Orlando theme parks start targeting the super rich

Posted Monday, July 19, 2010 11:57 AM | Contributed by Jeff

The economy could be teetering on the edge of a double-dip recession, and Orlando's theme parks are still tossing discounts at reluctant travelers. But there are encouraging signs from at least one small segment of consumers: The super rich.

Read more from The Orlando Sentinel.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010 12:31 AM

Just have to chime in on the cabana bit. Most of the rental cabanas at water parks that I've seen provide shade, and maybe "poolside service" for drinks, food, etc. Maybe people do want to go to a water park and not be out in the sun, but I go to water parks to play in the water and to lay in the sun to dry off afterwards (and tan). Paying $200 to sit in shade at a water park makes no sense to me. But then, I also don't get the people who see the wait sign say 5 minutes and proceed to ask where the FastPass is (heck an hour or less and I'm not even thinking about getting a FP).

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010 12:53 AM

sws said:
So I think what you're saying is that everyone is different. I wish someone would have just come right out and said that. :)

Right? :)

LostKause said:
The price of the average amusement park ticket is not getting lower as new add-on perks were added.

Obviously. But the argument is that they're not rising as much as they would otherwise.

Do I prefer a or b? Neither, because a and b could be false.

But for the sake of the argument, both a and b are entirely true. I'm posing the moral dilemma question entirely on the hypothetical.

maXairMike said:
But then, I also don't get the people who see the wait sign say 5 minutes and proceed to ask where the FastPass is (heck an hour or less and I'm not even thinking about getting a FP).

Hell, I've passed on some of my favorite coasters because of 30 minute-ish waits. Daddy doesn't wait 30 minutes for pretty much anything anymore. Luckily, it's not often we run into waits like that...and when we do, there's usually an alternative available.

Maybe people do want to go to a water park and not be out in the sun, but I go to water parks to play in the water and to lay in the sun to dry off afterwards (and tan). Paying $200 to sit in shade at a water park makes no sense to me.

So what we're saying is that everyone is different? :)

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010 3:04 AM

Maybe its because I either grew up waiting in lines at Cedar Point, or I just have the patience (except for slow walkers!), but I think anything under an hour is a fast wait. So yeah, everyone is different. :)

I just honestly don't get the mentality/thought process of going to a place where the whole point is to be out in the sun, and then pay another $200 to sit in the shade the entire time. Meh, I guess I'm just a pretty strong traditionalist.

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010 8:05 AM

You don't have to sit in the shade the entire time. There's plenty of space outside of the cabana to sit and bake. The shelter does, however, provide a place to get out of the sun for a little while, as well as stashing your stuff.

If I remember correctly, I still get a tan when I rent a cabana. :)

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010 8:36 AM

Personally, I liked music back in the old days when people just had a guitar, a mic and drums. Now everyone needs a friggin' $200 MIDI controller.

Pretty soon only rich people will be able to be musicians.

I think they should stop selling MIDI controllers because everyone can't afford them. Either that, or start charging $200,000 for them so only Trent Reznor can afford them.

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010 9:14 AM

The price of the average amusement park ticket is not getting lower as new add-on perks were added.

And the reason for that, again, is inflation. But as Gonch pointed out, prices didn't raise too high too quickly because they were making money elsewhere.

So, tell me, do you think it's 'fair' that Discovery Cove prices most people out of their park? The whole park is a perk, so to speak. You pay one large price, you get to go to a park with no lines and very little wait time to do most things, your food is included, it isn't crowded, and you get to do things that most people won't ever get to do unless they can afford it. That's a real life example of a park that 'made it fair' for everyone that goes, but priced a bunch of people out of it.

I'd like to go to Discovery Cove, but honestly, at this point, I can't afford to plop the money down for it when I'm in the area. I'm not upset that I can't afford it any more than I'm not upset that I can't afford a Benz, an iPad, a 60 inch television, or a $5mill mansion.

But the fact remains, at this point, they've priced me out. And not because I'm not willing to spend the cash, either. A year from now, I may have the extra cash and be able to afford to go when I'm in Florida, but there are people who would as a matter of fact never be able to afford to go, and would never have the possibility of having the extra cash.

Just like there are people that can't afford $50 to go to a regular theme park.

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010 12:16 PM

Just to be an ass:
From what I understand there are different packages you can buy at Discovery Cove. Specifically there's a "Dolphin Swim package" for ~$300 depending on the day and a "No-Dolphin Swim" package for ~$170. Interesting that they have actually implemented the pricing based on calendar right up front (not coupon or discount based).

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010 9:28 PM

Why get a Cabana, when you can snag a tube on a river at a waterpark? I much rather nap/sunbathe/completely veg out on a river where Im wet (and thus not hot) any day. Especially at parks that throw their old cloverleaf Proslide tubes into their rivers, best lounge chair ever.

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010 9:55 PM

Touchdown said:
Why get a Cabana, when you can snag a tube on a river at a waterpark? I much rather nap/sunbathe/completely veg out on a river where Im wet (and thus not hot) any day. Especially at parks that throw their old cloverleaf Proslide tubes into their rivers, best lounge chair ever.

So everyone might not like the same activites while at the water park?

That would mean everyone is different.

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010 10:02 PM

Haven't I heard that somewhere before? Maybe not. :)

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010 10:05 PM

But if everyone is different, then no one is. ;)

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010 11:20 PM

I have a star on my belly, Carrie. Why don't you? :)

kpjb's post was AWESOME, even though it was a mockery of my previous post.

I prefer bands that have real instruments, like my $400 Ibanez guitar. I also have a $100 SM57 Shure mic. (See, I spend my money sometimes too.) :) I started recording my own music becasue I can't find any reliable, yet alone talented, musicians anymore.

There is no proof that perks have kept park admissions down.

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010 11:23 PM

I'm not different.

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010 11:58 PM

LostKause said:
There is no proof that perks have kept park admissions down.

There's no proof they haven't either.

And it's irrelevant in terms of the hypothetical question that you simply refuse to answer.

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Thursday, July 22, 2010 12:14 AM

Okay, I'll put myself into trying to come up with an answer...

Lord Gonchar said:

So now which is the worse evil?

1. Allowing these 'perks' at the expense of some level of the experience to the base level to keep that base level cost reasonably affordable.

or

2. Dropping the perks and creating a level playing field and potentially raising the base price beyond the levels of a certain segment of guests.

That is a very difficult question for me to answer. Both hypothetical situations suck. 1 or 2? 1 or 2? ...

Even though I consider #1 to be the less "evil" of the two, I would rather see #1 for more selfish reasons. I could probably still afford to visit a park if the admission price was a little higher.

I know by answering this question, you'll have some sinister reply. lol :)

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Thursday, July 22, 2010 12:18 AM

SM57's are good for hammering nails, but I've never been fond of how they sound. Of course, I'm the guy on the podcast using a ghetto EV 635. Also suitable for pounding nails.

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Thursday, July 22, 2010 12:31 AM

SM57's are great for snare drums and live vocals.

Beyond that, they're less great.

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Thursday, July 22, 2010 1:19 AM

I originally bought it for live vocals. It sounds okay for right now, until I can afford something better to record with.

I'm actually doing something that was inspired by Gonch and the CB Podcast when recording my vocals. I put a blanket over my head and the mic to mimic a soundbooth. I also made a windscreen out of a hangar and an old pair of pantyhose. lol

If I was "super rich", I would still probably refuse to spend $30 on a windscreen. :)

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Thursday, July 22, 2010 1:27 AM

The mic I'm using for the podcast costs less than the SM57 and sounds a million times better. Seriously, the quality for the price is almost stupid. It'd be a sweet recording mic. You might want to look into it.

MXL 990

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Thursday, July 22, 2010 1:41 AM

I almost got that one for free with a purchase from Musician's Friend, I think. The reviews are great! Thanks.

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