Disney cost to much here is why

July 25, 2017, 12:08 AM

As a father of two I also experienced the thrill and excitement as I over paid to enter Disney only to find the long lines even using a speed pass. I was really disappointed when I left the park and here is why.

Long lines prevented me from riding and doing enough to make these ridiculous fees worth it. As a blue collar worker I don't make enough that I can afford 8 dollar drinks and 8 dollar pizza slices for everyone in the family when they get hungry and or thirsty.

a basic t shirt was priced at $29.00 each and every souvenir worth buying was priced higher than that. The hotels worth staying at had followed suit by over pricing their goods and services as well.

later I attended Knotts berry farm and was pleasantly surprised at the lower gate fee at the theme park and the water park, thought the food and drinks were more affordable they too were over priced

when is someone going to make vacationing affordable for the working family again?

If in out burger can sell a burger fries and a drink for around 5 dollars why can't the parks?
If Same Club can sell a Hot Dog and a drink for $1.50 why can't the theme park sell it for that as well?

If Walmart can sell brand name t-shirts with graphics for 5.00 then why can't they sell one for $10.00

My assumption is they charge these high rates because we keep paying it. and we don't demand anything different. next time you go to one of these parks only to find out you really can't afford it let someone there no they are priced too high and you're not coming back until they change their ways. The corporate machine has run away and is out of control

let me know if you have found any alternatives that are super fun and way more affordable
cause thats where I want to go , until then I am done with the large corporate over priced money vacuum theme parks

Replies (9)

July 25, 2017, 12:12 AM

Are you aware local area residence get way better pricing and season pass offers that nonresidents get? At Disney?

Edited: July 25, 2017, 3:36 AM

If there are too many people in the park, then that would suggest the price is too cheap...

They are at the end of the day a business, not a charity. Their role is to make as much money as they can whilst being sustainable in the long term.

July 25, 2017, 4:57 AM

You also appear to be traveling to California which tends to have higher than usual prices for things.

Disney World (in Florida) does not charge for their Fastpass program. Disneyland does.

July 25, 2017, 6:41 AM

@Anthony - You can still use Fastpass at Disneyland for free, but if you'd like to be able to add attractions without having to run to each one, you can purchase the MaxPass add-on, which does indeed cost money.

I'm not sure what rock you've been hiding under mrFamilyMan, but welcome to the world of theme parks. They are tourist destinations, and as such establish their pricing based on their primary source of revenue, tourists. Go to ANY city in the world, and you will see the tourist industry at work gouging those that are in that destination for one time in their life and willing to pay whatever it costs to experience those once-in-a-lifetime activities. We went to New York City a couple months ago, and it's laughable all of the one-off tourist trap tours, shows, and gimmicky add-ons that some people pay for. We went to the top of One World Trade ($35/person for an elevator ride and view from 102 stories), and they were renting iPads to people for $20 so they can see names pop up for the buildings/bridges they were looking at through the screen (yes, they were getting people to pay money to view the city through a screen, which could have just as easily been done at ground level).

Disney, and other theme parks, being the smart businesses they are, do whatever it takes to maximize revenue. If a majority of guests are willing to pay $8 for a slice of pizza, even when they could walk of out the gates, have lunch, and come back in (though it would take well over an hour), then that's where the park will price that slice of pizza. If guests are willing to pay $30 for a t-shirt they can't get anywhere else but in the park's gift shop, that's what it will cost. There's nothing forcing anyone to pay the prices that parks set for their products, and only slowing revenue will cause parks to reconsider their pricing schemes. I would say that if you are budget conscious, there are many ways to reduce how much you spend in just about any theme park...

1. Bring your own food. If you can't stand overpriced, poorly prepared theme park fare, many parks will let you bring food right through the gate (Disney and Universal both do). The parks that won't let you bring food in (Six Flags and Cedar Fair), often have picnic tables either in the parking lot or near parking areas where guests can eat food they've left in their car. If you don't want to eat cold food, there's not a park in America that I'm aware of that won't allow you to drive off-site to have a meal and come back into the parking lot without having to pay a second time to park.

2. Bring your camera. Photos are the best souvenirs you can have from a day at a theme park. Disney has attempted to monetize photo taking through their PhotoPass, but there's nothing preventing you from snapping your own pictures to remember the moment. With digital photography, it's very easy to take photos of your day and then go online to have them printed with very little cost compared to what parks charge for their printed photos. Most park photographers will also take staged photos with your camera as well, so don't be shy when posing for your park photo to also ask them to take the same shot with your camera.

3. Walk through gift shops looking for bargains. Newer merchandise is always going to be sold at full price. However, just like normal retailers, parks have items that fall out of favor that they want to get off the shelf to clear space for new items. Parks sell items often at 50-75% off the initial price, which is great for those of us looking for a cheap souvenir. If you visit in the last part of the year, any items with the year printed on it will typically be discounted before the year ends, and items made for a new ride opening or a ride closing can often be had at a great discount. You probably won't find popular items or limited edition/special event items on the clearance racks/shelves, but if you're looking to save some money, that's where you can pinch a few pennies, assuming you MUST buy a souvenir from you visit. There's nothing saying that you have to buy something before leaving a theme park.

When it comes to local discounts, every park in the world does this. While many parks thrive on the tourist economy, most parks cannot survive without a loyal fanbase that visits multiple times per year. Those loyal guests are given discounts because of their loyalty and the expectation that they will come into the park multiple times per year, spending a few dollars every time they come through the gates, even though their cost for entry was already paid for. Think of local discounts as a frequent visitor/loyalty card. If you're only visiting once in your life (or once every few years), why should you be given the same discount as someone that visits 5+ times a year?

Lines are a fact of life for anything these days. If you don't like the lines, you probably shouldn't go to theme parks, particularly the most popular ones in the world. We stand on line for sporting events, concerts, movie theaters, lunch, to get onto public transportation, everywhere. If you can't stand in line for a theme park ride, then maybe visiting a theme park isn't the right form of entertainment for you. If you feel lines at Disneyland are too long, perhaps you should look at a crowd calendar and try to visit on a slower day (i.e. not on a weekend during the summer), or take your business to a park that is not as crowded.

If you're done with theme parks because they don't fit your idealized vision of what they should be, I'm sorry, but coming here to complain isn't going to change the way the industry works, and has been operating now for decades. I'm sorry you had such a bad experience, but not every form of entertainment is for everyone.

July 25, 2017, 1:07 PM

Good reply Russel. Case closed. Lol

July 25, 2017, 2:20 PM

I know how you feel, I don't have a lot of money, but thanks to all the information on this website I am now able to go to Disney World about once a year with a family of four and I live in the central time zone. Russell sums it up pretty good but I have saved a lot of money by following all the tips that Theme Park Insider posts. Ex. Like Russell said but a big one is don't buy the food, bring your own. or Want to give your kids Disney Souvenirs, buy them at a Disney store before you go on vacation and give them one in the morning to take with them in the park. Don't want to lug it with you, if you have amazon prime ship Disney stuff to your room. Make sure it is all in one package as I think Disney charges 5.00 handling fee per package. etc... This is all advice I have read here at one time or another. Any vacation you go on is going to take time and research if you want to save money. I am not going to do all the work for you but best place to start is above at planning tips.

July 26, 2017, 6:26 AM

I do agree Disney popularity lets them get away with some ridiculous prices...

We went to Disney Springs and found some great prices at a store called Uniqlo. The had Disney shirts for a reasonable price.
We were very surprised to find value since the location has to be expensive to operate.

July 26, 2017, 7:57 AM

It is purely supply and demand. Disney is seen as the pinnacle of theme park entertainment, and everyone wants their perfect disney holiday. As such, Disney will charge high prices (for several reasons, because they can and because if they don't the place would be even more overcrowded)

The good thing about this is that as people realise that Disney and Universal are becoming unaffordable, they look elsewhere. So regional parks like Knott's get busier, and can afford to spend money to upgrade their rides and become more desirable.

Disney is becoming less and less accessible to the middle class, through no fault of their own (although people tend to blame them anyway). Being number 1 means big crowds, and charging high prices is the easiest way to reduce them without knocking people back at the front gate.

July 26, 2017, 2:45 PM

Not sure if joke post. He replied to himself.

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