Kevin Yee at MiceAge expresses surprise that a business may raise prices, seek additional revenue by building hotels, and make food unaffordable :-)
I am thoroughly astounded that "Disney people" and those who write for the obnoxious fan sites grasp economics about as well as TimberRider does (for those who don't know, that's not very well). Disney continues to raise prices, and attendance continues to be flat or increasing year after year.
Food is still well priced compared to the regional parks, by a lot. For example, if you get just the "chips" (that's British for "fries") at the counter service on the side of Rose & Crown at Epcot, you'll pay I think $4.50. These are about the same thing as the fresh cut fries you'll get at a Cedar Fair park, which are, what, $6.95 now? Most every counter service food item, protein and a side or two, is between $9 and $11. That too compares favorably.
I was at Food & Wine last night, on a Monday, and it was crazy crowded. Every little food stand had a line three or four deep at 8 p.m., and you only need a few people deep to observer that they're continually selling food (and wine). If the market thinks this stuff is too expensive, it sure isn't reacting that way.
It doesn't surprise me in the least that fans don't understand how the business works. Visiting theme parks as a hobby is primarily an emotionally driven endeavor. Fans view the business as a mechanism to produce emotional results.
His pieces and their appeal to tradition and "What would Walt do?" never cease to get an eye roll from me. As the commenters at the bottom of the article are pointing out, he's making apples and oranges comparisons that don't make sense. He seems to have a basic grasp of economic concepts, but acts as if Disney should operated outside of that and not doing so makes them sinister and greedy.
The caption to his picture of the food and wine menu picture is boldly false and contradicts earlier statements he makes about food pricing.
The commenter that lists a number of vacations he prefers over Disney because of price is out to lunch. My wife and I went for a 4 night adult trip to WDW at the beginning of August and I tried very hard to find something of good value for less than the Disney trip and struck out. Mind you it was planned at the last minute, but Disney still came in cheaper than many other destinations.
What destinations were you price comparing to Disney? I priced out a five day WDW trip, on property, with tickets, (before airfare) and I was over $2000 for 1 person. I think I plugged in Value resort (All Star I think) and then a higher tier resort (Polynesian). The Polynesian priced out about $1000 more.
To be fair; with all my weekend trips (cost of gas, food and season passes) I might have come close to $3000, I’m gonna have to go back through my receipts, but I purchased a CF Platinum Pass, a Dollywood Gold Pass (no water park option) a Busch Gardens 3 day Pass, and a SF Gold Pass. That came out to around $400 then I had a couple of hotel stays, another $1200 (at least, those are the receipts I gotta find). Gas was a big bill....Every Cedar Point trip was $100 in gas, every KI was $100 in gas....gonna have to figure the rest.
But none of these trips can really compare to a resort style trip. Maybe the Busch Gardens one, everything else was solid movement.Last edited by Tbone's chop, Tuesday, October 17, 2017 11:37 AM
Food is still well priced compared to the regional parks, by a lot.
I preach this loud and often.
There are still plenty of regional parks where it's hard to find any sort of food that feels at all like real food at a reasonable price. Half the time I'll end up grabbing chicken fingers and fries, or something similar, and it ends up being like $15+.
All the Disney parks have better food at similar or even better price points. I feel like the WDW restaurants get a lot of hype but the quick service counter places should get just as much.
Don't remember all of them, but we looked at a cruise (very little last minute availability), a few Caribbean all inclusives, Boston, NYC, and probably some others I'm forgetting. WDW may have not been cheaper than every last one, but it was cheaper than most and I at least thought I was getting more value out of WDW for the price. 4 nights at Pop Century in a preferred room and 5 day hopper passes ran a little over $1500, flights on Southwest with early check in were a little over $700, and we spent around $1000 on food and incidentals. The whole trip came in around $3300, give or take.
Okay so you were just pricing out resort trips in general versus theme park trips.
Other than Universal; I don’t know if there’s an equivalent to a Disney booking. I can’t see a week long booking at Six Flags or any Cedar Fair.
I don’t know that Disney’s ever been budget friendly, but that’s kind of the point. You’re splurging, it’s not like a trip to the local park. It’s more along the lines of an overseas trip or Hawaiian vacation, you’ve gotta budget a bit more for the experience. Six Flags has the Flash Pass (actually 3 tiers of Flash Pass) Cedar Fair has the Fast Lane/Plus, Dollywood Timesaver Pass And Timesaver unlimited. So other parks are certainly offering added cost to visits if you choose to avail yourself of them. I don’t Disney is unique in that aspect.
I do think Disney steers their guests to stay at their resorts with some of their policies/perks, including extended hours and fast pass. But you get those perks as a Platinum Pass holder at CF, and a SF Gold pass holder, all at added cost, so it’s not unusual, just a different way of getting those monies.
I'm sure someone has already done this math, but -
AK opened in 1998, the first time WDW operated with 4 full theme parks. Google says the 4-day park hopper was around $163.00.
Today it's about $305.
According to this, just inflation would have raised the cost to $247.58 meaning by my rough math adult 4 day park hoppers have outpaced inflation by about $50 per person.
Whether that's a little or a lot I guess depends on who you ask, but clearly if attendance is still doing gangbusters, WDW's target audience has already spoken.
I distinctly remember getting a Florida resident deal in 2001 that allowed four visits for $99. (I want to say it allowed park hopping, but I'm not entirely sure)
That's obviously a special deal/circumstances, but I'd bet you're getting nowhere near $25 per person per visit anymore with anything less than a pass and an unhealthy obsession.
(for the record, $99 in 2001 is $139.55 today)
UPDATED - I just did a quick check out of curiousity and, lo and behold, the Florida resident deal is $139. (but it's only three parks - you can add the 4th day for $20)
The article says the $99 deal was still offered as recently as 2010.
So I guess they still show residents the love.
But the paint is peeling from a bench next to Pecos Bill's! Those greedy bastards!
well, they aren't reinvesting in the parks. Look at how long Hall of Presidents has been down.
Tbone's chop said:
I don’t know that Disney’s ever been budget friendly....
Disney World was never intended to be budget friendly; it was conceived as an upscale resort.
bigboy: Agreed. Mr Yee's articles usually earn at least one derisive snort from me.Last edited by slithernoggin, Tuesday, October 17, 2017 9:21 PM
Maybe not budget friendly but Disney World was certainly created to be a mass market resort that caters to everyone. Look at the different price points for the accommodations. A lot of rooms that are budget friendly. Deer Valley or Vail are upscale resorts with prices to match. Regardless of the griping about prices, I don't think the Disney prices are out of line at all and can be considered reasonable for a vacation.
I got my Disney pass one year and didn't think it was worth the $800 I spent. Never got it again. Its like looking at an Mercedes S class and bemoaning the $90k price tag. Instead of complaining about the high cost...vote with your wallet and find an alternative. Ofcourse its easy for me to say since my only children are a cat and a hedgehog, and I much prefer thrill rides. . . .
Maybe not budget friendly but Disney World was certainly created to be a mass market resort that caters to everyone.
I'll disagree. When the resort opened in 1971, when I was 112 years old, there were two hotels: the Polynesian and the Contemporary. Accommodations running the gamut from Pop Century to Grand Floridian came along later, mostly under Eisner.
Adjusting for inflation, a room at the Poly in 1971 would cost $178 a night in 2017 dollars.
I buy sushi at Walgreens, so clearly I'm too cheap to pay that much for a room. :-)Last edited by slithernoggin, Wednesday, October 18, 2017 6:35 AM
Well, you kind of made my point. Maybe I'm used to different prices, but only $178 per night to stay at a resort is a pretty good deal and very do-able by many people in my opinion.Last edited by Pete, Friday, October 20, 2017 8:29 PM
Well if he’s talking season pass I see the Platinum Pass is 749 and the Platinum Pass Plus is $829. Of course Fla resident discount is listed at $649 and $729 respectively.
How much difference is there between these; and what’s the difference between these and the Gold/Silver available to residents? (As far as I can tell there’s two blackout weeks for Gold, and a few more for Silver. I believe it had Christmas/New Years blackout and Easter blackout for Gold) Any real perk to buying Platinum/Plus versus Gold/Silver for a resident?
We do gold at just under $500 per year, blacking out the holidays and spring break, weeks we would never try to go anyway. We don't need the water parks because we get that with Legoland (at $99/year).
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