As expected, social media erupted with Disney fans jumping all over the provocative headline. But Brady was just making a point that I and many others have made before — that Disney's $100-plus-per-day top line price is not out of line with other major entertainment and leisure options, including lift tickets, live theater and concerts. If you spend the whole day at the park and navigate it well, you easily can get more than your money's worth at Disneyland or Walt Disney World.
But everyone has their own value for what their money is worth. And for many families, $100 per person is just way too much to consider paying for a day's entertainment. To be fair, with multi-day prices and annual passes, an overwhelming majority of Disney visitors are not paying anywhere near $100 a day for their theme park tickets. But when you throw in parking, food, drinks, souvenirs and various upsells, many do end up spending that kind of cash anyway.
Here's how I think you find the first clue whether something is priced too high or too low. If attendance is going up or the park is selling out, that's a sign its price might actually be too low. If attendance is dropping, that's a sign that prices might be too high.
Attendance was mixed last year at Disney — down in the middle of the year at Disneyland last year but up slightly overall at Disney World. So even if a lot of now-former fans believe that Disney's priced them out, enough other guests are coming to take their places in the parks.
One of the things I want to do with Theme Park Insider is to show people the amazing range of options available to them in the world of themed entertainment. I love Disney, but I also love Universal and lots of other parks around the nation and the world. Disney too much for you? Try Busch Gardens, Dollywood, or Holiday World. Not wanting to make the trip to Florida from Europe? Efteling is every bit as amazing as a Disney theme park, and Yas Island in Abu Dhabi offers two great theme parks in an affordable warm weather alternative to a Florida trip.
And you don't have to spend all your time in theme parks on a vacation. National parks, museums, roadtrips, and other destinations all offer potentially affordable choices, as well.
Ultimately, it's your money and your call. Personally, I think that Disney theme parks offer a great deal... if you do your homework and spend your time in them wisely. (I guess that's true of any other destination, too.) Your mileage may vary, of course. But there's an affordable, high-value option waiting for you somewhere!
So let's put this to a vote. I realize that both the options I present you in this vote might be true for you - that Disney might be too expensive for what it delivers and that it's still a good value versus other destinations. But pick the statement you believe more closely reflects your feeling right now anyway.Tweet
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