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  • [Chat] Have we gone past the supply/demand sweet spot?

    removed
    Last edited by jljtheraven; 06-14-2012, 10:49 AM.

  • #2
    Re: Have we gone past the supply/demand sweet spot?

    I think that the question you are asking is fair, and is one that is up for debate.
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    • #3
      Re: Have we gone past the supply/demand sweet spot?

      Originally posted by jljtheraven View Post
      I love all things Disney. WDW is my favorite place to visit. I had to say those two things first before I get the rest off my chest.

      I've been to WDW seven times since 1990. My most recent trip was in December of 2009 when my parents, my wife, and I decided to take in the Disney Christmas magic. At the time, Disney offered the dining plan for free with select packages. We are flying down to Orlando (we live in NC) for our next visit Aug. 2-11. I guess I never really thought much about the cost before because I was single and only had to pay for myself. Plus, we always drove to WDW. But for this trip: HOLY COW!

      We are flying coach (four adults) from NC to Orlando and staying at POFQ. We have nine day park hoppers with the regular dining plan. The total cost: $6275. I love Disney World, but there are so many places in the world we can visit for much less money. Plus, the cost of the rooms at Disney resorts does not match the amenities offered. It is true that the themed areas are nice, but the rooms themselves don't match the cost.

      I know I probably seem grumpy, but we are middle class folks who have to save for nearly a year to take a vacation. I think Disney has reached its breaking point for our family in terms of cost. I was curious about others' opinions.

      For 9 days for 4 adults, I really don't think 6,500-7,000 dollars is all that unreasonable.


      For 9 days for 4 adults FLIGHT AND HOTEL ONLY to Hawaii is a minimum of 1,500 PER PERSON. That's 6 grand for flight and hotel only at the absolute cheapest spot. Figure in dining, car rentals, etc. you're gonna be looking at nearly double your trip to Disney.

      While you might think it might be an unreasonable price, I'd hardly say that you could visit "many places in the world for much less money".


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      • #4
        Re: Have we gone past the supply/demand sweet spot?

        If you've read some of the trip reports on here, you can get a good feel for how folks are making their Disney trips reasonably priced. The big thing folks can do is stay off property and save a lot of cash. This is my planned approach for my next trip there since I don't think the rooms even come close to what I can get at a Hyatt.

        But I'd love to see a breakdown of your vacation costs per person. How much for food per person per day? How much is your room each night? How much is your park hoppers for each day? Rental car per day?

        For a typical vacation, these are my averages:

        $300/night hotel
        $100/day food
        $60/day rental
        $? flight depends on destination
        $? entertainment depends on destination

        For example, my week long trip to Kauai this year broke out as:

        $315/night room * 7 (Grand Hyatt)
        $100/day food * 7
        $65/day rental * 7 (Hertz)
        $600 flight
        $600 entertainment

        I could've backpacked just the coastline and saved myself 5 nights hotel, cut the food budget way down, and cut down the entertainment dollars.

        If I'm backpacking, the costs are far less. But I have the upfront cost of my equipment, which doesn't last forever.

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        • #5
          Re: Have we gone past the supply/demand sweet spot?

          I love Disney, but there is a time when a large company figures that many people have become so used to going to Disney that they will pay what it takes to go back. Thats just how it rolls...
          DisneyTwins
          Since May 2003

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          • #6
            Re: Have we gone past the supply/demand sweet spot?

            I've been debating that about Disneyland here.
            I pledge allegiance to the Earth, one planet, many gods, and to the universe in which she spins.

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            • #7
              Re: Have we gone past the supply/demand sweet spot?

              I think that this is a very legitimate question and you shouldn't feel bad for asking it. Unfortunately, Disney will keep raising the prices as long as people are willing to pay. It's not only worth asking how much farther Disney can raise the prices, but how long can Disney continue to raise prices while simultaneously decreasing the quality of food and other amenities at the resort? There's a tipping point somewhere. I'm sure Disney has analysts that are paid to figure out exactly where that tipping point is and stay on the right side of it, but I have to think that they're edging kind of close to it.

              There's a story that when Michael Eisner was first being shown around WDW by board member and former CEO Card Walker, Eisner was incredulous at how cheap parking was. Walker's response was, "That's the first price that guests see. It's important that they think they're getting a good deal." Can anyone imagine a Disney exec saying something like that today? Or Disney creating an advertisement for WDW like this? I'm not saying that admission to the Magic Kingdom should be $8 anymore, but it's sad how far it's gone the other way. Hopefully most of us can agree that $94.79 is a little absurd for one day at the Magic Kingdom.

              Originally posted by Aladdin6592 View Post
              For 9 days for 4 adults, I really don't think 6,500-7,000 dollars is all that unreasonable.


              For 9 days for 4 adults FLIGHT AND HOTEL ONLY to Hawaii is a minimum of 1,500 PER PERSON. That's 6 grand for flight and hotel only at the absolute cheapest spot. Figure in dining, car rentals, etc. you're gonna be looking at nearly double your trip to Disney.

              While you might think it might be an unreasonable price, I'd hardly say that you could visit "many places in the world for much less money".
              I'm sorry but this is kind of a ridiculous post. And I'm saying that as someone who is extremely fortunate enough to be able to visit WDW multiple times a year. Your point of comparison to prove that WDW isn't an expensive vacation is Hawaii??? Hawaii isn't exactly a cheap (or even moderate) vacation. (Not to mention, how are you able to calculate flight costs without knowing where this person is flying from?) There are tons of places someone could go for cheaper than WDW. Like a national park. Or a local amusement park. Or one of the cheaper islands in the Caribbean. Or just camping in the mountains or on a lake somewhere. Not every vacation destination has to be a resort.
              I knew if this business was ever to get anywhere, if this business was ever to grow, it could never do it by having to answer to someone unsympathetic to its possibilities, by having to answer to someone with only one thought or interest, namely profits. For my idea of how to make profits has differed greatly from those who generally control businesses such as ours. I have blind faith in the policy that quality, tempered with good judgment and showmanship, will win against all odds.
              -Walt Disney

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              • #8
                Re: Have we gone past the supply/demand sweet spot?

                You're right - for a family of 4 that's an astronomical amount to come up with on a yearly basis. I can't even imagine supporting kid's vacations on my salary, which is also middle class by category.

                You could cut this price drastically by a) switching to a value resort and b) going during free dining. Try pricing it just for fun for late September instead of when you're booked now.
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                • #9
                  Re: Have we gone past the supply/demand sweet spot?

                  You're absolutely right, and I think with ticket prices raising faster than inflation, this is a question an increasing number of families are asking. The problem is that despite these price hikes, the Disney parks are somehow more packed than ever, the Magic Kingdom is still the #1 attended theme park in the world, and the hotels are (presumably) still at high levels of occupancy.

                  As long as the guests keep packing the sidewalks in record numbers, Disney will continue to raise prices. If anything, Disney likely sees the increasing prices as a form of crowd control.

                  I think it would be interesting to see a WDW demographic study. I bet there is a decreasing number of people that make regular (e.g., annual) long-distance trips due to prices like those mentioned above, and an increasing number of once-in-a-lifetime, "we're spending $10,000 on this trip so let's make it count" kinda guests.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Have we gone past the supply/demand sweet spot?

                    removed
                    Last edited by jljtheraven; 06-14-2012, 10:50 AM.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Have we gone past the supply/demand sweet spot?

                      Originally posted by jljtheraven View Post
                      I realize that we could have lowered the cost by making other choices, such as staying off property or in a value resort. We also could have "eaten on the cheap" and not purchased the dining plan. But the core of my point is that the expense of the trip as a whole seems to have surpassed the quality of the experience and the level of service. Disney is great, but is it $6000+ great for a family of four? That's what's been circling in my mind for the last month or so.
                      And you don't want buyer's regret either when the service isn't top notch. While the parks are still pretty awesome, I definitely felt buyer's regret on my last WDW trip when the rooms reminded me of Hotel 6 rooms, and I was staying at a Deluxe Villa. Really, I would have preferred to have slept in my tent instead. The next time I go I'm staying off property.

                      As for other trips, you can take an awesome vacation to Yosemite. However, because pricing is cheap, rooms sell out a year in an advance, and some permits, such as hiking Half Dome, also go really, really fast. But I definitely recommend a Yosemite trip. Just watch the snow reports. You want to go in a year, where the snow fall has been fairly high, so that the waterfalls will be gushing when you get there. If snow fall has been light, you can always cancel your room and book for the following year.

                      The WDW world experience is really about hanging out in theme parks with the kiddies, which is really cool. I just don't think you have to spend a fortune to have a good time.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Have we gone past the supply/demand sweet spot?

                        Originally posted by Aladdin6592 View Post
                        For 9 days for 4 adults, I really don't think 6,500-7,000 dollars is all that unreasonable.


                        For 9 days for 4 adults FLIGHT AND HOTEL ONLY to Hawaii is a minimum of 1,500 PER PERSON. That's 6 grand for flight and hotel only at the absolute cheapest spot. Figure in dining, car rentals, etc. you're gonna be looking at nearly double your trip to Disney.

                        While you might think it might be an unreasonable price, I'd hardly say that you could visit "many places in the world for much less money".
                        Fer Real??? No offense I work in the industry but even then a trip to WDW is starting to get pretty pricey...here's a counter example for a family of 4 to New Orleans, IMO a more moderate destination the same one most middle income families are using for comparison..

                        Hotel 3+ star range(staying at the Dauphine one of my favorite places to stay in NOLA and located in the quarter by ALL the attractions)
                        $111 a night *7 nights=777 NOLA wins in price factor
                        Stay at a MODERATE RESORT $2,969.98
                        Airfare for 2 Young Adults ages 11-15 and 2 adults ages on American Airlines from Milwaukee, WI to New Orleans, LA + cab fare to and from airport(I chose Milwaukee because it's a small airport with non-hub flights and therefore more pricey this can obviously vary)
                        $3,602.80 +80 for cab for all four
                        mind you a flight for same people from Milwaukee to Orlando would be
                        $3,474.80 for going to a higher capacity airport

                        figure 1200$ for activities/souvenirs in NOLA (very doable for a weeks worth of stuff to do) I think 500 is good for WDW or am I off there for most people...
                        figure 700$ for food total at both WDW and NOLA
                        figure another 680$ for park tickets in WDW


                        I'm coming out that a WEEK at Disney is 8324.78
                        and at NOLA 6359.80

                        a difference of 1964.98!!! now granted these prices are probably 80% accurate(as these numbers are based off of where my family has been known to perform) and factored in for the same dates of this year 8-12-12 thru 8-19-12 so short time frame in the travel world but that is alot of dough


                        To answer the OP Yes I think they have reached the tipping point, and they may soon drive right over the edge...this is why my family hasn't gone to WDW as often as we would like even with my Airline Employee Benefits it's not a moderate priced vacation and probably won't be ever again...unless of course you win a trip down there
                        The test of success is not what you do when you are on top. Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom.
                        -George S. Patton

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                        • #13
                          Re: Have we gone past the supply/demand sweet spot?

                          Originally posted by PSUMark View Post
                          I'm sorry but this is kind of a ridiculous post. And I'm saying that as someone who is extremely fortunate enough to be able to visit WDW multiple times a year. Your point of comparison to prove that WDW isn't an expensive vacation is Hawaii??? Hawaii isn't exactly a cheap (or even moderate) vacation. (Not to mention, how are you able to calculate flight costs without knowing where this person is flying from?) There are tons of places someone could go for cheaper than WDW. Like a national park. Or a local amusement park. Or one of the cheaper islands in the Caribbean. Or just camping in the mountains or on a lake somewhere. Not every vacation destination has to be a resort.

                          You misunderstood my point.

                          OP said that they could go many places in the world for a cheaper price than a vacation at Disney. My point was that that simply wasn't the case.

                          My point was not to be made that, "Well see since it's much more expensive to go to Hawaii, that must mean Disney is reasonably priced". My point was that you're not going to be able to go very many places around the world for a cheaper price.

                          Please read through my post more thoroughly next time as I stated explicitly what my point was at the end.


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                          • #14
                            Re: Have we gone past the supply/demand sweet spot?

                            Originally posted by Aladdin6592 View Post
                            You misunderstood my point.

                            OP said that they could go many places in the world for a cheaper price than a vacation at Disney. My point was that that simply wasn't the case.
                            And I'm saying your point is wrong. There are literally thousands of places in the world one could go for cheaper than the cost of going to WDW.

                            Originally posted by Aladdin6592 View Post
                            My point was not to be made that, "Well see since it's much more expensive to go to Hawaii, that must mean Disney is reasonably priced". My point was that you're not going to be able to go very many places around the world for a cheaper price.

                            Please read through my post more thoroughly next time as I stated explicitly what my point was at the end.
                            Originally posted by Aladdin6592 View Post
                            For 9 days for 4 adults, I really don't think 6,500-7,000 dollars is all that unreasonable.
                            I knew if this business was ever to get anywhere, if this business was ever to grow, it could never do it by having to answer to someone unsympathetic to its possibilities, by having to answer to someone with only one thought or interest, namely profits. For my idea of how to make profits has differed greatly from those who generally control businesses such as ours. I have blind faith in the policy that quality, tempered with good judgment and showmanship, will win against all odds.
                            -Walt Disney

                            sigpic

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Have we gone past the supply/demand sweet spot?

                              Originally posted by jljtheraven View Post
                              I love all things Disney. WDW is my favorite place to visit. I had to say those two things first before I get the rest off my chest.

                              I've been to WDW seven times since 1990. My most recent trip was in December of 2009 when my parents, my wife, and I decided to take in the Disney Christmas magic. At the time, Disney offered the dining plan for free with select packages. We are flying down to Orlando (we live in NC) for our next visit Aug. 2-11. I guess I never really thought much about the cost before because I was single and only had to pay for myself. Plus, we always drove to WDW. But for this trip: HOLY COW!

                              We are flying coach (four adults) from NC to Orlando and staying at POFQ. We have nine day park hoppers with the regular dining plan. The total cost: $6275. I love Disney World, but there are so many places in the world we can visit for much less money. Plus, the cost of the rooms at Disney resorts does not match the amenities offered. It is true that the themed areas are nice, but the rooms themselves don't match the cost.

                              I know I probably seem grumpy, but we are middle class folks who have to save for nearly a year to take a vacation. I think Disney has reached its breaking point for our family in terms of cost. I was curious about others' opinions.
                              Without seeing a breakdown of where your costs are for what you are getting I can't say if I agree or disagree completely... frankly I would like them to charge more for the admission to parks in order to lower the size of the crowds, but I'm not holding my breath.

                              As for the resorts... we've stayed at every level of resort and I'm satisfied with the level of service I get for the money I spend... but you have to know that some moderates are really not that great compared to off-site options... for the deluxe resorts I'm always satisfied... had it been me I would have probably not picked POFQ if I was looking at moderates, I would have likely picked the cabins at fort wilderness because for me you get more for your money compared to POFQ that is really just basic Holiday Inn.

                              I'm also curious as to why you picked the dining plan at all.. if you are trying to have a lower cost the dining plan is probably not your best option... it is for convenience not savings.

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                              • #16
                                Re: Have we gone past the supply/demand sweet spot?

                                You'll get no argument from me that Disney is expensive. However, when compared to any similar experience (Universal or Sea World for example) the prices are about the same.

                                You guys who are comparing national parks to Disney must not get it... sure you can have a vacation at a national park, but you're not getting the same thing. Very different product. Disney is much faster paced than any national park I've been to.

                                Hawaii isn't very comparable either. It's quite a different experience... however, it is an experience that Disney aspires to be. Disney wants to be the top tier vacation destination in the world, and the prices reflect that.

                                However, if you look at something like a New York City vacation to see Broadway Shows and compare that dollar for dollar & hour for hour to what you will spend to go to Disney, Disney becomes an incredible value.

                                I understand that it's expensive for you to travel to WDW every year... but it's supposed to be that way. It's all about how you look at it anyway.
                                -Bill

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                                • #17
                                  Re: Have we gone past the supply/demand sweet spot?

                                  Originally posted by Bill View Post
                                  You'll get no argument from me that Disney is expensive. However, when compared to any similar experience (Universal or Sea World for example) the prices are about the same.

                                  You guys who are comparing national parks to Disney must not get it... sure you can have a vacation at a national park, but you're not getting the same thing. Very different product. Disney is much faster paced than any national park I've been to.

                                  Hawaii isn't very comparable either. It's quite a different experience... however, it is an experience that Disney aspires to be. Disney wants to be the top tier vacation destination in the world, and the prices reflect that.

                                  However, if you look at something like a New York City vacation to see Broadway Shows and compare that dollar for dollar & hour for hour to what you will spend to go to Disney, Disney becomes an incredible value.

                                  I understand that it's expensive for you to travel to WDW every year... but it's supposed to be that way. It's all about how you look at it anyway.
                                  NYC is by far the most expensive city I've been to, that's including London...not really a prime example of similarity either...just saying for arguements sake, NYC is about the same cost per day as Hawaii with Hotels etc...

                                  NYC and Hawaii are both upper escellon of destinations I would think as far as cost (using Domestic examples for comparison) and when you use those two Disney IS cheaper and a good value
                                  The test of success is not what you do when you are on top. Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom.
                                  -George S. Patton

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                                  • #18
                                    Re: Have we gone past the supply/demand sweet spot?

                                    Originally posted by Thomas998 View Post
                                    I'm also curious as to why you picked the dining plan at all.. if you are trying to have a lower cost the dining plan is probably not your best option... it is for convenience not savings.
                                    This is true.

                                    Originally posted by Bill View Post
                                    You guys who are comparing national parks to Disney must not get it... sure you can have a vacation at a national park, but you're not getting the same thing. Very different product. Disney is much faster paced than any national park I've been to.
                                    Of course you're getting a totally different experience. I didn't say they're the same thing. But they're both vacations destinations, therefore they're both, by definition, substitute goods. One can have an enjoyable vacation experience at a multitude of locations/destinations (including nat'l parks). If WDW continues to raise its prices, prospective guests will increasingly consider alternatives.

                                    Originally posted by Bill View Post
                                    I understand that it's expensive for you to travel to WDW every year... but it's supposed to be that way.
                                    According to...
                                    I knew if this business was ever to get anywhere, if this business was ever to grow, it could never do it by having to answer to someone unsympathetic to its possibilities, by having to answer to someone with only one thought or interest, namely profits. For my idea of how to make profits has differed greatly from those who generally control businesses such as ours. I have blind faith in the policy that quality, tempered with good judgment and showmanship, will win against all odds.
                                    -Walt Disney

                                    sigpic

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                                    • #19
                                      Re: Have we gone past the supply/demand sweet spot?

                                      I know I'm going to get blasted for this, but speaking as a life-long Disney fan. One for whom Disney World is my favorite place in the world, east of the Mississippi, and Disneyland is my favorite place west of it. An ap holder for the latter, and one who dreams of another trip to WDW, sometime before I die. Disney has essentially priced me out of visits to both coasts' parks, once my AP expires. By the way, I'm a college graduate, 45 years old, married, three children, two-income family (my wife and I are both teachers), and we can no longer manage going to disney.

                                      Me? I realize Disney is a business, out to make money. But at this point I feel very betrayed. There's a point where it goes beyond reasonable.
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                                      • #20
                                        Re: Have we gone past the supply/demand sweet spot?

                                        For some years now, Disney has been evolving into a lifestyle brand. The concept of lifestyle branding says that customers identify w/ a brand not because of the products the brand sells, but because of ideas the brand claims to represent. In other words, you don't go because to DL it has the biggest, newest, or even the best rides; you go because it's a DisneyPark and you're a DisneyPerson. Once a customer buys into the Disney branded lifestyle, that customer (so goes the marketing wisdom) will see the brand as an extension of themselves and pay virtually any price to be able to experience it.

                                        Eventually, as Disney becomes more and more of a niche market, WDW will likely evolve into some sort of "boutique resort" which caters specifically to Disney lifestyle consumers. Meanwhile, the general public will patronize the many other entertainment offerings in the area.
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