Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Rumors Abound at Disneyland

Rumors Abound at Disneyland

            Since last Christmas I’ve been hearing rumors of changes coming Christmas 2013 or 14. Here are the rumors and that I’ve heard. I’ll give you my opinion of them after I tell you what they are.
            Rumor one: Disneyland will have a pay to play Christmas event like Walt Disney World’s Mickey’s Christmas Party. This will include the Christmas Fireworks and the Christmas Parade. You will be unable to see either the Christmas Fireworks or the Christmas Parade without paying extra to do so. The only “Christmas” you will get at DL will be the decorations, Small World and Haunted Mansion Holiday.
            Rumor two: Disneyland’s Candlelight Processional will become a paid review event and moved to the Hyperion Theater inside DCA.
            Rumor three: Disneyland is trying to discourage and in fact eliminate Annual Passholders.
            Rumor four: Within the next two years at most a Disney Park one day/one park ticket will be $100. This has been said to be a goal that Disney has been trying to reach over the past several years.
            Rumor five: Disney is trying to unify all the parks and have the same type of events happening at all their parks.
            My response to rumor one: While paid to play events, such as Mickey’s Not so Scary Halloween Party can work well at Disney World they do not work well at Disneyland. Read my response to rumor number five for the reasons. Proof of the failure of Pay to Pay events is the Mickeys Halloween Party last year. It was a pay to play event and many people who had planned vacations before Disney announced the party. Many were angry at being kicked out of DL early or not being allowed into the park in the evening and having no place to go. If they closed ONE area of the park for “Trick or Treating” and charged extra I believe it could work well. Another option would be to do it at DCA not DL.
            My response to rumor two: Candlelight at Disneyland is on a much grander scale than what I have seen in pictures of WDW’s Candlelight. For them to move it from outside at the Main Street Train Station is to ignore the history and grandeur of the original. While I understand making it a pay to play event, and in many respects I agree with making it a pay to play event I disagree with moving it inside and reducing the number of performers.
            My response to rumor three: I believe this rumor to be true. The way they have sharply increased the prices, removed some of our incentives to be APs and decided not to listen to us when we make suggestions proves this one. It has been stated that Disney feels APs at Disneyland do not make them money and in fact cost them. I will disagree!
            DLR APs give Disney a solid known amount of money guaranteed. APs purchase food, clothing and other items. I know many APs also stay at the Resort Hotels often. Most importantly APs encourage friends and family that are not APs to go to the park.
            My response to rumor four: I can believe this is true. I disagree and don’t see the wisdom and raising the price to that level. There is an increase of 22% in the number of visitors to the Disneyland resort in the past year. They do not need to raise prices to make money. They are making money on each guest that walks through the gate. Operating Costs are per person when it comes to picking up trash and in truth ride operations.
            My response to rumor five: I have been saying for the past several years the WDW is trying to run DLR. I’ve also stated in the past that I believe that many of the choices they have made or unwise. Let’s start off with talking about rumor number one again. Pay to play events work at WDW because they have four parks. If one is closed early there are three other parks for people to go and play in. They also have a large number of resorts/hotels on property that have events in the evenings. There are other places people can go on Disney property at Disney World to enjoy themselves while one park is closed. At Disneyland there are only two parks. When you close one park early the other park fills up quickly and becomes unenjoyable and overcrowded. Yes, they will have World of Color but you can only go see that so many times and only a limited number of people can see it at any one performance. While World of Color is running many of the rides of Paradise Pier are closed taking out a number of big ticket rides. Screamer and Mickey’s FunWheel close as does the Silly Symphony Swings before WoC starts and they are not reopened after the show is over. You can wander through Downtown Disney but in truth there’s not much to do. The hotels at the Disneyland Resort do not have special events like the ones at WDW.
            How can you treat two so different facilities the same? WDW has four parks, two water parks, multiple hotels, Downtown Disney with DisneyQuest and an expanded ESPN zone along with a golf course, minigolf and bowling alleys. All of this is on 47 square miles! DLR has two parks, Downtown Disney, and three hotels with no entertainment all on 8/10 of a mile! Do the math and think it out can you really handle these two facilities the same way?
            You can’t even treat DL and DCA the same and they are part of the same resort! DL is not ADA compliant in the way lines are handled. Because the park was built before ADA requirements DL makes adjustments and gives special access to disabled guests. DCA (and WDW) were built after the ADA rules and the lines are designed to accommodate people with disabilities.
If you agree that these changes are not appropriate for the Disneyland Resort write them a letter, tell them how you feel! Be very clear that you have heard rumors of impending changes in that you don’t like them. Also do not pay for the pay to play events! If people pay then Disney will continue to charge for every little thing. Disney does listen but we must speak up to be heard.
This is where you can email them:

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