Once again Disneyland has increased ticket prices, and once again, the internet is freaking out about said price increases.
Honestly, the fact that they held out this long after reopening should be the only surprising thing about all of this.
Of course, not surprising is that the blame has predictably fallen on Bob Chapek, and not fan-favorite Josh D'Amaro even though he's directly over the parks.
In this post we'll outline the price increases, and as we also like to do when this happens, we'll try to explain that in the grand scheme of entertainment offerings, the prices at Disney are still not up to the level of some things.
Written by Gregg Condon
So here are the current prices for Disneyland. We're not going to sit here and tell you this isn't a lot of money, because it is. And when you start adding in the upcoming Disney Genie, the increase in parking, the fact that there are STILL attractions not open and restaurants not serving full menus, it makes it even less cost effective for consumers.
1-Day 1 Park Tickets
Park Hopper Tickets
So when you break down the prices, everything adds up to about a $15-$20 increase on average. With only park hoppers increasing by $25. A 5-day park hopper ticket is still only $20 more than a 4-day park hopper ticket.
As always, it's up to each of us to make the decision if it's "worth it" for us. But judging from the crowds during our last visit to the parks, it's worth it to A LOT of people. The same people who were "done" with Disney just a few months ago.
Disneyland is still pretending they're in a "phased reopening"
In addition to these increases, the "Dream Key" Magic Key pass is now SOLD OUT. This is obviously a direct reaction to the lack of reservation dates. We would anticipate seeing some of the lower tiers selling out at some point.
Once again, Disney has painted themselves into this corner by offering very inexpensive, pay-per-month passes, even with the need for reservations. There was hope that this trend would not continue with the Magic Key passes, but it has.
But before we overreact to these prices, let's take a look at some other offerings.
First, let's look at Ski Lift tickets. This is ONLY to get you up the hill. Never mind having to purchase or rent ski's or winter clothes. You'll see below if you need to add those things, it's much higher.
Note: This is for Mountain High, who's season varies greatly on the amount of snow that is dropped on the mountains of southern California.
Also to note, daily tickets gave a 404 error on their website, so they may not even be available at this time. Only Season Passes.
Next lets look at some NFL tickets, on a Sunday vs. one of the (if not THE worst team in the NFL). Two tickets, a half way decent view will set you back $314.35 for 3 hours of football. This does not include parking.
Next up is a concert, in the same stadium. The Red Hot Chili Peppers in 2022. To be fair I did not select "resale" tickets, which are much higher. These are the best tickets available through Ticketmaster. And 2 tickets will cost you $351.10.
Oh, and if you want to park at this event, it will cost you another $71.50.
Good luck taking public transportation in Southern California.
So as you can see, when compared to other events, Disneyland can still seem like a pretty good deal.
But what if you don't ski, don't like sports and don't like music. You obviously like theme parks, otherwise why are you reading this? =)
What else could you possibly do with all that money you're not going to give Disney because you don't like Bob Chapek or whatever?
How about visiting some other theme parks in Southern California, if you dare!
Let's look at some of the 1-day tickets for Southern California theme parks. I'm going to look at an "average" day, so in this case the prices are for an adult ticket for November 6th, a Saturday.
But let's also look at the Season/Annual Passes for these parks, because that's where the benefit is really seen.
Most of these options also include monthly payment plans, add-ons for parking and much more.
For $759.99 you can get Season/Annual passes to all other major parks in Southern California, or 4 1-day tier 4 park hopper tickets at Disneyland.
So if Disneyland is suddenly out of your price range, as we've suggested for YEARS, you can move your money over to one or several other parks. But somehow, as happens every single year, nobody wants to actually do that.
If you really do think Disney is being greedy, if you really do hate Bob Chapek THAT MUCH, there really is only one solution. And that's to not tweet out how angry you are, but let your bank account do the talking.
Written by Gregg Condon
It's a new month, which means there's new complaints about Disney.
Last month it was about Boo Bash, and that it's a "lesser event" than Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party was, but also more expensive.
And then what happened? Tickets went on sale, and there was a multi-hour wait to purchase them.
Before that it was the cost of 1-day Disneyland tickets.
And then what happened? There was a multi-hour wait to get tickets the first day they were available. And since, Disneyland has been able to bring in crowds without popular Annual Passes.
And this week, the newest Disney Villain is up charged Fastpasses at Disneyland Paris, and the fear that they may make their way to the states.
And what will happen if they do? People will still go, they will pay the money, and still complain about it.
I know I may sound like a broken record here, but if something you supposedly love makes you THIS unhappy, why are you still spending your hard earned money going there?
There are plenty of other theme parks that will take your money, that are a supposed better deal than Disney. Oh, but wait, those parks aren't worthy of your money, right?
I would have a LOT more respect, and listen to the voices of the people crying on Twitter about this latest Disney slight if they had changed their visiting and spending habits at Disney because of all this supposed "evil corporate" stuff. But they haven't. And they won't. And Disney knows it.
Disney doesn't care about what you say on Twitter, on your Blog (especially this Blog), or on YouTube. They care about the $$ you spend in the parks. They're a corporation. And the OVERWHELMING majority of people who visit their parks have no idea what a "DisTwitter" is, or what 99% of Disney Blogs are.
In 2012 we had Disneyland AP's. We had them every year from 1998 to then. In 2012 we had 2 kids in High School, with all of those extra-curricular activities that came with it. And we just didn't have the time to go to Disneyland, and thus couldn't justify the cost of the parks.
From Jan 2012 to Dec 2019 we went to Disneyland 4 times. Generally once every 18 months or so. And guess what, we absolutely LOVED it. Each visit was special.
In Dec 2019 my wife and I got the FlexPass. And we used them 4 times prior to the parks shutting down. And guess what, we absolutely LOVED it. Each visit was special.
Maybe some people need a Disney break. Maybe they need to remember why they love Disney so much. To be reminded of what they're so angry about all the time.
Disney isn't supposed to make you angry, it's supposed to make you happy. And if the Disney corporation is continually doing things that make you angry then there is a solution for that. And it starts not by yelling on Twitter, but by closing your wallet.
That's the only language corporations understand.
As for the "up charged Fastpasses". If and when they do come to the US parks, I will use them. Because my time is valuable, my leisure time even more so.
I've used similar type systems at Six Flags Parks, Cedar Fair Parks, Universal Parks, MaxPass at Disneyland and at Countless Halloween events.
Yet I don't see anybody complaining about any of those. Why is Disney so different?
For me, I'm going to continue to visit, because I don't let these things impact me. It's not "rose colored glasses" or "blind devotion". For me it's simply remembering why I love Disney, and the amazing times I've had there, and the amazing times to come.
Just watch the Luigi's Rollickin' Roadsters POV below. It's a silly ride. Listen to how much fun we had on it.
I go to theme parks to escape the world for a bit. It's my hobby. I started this blog as an extension of that hobby. If us being "not negative" means that we're accused of being blind to what's really going on with the corporation, so be it.
And don't let anybody tell you any different ...
Written by Gregg Condon
Originally Published 4/19/17
Look, I get it. Your favorite park is Disney, or it's Universal, or it's Cedar Point, or it's a Six Flags park. You think Disney is too crowded (OK it might be) or that Universal uses too many Screenz (maybe they do) and Cedar Fair and Six Flags don't theme their coasters (what's the point when they're going 70 mph). So for ALL of these reasons and more, you'll only visit one theme park chain.
But why? It's probably the greatest time in the history of theme parks to be a theme park fan. They are all trying to one-up each other and it's AMAZING.
In the 90's and early 00's we had the great coaster wars. Amusement Parks from, well really Illinois to New Jersey were trying to one-up each other with taller and faster coasters (California and the West Coast somehow got left out of this). But that didn't do anything for fans of Disney or Universal parks.
Disney was the king of the themed environment for decades. Not only themed rides, but lands around those rides. A recreation of New Orleans for a Pirates themed ride. Old west themed lands. Castles. World's of "tomorrow" that never really came to fruition (but that's a whole other article).
But the fact is, Disney was the top. Even after Universal Studios Florida opened Universal was really second fiddle to Disney and it seemed that's where they were destined to stay.
And then in the late 90's and into 2001 Disney built a couple of parks that weren't quite as successful as they probably should have been, because Disney was trying to save some money. Disney was always the "first offer" when it came to franchises to create themed environments for (yes, even Potter) but they were famously hesitant to give up any control when it came to the final say over what was in their parks.
And it is for that reason JK Rowling found the perfect partner to re-create her Wizarding World of Harry Potter ... and then everything changed.
On May 10, 2010 the Wizarding World of Harry Potter opened at Islands of Adventure and thus started the theme park war that we now see ourselves in.
No longer would off-the-shelf mouse coasters themed to Dinosaur parking lots or twisty roads in the Santa Monica Mountains be enough. Swing rides that looked like oranges, gone. Special effects shows featuring crappy war movies, gone.
But the impact wasn't just for Disney. It opened up a whole new era for Universal Studios across the world which has probably benefited the Hollywood Park more than any other.
Just look at the timeline for Disney and Universal just since Wizarding World opened:
Unknown opening as of this time: Tron Coaster (MK), Guardians of the Galaxy (Epcot), Super Nintendo World (USH)
And these are just the highlights, so much has been done at all of these parks since 2010. And we're just getting started.
In addition to these attractions at Disney and Universal, the other park chains are starting to catch on to themed rides and environments. We've seen the Justice League rides at Six Flags parks. Coasters with themed elements like Mystic Timbers at Kings Island, Cobra's Curse at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and Verbolten at Busch Gardens Williamsburg.
The complete re-do of Ghost Town at Knott's Berry Farm. Interactive dark rides at Legoland. Even smaller parks like Glenwood Caverns are opening themed rides that fit their parks.
And of course for the coaster fans we've seen the complete re-imagining of classic wooden coasters thanks to Rocky Mountain Construction, the continued success of B&M Hyper Coasters and the infusion of newer manufacturers (to the US) like MACK and Gerstlauer. Parks like Lagoon are even building their own coasters.
As I said, it's an AMAZING time to be a Theme Park Fan.
Sure, there are always there are those who will find fault with anything. Guardians of the Galaxy Tower, Volcano Bay, World of Pandora, Soarin' Around The World, duplication of rides at Six Flags. There is not ONE attraction opening up at any park that is beyond critique. No matter the chain, theme, ride system, fan-base ... inevitably somebody out there is going to hate it, or at least give the perception that they hate it.
But now that the theme park war is almost a decade old it shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, with all of the rumors going around with Tron coming to Magic Kingdom, Guardians and Ratatouille coming to EPCOT, NintendoLand coming to Universal, more Potter coming, Marvel and of course Star Wars Land there is going to be more choice than ever.
For those of us that can look beyond what company is creating what environment and enjoy lots of different things at different parks, it's absolutely amazing. For those that continue to support only one company while still criticizing everything that company does you are likely going to be continually disappointed.
IP's aren't going anywhere. Screenz aren't going anywhere. Overlays of existing rides to fit what's new and hip aren't going anywhere. Synergy is where it's at. And why not. When you have franchises that are pulling in BILLIONS of dollars every year at the Box Office it's no surprise that corporations want to capitalize on that with attractions and most importantly, merchandising.
So you can either continue to be disappointed with the highest quality attractions theme parks have ever created or just go with the flow and enjoy the ride ...