The Disney Crack Addiction
Our family just spent another day at Disneyland Resort going to California Adventure. We had to use up our Twofer Tickets. Sometimes, as a promotional deal, if you go to Disneyland, they throw in a day at California Adventure, their other theme park, for no extra admission price. Notice I didn’t say, “free of charge”, because nothing and I mean NOTHING at Disney is free.
I like Disneyland as much as anyone and it is a huge deal for my kids to go. But, it never ceases to amaze me how the people who run “The Happiest Place On Earth!” can squeeze an extra dime out of every aspect of the park.
Just as an example, a while ago, I’m not exactly sure, parking was $7. Last year it was $10 and this year it went up to $14.00. Now, I know things go up in price but these are steep increases. Between the two parks they average 60,000 people a day. Divide that by four for the average family size. That’s 15,000 cars through the park each day. So they make $210,000 dollars a DAY just on parking! That’s $1,470,000 a week! On PARKING! I’ll bet that number is conservative.
According to the Orange County Register, the local paper for the Disneyland area, ticket prices have increased from $43 for an adult in 2001, to $72 for an adult in July 2009. That’s a 68% increase! The only two other things that I can think of that have risen more in the past nine years are the price of gold and gas. I think Disney was making plenty of profit off of their ticket prices in 2001 and if you adjust for inflation, using the Bureau of Labor Statistics own calculators, the price would increase only to $52. But they gouge us for an extra $20 per person. You’re a real pal Mickey.
In Nov 2009 Disney increased prices on many frequently used items between 11 and 60%. Lockers, scooters and wheelchairs just to name three. WHEELCHAIRS! You’d think that the brainiacs at Disney would think that it’s good PR to let people in WHEELCHAIRS have a little bit of a break!
Don’t even talk about the price of food. I went to a Hot Dog stand in California Adventure and ordered a Hot Dog, it came with a bag of chips, and a regular sized bottle of Sprite.
“That’ll be $9.25,” said the cashier.
“Excuse me?”, I replied.
“That’ll be $9.25.”
“For a hotdog and Sprite?”
“The hotdog AND chips are $6.25 and the Sprite is $3.00.”
“I don’t want the chips.”
“The hotdog comes with chips sir.”
I said real loud, “This better be one HELL of a HOTDOG!”
A voice came from behind me, “No kidding! I can get a Turkey Leg for a buck extra.”
So it wasn’t just me.
Those prices are HIGHER than the prices I paid at the last convention I went to in SoCal. Conventions are famous for gouging people on food prices. So Disney is worse than a CONVENTION!
OK! OK! I hear all the Disney Freaks out there screaming right now, “IF YOU DON’T LIKE THE PRICES, DON’T GO!”
Or, “YOU SHOULD’VE BROUGHT YOUR OWN FOOD AND DRINKS!”
Yes it’s true we could’ve done both of those things but try telling your kids they won’t go to Disneyland when they’ve been there before, they know it exists, you live really close to it, and all their friends go. And why does a company that claims to be the most family friendly place to take your kids go out of its way to make your time there difficult? Also, people can only take SO much of getting screwed on prices before there is a major backlash. It already costs children $62.00 and adults $72.00 to get in. And they are shortening the time the rides last. I don’t care what their PR people say. We time them every time we go. The average ride lasts between 45 seconds to a minute. Most are 45 seconds. That’s AFTER you and your kids wait from 20 minutes to an hour in line. Sometimes longer!
“Why don’t you get an Annual Pass?” some smart guy is saying as he reads this.
The Annual Pass ain’t so annual. The cheapest one has over 100 days blacked out that you can’t use it. Also, they are so expensive now that they offer payment plans for them. Oh yeah, I wanna go into major debt to pay for Disneyland with Annual Passes. When a company starts offering you “Payment Plans” to pay for its product, THEY know it’s expensive for what you get.
As far as bringing your own food, their security is getting pretty good at frisking you down before you enter the park. Officially, Disneyland states that they do not allow guests to bring their own food into the park. Mark my words people, it’s just a matter of time before they won’t let ANYONE bring in any outside food into the parks.
So, the bottom line is this. If you just go to the park, bring your own food, don’t buy ANYTHING else, don’t rent a locker, carry ALL your gear for the kids with you, ALL day, and let your CRIPPLED kid, granny, or who ever, HOBBLE around on CRUTCHES, it’ll still cost a family of six, two adults and four kids, which is what I have, $392 and $14 for parking. $406 just to get into one park if they aren’t running a promotion.
Disney, you know that you’re the biggest nostalgia crack dealer on the planet. There is a limit to how much you can abuse a customer. Have you ever heard of Karma?