Disney Theme Park Sticker Shock: A Historical Perspective (Korkis Korner) by Jim Korkis

Disney Theme Park Sticker Shock: A Historical Perspective (Korkis Korner) by Jim Korkis.

I wanted to share this article from MousePlanet.com since it gives some nice history along the lines of Disney admission pricing.

Ill never forget my first trip to Walt Disney World when my parents were contemplating buying a 2 day passport to the Magic Kingdom.  Keep in mind that back then it was ONLY the Magic Kingdom, but we were also planning on some other visits to places like Sea World and Even the Space Center.  I know the trip was a splurge for them and I really appreciate what they did for my sister and I.  We still talk about some of the funniest things that happened on that trip.  And while only my sister and maybe my mom would recognize this, all I have to do is mention “Hobo Junction” and we all would tailspin back to 1981.

I was married for 6 years before my wife and I took our family on our first trip.  It was a splurge for us as well.  We saved for months and did all that we could to make sure we could afford the trip.  It was well worth it, but that first trip hooked me into making Disney my vacation destination of choice.

I even had a line item in my budget to set aside money every month so that we could go back on a regular basis.  After a while, we would get annual passes so that we could get more than one trip out of our vacation dollar.  DVC membership also turned out to be one of the best vacation investments I ever made.  All for the sake of taking vacations.

Ticket prices are one of those items that you cant really control.  I mean, if you cant afford to fly, you drive.  You maybe do more counter service meals than table service meals to save money.  Maybe you change the resort you stay at because you are on a budget.  At the same time, every year things such as food and lodging also goes up in price.  Heck, I still remember when a Mickey ice cream bar was around $3 and that my food budget for a day was about $120, which included a character meal.  Regardless, ticket prices are what they are.  If you want to play, you are going to have to pay.

Does anyone like paying more?  No.  Neither do I.  At the same time, I still believe that when it comes to getting your money’s worth, Disney still has a lot of value.  Keep in mind, value does not always mean cheapest or lowest cost.

Disney is a corporation.  It has to make money in order to spend money on its operation.  I know that all the different construction going on at the different parks may seem disruptive, but it is needed to keep that future value high.  And of course, one way to pay for it is via…. higher ticket prices.

Going to be honest… Going to Walt Disney World is not a good value if you are planning on going for a single day.  It becomes much more affordable if you stay for about 6 or more days just from the aspect of economies of scale.

Every year I hear people saying that the price increase is going to break the bank.  If you were already planning on going within the next year anyway, respectfully, I somewhat doubt that really is going to happen.  We all find a way.  It may mean that you eat out less at home or possibly wait till a movie comes out on DVD instead of seeing it in the theater.  Some simple changes can help the financial viewpoint if it means that you will still be able to go to Disney.

To be honest, I would rather give something else up to escape to the World in order to make lifetime-grade memories with my family.

Though… I do worry that the day will come that such costs increases will just be too much.  That will really hurt.  Not just me, but many others I am sure.  My bigger concern is not “if” that will happen but “when” that will happen.

PS: “Hobo Junction” used to be the name of a pizza place down there…

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