Busch Gardens Tampa and SeaWorld Orlando stop just short of $80 admission

Posted Saturday, November 20, 2010 3:03 PM | Contributed by Jeff

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment raised prices Friday at its Florida theme parks, though it stopped just short of matching recent increases at rival parks Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando. The adult price of a basic single-day admission to SeaWorld Orlando inches up $1 to $79.99, before tax. That is about $2 less than base-ticket prices at Disney World and Universal, which each raised prices in August.

Read more from The Orlando Sentinel and The St. Petersburg Times.

Monday, November 22, 2010 9:28 PM
Tekwardo's avatar

... to make it a point that people who make a very large income, or have lots of "spending money", would not find the price increase a big deal. Someone who doesn't make a lot of money could find it disappointing.


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Monday, November 22, 2010 9:43 PM
CoasterDiscern's avatar

Tekwardo said:
But what people are trying to explain is that just because you have a large income doesn't mean you have more money to spend, and just because you have a lower income doesn't mean you can't afford $80 at a theme park. Its no simpler than that.

That is my point above, but I didn't say anything that is in relation to yours nor did I say I disagree. But my first post to the topic was singled out and was disagreed with. I was simply trying to state one fact.


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Tuesday, November 23, 2010 12:39 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Seems like everytime we have this disccusion I end up seeing a story about ticket prices somewhere.

Super Bowl among most expensive sports tickets.

$1500 just to get into the parking lot to tailgate at this year's Super Bowl.

$575 face value for tickets to the Saints/Viking this season.

Average ticket price of $893 for the Lakers/Heat on Xmas day.

$300 for the worst seats at this year's Winter Classic betwqeen the Pens and the Capitals.

The list goes on and on.

And no, this isn't to make comparisons. It's more to point out that value is in the eye of the beholder. Sports fans pay these prices. I can't imagine anyone complaining about $80 for a day at an amusement park would even begin to fathom paying $900 to see an NBA game.

I wouldn't even consider it. But that's okay because tens of thousands will.

From the article:

Like any retail industry, ticket prices for sporting events are determined by the economics of supply and demand. The high-end seats are not for the budget-conscious.

And that sums it up.


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Tuesday, November 23, 2010 12:47 AM
obxKevin's avatar

Gonch, you need a new avatar showing you turning blue in the face.


The poster formerly known as 'Zcorpius.' Joined 2004
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Tuesday, November 23, 2010 1:42 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Or putting a gun in my mouth.

Either way. :)


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Tuesday, November 23, 2010 10:03 AM

Are the Sea World parks the only ones in Central Florida that post their ticket prices "(plus tax)"?

No. Disney also does, for sure. It is also likely that Universal does as well.

Edited to sum up the thread:

* What matters more, attendance or revenue? Neither. Profit matters more.
* Are companies trying to make more profit? Yes.
* Does it suck to have something you really really want also be something you can't presently afford? Yes.
* Do people with more discretionary income get to spend more on fun stuff? Yes.
* Does discretionary income track with total income? Not necessarily (but I bet it is correlated).
* Is $80 too much for the Central Florida theme park market? Evidently not.

(Edited disposable -> discretionary.)

Last edited by Brian Noble, Tuesday, November 23, 2010 11:28 AM
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Tuesday, November 23, 2010 10:48 AM
Vater's avatar

/thread

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010 10:48 AM
LostKause's avatar

I would argue that total income does track (good word to use here, by the way) with disposable income.

If someone doesn't make a lot of money, they probably have to go for the cheapest living expenses they can, because that will leave them with more disposable money to spend on things that they enjoy.

If someone does make a lot of money, they can choose to go for either the cheapest living expenses or the more expensive living expenses, therefore choosing how much disposable income that they can have to spend.

In other words, people who make more money have more of a choice when it comes to how much of a disposable income they can spend.

Plus, if I wanted to go on a Fabulous Disney Vacation, but didn't have the disposable income at the time do be able to do so, I could just sell one of my private Jets or one of the classic cars sitting quietly in one of my really big car garages to get the money. ;)


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Tuesday, November 23, 2010 11:04 AM
Tekwardo's avatar

I will definitely agree that making more money gives you potential to have more spending money. If I made $100k right now, and chose not to change my lifestyle, I'd not need that underproducing money tree in the back yard.


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Tuesday, November 23, 2010 11:05 AM

Well, technically, disposable income is gross income - taxes. And, at least in the US, that does track with gross income, because the tax rates don't produce inversions.

I perhaps should have used the term discretionary income. That's what is left after food, clothing, shelter, utilities, etc. Discretionary is correlated to gross, but not perfectly. You can easily find examples where people who "make more" but have lower discretionary income in the moment, because of decisions already made. The fact that those were also choices is immaterial to the question of discretionary income. If I am house poor, I can't suddenly decide to just pay a lower mortgage payment so that I can go to Orlando this month

Last edited by Brian Noble, Tuesday, November 23, 2010 11:07 AM
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Tuesday, November 23, 2010 12:39 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

LostKause said:
If someone doesn't make a lot of money, they probably have to go for the cheapest living expenses they can, because that will leave them with more disposable money to spend on things that they enjoy.

If someone does make a lot of money, they can choose to go for either the cheapest living expenses or the more expensive living expenses, therefore choosing how much disposable income that they can have to spend.

In other words, people who make more money have more of a choice when it comes to how much of a disposable income they can spend.

I suppose, but the person making less can't choose to live nicer and not have discretionary income?

And on the flip side how many people making $100K live like they did when they made $30K?

Sure, discrtetionary money tracking income is one way to look at it. I tend to believe expenses and such track income as well.

Mo Money, Mo Problems. :)

I dunno. I think there's some strong generalizations going on that are based a lot on stereotype.

All I know from personal experience is:

My wife and I still went on yearly trips to Kennywood and Cedar Point back when we were just living together - before kids and houses and stuff. Back when we collectively made 1/3 what we do now. The second time we moved to Florida we made regular trips to the Orlando parks with one child and making about 1/2 what we do now. Now with two kids, a house, cars, debt - I think I have to plan and think about the trips we take more than I ever had to...and they cost us more in time and money than they did back in the day.

But, in fairness, had all things stayed the same and it were just me and my wife living the same way we did back before we were married - sure, we'd have tons of play money. I just don't know how realistic that scenario is.


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Tuesday, November 23, 2010 2:06 PM
Jeff's avatar

Lord Gonchar said:
And on the flip side how many people making $100K live like they did when they made $30K?

Oh! Oh! Me! Me! I'll take that one.

People with common sense, that's how many. I've been down that road, as have countless coworkers, and the big change in lifestyle is almost entirely dictated by house and car. People who lack common sense will be car or house poor, and they're morons. Anyone making a $500 car payment, in my opinion, has issues. Nobody needs that. People spending $3,500 or more on a mortgage don't need that.

OK, so I admit that people don't think like I do, but that's their own fault that The Rent Is Too Damn High. I don't have a lot of sympathy for people who over-spend on real estate then go bankrupt when they lose their job.

But yes, I'll spend gratuitously on a vacation, including theme parks, because I make more than I did ten years ago.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010 2:26 PM
Tekwardo's avatar

Anyone making a $500 car payment, in my opinion, has issues. Nobody needs that.

I think that depends on if someone is living beyond their means. If I were making enough to afford that and not live beyond my means, that doesn't mean I have any 'issues'.

The problem is that there were a lot of people that couldn't afford the $500 car pmt or the $3500 mortgage payments. Or, more precisly, they could barely afford it, and only while they were living paycheck to paycheck, while the job they were working for lasted.

Just because someone makes a million a year or even $100k doesn't mean that everything should be upgraded. You don't have to have the expensive car AND the bigger house AND the latest gadgets AND expensive cloths AND...

But if I were making enough to afford the $500 car payment and I wanted that kind of car, and the payments didn't impact basic essentials AND all of my discretionary income, that doesn't mean I have issues.


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Tuesday, November 23, 2010 2:38 PM

"Need" is a pretty high standard to satisfy. Much of what all of us has doesn't satisfy it. More often its that we just "want" it. Nothing wrong with that though. What folks spend on cars and houses is similar to views of amusement parks: different folks will find value in different things and will spend their money accordingly.

I think of one of the biggest "suckers" of disposable/discretionary income are kids. Folks I know with kids have seen their incomes increase from when the first got married but their disposable/discretionary income in many cases is less because of kids. Though it is true that often times, there is a lot of "want" in kid related spending.

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010 2:43 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Jeff said:
Anyone making a $500 car payment, in my opinion, has issues. Nobody needs that. People spending $3,500 or more on a mortgage don't need that.

But yes, I'll spend gratuitously on a vacation, including theme parks, because I make more than I did ten years ago.

So you've made the choice that we've been talking about all along.

You're more frugal on things like housing and transportation and spend gratuitously on something like a vacation.

If you took that gratuitious vacation money and put it into your house and car, your bottom line would be the same - all that would be different is what's important to you.

So it's entirely concevable that someone making J-Pizzie money would be no more likely to afford $80 admission because other things are more important to them and they have less discretionary income as a result.

And how many people making 20K-30K a year are driving a new Prius around? ;)

(I'd argue that driving a new Prius is something people making J-Pizzie money do.)

I've been down that road, as have countless coworkers, and the big change in lifestyle is almost entirely dictated by house and car.

I'm sure it's a large chunk, but I'm also sure some of it is need driven as people grow older and have families and such.

I fully believe that costs go up as you make more. It's probably more realistically a result of getting older, changing your life & lifestyle and such. But I still think that goes hand-in-hand with making more money.


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Tuesday, November 23, 2010 4:46 PM

With more money comes more options on what to spend it on, comes more responsibility to decide what you actually need and deciding what makes the most sense for you

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010 4:48 PM

What Jeff says is reasonable, considering my house payment is $375 a month and I drive a piece of junk vehicle and another in stand-by mode in case the first one breaks down. My wife's car is the only car payment and it is higher than our mortgage, but she travels 1.5 hrs one way to work, so she needs a reliale vehicle. My point is we prefer to spend our money on vac. and stuff we enjoy doing rather than on house and car. Another point is we wouldn't think twice about dropping 3 to 5 grand on a week and half vac. to florida or hawaii or whereever.

Eventhough we can afford to do the things we want to doesn't mean that I agree with the parks in Florida raising ticket prices whenever they want to. But, doing this repeatedly obviously doesn't hurt their bottom line. And, it probably hepls their bottom line with less people and they make more money. One of you put the graphic up earlier or had the numbers.

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010 5:07 PM
Vater's avatar

Jeff said:
Anyone making a $500 car payment, in my opinion, has issues. Nobody needs that. People spending $3,500 or more on a mortgage don't need that.

So where exactly should the line be drawn as to what a person needs? Is a $300 car payment too high? A $2000 mortgage? A lot of people I've talked to argue that no one should ever have a car payment, period. Find a car that you can pay for in cash, or don't buy a car. (Do they think people with any car payment have issues?) I can agree with that to an extent, as it's obviously financially smarter (in theory, as long as you don't buy a total piece of crap money pit), but my response will more likely be, do whatever the hell you want with your own money, I'll do what I want with mine. I like to think I have a pretty nice car and a payment along with it, and as a pseudo car enthusiast who prefers fun over practicality, sure, it's a little more than just a basic need.

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010 5:28 PM
CoasterDiscern's avatar

I think if some people could manage, they would choose to use public transportation services instead of buying, leasing or owning a used motor vehicle. It's bothersome to know that some city services are just not adequate and reliable enough, that cant meet the needs of the average city local and the busy schedule a lot of people share today. I for one would love to save money, and like others have said, live in the bracket of someone who makes next to nothing or very little, when in reality a can actually afford to operate a vehicle under any stipulation. It is the smart way to go if your trying to get ahead.


Ask not what you can do for a coaster, but what a coaster can do for you.
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Tuesday, November 23, 2010 9:41 PM
Jeff's avatar

Financial advice people suggest you shouldn't spend more than 28% of your income on housing, which seems pretty reasonable to me. Banks are looking at that ratio very strictly these days when they approve a loan, which is not at all surprising.

I think the problem is more cultural. I can see the difference with people I work with. The Indian guys I know live as close to work as possible, take public transportation, bring not buy their lunch, buy essentials in reasonable quantities (fresh food instead of Costco bulk), etc. They don't tend to drive exotic cars either. There's a cultural difference on the value of income and property that's far more practical. One friend suggests that he sees a transformation away from those values back home, as India's middle class grows larger, and an expectation of middle class security grows. You know, the one we're finding here in the US that's disappearing. It's kind of like the world is finding some equilibrium.

And come on, a $103 lease payment is hardly a big lifestyle thing for this Prius driver. That's not a J-Pizzie thing, it's a northwest tree hugger thing. Besides, if I were in Cleveland, I'd make 20% less for the same job. Housing costs are far higher out here.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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