I will start this out with an apology, this is going to be long... I have a lot of thoughts on this. I have not spoken on this issue since I joined the board almost two years ago and got slammed by another poster for advocating that Disneyland should continue to try to be accessible for the working poor.
No, I do not think they should get rid of the payment plans because I am an advocate for all people (specifically hard working families) that want to and can budget to be able to get into Disneyland. I don't think that payment plans and budgeting have to be mutually exclusive, all it does is making the budgeting for visiting more accessible.
Does accessible always mean more congestion, I don't believe so... let me explain:
Do I believe it is everyone's "right" to go to Disneyland? No.
But do I believe it should be considered a "luxury product". No way.
Reasoning: What Disneyland should be is what was an originally intended to be, a place parents and children could enjoy TOGETHER. I will never stop believing that all the problems associated with Disneyland can be linked back to a basic loss of this original concept. I believe that couples, groups of friends and people who like to go alone could all benefit from honoring this because it IS what made Disneyland great. The beauty of a family park is what made it special and different and focusing on family. Cater to making Disneyland more of a "luxury product"... You WILL lose what soul is left of it, I can guarantee that.
What I do believe is that there should only be one plan WITH block outs, no unlimited 365 plan no matter how much you spend. I'm not sure why everyone complains about payment plans but NOT the premiere pass, which allow those people willing to spend that amount (regardless of all at once or monthly) to come every single day if they want?! Where is the logic on this? I am being genuine. Someone explain to me how offering a pass that comes out to such a low cost per day is good idea?
So then, I think simply offering "tourists" (ones who but tickets not passes) a clear cut opportunity (example: most weekends in the summer) to know they have a CHANCE to attend the park without having to contend with a wall of (local) bodies would be refreshing and welcome for everyone.
Offering all these levels of plans adds to a general confusion for the average tourist who just wants to know when the heck to go. Why should those people have to pour over AP calendars to figure it out. Something my dear father would have called "too many moving parts". Same thing that happened with GAC. Trying to please too many demographics in too many different ways (and all at the same time) is never going to achieve the desired effect of people enjoying a less congested park.
One plan, somewhere around the cost of the So Cal. (regular not select) with approx. those limitations for EVERYONE. Maybe we will never have a "low season" again but at least the seasons could be evened out properly, in a very simple way.
Point of reference: We have a family with 3 adult APs and a 2 year old (set to expire in early Nov.) Yes, we got them with the payment plan, and have gone a total of 5 days. We hardly overused our passes but we did get a slightly better value than we would have if we had just gotten tickets. We live 3-4 hours away and it's hard to get down. I am happy that I got any kind of savings, and I think locals could learn to be happy with the incredible value that they get, even if they were cut off for some blackouts.