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  • Article on Disneyland price and value

    Interesting article on the big changes going in at the resort and people's feelings about said changes. Very interesting read

    'The magic's too expensive': Disney is 'pricing out loyal customers' by targeting more affluent families with $800 hotel rooms and $100 sandwiches despite having no fireworks or parades since COVID
    • A Disney vacation will now set a family of four back more than $6,000
    • The average annual income in America now stands at $68,703 - or $5,725 each month - meaning a visit to the 'happiest place on earth' is out of reach for many
    • The hefty price tag comes despite pandemic-related restrictions squeezing some of the magic out of the experience
    • Firework displays, shows and the iconic character parades have gone
    • Instead of slashing the prices to make up for the disappointment, costs have continued to climb
    • Since it reopened in April, Disneyland has focused on premium add-ons like an extra charge on the new Spider-Man ride to ensure a higher score
    • It is also now offering a $100 supersized sandwich at its new Avengers Campus
    • The cheapest hotel room in Disneyland in July is $463, with some costing $800
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...-families.html
    Last edited by Golden Zephyr; 06-20-2021, 04:04 PM.

  • #2
    Yeah, when I go to visit, I never stay in one of the Disneyland hotels because I know I'm barely going to be in the room anyway, so why spend an arm and a leg each night just for me to sleep? I'll crash at one of the hotels across the street and walk to the park as that's around the same distance as if you were staying at the Paradise Pier hotel. I also avoid eating in the parks because the prices are insane for how little food we actually get that's not even that good, when if I wanted, could hop in an Uber and go a few blocks away to a much nicer restaurant the charges the same price, doesn't have me fighting crowds, gives me far better food, AND still gives me enough for drinks.

    Comment


    • #3
      The article forgets to mention that demand has changed significantly over the years. Somewhere between the 50th and 60th anniversary, attendance skyrocketed (probably fueled by social media).

      Also, Universal Studios is not priced that much differently and when you compare the total number of attractions (especially for young kids), there is still plenty of value at Disneyland.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Golden Zephyr View Post
        Interesting article on the big changes going in at the resort and people's feelings about said changes. Very interesting read

        'The magic's too expensive': Disney is 'pricing out loyal customers' by targeting more affluent families with $800 hotel rooms and $100 sandwiches despite having no fireworks or parades since COVID
        • A Disney vacation will now set a family of four back more than $6,000
        • The average annual income in America now stands at $68,703 - or $5,725 each month - meaning a visit to the 'happiest place on earth' is out of reach for many
        • The hefty price tag comes despite pandemic-related restrictions squeezing some of the magic out of the experience
        • Firework displays, shows and the iconic character parades have gone
        • Instead of slashing the prices to make up for the disappointment, costs have continued to climb
        • Since it reopened in April, Disneyland has focused on premium add-ons like an extra charge on the new Spider-Man ride to ensure a higher score
        • It is also now offering a $100 supersized sandwich at its new Avengers Campus
        • The cheapest hotel room in Disneyland in July is $463, with some costing $800
        https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...-families.html
        What the Future have for the resort ?
        I agree....."squeezing " the magic out of the experience.................
        I feel it have already happen IMO....O WELL ...Once again it matter of worth !
        Last edited by Eagleman; 06-20-2021, 04:36 PM.
        Soaring like an EAGLE !

        Comment


        • #5
          "If you charge it ($$$), they will STILL come". As long as there are people still willing to pay Disney prices, nothing will change. And there ARE still people paying the price. I'm not criticizing since I'm one of them, although I admit I'm getting close to my 'acceptable price range' limit as far as onsite stays. When that day comes, I'll modify the way I 'do' DL and WDW.

          It used to be that Disney (for locals) was a once to a few times a year thing. And for non-locals often it was a 'once in a lifetime' vacation, even for the wealthy. The phenomenon of treating DL as your back yard or repeated vacations is IMO a relatively new phenomenon. The increased demand for 'Disney Time' is what's led to the situation we have today. And I can't see it changing any time soon.

          "Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain.​"

          Comment


          • #6
            I agree DLR is absurdly overpriced at this point, and there's not a lot of value in how it currently operates (low maintenance on rides, smaller staff, barebone entertainment options, mobile ordering; etc).

            I think my bigger issue is that I personally don't view Disneyland as what it markets itself to be –– a premier vacation spot. When I think of premier vacation spots, I think of places I've never been before where hospitality is of utmost importance on a beachfront, or the countryside... you name it.

            DLR is a theme park (where repeat visits are supposedly a norm and encouraged), and almost every aspect of it includes an upcharge even after you pay for the main event. It doesn't scream 'hospitable' to me, and the whole experience sounds stressful these days. Of course, people will continue to pay... but I think Disney's image is getting hit by the public's realization that it's unaffordable for most. Not to mention, the general public is slowly turning against the VQ system, calling it a straight-up scam at times.

            As for my spending habits, I've decided to take what I would spend at Disney and applied it towards a trip to Knotts, staying at a beach house, whale watching tours, art classes... all of which don't require me staring at my phone and hitting a refresh button in utter panic.

            What might I come back for? World of Color / Fantastmic, but I think those will take a while to return, and I wouldn't be surprised if a price hike came with the announcement. $150 is my 'take it or leave it' when it comes to Disney these days. I'll make my own magic, and wait for them to get creative with theirs.
            Last edited by Captain Andy; 06-20-2021, 07:32 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Captain Andy I would have to agree with you. As a former Sig+ member, I saw over time the increasing upcharges for what was once included in the basic ticket. Whether or not people are willing to pay for it, the park, particularly the hotel is terrible value at the moment.

              You can stay in one of the country's premier resorts in Orange County for less per night than the Grand Californian. A true 5 star resort is less money.

              The food offerings are hardly worth the price. I can eat at places like Marche Moderne just down the hill in Crystal Cove for less than an average dinner at Disneyland.

              I just don't understand how one can justify the expense at this point. By supporting it encourages Disney to give less for more cost.

              However, to each their own I guess.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Captain Andy View Post
                I agree DLR is absurdly overpriced at this point, and there's not a lot of value in how it currently operates (low maintenance on rides, smaller staff, barebone entertainment options, mobile ordering; etc).

                I think my bigger issue is that I personally don't view Disneyland as what it markets itself to be –– a premier vacation spot. When I think of premier vacation spots, I think of places I've never been before where hospitality is of utmost importance on a beachfront, or the countryside... you name it.

                DLR is a theme park (where repeat visits are supposedly a norm and encouraged), and almost every aspect of it includes an upcharge even after you pay for the main event. It doesn't scream 'hospitable' to me, and the whole experience sounds stressful these days. Of course, people will continue to pay... but I think Disney's image is getting hit by the public's realization that it's unaffordable for most. Not to mention, the general public is slowly turning against the VQ system, calling it a straight-up scam at times.

                As for my spending habits, I've decided to take what I would spend at Disney and applied it towards a trip to Knotts, staying at a beach house, whale watching tours, art classes... all of which don't require me staring at my phone and hitting a refresh button in utter panic.

                What might I come back for? World of Color / Fantastmic, but I think those will take a while to return, and I wouldn't be surprised if a price hike came with the announcement. $150 is my 'take it or leave it' when it comes to Disney these days. I'll make my own magic, and wait for them to get creative with theirs.
                That's spot on -- and handwriting on the wall for a brand that has made billions from its multi-generation association with happiness, comfort and reassurance. The irony is that Disney has promoted their most successful brand marketing guru to CEO, and he is associating the brand with stress, frustration and "let the buyer beware."

                Management is dancing on their desktops at Universal, Knotts and Six Flags.
                "Disneyland is often called a magic kingdom because
                it combines fantasy and history, adventure and learning,
                together with every variety of recreation and fun,
                designed to appeal to everyone."

                - Walt Disney

                "Disneyland is all about turning movies into rides."
                - Michael Eisner

                "It's very symbiotic."
                - Bob Chapek

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Captain Andy View Post
                  I agree DLR is absurdly overpriced at this point, and there's not a lot of value in how it currently operates (low maintenance on rides, smaller staff, barebone entertainment options, mobile ordering; etc).

                  I think my bigger issue is that I personally don't view Disneyland as what it markets itself to be –– a premier vacation spot. When I think of premier vacation spots, I think of places I've never been before where hospitality is of utmost importance on a beachfront, or the countryside... you name it.

                  DLR is a theme park (where repeat visits are supposedly a norm and encouraged), and almost every aspect of it includes an upcharge even after you pay for the main event. It doesn't scream 'hospitable' to me, and the whole experience sounds stressful these days. Of course, people will continue to pay... but I think Disney's image is getting hit by the public's realization that it's unaffordable for most. Not to mention, the general public is slowly turning against the VQ system, calling it a straight-up scam at times.

                  As for my spending habits, I've decided to take what I would spend at Disney and applied it towards a trip to Knotts, staying at a beach house, whale watching tours, art classes... all of which don't require me staring at my phone and hitting a refresh button in utter panic.

                  What might I come back for? World of Color / Fantastmic, but I think those will take a while to return, and I wouldn't be surprised if a price hike came with the announcement. $150 is my 'take it or leave it' when it comes to Disney these days. I'll make my own magic, and wait for them to get creative with theirs.
                  Yeah, and what's more interesting is when you compare the prices of Disneyland with WDW and realize you spend half the costs at WDW as you would at DL for things like hotel rooms and food, where unlike DL whose cheapest hotel is around $400-$500 a night, WDW has hotels going as cheap as $90 a night, and their nicer hotels going for $200 a night. Also, you brought up another great point about DL not being a vacation spot and is instead a theme park.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    To reiterate something I said in the thread about Iger selling his stock, I really think the higher-ups are embarrassed to be running a theme park instead of something more impressive by the standards of other rich executives, such as a bank. And I think they're raising prices on everything not to just make more money for its own sake, although that is certainly part of it, but to make the brand more prestigious by making it more expensive. Something that only the upper-middle class can afford is by definition more elite than something that almost anyone can afford. The reservation system is also part of this--besides helping to manage crowds as the park re-opens its gates to people desperate for outside entertainment after more than a year of lockdown, it inflates perceived demand...oooohhhh, you have to make a reservation just to get in! I think they would accept a modest reduction in total revenue/profit if it raised the profile of Disneyland to something for the well-off instead of something for ordinary Americans.
                    Like this post? Read more like it at The Disneyland Dilettante!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Captain Andy

                      Your post made me think. And I agree with you that DLR is NOT a 'premiere vacation destination'. It is too small, too cramped, and doesn't have enough variety of accommodations and activities because of the lack of space. And there's not much can be done about that. I'm not at all surprised when people visit DLR for the first time, or for the first time since a single childhood visit, and come away disappointed.

                      But I would say that WDW is one (in the 'family friendly' category). It's 'spaciousness', the variety of hotels at all price points, the number of theme parks + the water parks, the superiority of Disney Springs (over DTD), and the complete transportation systems makes WDW a truly complete 'bubble'. It's not London or Paris, but for what it is, it's definitely 'premiere'. It's not quite back to 'pre-pandemic', but it's getting there.

                      Do I love DLR more? Absolutely, it is and has been my Happy Place since the late '50s and, for me, the 'magic' is still there. But if DLR wasn't completely bound up in memories of my childhood as well as the memories of taking my own children as a young family, I doubt that my yearning to go would be anywhere near as strong as it is.
                      "Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain.​"

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        After a year of being stuck at home and wondering when and what would reopen at whatever point in time, my mom and I opted to book a trip to WDW with my 3yo twins (who were over 40" and thus able to go on a majority of attractions). After booking, we price compared the trip to DLR as if we were out-of-towners and the only additional cost was the airfare which we happened to get extremely cheap for across country. It was actually quite shocking to come to the realization that if DLR doesn't release a membership plan we're on board with, we can go to WDW for the same or cheaper for our whole family...and actually have additional benefits and more "things to do" (4 parks compared to 2, staying on resort, the Disney transportation etc.). WDW is definitely carrying the torch of the US parks for the most bang for your buck.

                        I haven't ever stayed on resort at DLR - mainly because I can't personally justify the expense of any of the hotels when we spend almost the entire day in the parks. Only once have I seen PPH under $200/night and that was at least 3-4 years ago now. I'd much rather spend a lot less for a hotel on Harbor and walk to and from DLR when it's essentially the same distance as walking from PPH or DLH to access the main entrance.

                        Back in my teenage years, DLR was hard for my family to afford (back prior to some major career changes and advancements of my parents at the time)...but the cost of a 5 day ticket is the equivalent of a 2 day ticket now. Wages and earnings haven't kept up so I can only imagine how much harder it is for families in the lower to mid-range middle class to afford multiple trips to DLR or, heck, even a single once-in-a-lifetime type trip. We met some out-of-state relatives in 2017 for their first trip to DLR with their then 5 & 7 yo boys. You could definitely get the sense that Dad (my cousin) wanted to spend as much time in the parks as possible due to the cost of the trip while his wife was more lets just let the boys do what they want (ie swimming in the hotel pool).

                        When I think premier vacation destination, DLR or WDW defintiely do not come to my mind. I think of all inclusive vacation resorts in the Caribbean, Mexico or any other location outside the US.
                        Last edited by lemuth0922; 06-21-2021, 08:16 AM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          It's tricky. Let's define the problem statement:
                          DLR attendance has gone up to the point of destroying the experience. How does DLR manage this? (Please feel free to propose another problem statement, but I think this is the crux of the issue)

                          It's Economics 101. Supply/Demand. So your possible solutions are:
                          1. Increase prices
                          2. Limit the number of tickets (Reservation system)
                          3. (Linked to 2) Reduce the operating costs by offering less
                          4. Increase the size/number of parks
                          5. Remove the AP payment plans (kind a sub-bullet under 1)

                          Unfortunately, people keep coming in droves even after tactic 1, increasing prices. I can still afford it, but, like many on here, I don't see the value in it like I did 5 years ago. We haven't gone to DLR since September 2019. We're long time AP holders who would dump $200/month at DLR on top of our APs.

                          I think Disney doesn't like pricing out the average person, so they've had to resort to tactic 3 and tactic 2. If you don't want to resort to tactic 3, your only option is to keep re-upping tactic 1 ... or HOPEFULLY they will finally use tactic 5. I think that would really help with the overcrowding.

                          Tactic 4 is pretty limited, but would be a fantastic solution that would both satisfy the shareholders (mo' revenue) and the guests (spreading them out). Disneyland Forward could accomplish this in 10 years ... 20 years ... never.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by brerphysicist View Post
                            It's tricky. Let's define the problem statement:
                            DLR attendance has gone up to the point of destroying the experience. How does DLR manage this? (Please feel free to propose another problem statement, but I think this is the crux of the issue)

                            It's Economics 101. Supply/Demand. So your possible solutions are:
                            1. Increase prices
                            2. Limit the number of tickets (Reservation system)
                            3. (Linked to 2) Reduce the operating costs by offering less
                            4. Increase the size/number of parks
                            5. Remove the AP payment plans (kind a sub-bullet under 1)


                            Unfortunately, people keep coming in droves even after tactic 1, increasing prices. I can still afford it, but, like many on here, I don't see the value in it like I did 5 years ago. We haven't gone to DLR since September 2019. We're long time AP holders who would dump $200/month at DLR on top of our APs.

                            I think Disney doesn't like pricing out the average person, so they've had to resort to tactic 3 and tactic 2. If you don't want to resort to tactic 3, your only option is to keep re-upping tactic 1 ... or HOPEFULLY they will finally use tactic 5. I think that would really help with the overcrowding.

                            Tactic 4 is pretty limited, but would be a fantastic solution that would both satisfy the shareholders (mo' revenue) and the guests (spreading them out). Disneyland Forward could accomplish this in 10 years ... 20 years ... never.
                            I suspect that as long as the demand remains high, they're likely to use a combination of tactic 1, tactic 3, and:

                            6. Use the reservation system in combination with an AP-replacement system to increase crowds to the maximum capacity of the park (limited only by the number of available CMs).

                            There is no evidence in the management history of the past 35 years that even remotely suggests Disney would limit attendance for the purpose of "giving our Guests a better experience." Regardless of their customer-centric PR, Disney's problem with overcrowding has been that the crowds weren't generating high enough profits. No matter how crowded, it has not made significant numbers of customers quit Disney and take their theme park business to the competition.
                            Last edited by Mr Wiggins; 06-21-2021, 08:32 AM.
                            "Disneyland is often called a magic kingdom because
                            it combines fantasy and history, adventure and learning,
                            together with every variety of recreation and fun,
                            designed to appeal to everyone."

                            - Walt Disney

                            "Disneyland is all about turning movies into rides."
                            - Michael Eisner

                            "It's very symbiotic."
                            - Bob Chapek

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Stormy View Post
                              Captain Andy

                              Your post made me think. And I agree with you that DLR is NOT a 'premiere vacation destination'. It is too small, too cramped, and doesn't have enough variety of accommodations and activities because of the lack of space. And there's not much can be done about that. I'm not at all surprised when people visit DLR for the first time, or for the first time since a single childhood visit, and come away disappointed.

                              But I would say that WDW is one (in the 'family friendly' category). It's 'spaciousness', the variety of hotels at all price points, the number of theme parks + the water parks, the superiority of Disney Springs (over DTD), and the complete transportation systems makes WDW a truly complete 'bubble'. It's not London or Paris, but for what it is, it's definitely 'premiere'. It's not quite back to 'pre-pandemic', but it's getting there.

                              Do I love DLR more? Absolutely, it is and has been my Happy Place since the late '50s and, for me, the 'magic' is still there. But if DLR wasn't completely bound up in memories of my childhood as well as the memories of taking my own children as a young family, I doubt that my yearning to go would be anywhere near as strong as it is.
                              I agree. I find that WDW actually falls more in line with the "premier vacation spot" moreso than Disneyland. I think the article even mentions that WDW by comparison is cheaper.

                              DLR definitely has a nostalgia factor, but it's the kind that disappoints these days. The fallen standards and gatekeeping (a la Court of Angels) certainly have a role to play in that.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Mr Wiggins View Post
                                There is no evidence in the management history of the past 35 years that even remotely suggests Disney would limit attendance for the purpose of "giving our Guests a better experience." Regardless of their customer-centric PR, Disney's problem with overcrowding has been that the crowds weren't generating high enough profits. No matter how crowded, it has not made significant number of customers quit Disney and take their theme park business to the competition.
                                Good point. Management is too far disconnected from the fans (especially with D'Maro gone).

                                Millenials are more likely to spend on experiences than possessions, and I think that drives the high crowd numbers. I'm a millenial who makes a nice salary (~200k/yr), but I'm probably only going to take my family of four to DLR for two days per year instead of our former tradition of 4 APs/yr (3 deluxe and 1 signature) and at least $200/month in food/merch.

                                Doing the math, I would have spent $6,086 per year ($3686 in APs + $2400 in food/merch) using 2020 pricing. Now, I will spend $910 on tickets and ~$200 on food/merch each year - $1100/yr. Disney is now losing at least $5k/yr from me. I'd even argue that they're losing out on other non-parks purhcases that we would have made if my kids had a strong Disney brand obsession due to always going to the parks (now they won't be).

                                I'd have to imagine there are several others like me. I just watched a rant by John Campea, an AP holder for 7 years. He won't be going to DLR ever again because he had such a poor customer service experience at DL.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Captain Andy View Post

                                  I agree. I find that WDW actually falls more in line with the "premier vacation spot" moreso than Disneyland. I think the article even mentions that WDW by comparison is cheaper.

                                  DLR definitely has a nostalgia factor, but it's the kind that disappoints these days. The fallen standards and gatekeeping (a la Court of Angels) certainly have a role to play in that.
                                  Agreed. HOWEVER, as someone who attended WDW annually as a kid (grew up in the southeast, but now live in SoCal), I have no desire to go to WDW. I don't like spending an hour of each day getting between my resort and the park (more than an hour if you want to park-hop). You also have to plan every minute of every day at WDW.

                                  What I love about DLR is that you can stay at a reasonably priced motel that's a 5-10 minute walk from the gates. You can (could) get same-day fast passes and not have to plan your fast passes months before you go to the parks. You also will be sweating like a pig in the FL heat and humidity as opposed to the nicer weather in Anaheim (barring September).

                                  Does DLR feel like as much of a "vacation" as WDW? No, but it's far more relaxing/enjoyable IMO ... basing this on the before times. I think it's because I put a lot of value in being able to play things by ear as opposed to planning every minute of each day.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I think Disney should embrace DL being a weekend vacation getaway at best. Premier vacation is more inclusive and worthy of it expensive trip. I rather spend a day in Beverly Hills hotels than Disney as well. Cost the same but luxury is better with Beverly Hills.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Stormy View Post
                                      Captain Andy

                                      Your post made me think. And I agree with you that DLR is NOT a 'premiere vacation destination'. It is too small, too cramped, and doesn't have enough variety of accommodations and activities because of the lack of space. And there's not much can be done about that. I'm not at all surprised when people visit DLR for the first time, or for the first time since a single childhood visit, and come away disappointed.

                                      But I would say that WDW is one (in the 'family friendly' category). It's 'spaciousness', the variety of hotels at all price points, the number of theme parks + the water parks, the superiority of Disney Springs (over DTD), and the complete transportation systems makes WDW a truly complete 'bubble'. It's not London or Paris, but for what it is, it's definitely 'premiere'. It's not quite back to 'pre-pandemic', but it's getting there.

                                      Do I love DLR more? Absolutely, it is and has been my Happy Place since the late '50s and, for me, the 'magic' is still there. But if DLR wasn't completely bound up in memories of my childhood as well as the memories of taking my own children as a young family, I doubt that my yearning to go would be anywhere near as strong as it is.
                                      Yeah, it's why I brought up that if Disney wants to make the DL resort a true vacation destination, they need to build a 3rd gate. There's no way around it because at this point and time, DL is only really good for a 2-3 day trip at most. It's also why I said they should tear down one of the Hotels and build a 3rd gate there, where they move said hotel across the street to the location they own that's now sitting there since right now, it's not doing anything and is more than enough room for them to rebuild the DL hotel or Paradise Pier Hotel.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Disneyland will never seem like a significant "getaway" as long as it's surrounded by the Greater Los Angeles Metropolitan Area. One thing WDW has always had going for it is space--not just room to expand, but room to give people a gradual transition from the outside world to the theme park world. With Disneyland, you get off the busy freeway and it's right there. The berm does a pretty good job of screening out the city while you're inside it, but look left and right while crossing the Esplanade and you'll see the skyscrapers.

                                        And historically, that has been part of Disney's charm. It's less like a voyage to some distant land and more like a secret pocket world hidden in an alley. It's urban portal fantasy rather than epic fantasy. WDW is very much its own discreterealm,but Disneyland is a feature of the LA area, something the locals either love doing, or specifically avoid doing. WDW doesn't even have "locals" on the same scale. There is a fundamental disconnect between what the upper management guys want Disneyland to be (because it works so well with WDW), and what Disneyland is and must be due to its location.
                                        Like this post? Read more like it at The Disneyland Dilettante!

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