Yeah but what happens when the park hit capacity at 11 am and thousands of guests need to be turned away?Oh that's just brilliant. "If it's too expensive, don't go." Seriously? That's an argument? I'm sure that's exactly what Disney wants - for people to NOT go to Disneyland. Yeah, they'll make a ton of money when people spend their money ELSEWHERE.
I think you're missing the point here.
A trip to Disneyland used to be affordable for pretty much every working family, including single-income families. Nobody's against saving up for a trip - people even saved up back in the day. Depending on a family's given financial situation at a given time, saving up may be necessary.
How long should someone save up for a trip, though? 2 months? 6 months? A year? Two years? Three years?
Disneyland has gone from being a place where ALL families, regardless of income, can affordably enjoy themselves, to a place where only those at a certain income level or above can affordably go.
That's not right.
Knott's Berry Farm offers much more reasonable and affordable pricing options, as do plenty of other entertainment pursuits. Those other pursuits might require some saving up, too, but not for that long a time. Why should Disneyland be so insanely expensive, year after year, ever increasing? It's one thing to pay a bit of a premium for it, but at some point, the price increases to a level that you're not willing to pay.
Pricing issues at Disneyland did NOT exist before Eisner & Co. People simply did not have problems with the price of admission, tickets, food, or souvenirs in the Park before then. Back then, all pricing was reasonable, and affordable for pretty much everybody. Sure, some were able to afford more than others, but the basic Disneyland experience was accessible to all.
For the past several years, that's been changing, drastically. The tremendous problems the economy's been experiencing in the last few years haven't made that any better, either. For many people, Disneyland has become, and for others it is increasingly becoming, unaffordable.
Of course the suits don't care. They're making money hand over fist, year after year, and they all have their golden parachutes on top of it.
The whole fact that Disneyland has gone from being simply "Disneyland" to "the Disneyland Resort" speaks volumes as to how the suits view the Anaheim park. It used to be that Disneyland was affordable for all, and Walt Disney World was the more expensive resort. You expected to spend more at WDW, because it offered more, a lot more, and was much bigger. Somewhere along the line, the suits thought it was a good idea to try to put that "resort" sensibility that always existed in Florida onto the Anaheim park, and it has proven a laughable mess of an idea.
The simple fact of the matter is that, no matter what they want to call it, Disneyland never has been (and unless Disney buys half of Anaheim, never will be) a RESORT.
So they need to get off their high horses and just bring the prices back down to a more affordable level. Keeping AP prices high is fine with me (I've never owned one; never wanted to); in fact, they could double them and it wouldn't faze me any. But make it more affordable for people to visit the Park for one, two, or three days. That way, even if you have to save up for a trip, you can do so in a reasonable amount of time.
Just to point out, again (because it can never be mentioned enough) - in 1985, a Disneyland Passport was $16.50. That included Park admission and unlimited attractions. $16.50, translated into 2012 dollars, is $35.30. In 1995, it was $33.00, which translates to $49.85 in 2012 dollars. In 2005, it was $56.00, which translates to $66.01 in 2012 dollars. So why does a one-day, one-park ticket in 2012 cost $87.00? It's ridiculous. If they reduced the price of a one-day, one-park ticket to $36.00 (roughly equivalent to the 1985 price), not only would Disneyland be much more affordable for everyone, but Disney would continue to make plenty of money at the Parks, not just from admissions but also from souvenirs and food, since guests who might otherwise be forced to avoid souvenirs (or limit them) and eat outside the Park (or brown-bag it, as techskip and his family did, and which families have done since 1955) would likely have extra funds available. And, more importantly, they'd garner more positive word of mouth, and families who can go more frequently than others could do so without a lot of financial strain.
Most likely, multi-day, multi-park tickets would also see price reductions as well (1-day Park Hoppers would be $72.00, twice the price of the single park ticket). 2-day Park Hoppers would be $125.00. 3-day Park Hoppers would be $175.00 (that's just under $30 per park, per day). Reasonable. Affordable. Save-up-able.
And honestly, I'd increase the price of Annual Passes to $1500, which is just over $4.10 a day for 365 days. That way, the folks who just gotta have an AP and are able to spend for it can do so, and the rest of us can more affordably go when we can. More once- and twice-a-year trips. More valued memories. More magic. Less treating Disneyland like it's a mall.
More importantly, you wouldn't have this argument about Disneyland prices being too expensive anymore. Everyone would be able to afford a trip more easily.
It's simple economics, supply and demand. Disneyland is in demand, Disneyland is more $. Disney is not looking to pack the park with guests. They strive to operate in a sweet spot that ensures enough guests to bring the money and enough Disney to go around. If there are too many guests, the operations suffer, lines are enormous, and guest will not come back.
Rising prices controls this and while it is unfortunate for some people who can't in, it is a simple fact of capitalism. Consequently it's the same reason why I drive a Ford and not a BMW.