Wow… so much Disney hate from Yahoo users when I read any Disney World article on Yahoo. And it’s always about how expensive it is. Well…so what? A vacation to Hawaii is expensive. A vacation to Europe is expensive. Most people have to save up for any vacation. Why would they think that a vacation to Disney should be different? I don’t get the hate.
I just finished pricing vacations for my DS and I that included Hawaii, Spain, various cruises, the Caribbean, and WDW. Disney cruises and WDW (value/moderate level) were by far the most expensive choices of any of these options so there is some truth there.
I think if you love Disney, it’s worth it. If you don’t, then it seems steep for basically an amusement park and an average quality hotel. There is also a huge difference if you are comparing a single person vs. a family. Taking a family multiplies the $$ quick, more so than other destinations. So I can understand to that degree.
That’s a fair point. It’s easier to save up for a trip when it’s just me and my husband but I doubt we could do it if we had to pay airfare, park tickets and food for 2.3 children as well.
I’m betting it’s also because of how fast the prices of things at WDW have risen recently. The prices have gone up way, way faster than inflation. People whose parents were able to take them multiple times growing up are now unable to afford to take their own kids.
Disney has limited capacity, and too many people who want to go. There are two main ways Disney can deal with this.
One, build more rides. Truth is, many amusement parks have more rides in a single park than Disney does across four parks. As such, they can spread the crowds better than Disney in terms of rides. But, building more rides costs a lot of money without a lot of return on investment. Traditional amusement parks need new rides to bring back crowds. Disney doesn’t as much.
Second, Disney can limit capacity by raising prices. Rather than bring in more people to make more money, they want to keep crowds relatively stable. As demand increases, the way to limit this is with higher and higher pricing. This doesn’t cost more money, and just keeps generating revenue.
Why all the Disney hate? Because they keep all of us wanting to go back. It is our own fault!
I suspect that there are some people who genuinely consider that Disney is a cultural abomination and others who would dearly love to visit and let their children enjoy all that Disney is but who cannot afford the prices and of course some who fall into both camps. We have to remember that we are the ‘lucky’ few.
I just priced out a hotel/tickets package for the Final Four weekend (and for a moment thought about cancelling my Disney trip for it) and my family of 4 without airfare is significantly more expensive than my contemporary garden wing stay for twice as many days. So everything is probably relative…
There is also the option of limiting ticket sales / admittance to the park, especially now that there are dated tickets being sold. I’m not saying that alone would be a perfect solution, I’m just throwing it out there. I can imagine that it would be frustrating to arrive at the park just to find that they’ve reached capacity and you have a wasted vacation day on your hands. Then again, it’s my understanding that WDW already does that during extremely busy times, so I guess they’re willing to cut off access at a certain point.
Here’s the thing with that. It would cap WDW profits. Thus, I don’t think it will happen beyond what is necessary for crowd safety and fire codes.
WDW is a money making enterprise. Of late, it feels more and more like the company is most focused on profit. While I understand the concept of supply and demand and shareholder interest - and also ESPN being a money sink - it’s really sad to see so many families priced out. I don’t think WDW has to take the route of pricing a nice vacation out of reach for so many. If they’re so concerned about capacity, I think that they could address that issue in such a way that they would maintain a profit but not price out the families that have visited (and thus supported their growth) over the past few decades.
It could be a combination of (1) starting with a ticket price cut to a level more consistent with the price 5-10 years ago plus inflation, followed by more modest ticket increases in the future, (2) some limits on ticket sales, (3) running rides at a higher capacity more consistently, which has the added benefit of giving CM a more reliable schedule, (4) having more non-ride attractions more often, like they do during the holiday seasons. Perhaps that would address crowding while neither sinking the company’s profits nor overly limiting the ability of families to attend.
I know this scenario is not going to happen and don’t expect to ever see WDW cut prices. I’m just saying that the price increases are not, strictly speaking, a kindness on the part of WDW to make sure that those attending aren’t overcrowded. The price increases are there because WDW can up the price and still draw crowds. They’re there because WDW wants to make more money. I don’t hate WDW for it, but it can be hard to reconcile the friendly “guest” persona they try to create with the corporate profit driven mindset that works behind the scenes.
That being said, if I were a parent whose kid(s) begged to take them to WDW, whose kid(s) passionately wanted to go, but I couldn’t afford it, I could see my grudging understanding that WDW is a profit driven business turning into strong dislike.
Okay, I’ve rambled for long enough. Dole whip for you if you made it to the end of this post!
You have a point…but the ramifications of lower prices and limited tickets is that just buying tickets will become a game like getting Fast passes.
I could see that happening. So here’s a question for you - do you think the price increases are the best way to go if the goal is to reduce crowds? (I know, loaded question.) No judgment either way. I’m betting my DH would be all for a price increase to balance a supply/demand issue. I’ll have to ask him…
Does anyone have any data that supports the idea that the price increases have reduced WDW crowds, by the way? I am not aware of any, but that doesn’t mean it’s not out there. I mean, it’s logical that it would. I just don’t know if WDW has hit the “sweet spot” where people give up on a WDW vacation due to the price.
I agree, and those are the places we’ve been going lately. But I also agree with the other comments here that it’s gotten expensive quickly, and that’s taken some people by surprise. Also, there is a question of value. If one spends more, one expects a good experience, but I’m not sure that is a linear relationship at Disney anymore. If there are long-time guests & Disney fans grumbling about it, then there is a problem.
For myself, I’ll know a bit more after we get back from WDW this May, but already I’ve spent quite a bit more on paid extras than we ever did before, because I perceive that’s what it’s going to take to give us the kind of experience we had several years ago. The mere existence of paid upgrades like dessert parties, DAH & EMM, and extra fastpasses (with rumors of more programs on the way) means there’s a demand for it, and if there is that means that the regular experience is declining, because these programs are all relatively new.
Well, the answer I want to say isn’t really what I believe. Because what I believe is that Disney should raise prices to reduce crowds. Of course I realize that means I might get priced out of going. But I also know it is not a right to go to Disney. So if I can’t pay, I can’t go. If Disney raises prices to a point people can’t go, they will eventually adjust prices lower to draw people back in. They kind of already do this with date based pricing and offering discounts and free dining to bring more people in.
So it is a love/hate relationship. If they priced things so that everyone could afford it, the parks would end up so crowded no one would enjoy it and they would lose repeat guests over the long haul.
The “additional rides” issue is also a tricky one for Disney because of the themes of the parks. They have to have the space for a ride, it has to fit a Disney theme, and it has to fit within the area of the park as well. A different theme park doesn’t really have an issue with having a lot of rides visible from where you are standing, a roller coaster running over people’s head as it crosses a street, and a coaster right next to a spinning ride, right next to a water ride. At Disney, Adventureland and Futureland have a certain look, as does Epcot, and HS, and AK of course. So even if they can “Disney” up a ride, it’s harder to fit it inside the theme of the area and park itself without taking you out of the moment IMO. I think that’s why so many rides are also dark rides and indoor rides, because it’s easier to “hide” them that way.
As far as general “Disney hate”, one thing to keep in mind is that there is WDW as an experience, and also Corporate Disney as an entity. I really loved WDW and I can’t wait to go back; I also realize that Corporate Disney makes many decisions that I don’t agree with that really have nothing to do with the parks.
Ideally, it should! Though WDW seems to be getting more lax on this. Guardians of the Galaxy in Epcot? Really?
Yeah. That one seems to be a major misstep. I know they want to use Guardians IP, but Epcot just was the wrong place for it. Sigh
Epcot is probably the hardest for Disney branded characters and attractions; Inside Out, Wreck-it-Ralph, and Nemo also seem like a little bit of a weird fit. Maybe they are just using it as a very vague “Science Fiction” theme? Nemo seems like it might be a better fit at AK, and Joy/Sadness and Ralph might fit better at HS maybe? But I also thought HS was a bit of a weird mashup of Disney Jr/Star Wars/Pixar.
Speaking of Epcot, we were wondering if Disney HQ takes a stroll through the World Showcase to look for expansion space in any given country so that they can go back to their office to look for any fairy tales of folklore from that area to monetize
No doubt. Mulan, anyone?
In a way, this also means it could be the easiest to adapt any ride concept to fit the original(ish) vision of Epcot to be a permanent World’s Fair that highlights the diversity of the world culturally, ecologically, and technologically. World Showcase, Spaceship Earth, Mission:Space, The Land, and to some extent The Seas (until they decided to throw Nemo in there). Test Track loosely fits with their new Tron-esque overlay.
Figment? Well, that’s an opportunity to do something new and exciting…perhaps themed to the movie “Robots” concept. And the Guardians coaster could have been themed to fit the World’s Fair idea better.