Disneyland likely to be more expensive when it finally reopens

Posted | Contributed by hambone

From the article:

But when Disneyland reopens this spring, it’s probably going to be a lot harder for many to be able to go to the park, and not just because of the financial distress caused by the pandemic. Disney is designing a more expensive park experience. And something that was admittedly already a stretch — but a stretch within reach — is going to become harder to attain.

Read more from SFGate.

ApolloAndy's avatar

I don't know if they eliminated AP's specifically for this purpose, but it almost certainly will help. I was saying in other Disney groups that if I were an L.A. based AP, I would be spending at least 2 days a week at the parks for the next six months, just because. I'm sure the pent up demand will drive attendance on daily tickets for at least a year. Heck, I'm sitting on at least 2 trip's worth of gift cards (had to cancel a 6 day, 11 person trip last April) and I'm willing to use them to fund a trip at a premium, just because I haven't been to a park in 15 months. What I do find interesting is how the year of massive unemployment somehow hasn't dampened our spending (or the stock market) in a meaningful way.

You know what they say: Disney hates poor people.
Also, queue the Gonchbacks to the Gonch school of economics.

Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

ApolloAndy said:

What I do find interesting is how the year of massive unemployment somehow hasn't dampened our spending (or the stock market) in a meaningful way.

Moreso than even during the Great Recession, this has been a tale of two economies. Most of the pain in terms of job loss has been inflicted on households in the lower ranges of the income spectrum. On the other hand, those in the upper ranges have been spending less---and in some cases a lot less. We cancelled a bunch of planned trips over the past year, and some of them were major milestone celebrations that were going to be on the more expensive end.

But, there are lots of other ways we aren't spending as much: I am not stopping at the cafe for a cappuccino on the way to work every day, and I am not ordering lunch into the office. There's no "screw it, lets go out to eat tonight." Yeah, we still get takeout once in a while, but it is much less often than we used to go out, and when we do it's something less expensive.

Since Disney hates poor people, those folks more likely to be hit hard (economically) by the pandemic weren't going anyway. The folks who would be have extra money burning a hole in their pockets.

I still think there are likely to be knock-on echo effects, but it's not clear whether the overall damage to the economy will be made up by pent-up spending in the early bits of the recovery.

As for the stock market: I can't explain that one except to say that the stock market is not the economy. The richest 10 percent of households controlled 84 percent of the total value of stocks in 2016, and I'll bet the ratio is even more highly skewed now.

Last edited by Brian Noble,
ApolloAndy's avatar

Even though the average investor isn't nearly as impacted, theoretically (GameStop aside) the market is based on a company's ability to generate revenue and that ability is theoretically based on people's ability to buy their products. So...<shrug>.

Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

I'm not sure the theoretical basis for valuations is nearly as true as you suggest. More broadly, I think the tug-of-war between economics ("We are all rational actors") and psychology ("We have no idea why we do what we do") is leaning heavily towards the latter.

Irrational exuberance plays a role. Also, markets are looking beyond today (or even this year). The federal government's money cannons have been working overtime which also helps. And the stock markets reflect larger companies with a higher percentage of companies not impacted significantly or even some being benefited. Many of the companies/businesses that are hurting the most are small. And to the extent impacted, smaller companies are much less able to ride things out than are larger companies with access to public and private capital markets.

Jeff's avatar

To Brian's point, this last year was the first year I felt "well off." As in, I really don't have any fiscal concerns, my net worth is going up and my cash flow keeps getting better. The only thing I did to achieve this is have a job and investment accounts before last year.

If I compare my outcomes to the average WDW worker, the difference is dramatic. Someone in that position felt less secure than probably any time in their life, especially if they weren't adults during the recession.

So it's kind of annoying when you see people with boats who didn't follow mitigation protocols complaining about when things will return to normal, when normal wasn't that great in the first place for a lot of people, and they were able to coast through the last year.

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

Having read the article, I'm not sure I understand why eliminating monthly payments makes things unaffordable. Maybe you can't go for a few months while you save up the first batch of money, but after what difference does it make? Or am I overthinking this?

Last edited by Richard Bannister,

I think it's mostly psychological. It feels easier to save up $20 or $30 a month than $300 at one time. The same reason why Six Flags sells a ton of those $5 a month memberships and almost no season passes.

Some of the issue is the same issue with income tax refunds. Rather than getting a large tax refund (average is about $2500-3000), people could increase their exemptions and get an additional $200-250 each month during the year. I know people who carry balances on credit cards every month who get upwards of $4000 in federal income tax refunds. Economically its dumb. But its a form of forced savings plan.

If you would struggle to save the money each month to pay for the pass without a monthly payment plan, you will likely not be able to pay the lump sum to buy a pass. There is a huge focus on monthly payments for just about everything. Buy a car and they talk about how much adding this option or that will add to your monthly payment. Products advertised based on x payments of $y. My credit card now gives me the option for everything I buy over what looks like $100 to pay for it over time (paying some type of fee). A lot of people appear to look at just about everything in the terms of monthly payments.

Economics of the pandemic are nuanced beyond rich and poor. Low income people working in industries that have not been negatively impacted (and some have been benefited by it) are doing fine. And some people who had very good incomes in industries that have been hard hit are struggling. Without question people with higher incomes are more likely to have savings to get them through an income interruption (studies though show that something like 2/3rds of people (which by definition covers some people making more than average incomes) couldn't cover a $500 emergency expense without debt).

Income/wealth gaps are more nuanced than this group should pay more in taxes and that group show be paid higher wages.

Prices go up over time. Is this really news?

The author is throwing out the rack rates as if most people pay that. Anytime we've visited a Disney property we've had a minimum three day ticket. I don't think my family is the exception. We've also stayed at the Grand Californian. We didn't pay nearly $700 per night for the two bedroom unit we stayed in during a June trip. It works out to more like $367 per night after figuring the DVC buy-in and annual maintenance fees. It's also not like there aren't dirt cheap options right outside the gate.

TheMillenniumRider's avatar

Disneyland is awesome because you can stay offsite and easily walk to the park. Thus saving parking as well. Tickets didn't seem much more expensive than world when I was there. Disneyland isn't terribly expensive on the surface, its the addons, like dinner at Napa Rose, and whatever other junk I buy throughout the park.

janfrederick's avatar

They need to build more Disneylands... Oh wait...

"I go out at 3 o' clock for a quart of milk and come home to my son treating his body like an amusement park!" - Estelle Costanza
ApolloAndy's avatar

"If places could support a Disneyland, they'd already have one."

Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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