Changing Prices, Changing Minds

I am back again for another weekly post to talk about the magical topic of Disney. Over the past few days I have delved into the depths of the internet to find worthy articles that talk about the current changes to Disneyland. Also over the past few weeks, my eyes have been opened to the Corporate perspective of why things get changed at Disney Parks. I myself have only thought about the prices being raised at Disneyland through a pass holder’s perspective and felt the raises were uneccesary. Through some of my research and looking at the facts and figures I now understand that the raise in prices are needed. Even though I feel like there could be another way to keep the park from overcrowding, I understand why Disney did have to raise their prices.

The main article that started to change my mind was an article published by the Los Angeles Times. The article entitled, Seven Reasons Why Disneyland Raised its Annual Pass Prices written by Brady Macdonald has a pretty self explanatory title. It enters into the discussion of a few of the many reasons why Disneyland has raised its annual passes by up to 35% (GASP). It seems the main reason is the upcoming opening of star wars land. They put an infographic in the article to show the raises in annual pass prices over the last few years and how most of the raises in prices coincide with new projects in the park (I posted the infographic below!).

As you can see from the graphic, the last big price spike was in 2012 when Carsland was opened. And the newest spike coincides with the ground breaking on Star Wars Land. This also helps them with the overcrowding problem they will surely have when the new Star Wars Land opens. Everyone will want to come visit it and by limiting how many people can be pass holders, it will help limit (somewhat) the major overcrowding problem they had to deal with (and still deal with) when Carsland opened.

Disneyland also has to be careful about all the price hikes. Because by limiting who can enter, they are now letting the die-hard Disney fans out in the cold. Die-Hards like me. I did have a premium pass until the price went above a thousand dollars and could no longer afford it. This I’m sure happened with plenty of other passholders. Whats the point in Imagineers pouring their heart and soul of creative energy into the park if the people who would appreciate it the most aren’t able to be there anymore? The cookie-cutter family can only take in so many details per visit. I’m talking about seriously little details like the lamp light that always stays on in Walts apartment above the firehouse to show that he is always there. Details like this are not known to the average visitor and only Die-Hards will appreciate details like this. So why make the park bursting with details that Walt liked if no one is around to notice? So Disney is being very careful with these moves but understand they need to limit how many people who are able to enter the park.

Another big reason they don’t want as many pass holders is because they supposedly spend less. I illustrated this point in an earlier article but I will explain briefly again. The thought is pass holders don’t spend as much money as the families who visit but once a year. BUT pass holders offer a steady flow of revenue. If the economy takes a fall, the pass holders have already paid so Disneyland can still make money off of them. They must be be very careful with this as well because these are the die-hard fans as I mentioned earlier. They don’t just purchase items in the parks. They purchase disney merchandise in the Disney stores across the country, travel to other parks, and order Disney merchandise online.

This article really changed how I felt about the price hikes because it reminded me that the park is in business to make money. What I feel the company has forgotten though is what Walt would do in these situations. He literally did not care about the money as long as he was making people happy. So why raise the prices, why not try and find some other way of making the park less crowded (I think they should just try and expand it would make everyones lives easier). Which is bringing me to next weeks topic: What would Walt think?

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