Disneyland just got pricer! Disneyland quietly raised theme park admission prices across the board on Sunday, just nine months after the last price increase. The price hikes continue the Resort’s aggressive pricing strategy, which has seen a nearly 87% increase in one-day, one-park theme park tickets over the last decade. Annual Passport prices also went up, with the Premium Annual Passport seeing the biggest increase while lower-tier passes lost the option to buy a parking add-on. The prices come as Disneyland gears up for its big 60th Anniversary celebration this summer, which is expected to bring big crowds to the ever-popular theme park. Meanwhile, Disney California Adventure celebrated the Year of the Sheep with its annual Happy Lunar New Year! celebration in Paradise Garden.

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Don’t miss your weekly Disneyland Resort crowd forecast — provided by our friends at MouseAddict — in the Weekly News and Information Roundup at the end of today’s update!

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Okay, it was another busy week in the parks, so let’s get started!

Welcome to Disneyland!

The theme parks saw cooler temperatures and some rain this weekend, a nice change from the recent unseasonably warm temperatures.

Buena Vista Street is as beautiful as ever.



“We didn’t go into Disneyland
just with the idea of making money”

On Saturday, the Orange County Register confirmed recent rumors that Disneyland would once again be raising prices. The increases, effective Sunday, February 22, affected every admission option across the board, bumping one-day, one-park tickets up $3 to $99. The latest round of price hikes comes just nine months after Disney’s last increases and continues the aggressive pricing strategy that has seen an 87% increase in one-day, one-park ticket over the last 10 years.

While the $3 increase in a single-day ticket is the smallest increase in recent years, it’s still worth noting that the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index places 2005’s $53 one-day, one-park ticket at $64.24 in 2014 dollars. With Disneyland admission prices climbing at a pace far exceeding the rate of inflation, at what point will a day at Disneyland be too expensive for the average middle class consumer? To be fair, a full day at Disneyland is still priced below many major league sporting events, concerts, and other live events and performances. Some could argue that Disneyland has perhaps been historically priced far below what the market could bear and Disney is finally catching up. Yet, for a business that continues to report record profits year-after-year but hasn’t added a viable new E-Ticket attraction to Disneyland in 20 years (1995’s Indiana Jones Adventure), is Disneyland worth the ever-increasing cost despite a lack of major re-investment? Next door to Disneyland, its once-fledgling sister park has always been priced equal to Disneyland but only started to offer a comparable experience after Disney fixed the park with a $1 billion remodel and expansion project. The success of California Adventure’s remodel is now being felt by guests who are having to foot the bill Disneyland racked up to fix their botched second gate.

Sunday’s price hikes are rumored to be the first of two rounds of price hikes in 2015. This wouldn’t be unprecedented; after all, Disneyland saw two separate price increases per year during its 50th Anniversary promotion in 2005 and 2006. Below, a full break-down of ticket prices, with the largest dollar increase being an $11 jump for the four-day Park Hopper ticket.

Disneyland Resort Theme Park Ticket Price Increases
Effective February 22, 2015
Ticket New Price
Age 10+ / Age 3-9
Old Price
Age 10+ / Age 3-9
Price Increase
Age 10+ / Age 3-9
5-Day
Park Hopper
$315 / $299 $305 / $289 + $10 / + $10
5-Day
1-Park Per Day
$275 / $259 $266 / $250 + $9 / + $9
4-Day
Park Hopper
$300 / $285 $289 / $274 + $11 / + $11
4-Day
1-Park Per Day
$260 / $245 $250 / $235 + $10 / + $10
3-Day
Park Hopper
$275 / $264 $265 / $254 + $10 / + $10
3-Day
1-Park Per Day
$235 / $224 $226 / $215 + $9 / + $9
2-Day
Park Hopper
$225 / $212 $217 / $204 + $8 / + $8
2-Day
1-Park Per Day
$185 / $172 $178 / $165 + $7 / + $7
1-Day
Park Hopper
$155 / $149 $150 / $144 + $5 / + $5
1-Day
1-Park
$99 / $93 $96 / $90 + $3 / + $3

The biggest price hikes, however, once again hit Annual Passports. Premium Annual Passports saw the biggest jump — an $80 (more than 11%) increase — bringing the price to $779. A Premium Disneyland Annual Pass now costs $79 more than the bi-coastal Premier Annual Pass cost when it debuted five years ago in 2010. That same Premier Annual Pass now costs a whopping $1,099, following a $70 increase.

To add insult to injury, Disneyland has now discontinued the parking add-on that was once offered to lower-tier Annual Passports. The $159 add-on gave So Cal, So Cal Select, and Deluxe Passholders parking privileges at Disney’s theme park parking. The discontinuation of that add-on means lower-tier Passholders will have to pay the $17 parking fee every time they visit the Resort. The Disneyland Annual Passholder FAQ page explains the changes to Annual Passholder parking benefits and informs Passholders the only way to get parking with your Annual Pass is to upgrade to Premium or Premier. This change, in addition to higher prices for APs, is sure to be a significant blow to any goodwill Disney had with its Annual Passholders.

Annual Passport parking benefits are currently not available for purchase as an add-on to a Southern California Select, Southern California or Deluxe Annual Passport. However, parking is still included with the Premium Annual Passport and Disney Premier Passport.

If your Passport does not include the parking benefit and you would like to have this benefit, please visit a Disneyland Resort Main Entrance Ticket Booth to upgrade to a Premium Annual Passport or Disney Premier Passport. Upgrades are not available online.

These parking-specific changes to Annual Passholder privileges appear to be directly related to Disneyland’s increasingly inadequate parking infrastructure. With huge crowds expected to arrive this year for Disneyland’s 60th, Disney is scrambling to keep Annual Passholders from overloading the Resort’s parking infrastructure. The Mickey and Friends parking structure has been insufficient for years now and the Resort frequently has to use inconvenient satellite overflow lots including the nearby Anaheim GardenWalk mall for guests and Angel Stadium for Cast Members. Sure, it might not be a glamorous project for the powers-that-be to champion, but the Resort’s parking infrastructure is in desperate need of a re-think with major investment. Disneyland isn’t getting any less popular and parking is the first and last thing many guests experience on their Disneyland visit. The continued half-measures and bandaids on this problem obviously aren’t working — it is time to fix the parking problem.

Disneyland Resort Annual Passport Price Increases
Effective February 22, 2015
Annual Passport New Price Old Price Price Increase
Premier
(Disneyland & Disney World)
$1,099 $1,029 + $70
Premium $779 $699 + $80
Deluxe $549 $519 + $30
Southern California
(Renewals Only)
$409 $379 + $30
Southern California Select $299 $289 + $10

Of course, Disney is a business and a visit to Disneyland is a luxury and there are many luxuries an average middle class American cannot afford. But does that justify price hike after price hike? Does capitalism alone simply forgive aggressive price increases and record profits without significant reinvestment in the parks? Disneyland is a product of the American middle class, for the American middle class. When will these price increases finally push Disneyland beyond the reach of that middle class?

In 1959, Disneyland opened its first three “E-Ticket” attractions all in a single day. The opening of the Disneyland Monorail, Submarine Voyage, and Matterhorn Bobsleds marked a major expansion for the four-year-old park and introduced three iconic attractions that continue to entertain guests today. This year, Disneyland turns 60 and won’t open a single new E-Ticket attraction. Instead, the park will mark its Diamond Anniversary with a clone of Hong Kong Disneyland’s nighttime parade and new versions of Disneyland’s traditional fireworks show and California Adventure’s World of Color. Offerings for the park’s 60th anniversary are decidedly less ambitious than those for its fourth anniversary, all at a disproportionately higher price for guests. Is it still worth it?

“Disneyland is a work of love.
We didn’t go into Disneyland just with the idea of making money.”
— Walt Disney

Happy Lunar New Year!

Disney California Adventure’s fantastic annual Lunar New Year celebration returned to Paradise Gardens over the weekend. The charming little event brought a variety of cultural entertainment and activities and a few food and drink options.

It’s great to see these cultural events in the parks every year — they’re a lot of fun and very popular.

Make a wish!

The pork bao was tasty but a bit small for $5.25.

Plenty of live entertainment at the Paradise Garden Bandstand and along the parade route in front of Paradise Garden.

The Lunar New Year procession featuring Mulan was great – bigger and longer than in previous years.

Dragon!

A couple Lunar New Year merchandise items

Getting Ready to Dazzle

The parks continue to get ready for the big 60th Anniversary before it kicks off in late-May.

Rental Refurb

The Stroller and Wheelchair facility’s exterior refurbishment has wrapped up.

Shine Bright Like A Diamond

In Disneyland, Sleeping Beauty Castle continues its refurbishment that will bring a refreshed paint scheme and diamond-themed decorations for the 60th anniversary.

Snow White Grotto is still open for guest traffic but tarps have gone up for work.

Fixing Up Fantasyland

In Fantasyland, Peter Pan’s Flight remains closed through early May for refurbishment and show enhancements.

Nearby, the Matterhorn Bobsleds continue their refurbishment that will include enhancements to the ice caverns and Abominable Snowman

Meanwhile, “it’s a small world” continues its facade refurbishment.

Hibernating

On the other side of the park, Critter Country remains closed through early April.

Hungry Bear work

Recalibrating

In Tomorrowland, the Innoventions Dream Home continues to move out from the bottom level of Innoventions. A new exhibition celebrating Disneyland’s history for the 60th anniversary is expected to move in.

Meanwhile, the Magic Eye Theatre is still closed, rumored to be getting a sneak preview of Disney’s upcoming “Tomorrowland” film.

Next door, the Starcade is still closed — will “Tomorrowland” be moving in here as well?

Coming in for a Landing

In Disney California Adventure, Condor Flats continues to move to Yesterland as it becomes Grizzly Peak Airfield.

I’m excited to see how this project turns out.

Construction views from the Monorail

Work of Color

In Paradise Bay, work continues on refurbishing and upgrading the World of Color show.

The lighting pits along Paradise Park continue their repaint with the light pastel tones we saw last week now darker after faux aging.

Nearby, Ariel’s Grotto is still closed for refurbishment. The restaurant is expected to reopen this weekend.

Dry Run

In Grizzly Peak, work continues on Grizzly River Run, which is set to open later in March.

Redwood Creek Challenge Trail is set to reopen early next week.

Deflated

In Cars Land, Luigi’s Flying Tires is now closed to begin its transformation into an all-new trackless ride experience.

Meanwhile, Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree is running at half-capacity as one side of the attraction is closed for some work.

With half of the ride down and Luigi’s closed, Mater’s wait times were higher than usual over the weekend.

Hotel Happenings

Over at the Disneyland Hotel, work continues on new fall safety additions.


Enjoy retro fun just steps away from Disneyland at
Howard Johnson Hotel & Water Playground

A short walk from the park, HoJo Anaheim is conveniently located next to Matterhorn Mountain at Disneyland with nearby dining, freeway access, FREE parking and FREE Wi-Fi. For more information on HoJo Anaheim, room rates, or to book your stay today, visit HoJoAnaheim.com/MiceChat

Save with MiceChat & Passholder Discounts Every Day!
The HoJo Anaheim is now offering daily discounts for MiceChat members and even DEEPER discounts for Disneyland Resort Annual Passholders! For more information visit the HoJo Anaheim Innsider Boards which features an up-to-date listing of available nights, or call (714) 776-6120 and ask for In-House Reservations to book. If your date isn’t listed, the HoJo Anaheim still offers rooms for 20% off their best available rate if you call (714) 776-6120.

Weekly News & Information Round-Up
Weekly Theme Park Hours
February 23-March 1, 2015
[B]Disneyland Park[/B] [B]California Adventure[/B]
Mon.-Thu.: 10 am – 8 pm
Friday: 9 am – 12 am
Sat.-Sun.: 8 am – 12 am
Mon.-Thu.: 10 am – 8 pm
Friday: 9 am – 10 pm
Sat.-Sun.: 8 am – 10 am
[CENTER]For a complete listing of theme park hours,
visit the Disneyland.com Theme Park Calendar
[/CENTER]
[center]Closure and Refurbishment Schedule[/center]
[b][center]Disneyland Park[/center][/b]
  • Matterhorn Bobsleds: Closed for refurbishment, reopens May 16.
  • Snow White Grotto and Wishing Well: Originally scheduled to be closed for refurbishment until May 1 but is open but water features are not fully functional.
  • Critter Country, including Splash Mountain: All Critter Country attractions, stores and restaurants are closed for refurbishment and will reopen April 3, 2015.
  • Sleeping Beauty Castle: Castle will be closed for refurbishments and installation of 60th Anniversary overlay. The Enchanted Chamber gift shop and Walk-Through attraction are scheduled to reopen March 3. Castle overlay will debut May 22, 2015.
  • Disneyland Railroad: Closed for refurbishment. Reopens February 13.
  • “it’s a small world”: Closed to remove holiday overlay. Reopens February 6.
  • Peter Pan’s Flight: Closed for refurbishment and enhancements. Reopens May 8.
  • Magic Eye Theatre: Closed indefinitely.
[b][center]Disney California Adventure[/center][/b]
  • Ariel’s Grotto Restaurant: Closed for refurbishment. Reopens February 28.
  • Soarin’ Over California: Closed for refurbishment and enhancements. Reopens May 15.
  • Taste Pilot’s Grill: Closed refurbishment and enhancements. Reopens March 13.
  • World of Color: Dark for refurbishment and to upgrade infrastructure for new show. Reopens March 13.
  • Redwood Creek Challenge Trail: Closed for refurbishment. Reopens March 3.
  • Grizzly River Run: Closed for refurbishment. Reopens March 20.
  • Luigi’s Flying Tires: Closed starting February 17 for re-Imagineering into new attraction. Reopening not yet announced.
  • It’s Tough to be a Bug!: Dark while theater is used for “Cinderella” sneak peek.
  • Muppet*Vision 3D: Dark indefinitely while theater is used for Frozen-themed show.
  • [B]Blue Sky Cellar:[/B] Closed indefinitely.
[b][center]Downtown Disney and Disneyland Resort Hotels[/center][/b]
    None.
Tomorrowplan Crowd Estimates for Disneyland Resort from Mouseaddict

February 23 – March 1

Mon
Tue
Wed
Thu
Fri
Sat
Sun

  • It’ll be chilly this week at Disneyland, and we expect rain at the beginning and end of the week.
  • Take your umbrella and stop by Disneyana Saturday morning at 9 to meet Mouseketeer Bobby Burgess as he signs his biography, Ears and Bubbles – Dancing My Way from The Mickey Mouse Club to The Lawrence Welk Show.
  • We take a long look at the past to predict the future. Activate the Tomorrowplan feature in the Mouseaddict app and get two weeks of Disneyland crowd projections.

The free Mouseaddict app for iPhone and iPad features more than five dozen categories of searchable resort information, weather forecasts, park and show schedules, the latest news and articles from MiceChat, and more. Download free on the App Store or at mouseaddict.com.

[center]Headline Roundup
A quick look at noteworthy Disney theme park headlines from around the web.[/center]
Alright, that wraps up this week’s edition of Dateline Disneyland. What do you think of the Disneyland price increases? Is Disneyland still worth it for you or has Disneyland finally priced your family out of the parks? Please join the discussion and let us know in the comments section below!

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For more Disneyland news, be sure to read MiceChat’s weekly In the Parks blog. And be sure to check out our sister blog, Dateline Disney World – a fantastic weekly photo blog covering Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida!

Thanks for reading. See you at Disneyland!
[B]- Andy[/B]

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FTC-Mandated Disclosure: Promotional consideration for this edition of Dateline Disneyland was provided by the Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel & Water Playground.