The Positive Side of Disneyland Price Increases

What Do We Do Now?

People are upset about the price increases, myself included. However, I have always believed that you get what you pay for. Right now, you do get a lot for what you pay for at Disneyland (incredible attractions, entertainment, characters, experiences, food…corndog anyone?). The annual pass is still an incredible deal if you visit the park regularly. Sure, the daily passes have gotten quite expensive but consider this: when I was a child we would visit Disneyland on vacations every couple of years. We would save up and come to California and we would get 1 day at Disneyland for the entire trip. Those were some of the best days of our trips though. They were magical. They were quality. They were what Disneyland is supposed to be: A family day of fun at Disneyland. Say today that we saved up and went to a Disneyland where quality suffered, lines were ridiculous, the food disgusting, and magic… well, that was just a memory of the past because it was all about getting more people through the gate. That just doesn’t sound like the experience lifelong memories are made of. I would prefer the first scenario.

So what do you do if you don’t like the price increase?

  • The first and most obvious answer is: Don’t go to Disneyland and encourage your friends and family to do the same. This may sound heartless but it comes instead from the recognition that the Walt Disney Company is a for-profit company. If their price increases hurt attendance and money is no longer spent at the parks because people stop visiting, Disney will take notice and have to make a change… because it would hurt profits. For this to happen though, a LOT of people would have to basically boycott Disney.
  • The second thing you could do is write a polite and concise letter to Disney voicing your displeasure and your concerns. You can do this by visiting and going to the “email us” page.
  • The third alternative is the one that I would advocate. Recognize that Disney is not trying to ruin your life. They are trying to make your visits to the Disneyland Resort more magical, and sometimes that means raising prices or capping how many annual passes are sold. Is it a perfect scenario? Of course not. Is it necessary? Probably.

I honestly believe that the powers that be at the Disneyland Resort legitimately want to create the best and most magical experience for everyone who visits the happiest place on Earth. Not everyone will be happy with every decision made but I do think that there are a lot more good decisions made than bad ones. The Disneyland Resort of today is way more amazing than the Disneyland Resort of ten years ago and I’m looking forward to seeing what is in store for ten years from now.

With all that said, I will continue on as a Disneyland Annual Passholder (as long as finances allow) and continue to enjoy my Sunday nights at Disneyland. Half of the magic of Disneyland is the attitude we bring to it so while I’m not a fan of paying more, I am a fan of having a good time at Disneyland so will choose to focus on that. I also choose to focus on the fact that quality does not come cheaply. We are paying for quality Disney magic that only Disney can provide.

Now that you have read my thoughts, I would love to hear yours. I know this is an issue that many are passionate about (me included) so please keep your thoughts family friendly, respectful, and dignified.

Make it a GREAT day!

– Mr. DAPs

ps. Check out my friend Lisa’s thoughts on the price increases for another interesting perspective:

17 thoughts on “The Positive Side of Disneyland Price Increases”

  1. I completely agree with you. I have been an AP holder for 10 years and I DO feel bad when I show up and a sign out front says Disneyland is full. Bad, not for me, because I live close enough and can come back tomorrow . . .but for that family that came out on vacation, and this was their “Disney” day and they cant get in right away ): I feel they should limit the number sold to keep space for others with daily passes. I go every couple three weeks not every day, but some go every single week with kids, several times. But maybe they can somehow give a break to so many people a year to pay less, kind of a lottery or something

    1. Yea, it really is a tricky question to figure out the answer for. I can’t imagine the amount of man hours and meetings and thoughts that have gone into figuring out this issue and trying to come up with an answer that keeps people happy, builds on Walt’s legacy, and also helps with the bottom line (that is doing really well).

  2. Mr. DAPs I want to thank you for posting your opinions on the price raise (again). I completely agree with your views and I have been a proud passholder for a long time as well and have said as long as finances allowed me I too would keep my pass. I hope that people do take some action if they really feel strongly about the price hikes.

  3. Oh, oh, I know, I know, pick me!
    1) How about people cannot use their unemployment debit cards or EBT cards to get into or use once in Disneyland, I’m sorry but I don’t need my tax dollars paying for someone elses $8 corn dog, or jamming the line to Indy, the only line those people should be in is the line for a career fair.

    2) No monthly payment options for annual passes. Once upon a time you had to learn to save your pennies in order to afford an annual pass, as soon as they aloud monthly payments interest free, regardless of your credit score attendance hasn’t stopped getting out of control since. It also lost it’s prestige of being an AP because everyone could now do it. So either do away with the payment plan, charge interest or run a credit report and make payments only available to people with excellent credit.

    3) I personally wouldn’t ever cap the sales of annual passes, but I would lower the cap on attendance to the park in general, instead of shutting the gates to Disneyland at 80k people, shut them at 60k for the day, thats still a busy summer day but at least Indy isnt 120 minutes to ride etc.

    That’s my 3 cents and I definitely feel if just options 1 and 2 were implemented we’d see a 20% drop in daily attendance.

    1. I get the feeling that your anger here isn’t just towards the topic at hand. You seem to have deep seated issues against “lower class” citizens. Truly I am open minded towards these discussions but your statements here are a tad bit emotionally fueled and quite honestly it comes off as arrogant.

      Keep in mind, customers are purchasing tickets to an amusement park. It’s as simple as that. They aren’t applying for loans or trying to purchase a car over here.

      Disneyland is and always will be a magical place for families to create memories. ALL families. No need to discriminate here.

  4. I would agree in price increase IF at least a small amount went to the employees. Many different ways that could be achieved. BUT, you mentioned a for profit company. Disney is NOW run out of Florida, when they (management) comes to the West Coast very little time is actually spent in the areas nor is time spent with the cast members (except those selected because management wants a pretty picture painted) to get a REAL idea of what the employees see the company as. When the Disney Resort only wants you to stay a maximum of 5 years or transfer into another department (because it changes your pay rate) it is NOT looking at the best interest of the company. When Michael Eisner was asked by a reporter in 1985, did he ever feel like Walt was behind him the response was “Walt is DEAD, this is MY park NOW.” Management continues to display this attitude.

    1. I completely agree. Disney raises prices but rarely wages. And people in tipped positions at Disney don’t get tipped as often or as well because people feel they are already paying enough to Disney.

  5. Chandler- Disney parks don’t accept EBT. Get over yourself. There are plenty of people on assistance who, umm, you know, work! But still need assistance to make ends meet for their families. Also- MY tax dollars go to those benefits as well as everyone else’s. Perhaps you should tell the old folk and disabled not to go to Disney on their social security income, as that’s where a majority of everyone’s tax dollars go (almost 25%). Have a magical day :)

  6. Well put! I believe that there are many AP holders who ruin their day and others by their own attitudes and a sense of self entitlement. As you stated your own attitude will affect your visit. I love going and enjoy every aspect of the parks. I smile when I hear someone complain about how “Disney doesn’t care” or “I should get more for being a passholder”. Sad really. Meanwhile I stroll down main street admiring the light from the sun setting as it glows yellow and orange over the buildings. Stopping in front of Walts apartment and smiling at the ever burning lamp and saying “thanks for another great day”. Finishing my corn dog 32 steps later I’m in front of a trash can and toss out the stick. I chuckle and say to my self he thought of everything.

  7. They can raise prices as much as they want as far as I’m concerned. I already don’t go. They’d have to pay me to go stand in their lines and that isn’t likely to happen. And live only 20 miles away.

  8. I am a fairly new AP holder. We live only 20 mins away. My husband and I would take our kids once a year, something we ALL looked forward to. Last year though when planning our yearly trip I suggested to Annual Passes. Why? Because I was the family that would go to the park and it was crowded. Rides that my kids looked forward to out of order, wait times way to long , or we would miss parades hoping the lines would be shorter. Now having the AP we have been able to actually enjoy all and everything of Disneyland. Rides are down? It’s ok we can get it on next time, already ate lunch and you spot a place you want to eat at? Next time were back. I truly enjoy the pass. In the end Yes I completely agree with you, I prefer quality. I probably wouldn’t have a pass if maybe my family would have experienced better past annual trips. For now we love our passes and I’m happy we can give our Kids serveral Disney memories.

  9. I may not be an Annual Passholder but I have been fortunate to visit Disneyland numerous times since I was 4 years old and going to Disney World as well. I am now am a Cast Member at Disney World. I remember my parents who are the middle class Americans from the Midwest who would break their bank every few years just to be able to take my siblings and I to a Disney park and that was in the 1990’s and early 2000’s we did that as a family. There is no way with prices before and after the current price change at either park that my parents would be able to afford to take us if we were kids. I obviously love Disney and wouldn’t have gotten a job as a cast member of I didn’t and I completely understand the economics and everything else behind the price change, but I also feel it is going against what Walt wanted: middle class Americans like how he was before he became famous to have a place to go with their families, multiple times, regardless of where you lived in the country to have fun. Raising prices defeats that purpose. Am I always tired at the end of my shift, of course, but I try to make every interaction with a guest a magical moment no matter how busy I am at work.

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