Admission prices will keep going up as long as the market follows

Posted Monday, February 10, 2014 11:13 AM | Contributed by Jeff

There may come a day when theme park companies see a backlash among vacationers, who refuse to pay ever-high admissions prices. But that day hasn’t come yet.

Read more from Time.

Thursday, February 13, 2014 2:46 PM
LostKause's avatar

Walt, I totally understand what you are saying, but to me, it's not just the time I am on a ride that I count as entertainment. Maybe when I was younger I would look at it that way, but now I enjoy just being at a park. I try to take it easy, as long as I get to do what I want to do as much as I want to do it, I am okay with the value. Standing in lines does suck, but I try to not go to a park when I have to wait to long. Even then, some parks try to keep people entertained while they are waiting.

I love the sights and sounds of a park. The freedom of making decisions, of what to ride next, what shows to see, where to eat, I love it. It's the opposite of having to go to work. My only responsibility is to enjoy myself. I love it. That's worth paying for. I'll just go make more money later anyways.


+0
Thursday, February 13, 2014 3:12 PM

I'm with you on that. It's the overall experience to me and my family. Even the drive can be part of it, depending on the location. I have the most fun just watching my children enjoy themselves. My son was only 1 1/2 years old this past summer during the Holiday World trip. The highlight was his reaction to the fountains at Kima Bay. I would put my foot on one or two of them in order increase the water pressure on the others. The look on his face was priceless. He just hit 36". I can't wait to take him to KI this season.

+1Loading
Thursday, February 13, 2014 10:59 PM

I would like to present two different scenarios here:

First, the "just being in the park mentality." When I was a teenager I kept track of every ride I went on over the course of the day. Hit the park at the opening and get every second of riding in until it closes. Morey's at Wildwood comes to mind. I rememeber checking out the lines of the next ride I would go on as the "Condor" or 'Jumbo Jet" was ascending. I also was good at timing the duration of the bumper cars so that when the session would stop, I was near the exit and ready to pounce on line for the next session. I could get close to 100 rides per wristband purchase.

I don't do that any more. First, I'm much older. Second, I now like to take in some of the other things, boardwalk browsing, staring at the sea for a while, eating some stuff that I really shouldn't, and even being hipnotozed by the ferris wheel lighing programs.

While the wristband has gone up, I still like the freedom of going on what I want when I want - just at a slower pace., My cost per ride is much higher, but I don't even think about it any more. I just go and enjoy. Perhaps more.

The same thing happened at Knoebels last summer. I was with my family and I was just sitting down and enjoying the area with the slow spinning umbrellas. My family wanted to move on and do something, but I was quite happy where I was doing what used to be rare at amusment parks...simply relaxing.

The other thing that sort of fits this topic is that today we were hit with some more snow and freezing rain. My snow blower broke and shoveling the driveway was out of the question. (I don't have a garagage). Some guy came aound with a pickup truck and plow and asked if I wanted the driveway done.

"How much?"

"Well...it's wet snow...very heavy.,..80 bucks."

"No thank you."

"Ok." and he drove away.

When I came inside the Mrs. was MAD that I didn't have him do it. She called him back but it was too late. He was busy. VERY BUSY.

I went around the driveway in my own pickup a dozen times, pressed down the ice, threw down some calcium chloride (from my 5th bag this year) and prayed that we would be ok tomorrow. Time will tell. (OH and I busted my shovel doing the small walkway to the driveway.

It's always supply and demand and often times volume too.

Perhaps that's why I want to get back to a park so much. I need to go on some rides (Keyword some) and just relax.


Here's To Shorter Lines & Longer Trip Reports!

+1Loading
Friday, February 14, 2014 7:17 AM
Break Trims's avatar

As far as comparisons to all-day entertainment go, look at the cost of skiing:

Boston Mills/Brandywine, Ohio: all day, weekend, with rental: $73/person

Breckenridge, Colorado: all day, weekend, with rental: $171/person (reflects gate price)

Bear in mind that, similar to an amusement park, your time zooming down the slopes is greatly outweighed by time spent in the lodge, waiting in line for lifts and riding the lifts.

Breckenridge would be most comparable to WDW or Cedar Point, as a experience that's truly world-class. BMBW is a fun after-work diversion for those of us who live close to it, but it would be more akin to a traveling carnival if we analogize ski resorts with amusement parks. As far as skiing goes, it's pretty lousy.

To me, the fact that a full day at a a bottom 10% ski resort (assuming you don't own skis) costs more than a day at Cedar Point is telling. In terms of dollars per hour for a series of exciting experiences (that consists mostly of waiting for those experiences), amusement park are relatively under-priced.


Parallel lines on a slow decline.

+0
Friday, February 14, 2014 11:00 AM

Blackie said:

It's the overall experience to me and my family. Even the drive can be part of it, depending on the location.

I am much more in this category. The "value" calculation of my vacation, Disney in particular starts with the drive to the airport.

I too have gone to EPCOT with my wife and done nothing but have dinner, walk around and have a few drinks. For me, that sometimes is well worth the price of admission.

+0
Friday, February 14, 2014 12:52 PM
Jeff's avatar

And you can imagine it's a great deal of value in an annual pass, too. :)


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

+0
Saturday, February 15, 2014 11:08 AM

I'm just amazed that this continues to come up as "news".

--Dave Althoff, Jr.
(I hear that Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead, too...)


    /X\        _      *** Respect rides. They do not respect you. ***
/XXX\ /X\ /X\_ _ /X\__ _ _ _____
/XXXXX\ /XXX\ /XXXX\_ /X\ /XXXXX\ /X\ /X\ /XXXXX
_/XXXXXXX\__/XXXXX\/XXXXXXXX\_/XXX\_/XXXXXXX\__/XXX\_/XXX\_/\_/XXXXXX

+4Loading
Tuesday, February 18, 2014 2:31 PM
Timber-Rider's avatar

I agree that price hikes would work to curb crowds at places like Disney, Universal, and even Cedar Point. But, those crowds are always so huge, that even if they doubled the current cost, those parks would continue to get business, and make huge amounts of money as a result, and probably only reduce visitors by a small percentage in doing so.

The problem arises in their chain mentality, that what works at one place is going to work every where. And, they will sock the price to all of their customers, regardless of the entertainment value of whatever properties they pass it on to. And, with the amounts of money people are still willing to pay, they are not going to care if their guests feel they are getting good value at ALL of their properties, hoping that every guest will visit all of their parks, and at least feel good about one of them, even if their other parks lack the same value.

Take Six Flags for example. If you have been to them all, do you feel the same value present in every park you visit? When it comes to how they price their properties? And, what their properties offer?

Disney offers top notch entertainment for your buck. Their parks are clean, and ran very well, with attractions you won't find anywhere else. Not by a bunch of disinterested teenagers with the same attractions every other park has. You expect to pay a lot for Disney, the problem is, a really crappy park, seems to think they justify charging the Disney price, because of the marketing ideas.

This game of follow the leader, is a sad one. But, they are going to do what they are going to do. And the worst thing about it is, is the guests who thinks this is a perk for them, is being very selfish. Like the park chains, they don't care who can't afford to have a good time with their families, as the parks move towards the big money spenders more and more.

There are probably millions of potential customers that could never afford a trip to Disney. And, now, with these marketing trends, other parks are quickly falling out of reach to them too. I think that's sad.

But, state fairs and carnivals are worse.

I also want to make a comment about stadium pricing, which has hugely sky-rocketed even more than park pricing. Back in 2000, I saw a Poison Concert at the Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids MI. The line-up was Poison, Cinderella, Slaughter, and Dokken. The concert was 4 hours long, and the ticket price was $18.00

Poison returns to the same arnea with Motley Crue. I SO wanted to go to that show! Until I found out that tickets were $65.00 for the upper bowl, and $80.00 for the floor. With a shorter concert time. So I passed.

Also Saw KISS 3 times at the same arena, first concert was $27.00, and the 2000 concert was $47.00, with Ted Nugent and Skid Row. Go forward again t0 Another Kiss Concert, with the new Kiss line-up, paired with Aeorosmith. Tickets $125.00 each.

I recently saw Kiss and Motley Crue. (2012) at the Allegan fair, where I have seen Poison, Def Leppard, and Joan jett, for around $16.00 each. But, not anymore. Tickets for the KISS show were general admission, at $80.00 a pop, and at an outdoor fair, with zero updated Facilities.

Also wanted to see Madonna, at the Palace in Detroit. The words are you F N kidding me! Some tickets were $1,000.00 each!! That's just crazy. Unless you get free t-shirts laced with gold.

Last edited by Timber-Rider, Tuesday, February 18, 2014 2:57 PM

I didn't do it! I swear!!

+0
Tuesday, February 18, 2014 3:17 PM
Jeff's avatar

Nothing you say makes sense, and as is typical, you completely ignore supply and demand.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

+0
Tuesday, February 18, 2014 3:52 PM
Timber-Rider's avatar

Apparently it is not me who is ignoring supply and demand. The topic is park raising their costs to lower the number of guests, not keep in line with demand.

If their thoughts were to meet demand, which is usually the object of supply and demand, they would want to make sure that everyone that demands their product, is able to purchase it, by making it available to them at a reasonable cost. Not pricing it so high that they turn customers away, and, having a slight possibility that their idea turns more people away in the process then they expected, causing them to lose money. Not only on park admission, but everything they might have sold, had they not turned more paying guests away.

If you were selling TV's and had, 10,000 to sell, and you knew there was a demand for them, and could sell them all, would you raise the price on those TV's with that logic? With the chance that raising that price might cause fewer people than you thought to buy those TV's and you end up with a few thousand TV's that you can't sell because you priced them too high? Or, would you put a good price on those TV's and sell them all.

With this theme park logic, I think they would be stuck with a lot of TV's. But, the thing that is different about TV's, as they can be marked down for a quick sale, where there is no loss. Theme parks would not consider marking down their ticket price for quick sale, if things go wrong.

There are more people that lose out on supply and demand on this theme park logic. Less people also generates less filled hotels, restaurants and shops who cater to those theme park guests. Like I said, the parks may swim in cash, but other things associated with it might suffer. And, might cause them to raise their prices, to make up for the lost business from fewer guests. Do the parks care about that? No.

Just like the oil companies. They claim to justify charging whatever they want for gas, without caring that it is killing the transport business, and raising costs at just about every business you can think of. They claim there is an oil shortage, when everyone knows it's bull. Nobody likes what they are doing but they do it anyways.

A good example of loss in entertainment would be Vegas. They went lavish, and built huge expensive hotels, and charged premium rates, when Vegas was booming, and learned the hard way that people can't afford what they were charging. Now they are offering hotel rooms at lavish hotels for $69.00 a night just to get more people to come. To get the massive amounts of visitors they lost to come back. Now, people are going back to Vegas.


I didn't do it! I swear!!

+0
Tuesday, February 18, 2014 3:57 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Timber-Rider said:

Apparently it is not me who is ignoring supply and demand. The topic is park raising their costs to lower the number of guests, not keep in line with demand.

If their thoughts were to meet demand, which is usually the object of supply and demand, they would want to make sure that everyone that demands their product, is able to purchase it, by making it available to them at a reasonable cost. Not pricing it so high that they turn customers away, and, having a slight possibility that their idea turns more people away in the process then they expected, causing them to lose money. Not only on park admission, but everything they might have sold, had they not turned more paying guests away.

Suddenly your posts make a ton of sense...

You don't understand the concept of supply and demand!

Click the link and just read the top of the page. The four basic laws. It should take a few seconds.

Disney (and theme park) pricing is currently dictated by #1.


+0
Tuesday, February 18, 2014 3:58 PM

You just now figured out he doesn't get supply and demand?


+1Loading
Tuesday, February 18, 2014 10:42 PM
Jeff's avatar

Am I the only one who learned this is grade six? Or has the lesson been replaced by gold stars for everyone?


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

+0
Tuesday, February 18, 2014 10:54 PM

Sadly, I was not formally taught supply and demand until my second year of college. Conversing with others my age, I doubt many of them learned economics in K-12.

+0
Tuesday, February 18, 2014 10:55 PM

I'm not sure I saw S-D equilibrium curves until my high school economics class. I guess Palo Alto schools are just slacking.


+0
Tuesday, February 18, 2014 10:57 PM
Jeff's avatar

Well score one for Cleveland Public Schools in the desegregation 80's! That's why we popped our collars.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

+1Loading
Tuesday, February 18, 2014 11:10 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

I'm with you, Jeff. The most basic concept of supply and demand (more demand means higher prices, less demand means lower prices) was like third grade.

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Tuesday, February 18, 2014 11:13 PM
+1Loading
Tuesday, February 18, 2014 11:16 PM
Jeff's avatar


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

+1Loading
Tuesday, February 18, 2014 11:18 PM
LostKause's avatar

I'm sure they taught supply and demand when I was in school, but I can't guarantee that I was paying attention. I was probably thinking about how cool my life was going to be when I got out of school, unfortunately.


+0
Tuesday, February 18, 2014 11:27 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

The idea that the value of something rises in sync with the demand for that item should just be common sense. Why does that even need to be taught?


+1Loading

You must be logged in to post

POP Forums - ©2022, POP World Media, LLC
Loading...