and other parks. Not for haters. And you shouldn’t be talking since you are a Disney stock shareholder, you have no right to tell us how we spend our money and vacation time when you own a share of Disney. Stop bullying people. And stop trolling the site.

  • SpectroMan

    I’m thrilled that the SoCal pass is on furlough, and may be laid off entirely. It’s ruined the parks by filling it with non-spending folks who otherwise would have no entertainment.

    As much as it would suck for those of us used to visiting often, eliminating all passes and reverting the day admission price to, say, about $60, would probably create the best guest experience. Question is: what would it do to Disney’s profits?

  • Jabroniville

    Good Lord! There’s ACTUAL FROZEN MERCHANDISE AT DISNEYLAND?!? Where did you find it?! There is literally NOTHING at Disney World aside from those cheap sugar cookies with an edible logo printed on them!

    Good thing I got my stuff when the movies came out, and before it became a MASSIVE craze.

  • danielz6

    I haven’t had an AP since Carsland opened in 2012, and I can’t see myself renewing any time soon. Going to Tokyo really opened my eyes to what a Disney park should be. They were on the right track with DCAs expansion but they should have continued. They saw the massive success, but still shelved all the plans for whatever reason. Having half of disneyland under tarps and construction walls falls terribly short of that standard, all the while raising prices is border line insulting imo, Especially when you consider that it only costs 64 bucks to get into the best theme park in the world. You can really see how they are taking advantage of us. And when I can enjoy universal and sea world for only 84 bucks the entire year It’s an easy choice for me. There are so many entertainment options, I’ll pay the Disney premium price when they decide to give me a premium product again.

  • marytown1

    What no one is mentioning here is the WAY in which the SoCal Pass suspension was done. No notice. The few CM friends I have did not know it was going to happen either.

    This leads me to my beef: We’ve been AP holders for 6 years. I save bits throughout the year and purchase the SoCal Pass for the entire amount, because, quite frankly, who needs yet another bill or transaction to keep track of, plus the feeling that you are done, and paid off. This is not easy for us, but my son really loves going. Anyway, this year, the hubby has been working a lot (a good thing) and not able to go to the park very often, and somehow missed his renewal notice. Also, note there is now NO expiration date on the back of the AP, so when this press release went out Sunday, we thought, ok, ‘let’s renew now’, not realizing that we were out of the 3-month renewal window by EIGHT days! Guest Services CMs and supervisor wouldn’t budge and let him renew on the phone.

    So, now, we really can’t go as a family. Our son has special needs, so we go for what, 4-5 hours at a time (with the DAS making it tougher as well), and paying $150/day for hubby does not compute, nor $519/year as a lump sum, for someone who does not go as often as our son and I do is a no-go. Yeah, yeah, the numbers are psychological, yes, and as some of you have said, it breaks down to small amounts per visit, but you also have to add in food costs in the parks.

    I believe that Disney is making it extremely difficult, if not impossible, for families to be able to go. I think this is a foreseeable mistake. Kids are the ones who grow up loving the park, coming backs as young adults, and again as parents. There is a generational through-line being cut by charging unaffordable rates for families with kids. It may be a “value”, but not doable for most even as an expenditure for a great once-in-a-while trip. It’s almost twice as much as Universal for a day entry (more than three times as much for the annual), and I believe it will hurt them in the long run.

    I have to agree with some other posters that the monthly payment option had a lot to do with the flood of passes being purchased. Universal doesn’t have a payment plan, and things seem to be relatively under control except in tourist summer. When we had a pass for Uni, we went all the time. This is my opinion, but it does seem to correlate.

  • Dr. Shrinker

    For everyone complaining that it’s “greedy” or “not fair” for Disney to continue to raise prices without notable improvements to the park, this picture says it all:
    [IMG]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/67/05-19-14-IMG_3683.jpg[/IMG]

    As long as people keep paying, they’ll keep raising prices. We stopped renewing APs a couple years ago; we planned on using 2 or 3-day tickets if we felt the need to visit, but frankly, when you stop going regularly, it stops seeming so important to go. Plus, the last couple visits were so unpleasantly crowded that they really turned off our whole family.

  • SteveColorado

    As someone who grew up in San Diego and went to DL frequently, I have no plans of ever going back. The last time I went (took my son for his first time) in 2009, the park was insanely overcrowded due to the new fireworks and fantasmic shows (just before the AP blackouts). And from what I have read here since then, it has gotten worse. As much as I loved DL, I will not go back – the locals and their cheap tickets have ruined it for us. Any plans to reduce or eliminate the number of passes will be a good step, imo.

  • Cyette

    The crowds are the biggest turn-off for us; I’m understanding everyone who’s throwing their hands up and choosing to walk away. The crowds keep us away more than the strain on our pocketbook, and for us, yep, it’s a strain.

    Let’s talk costs just for a second. Imagine the cost every night for the fireworks. The parades. The utilities. Salary. Insurance. Ad infinitum. I know Disney’s making money hand over fist, but I believe (new attractions not on the horizon nonwithstanding) they do put money into some awesome little touches not seen at many other places.

    Here’s a link to a video from Disney Parks, spotlighting the cosmetologists. It demonstrates the extreme lengths Disney goes to in achieving the ephemeral nature of the magic. (In this case, wigs being restyled after each performance.) It’s not just the attractions (old or new), it’s the people. Gosh, I am so grateful to all of these talented people, behind the scenes, and the ones “on stage”, and all the dreamers who built Walt’s dream in the first place. How can you put a price on this? It’s why I can’t help coming back….at least for now…..

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1nE_rqBgo-w

  • Sleepy505

    My family and I have been going for 21 years straight and in October it will be 22 and in 2015 60th anniversary, I’m sure it will be our last for many years, yes everyone has made very good comments and not so good but I can understand how some may get very frustrated and it’s because it’s a place we all love and the thought of prices keep going up it leaves a lot of hurt feelings because it’s not affordable for many.

    In the last two years we have been there you can see a big difference in wait times due to over crowding and yes the park in some areas do look run down all you have to do is look at it’s small world from these photos and there is just no up keep as well as many other attractions and it seems like this time of the year many favorite attractions are closed.

    Many mice chatters do make viable comments and from what I have read through other stories and on line many of you are correct, one story stated it had to stop over crowding because of So Cal residents pass holders and another story said Disney should have never made financing easy for pass holders as well, it’s just what I read, but one story said it all, they do it cause they can.

    As for my family and I will continue going this year and next and like many others said there are other things to do as well and we will pursue those other options in our future. Disney Lovers I wish you all the best.

  • Kenny B

    The comments about “locals ruining the park”, I find amusing. They’re the ones who live close, why wouldn’t the show up to possibly the finest theme park in the world in droves? Also, comments stating “I’ve gone to DL for years, and will never return” —– well, your helping the park be quite not as crowded — I guess Disney is getting what it wants, while delivering what(it appears) a majority of Mice Chatters want, a less crowded Disney Land.

    This thread has too much animosity, and too much focus on themselves and their families.

    Take your family to Knotts — I know for one, as a kid, I didn’t give a hoot about characters and the “Disney Magic”. You can create your own “magic” if you want your experience to be magical. I just wanted to ride fun rides(and the occasional novelty food item!)

    Again, I feel too many of you are expected to be catered to individually — and are scorning others for being at “your park”. Disneyland is for everyone, and from what I’m reading — many of you don’t like sharing it with others.

    • ayalexander

      lalala I can’t hear you, I’m too self absorbed in my Disneyland! Ha ha just kidding. But in a way you are right. Disneyland is for everyone, but one thing Disneyland Resort prides itself on is making people feel like Disneyland is just for them, individually. Disneyland treats its guests like individuals. So when Disney does something we don’t agree with, it actually affects us… -that’s Disney Magic, the emotional attachment we each have to the park. But yes, you’re right Disneyland is my park and I don’t want none of your going there! Just kidding.

  • Circlevision91

    At the risk of alienating the masses I think it’s time for a representative of the maligned “elite” step up to the soap box for a moment.

    My family’s status as huge Disneyland fans has continued nonstop since 1955. Throughout we have been blessed with a comfortable existence, and over time our Disney leisure time has come to reflect that. We were annual passholders from the beginning of their availability and were on the Club 33 waiting list for almost two decades. We found the payment plan to be a wonderful thing in years when we weren’t sure family members would be around enough to justify the cost of an annual passport (due to college and such). But I must say that the payment plan, regardless of whatever machinations have caused forum members to sound off above this post, was the beginning of the attendance upswing. As a regular visitor I pinpoint the beginning of the explosion as originating with the opening of Carsland and Buena Vista Street. I remember the initial weeks, seeing the hundreds of people lined up to obtain their first annual pass. The payment plan didn’t attract a huge group of undesirables (though everyone has to admit that there’s always some in every crowd… Club 33 included) but it did encourage those who would otherwise take pause at laying down several hundred dollars at once to take the plunge. The result is clear.

    The 30% fewer attractions argument that keeps being advanced may have SOMETHING ever so slightly to do with it, but we haven’t lost 30% of the attractions since the beginning of the payment plan. The parks weren’t nearly this crowded when the alleged attractions began disappearing. Quite the opposite – capacity has expanded. Prices have increased, and if supply and demand are assumed to be functioning as typically expected, the increased price level should decrease demand. It hasn’t. In fact demand has only INCREASED. Why? Maybe the threshold price hasn’t been reached, but I find that silly. There is only one valid explanation: payment plans. Half my law school class has an AP… and most of them are originally form out of state. And they’re all on fixed incomes. How do penniless students afford passes like that? Payment plan. And I can organize quite the conga line of students to prove it.

    I also want to address the attitude toward the “elite.” People on this board operate on the assumption that Disney will continue to convince a certain echelon of income to pony up money; a mythology of unlimited resources. Frankly, Disney knows this is not the case and if they neglect to realize it they will transform Club 33 from a vibrant club of passionate Disney fans to a very quiet…though very beautiful…collection of lounges. The talk behind the private door at 1901 is fascinating to listen to. A VERY large percentage of current Club 33 members (from the expansion) are prepared to walk should the rates be jacked much further. Indeed, the increased park hopper prices, as well as the completed renovation, suggest that the time is ripe for Disney to make a move. At some point the “elite” will be tapped out… there are only so many willing to shell out tens of thousands of dollars for Disney. There is a market for premium experiences… just like any other facet of the economy. Even if Disney CAN replace all members who do walk after a major rate increase, they will run out soon after and lose business as the rich move away from Club 33 and instead decide to buy into an equity membership at Pelican Hill in Newport Beach… where they would be able to control their fate.

    The elite is sensitive to price hikes. This is because they have options. There’s that Mediterranean Cruise the Mrs has been dying for. Or the oceanfront house on Newport Coast. The initiation fee for Club 33 is dangerously close to equaling that of the finest private golf club in San Diego, and the yearly fee is already higher… and those other golf clubs give their members voting rights on Club policy. Club 33 does not. It’s only a matter of time before that threshold price is reached for ALL of us… whether we’re rich or poor or middle class. Disney knows this. And if they want to be successful they won’t forget it.

    You can’t make your shareholders happy if you drive your customer base away. It may be unfashionable of me to say so, but Disney must necessarily care about their customers… it must keep them happy and coming back. The current crowd levels, I’d argue, are only depreciating the park experience. Price hikes may do the same, but they may also enhance the average park experience as well. But rest assured there is a threshold. And accounting for changes in inflation, I think that once the payment plan is done away with we will be very close to the threshold where people will stop coming. Club 33 is already very close to that threshold. We’ll see if they cross it this coming January.

  • Marko50

    OK. Here’s something I thought I’d see somewhere before 3+ pages of comments, but I haven’t. Prolly because it would also lead to opposition, but if it works, maybe it should be considered.

    What about making reservations to the park(s)? Not fastpass to the attractions, but to enter the park(s). I would think that would surely control attendance. Sure, you’d lose the spontaneity of just showing up…you’d lose AP’s coming for just a few hours after work…prolly other things I haven’t thought of. But, once you got it, you’d have a better experience due to controlled access.

    OK. Time for someone to tell me why it won’t work. 🙂

    • ayalexander

      You know… that’s not a bad idea. I mean Disneyland would be booked at least 6 months in advanced, but you’d have crowd control, you’d have the opportunity to staff the park correctly (for once) and parking wouldn’t be such an issue. Bravo Marko!

  • toemblem

    The ticket prices are a bit high but the food and drink pricing is obscene. A bottle of water and a churro for $7. They should be embarrassed.
    From my viewpoint, getting rid of payment plans should reasonably thin the AP heard. It seems to me that when that was introduced, that is when the AP numbers soared.

    • toemblem

      herd*

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