Still, the point stands
Having said that.... it basically boils down to what people are willing to pay.
For the vendor/business setting the prices, supply and demand is a factor: hit Broadway shows and Madonna concerts have limited availability and routinely sell out, any particular NFL game or sporting event will only happen once!, and Vail lift tickets are only available in winter… etc. Limited supply = higher prices. Disney World operates every single day nearly around the clock and must bring people in constantly. They have nearly unlimited supply! They’ve increased frequency of their limited-ticket events (Halloween parties, runDisney events) which DO sell out and prices are going way up on those. And Disney hotels are priced high but again, rooms on-site are more limited in supply than a theme park ticket.
The target audience is also a factor when setting prices. The family of 4 with two little kids (likely a main demographic of Disney) probably never planned on going to a Madonna concert and so the cost comparison is not relevant to them when they make their entertainment decisions. (Again, there are other demographics in play, but families are obviously a Disney target.)
Anyway, the theme parks will continue to push prices as much as possible, I’m sure! And I definitely see Disney World as a value, but I’m a Disney fan! Plenty of my friends and co-workers do not see a trip to Disney as an overall value (given the travel, tickets, food, their expected experience of having to deal with crowds, the amount of pre-planning that seems to be required these days, etc.) and don’t go.
Thought-provoking article - thanks!!
Anyway, I agree, using just the day admission cost, theme parks are generally the same as other major forms of entertainment.
To the anon poster - I paid WAY more than $138 for MDNA and it was actually worth 10 times what I paid - no need to drag things down. Different strokes for different folks.
I thought about this subject even more yesterday, when I will happily spend $100 (equivalent £70) to see a West End show, say 2 hours long, it really puts into perspective paying basically the same for a one day at a Florida park, for a full day's immersive entertainment.(Although I do love a theatre deal).From the view of - we're from the UK, we've paid to go to Florida so we're going to pay whatever the cost is to get into the parks anyway, but now I will consider it with fresh eyes.Did get a very good deal for Alton Towers in a few weeks, so I'm sure I'll be back with an opinion on The Smiler.
Disney's cost is 2 to 4 times more expensive than other theme parks. This is apparent with heavy weights like Universal and Sea World when multi-day passes are offered.
Despite this, Disney does offer many things that other theme parks don't have. This means the prices are worth it in many situations. Nonetheless, a family does have alternatives.
Speaking from a European perspective (which i know is not quite transferable), the entertainment options have a different class bias. Children are more born into poorer families, while skiing, concerts and musicals skew more and more upper class. So theres this, plus the children dont earn money, but usually come along and spend at theme parks, which is less true for the other options.
Let's see ...Major theme park admission lasts all day...12 plus hours...Pro Football Game with decent lower level seats would be $120 plus each, per game....which lasts 3 hours.Pro Baseball game with great seats...$100 plus...lasts 2 hours.Pro Basketball game with lower level seats...$100 & lasts 2 hours.Concert with a top Act...easily $100 and lasts 2 hours.
All of these are exciting, but only one do you have some control of how your experience goes. Even the concert is chancy. Most games...you take the chance of walking away a loser. In a Major theme park, you are almost guaranteed a great experience unless you don't want it. Those that fret over the cost of the hotels, just stay home and pay for all the sports games in the season and add them up. We won't miss you not crowding our theme parks.
My wife and I recently attended a RUSH concert at Amway Arena. It cost $300 for two floor seats and $20 for parking for a 2:15 min show.
The point I wish to make regarding the value of a $100 theme park ticket is it is for the whole day while a sporting event or a concert is just for a few hours.
Also, lets face it: When you enter a Disney park or USF you are being taken from one world and immersed in another. They have made incredible investments to deliver what the public wants and also to keep it fresh. You can't just give it away.
Now let me compare the above to our Disney trips that we take every other year for 2weeks. First let's get 2 things off the comparison table. 1. Airfare, we are lucky that we have both been at our jobs long enough that we have vacation time in our banks that has built up that our employers allow us to cash in, so airfare is covered. 2. We own at DVC which is paid for (thanks to the grandparents) and even with dues is still cheaper than the cost of a week's vacation rental above. So when at Disney we buy the 10 day Magic Your Way Park Hopper with Water Park add on for (according to All Ears) is $450. Now divide that by 12 (we usually have 2 days with no parks to just do others things) and I get $37. 50 /day. If I want to be really good and take off the Park Hopper it comes down to $35.33/day. I think I'll pay $2.50 extra for ALL that Disney as to offer. Oh, buy the way we have visited Universal as well and let me just say it is like comparing apples to watermelon!
I know this is long but in the end I think it's really about how your family likes to vacation. For those of us who love theme parks there is no comparison to what one can get/do with all that Disney has to offer. For those of you who dislike Disney... GREAT, that's one less person ahead of me at Tower of Terror! :) Hope you all have a great summer!