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  1. #1

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    A Fond Farewell to the House of the Mouse...

    I was born in 1966 and grew up in Southern California, and as such I was introduced to Disneyland at a very young age. I really don’t remember my first encounters with it, but I’m certain the impressions I carry today started well before memory. My story starts here because today is the day I first realized I could no longer afford to visit the House of the Mouse anymore. Not because of some silly boycott, not because of differences of opinion or ideology, but basically because I as a parent simply cannot justify the expense. Some background is in order here...

    I bought my first Disneyland pass in the mid 80's for not much more than it takes to fill a tank of gas these days. And for my 80 bucks I had a full year of free parking, free admission, and all the perks of being able to visit this magic place at a whim. From then on I was hooked. I was there the night Star Tours first opened. Not the big party, but the night the walls first came down and they had their first “soft” opening. Me and my buddy were among the first 100 people of the public to enjoy the ride, simply because we had passes and could hang out at the park and not be in a rush to get to everything in a single day. We were also there for the grand opening mega parties of Star Tours and Captain EO.

    As years went by I’d renewed my pass on and off again. I particularly enjoyed the early years of getting passes with my young children and our family friends. We had such a great time heading over to the park on random evenings to enjoy a few rides and catch the fireworks. I’ve got volumes of pictures of my kids through the years at Disneyland, from when they were barely out of diapers to the years where the wanted us parents to let them venture off on their own until an appointed time and place. Christmas however, has/was always been a special time at the park. The last few years of our annual passes I was always in awe of the Christmas decorations in the park, most particularly the castle. I’ll never forget the after fireworks performance of Kellie Coffey’s White Christmas with the fake snow falling on Main Street, still can bring tears to my eyes.

    But here we are today, and the reality of economy weighs heavy. Though I could afford passes for my family in the past, I can no longer justify the expense. This is not to blame Disney for this, in fact I fully understand and even support their position. For years (very noticeable in the last few years of our passes) I could tell that the park was being overrun by pass holders and I even predicted that prices would spike to “thin out the herd” (so to speak). Disneyland has a wonderful product and they deserve every right to support that by making profit off their works. Unfortunately, the downside of economy is I can no longer afford to participate, thus I find myself part of the “thinned” herd. So even though my “Disney” kids that have enjoyed years of visiting the park, they now need college tuition. I wanted to spend one last season at the park with them, but when I saw the current pricing I had to gasp. More than double from the last passes I had less than 3 years ago. I know its not their plan nor desire to weed out those of us that grew up on the land of Disney, but things are as they are.

    Therefore it’s with heavy heart that I must bid a fond farewell to the House of the Mouse, my kids have grown and for the near term I cannot predict if/when we will ever return (win the lotto perhaps...). I can only hope that the magic remains strong and I can possibly see a day to visit with my grandchildren... I do not part ways in anger, frustration, or malice, just the ache one feels from losing a wonderful friend. Thanks for everything.

  2. #2

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    Re: A Fond Farewell to the House of the Mouse...

    As a long time passholder myself, you beat me by about 5 years, I can imagine how saddening this must before you. But I can't think of a better reason to replace it with than a better future for your children and hopefully that will bring you some comfort. Hopefully you will be able to visit the park with at least a one day ticket in the not to distant future. The great thing about Disneyland is its not going anywhere and it will be there for you when you return with new rides and experiences for you and your family to enjoy. And that day will be a great day.

  3. #3

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    Re: A Fond Farewell to the House of the Mouse...

    You've been a member for over three yrs! And this is your first post? That is very sad.

    I am glad you do not blame Disney. And you shouldn't. No one should. It is a sign of the times and you hit the nail on this one when you mentioned the economy.

    This is what the economy is doing to the middle class. We have to take out some luxuries in order to make ends meet. We are a country full of generations who DO NOT know what it means to go without for the most part and I know first hand how this feels now. I am glad that it is only Disneyland and not food/shelter that you must cut out of your life. But it makes me wonder what is next? Who is next?

    I wish you the best and I do hope you are able to return to DLR, and soon!

  4. #4

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    Re: A Fond Farewell to the House of the Mouse...

    I'm your age. I grew up in SoCal.

    Why don't you just save and go once a year--like everyone did back when you and I were kids? Seemed to make the yearly visits far more special than when you could just "go on a whim."

    My sister and I would start planning months in advance, the excitement building by the day. And, on the rare occasion that our parents did tells us the date of the trip, we couldn't sleep the night before. Those were grand, exciting times indeed. That's when the Park was truly magical. Something to be savored; the anticipation alone delicious.

    I remember reading a Christmas story as a child, about a kid whose wish that every day could be Christmas came true. The magical holiday quickly lost all its magic, mystery and allure once it became commonplace and everyday.

    Is there anything in this world of percieved value that can stay that way if it becomes routine and ordinary? If you are giving up on Disneyland because you simply cannot go every day, then you are truly forgetting what Disneyland was all about.

  5. #5

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    Re: A Fond Farewell to the House of the Mouse...

    Born in 1966 too! We were lucky enough to get the tip that the passes were going to go up so we bought them at the old price and are waiting until January to activate them. That will give us one more year, but beyond that we just don't know--especially since the prices are sure to raise again by then...

    We knew the day would eventually come, but it's strange to actually be approaching it...

  6. #6

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    Re: A Fond Farewell to the House of the Mouse...

    Great post! I feel like almost all of us here can relate to that issue. Sorry to hear you're giving up the AP, but on the bright side you've spent many years in the park (and had your kids grow up there, too!) which is the most important thing. Disneyland will always be there and like Steve mentioned - maybe you can save up every once in a while and drop back in for a while?

  7. #7

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    Re: A Fond Farewell to the House of the Mouse...

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve DeGaetano View Post
    I'm your age. I grew up in SoCal.

    Why don't you just save and go once a year--like everyone did back when you and I were kids? Seemed to make the yearly visits far more special than when you could just "go on a whim."

    My sister and I would start planning months in advance, the excitement building by the day. And, on the rare occasion that our parents did tells us the date of the trip, we couldn't sleep the night before. Those were grand, exciting times indeed. That's when the Park was truly magical. Something to be savored; the anticipation alone delicious.

    I remember reading a Christmas story as a child, about a kid whose wish that every day could be Christmas came true. The magical holiday quickly lost all its magic, mystery and allure once it became commonplace and everyday.

    Is there anything in this world of percieved value that can stay that way if it becomes routine and ordinary? If you are giving up on Disneyland because you simply cannot go every day, then you are truly forgetting what Disneyland was all about.

    I do remember the "once a year" fondly (and also remember that story about Christmas every day!), but we've never used our passes to go "on a whim". We still live hours away.

    It's just that everyone has their own personal situations as to how much money they have and how much they can spend and still feel comfortable with the experience.

    Sure just going one time a year is do-able, but just like the annual pass there is a personal breaking point where the cost becomes uncomfortable. And most everyone has that point, some just higher than others. For example, we are both foodies, but find we really don't enjoy really high price meals because even though we can afford it--it just no longer feels "right".

    Even if a one day ticket was $1,000 we could swing it with the tax return, but just couldn't/wouldn't bring ourselves to do it. I'm not exactly sure where our final breaking point will be (much less than $1,000 a ticket!) but for us it's approaching that uncomfortable level and it seems like that's happening for a lot of guests too.

  8. #8

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    Re: A Fond Farewell to the House of the Mouse...

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve DeGaetano View Post
    I'm your age. I grew up in SoCal.

    Why don't you just save and go once a year--like everyone did back when you and I were kids? Seemed to make the yearly visits far more special than when you could just "go on a whim."
    BINGO! We have a winner!

    I will never understand the distinctly 21st century phenomenon that is quarantined only to those living between Ventura and San Diego wherein it is widely assumed that the only way to be able to go to Disneyland is to buy everyone in the family an Annual Pass for some large amount of money.

    And if you can't afford Annual Passes for the entire family year after year, then you have to "say goodbye" to Disneyland and never return. I will just never understand that.

    Want to take the wife and kids to Disneyland? Pick a day, load up the car, and buy $85 tickets for everyone when you get there. Spend the whole day there, like Walt Disney and his Imagineers designed the place to be spent. Take pictures. Buy a t-shirt. Go on all your favorite rides. Have fun. And then don't go back for at least another year, perhaps two or three.

    It's much, much cheaper that way. And you'll be visiting Disneyland the way it was originally designed to be visited and enjoyed.

    And if spending 85 bucks once per year on a ticket for a 15 hour day is still too much money for you, then that's cool too. There are a lot of folks who just can't swing that kind of luxury item, just as there are a lot of folks who can't afford to buy their clothes at Nordstrom or who can't afford a $200 ticket to an NFL Chargers game that only lasts two hours.
    Last edited by Westsider; 11-27-2012 at 08:50 AM.

  9. #9

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    Re: A Fond Farewell to the House of the Mouse...

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve DeGaetano View Post
    I'm your age. I grew up in SoCal.

    Why don't you just save and go once a year--like everyone did back when you and I were kids? Seemed to make the yearly visits far more special than when you could just "go on a whim."

    My sister and I would start planning months in advance, the excitement building by the day. And, on the rare occasion that our parents did tells us the date of the trip, we couldn't sleep the night before. Those were grand, exciting times indeed. That's when the Park was truly magical. Something to be savored; the anticipation alone delicious.

    I remember reading a Christmas story as a child, about a kid whose wish that every day could be Christmas came true. The magical holiday quickly lost all its magic, mystery and allure once it became commonplace and everyday.

    Is there anything in this world of percieved value that can stay that way if it becomes routine and ordinary? If you are giving up on Disneyland because you simply cannot go every day, then you are truly forgetting what Disneyland was all about.
    That one is tied for Post of the Year with this one:

    Quote Originally Posted by Westsider View Post
    BINGO! We have a winner!

    I will never understand the distinctly 21st century phenomenon that is quarantined only to those living between Ventura and San Diego wherein it is widely assumed that the only way to be able to go to Disneyland is to buy everyone in the family an Annual Pass for some large amount of money.

    And if you can't afford Annual Passes for the entire family year after year, then you have to "say goodbye" to Disneyland and never return. I will just never understand that.

    Want to take the wife and kids to Disneyland? Pick a day, load up the car, and buy $85 tickets for everyone when you get there. Spend the whole day there, like Walt Disney and his Imagineers designed the place to be spent. Take pictures. Buy a t-shirt. Go on all your favorite rides. Have fun. And then don't go back for at least another year, perhaps two or three.

    It's much, much cheaper that way. And you'll be visiting Disneyland the way it was originally designed to be visited and enjoyed.

    And if spending 85 bucks once per year on a ticket for a 15 hour day is still too much money for you, then that's cool too. There are a lot of folks who just can't swing that kind of luxury item, just as there are a lot of folks who can't afford to buy their clothes at Nordstrom or who can't afford a $200 ticket to an NFL Chargers game that only lasts two hours.
    "With the acquisition of Marvel and now of Lucasfilm,
    Disney may have finally found the grail. You don't need
    imagination or art. All you need is a brand."

    - Neil Gabler


  10. #10

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    Re: A Fond Farewell to the House of the Mouse...

    The best deal is the Halloween time events. No only is the price significantly cheaper than the regular park admission, you get free candy and they let you in 3 hours earlier. Don't forget the Spring 2 fer passes are coming soon.

  11. #11

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    Re: A Fond Farewell to the House of the Mouse...

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve DeGaetano View Post
    I'm your age. I grew up in SoCal.

    Why don't you just save and go once a year--like everyone did back when you and I were kids? Seemed to make the yearly visits far more special than when you could just "go on a whim."

    My sister and I would start planning months in advance, the excitement building by the day. And, on the rare occasion that our parents did tells us the date of the trip, we couldn't sleep the night before. Those were grand, exciting times indeed. That's when the Park was truly magical. Something to be savored; the anticipation alone delicious.

    I remember reading a Christmas story as a child, about a kid whose wish that every day could be Christmas came true. The magical holiday quickly lost all its magic, mystery and allure once it became commonplace and everyday.

    Is there anything in this world of percieved value that can stay that way if it becomes routine and ordinary? If you are giving up on Disneyland because you simply cannot go every day, then you are truly forgetting what Disneyland was all about.

    Great post. I agree 100%

  12. #12

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    Re: A Fond Farewell to the House of the Mouse...

    I get where the intent of this is going and agree. The inflation of an annual pass doesn't line up with a similar bar graph of inflation in general. It's like you said, a way to thin the herd. As one of the thinned, there's a certain animosity that comes with that.

    Let's face it, Disney is losing annual passholders with this latest move and they LOVE it. They're getting more money from those who stayed on and trimming the herd down. They don't see it as a loss, for them it's a fiscal success. The residual effect of their decision is an embittered collection of loyal fans with a pretty well deserved case of WTF?! I have some real mixed feelings about this. It's one more way the magic turns tragic to me.

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    Re: A Fond Farewell to the House of the Mouse...

    Quote Originally Posted by fifthrider View Post
    I get where the intent of this is going and agree. The inflation of an annual pass doesn't line up with a similar bar graph of inflation in general. It's like you said, a way to thin the herd. As one of the thinned, there's a certain animosity that comes with that.

    Let's face it, Disney is losing annual passholders with this latest move and they LOVE it. They're getting more money from those who stayed on and trimming the herd down. They don't see it as a loss, for them it's a fiscal success. The residual effect of their decision is an embittered collection of loyal fans with a pretty well deserved case of WTF?! I have some real mixed feelings about this. It's one more way the magic turns tragic to me.

    Just because you don't have the ability to go to the park any time you want should not determine an individual’s loyalty to a brand. I loved Disneyland before my AP and I will love Disney after my AP. Not sure why people feel like not being able to afford an AP equals not liking Disneyland any longer.

  14. #14

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    Re: A Fond Farewell to the House of the Mouse...

    Quote Originally Posted by fifthrider View Post
    I get where the intent of this is going and agree. The inflation of an annual pass doesn't line up with a similar bar graph of inflation in general. It's like you said, a way to thin the herd. As one of the thinned, there's a certain animosity that comes with that.

    Let's face it, Disney is losing annual passholders with this latest move and they LOVE it. They're getting more money from those who stayed on and trimming the herd down. They don't see it as a loss, for them it's a fiscal success. The residual effect of their decision is an embittered collection of loyal fans with a pretty well deserved case of WTF?! I have some real mixed feelings about this. It's one more way the magic turns tragic to me.

    How is it that they LOVE losing customers?
    they'd LOVE it even more if everyone renewed and new AP's were sold on top.

    the inflation rate does not match the rising AP prices or your income. The inflation rate is not a standard to match to, unless its gas, eggs or milk.

    the costs of having people inside the parks may have risen to justify an increased price for an AP. I have still not been shown, found or seen evidence that any of these claims are nothing more than assumptions.

    saying that, I'll add my theory. The actual cost of having a body inside the parks is a fraction of the ticket price. The cost is closer to $35 per person per day. The business of Disneyland is more conglomerates businesses than just one entity. You have the merchandising, the licensing, the promotions and advertising, the food and beverage, the customer service, the performers, the employees... All separate. All paid separately and not every business is paid by gate revenue.

    Many assume The perceived cost is above the ticket price and the AP's are to blame.

    We won't ever know until some figures are released by the mouse. Lol. And with the mouse building it's empire with major acquisitions like Marvel and Lucasfilm... The discussions relating to AP's causing such grief are moot.

    to the original poster, I totally understand your situation.
    The ecomnomy is making it tougher and tougher to enjoy things like AP's. it's making it harder to even enjoy an occasional night out for many. The American dream seems to be fading.

    so long as you have your health, home and family.

  15. #15

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    Re: A Fond Farewell to the House of the Mouse...

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenW View Post
    The best deal is the Halloween time events. No only is the price significantly cheaper than the regular park admission, you get free candy and they let you in 3 hours earlier. Don't forget the Spring 2 fer passes are coming soon.
    I concur. We took a two-year break from the Disneyland with just one trip to the Halloween party, which we liked. (Parking is included.)

    After our APs expire in July, we won't renew, but we might get them just once more after another two-year break. My daughter and I have been appreciating it more after our time away. We live 30 miles away and if the distance were greater then we wouldn't have APs and our visits would be even less frequent and more special.

    I grew up in Wisconsin, and in the 1970s we drove to Florida every summer with a week at the beach and a day at the Magic Kingdom. I looked forward to that day at Walt Disney World much more than Christmas or my birthday. If you do find yourself with enough money for APs again, maybe skip them and instead get your Disney fix in Tokyo or Paris. Going to a different, alternative-reality Magic Kingdom messes with your Disney dreams (I mean the dreams while you sleep) in the most wonderful way.

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