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  • News: "Growing up" in Disneyland

    From http://denver.yourhub.com/CENTENNIAL...ry~136071.aspx

    Growing up in Disneyland
    It has been said children grow up way too quickly these days, but every generation must have their own version of this story. At the same time it is also said that youth is wasted on the young. Thanks to the Disney Corporation, we now have indisputable, verifiable evidence that something is actually being done about all this.
    Disneyland now considers a 10-year old an "adult" for the purpose of admission. At age 10 you move out of that 3-to-9 year old child (17% discount) ticket, and jump right into Disney "adulthood" (10 years-and-above) bypassing all the usual complications of puberty. These are the same people that brought us "Peter Pan," a story about a boy who refused to grow up. His parents probably just didn't want to shell out nearly 60 bucks a pop for him to visit the theme park each time. Pete stayed nine forever.
    Charging a 10-year old the exact same price you charge an adult seems entirely unfair. After all, it is a small world. But there is no way for a 10-year old to ever see over the average adult during that Main Street Parade. No telling how bored a 10-year old would be doing grownup things at Disneyland like searching those endless gift shops and napping while sitting upright on a park bench.
    The developmental leap from 9-years old to 10-years old must now be huge. One year your parents are debating whether Mr. Toad's Wild Ride is too scary for you. The very next year they are strapping your shaking body into the Indiana Jones ride again making sure they get "every last cent" from your almost $60 admission. Like it or not. Hold on.
    Ah, 10 that awkward age when Mickey and Goofy don't seem as cool, but riding Space Mountain can make you wet your pants. I didn't fully comprehend what was really going on in the Pirates of the Caribbean ride until I was somewhere in my early 20s. Today most "real" adults find the subtext of crime and lust in those scenes to be just fascinating given the setting. I understand it was one of Walt's favorite rides.
    Ironically, that same 10-year old adult can still get a nice "kid's meal" just outside the gates at the Disney-owned ESPN Zone restaurant. And if they show their Disneyland ticket, maybe they should be able to get that chicken tenders and fries kids meal with a beer to wash it down.
    I see no reason why a 10-year old can't drive the parking lot tram once he or she has passed through Disneyland adulthood. We usually ride around a few hours anyway because we can never remember where we parked the car. That could be an exciting ride and a very memorable way for anyone to wrap up a full day at "The Happiest Place on Earth." Of course, all this assumes they can reach the pedals.
    Okay, I am making a Matterhorn out of a mole hill and Disney probably doesn't intend to rob our kids of their childhood. They did after all have nine good years of it, even by their accounting. But how can a corporation that cultivates a loyal youth audience have this kind of ticket pricing policy at its very own theme park? Especially when being 10 years old still qualifies you for the children's ticket at any respectable theater showing a Disney film, a policy set by theater owners.
    This past July 17th Disneyland entered its second half-century of existence. Why doesn't Disney celebrate that by resetting that great ticket price divide at age 13, or 16 or even 18, more traditional thresholds of human maturity? People will spend the difference on hats with mouse ears or hot dogs anyway. It's such a small matter for such a wealthy company. Disney reported revenues of $31.9 billion in 2005, with $9 billon due to revenues in theme parks and resorts. Things appear to be going pretty well there.
    According to The Walt Disney Company 2005 Annual Report, attendance at the Disneyland Resort increased four percent while per capita theme park guest spending there actually increased 14%. Inflation, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as measured by the Consumer Price Index, was only 3.4% for 2005. How much of that 14% increase in guest spending was due to increased prices or a willingness to simply spend more is anyone's guess.
    Disneyland is great fun and integral to any Southern California visit, missing it would be like not dipping your feet in the Pacific Ocean, no matter how cold. The lowered cost for kid's tickets does really matter to families. The larger your family, the more it matters. Imagine the havoc in the Osmond and Von Trapp households if it had meant the difference in Donnie or Brigitta going to Disneyland or being left at home with grandma.
    I do understand this was a business decision made by some suit somewhere. But where else in life but Disneyland are fifth graders lumped into the same cohort with college grads and their grandparents?
    Disney has a chance to be really magnanimous here, and bring good business karma for their next 50 years. Why not scrap admission charges altogether for anyone 12 and under? Instead, ask for "suggested" donations at the entrance like some museums do. I bet kids would actually pony up much more than their parents anyway. If those revenues somehow fall short, collection plates could be circulated in those long ride lines by Disney characters. My daughter would have given a year's allowance to chat with The Little Mermaid. There are seven of those Dwarfs, put them to work, what else do they do when they aren't parading around behind what's-her-name? If they want to whistle, fine, do it while begging. Everyone should pitch in. Maybe it's time to wake Sleeping Beauty and the management can hope that Cinderella hasn't forgotten the value of a little hard work.

  • #2
    Re: News: "Growing up" in Disneyland

    Seriously, 10 years old?!?! Wow, I had no idea and would have issues with this if I was a parent that was shelling out big bucks for my KIDS to go to Disneyland.

    Thanks for the article Froggy!

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: News: "Growing up" in Disneyland

      What gets me is that they don't have a child's sort of Annual Pass. My kid is going to need his own AP and I see no reason getting him the Premium as he doesn't need parking. The next one down blocks out saturdays, which is the weekend day I mostly go. I guess I'll just have to change things around.

      Ta Da!

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: News: "Growing up" in Disneyland

        Well, the deluxe pass doesn't block out all saturdays - all Saturdays in October, and almost all in November and December are open. And it's cheaper to pay $30 to get him in on a blockout day ticket, rather than pay the kids price.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: News: "Growing up" in Disneyland

          Do they call it general admission or adult admission? If it is the former, they should just price it at "Junior Admission" and "General Admission"...problem solved.

          Wow. 40 Posts!!!


          Comment


          • #6
            Re: News: "Growing up" in Disneyland

            Originally posted by Frogberto View Post
            Well, the deluxe pass doesn't block out all saturdays - all Saturdays in October, and almost all in November and December are open. And it's cheaper to pay $30 to get him in on a blockout day ticket, rather than pay the kids price.

            The deluxe pass is the next one under the Premium right?

            It just bugs me that they can't create some sort of "kid" pass. I don't see why not?

            Ta Da!

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: News: "Growing up" in Disneyland

              Excellent and very funny article!

              I seem to remember that for many years, there were three admission prices: Adult, Junior (12-17), and Child (3-11). That was, of course, when the Park was run by people who were wiser and knew better. Like Walt. But I guess nobody in Burbank is paying attention to him anymore. I mean, all he did was build the darn company and provide it with a lasting legacy.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: News: "Growing up" in Disneyland

                Originally posted by claribella View Post

                The deluxe pass is the next one under the Premium right?

                It just bugs me that they can't create some sort of "kid" pass. I don't see why not?
                Yes, the deluxe is the next one under Premium. And I wish I knew the answer to that, but I suspect that it has something to do with the almighty dollar...$$$

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: News: "Growing up" in Disneyland

                  Originally posted by Frogberto View Post
                  Yes, the deluxe is the next one under Premium. And I wish I knew the answer to that, but I suspect that it has something to do with the almighty dollar...$$$
                  Ah...you are very right.

                  Ta Da!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: News: "Growing up" in Disneyland

                    Yet for some reason a 10 year old who Disney considers an adult for admission purposes is not able to order these same tickets by phone until they are 18 years old..ie. ***"Children under the age of 18 must have parents permission to call"***

                    Incredible
                    Waiting for Godot Micechat.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: News: "Growing up" in Disneyland

                      Originally posted by Janie View Post
                      I seem to remember that for many years, there were three admission prices: Adult, Junior (12-17), and Child (3-11). That was, of course, when the Park was run by people who were wiser and knew better. Like Walt. But I guess nobody in Burbank is paying attention to him anymore. I mean, all he did was build the darn company and provide it with a lasting legacy.
                      Yep. The "Junior" designation was eliminated some time after Eisner joined the company. It generated a huge boost in income for the parks (at the expense of the average family, of course) and was a fairly quiet little trick that the Press largely remained oblivious about, and mostly it went unreported at the time. I mean...it wasn't like they raised prices or anything.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: News: "Growing up" in Disneyland

                        This policy was one of the factors we considered before going this summer. My oldest turned 10 in September.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: News: "Growing up" in Disneyland

                          I don't know...it seems pretty fair to me. By the time a child is 10, they'll be big enough to go on every ride in the park. I always felt the "Child" discount was because so many things were off-limits to those below a certain height.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: News: "Growing up" in Disneyland

                            Well, it is often said here that Disneyland brings out the child in all of us.

                            One you get past the main gate, I guess.

                            Well written and very funny piece, Frogberto!

                            --Barry

                            "Disneyland will never be complete as long as there are higher ticket and churro prices left in the world..."
                            God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

                            Comment

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