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Sunday, June 2, 2013

Around Disneyland - News (and Rumors)

Mrs. DisneylandTraveler's hand wrapped around an Annual Pass
BEFORE today's price increase!
Ticket Price Increases
So as of today, it just got more expensive to march through the gates of Disneyland (and Walt Disney World). The fallout continues to trickle into the various Disneyland forums and discussion boards and as usual, people fall into one of four categories. 1) Raising prices annually is to be expected as part of normal business operations - Disney is not run as a non-profit. 2) The continual price increase is pricing many working families and individuals out of the park - you sadly hear this more and more. 3) A visit to a Disney Park is a luxury - either you can afford it or you can't. 4) Disney needs to raise prices more as a means of controlling the huge crowds that still enter the parks.

Here's the deal - The price increase announced yesterday that went into effect today is more in line with a typical Disney park increase regular park guests are accustomed to as opposed to last years staggering price increase. Disney has a right to raise ticket prices as a means of maintaining the operating costs of their high quality parks and turn a profit for stockholders. But on the other hand, the Disney fans who are affected by the continual price increases and are slowly being priced out have every right to be frustrated and disillusioned and free to express their displeasure against a company that seems to, more and more, aim their targeting at the high end consumer rather than the masses. It works both ways.

The End of World of Color Picnic Meals
When World of Color was new and a deluge of people just had to see it, Disney set up a nice little revenue stream by selling pre-packaged meals (4 meal choices I believe) for $15 that included a WOC show pass. This was set up for people who didn't want to spend money on the high priced WOC dining packages offered at the various DCA table service restaurants nor wished to stand in long lines trying to get a show pass from the machines (which often, ran out of passes before you got to the machine). Well, that was then. While still quite popular, World Of Color isn't the draw it once was. For some (Mrs. DLT for one) the constant standing in this line and that line for show you have to stand up and watch got to be a little too much. And as impressive as it is, WOC just isn't a show you have to see over and over again. It's actually gotten to be more fun watching the expression on faces of the people who haven't seen it.

So with the demand dwindling, Disney, as of today if I'm reading things correctly, has ended the WOC pre-packaged meal option. Some people liked the meals (which were on the small side). But I also saw a person take one bite and dump the remainder of the meal in a garbage can. On my last visit, I was able to pick up a WOC show pass from the dispensing machine late in the afternoon and I arrived to the viewing area far too early than I needed to.

Christmas at Disneyland Just May Get More Expensive
And if you believe the Disneyland insider rumors that come out of MiceAge/MiceChat there are several stories that center around Christmas at the Disneyland Resort this year.

First up... From the days of Walt Disney, Disneyland's Candlelight Processional took place over one weekend in December. Last year, Disney expanded it to 20 nights and primarily pointed it at Annual Passholders. Well this year it looks like its going back to the traditional one weekend in December. Reason? The throng of people gathered at the foot of Main St. to watch the Processional set up on the steps of the Railroad Station absolutely killed shopping in the adjacent stores (Emporium, Disney Clothiers, etc.) during some of their prime shopping hours. 

Second... You know all those wonderful Disneyland traditions that have gone on for decades - the Christmas Fantasy Parade, holiday fireworks, the snow falling on Main St. Well, this may be the year that seeing those things are going to cost you if they go the route of separate admission night time event similar to what is now being done for Halloween trick or treating nights and over at Walt Disney World with the Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. On nights when there isn't a separate admission event you will get the regular parade and fireworks display without the snow. Remember what I said about Disney having the right to slap a price tag on everything. Same applies here - people will have the right to complain (loudly).

Third... A new World of Color Christmas Show. Everyone always knew WOC is capable of giving different shows, well this Christmas, it may be finally allowed to really change things up. This won't be a separate admission event like over at Disneyland. But with a new show, expect the return of long lines to get passes and being herded up like cattle prior to being let into the viewing area - unless you go the high priced dining packages. Disney always wins.

The Christmas stuff is all rumor and speculation at this point. More to come.

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