Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Top 10: Reasons Disneyland is so Expensive

Disneyland is one of the most expensive theme parks in the world. There's no denying it. The average family who visits Disneyland may end up with hundreds of dollars missing from their wallet by the week's end. But why is that? Why are they denying underprivileged children the chance to visit the "happiest place on earth"? Is Disney the evil, money-grubbing corporation we think it is? Not exactly.

10. It's Not Always Overpriced

Does Disneyland charge too much for products? Look at their beverages. Guests may pay up to twice for a Coca-Cola or a Monster what they would pay at the grocery store. Yes, that's an extra two or three dollars, but is five bucks for a soda going to kill you? Not to mention, the numerous restaurants and various sit-down eateries throughout the park are quite affordable. And if you're really thirsty, stop by the ice cream parlor on Main Street and ask for a cup of ice water. It's free of charge.

9. Promotions

If you actually think about it, Disneyland pays fortunes for you to come and visit their park. If you're driving throughout Southern California you're bound to see loads of Disneyland billboards and hear radio commercials. You might see a Disneyland commercial during halftime on any given Sunday. These promotions aren't cheap, and while they create an endless cycle of family trips and more advertising, how else are they going to get you to come to the park? It works like a trade.

8. Sanitation

Have you ever been to Disneyland and seen trash piled up on the ground? Or cups crushed flat on the pavement? Candy and ice cream wrappers swept into the curbs? No, you probably haven't. Disneyland hires an army of discreet janitors who sweep discarded trash into their dustbins as soon as it hits the ground. It costs a lot of money to keep Disneyland as pristine as it is. If they weren't cleaning the Magic Kingdom 24/7, you'd encounter a lot more rotten food and vomit all over the place. If you don't believe me, go to Six Flags and compare.

7. Expansion

Believe it or not, Disneyland is always expanding. This can be said even more so of Disney World. But yes, even Disneyland is constantly adding to their resort, building new pools for the hotels or new sections for their parks. I'm sure Cars Land in DCA wasn't cheap. Remember when California Adventure was just a parking lot? The Disney Parks are constantly working to compensate as many guests as possible and create a less-crowded, more spacious environment for its worldwide selection of guests.

6. Merchandise

Disneyland is frequently stocking the shelves with stuffed animals, clothing, knick knacks, and pretty much anything you can think of. They have to mint pins for pin traders, and manufacture cups and hats and toys. They sell hundreds of thousands of items per day and a good portion of that revenue goes straight to re-stocking the shops for the very next day. Obviously they're turning a profit from all of this merchandise, but believe me, in selling these products they want to provide every guest with as much satisfaction as they can.

5. Ride Construction

You don't think rides just appear magically at Disneyland, do you? Of course, that's what the Imagineers would like you to think. Ride construction is actually an extremely meticulous and expensive process. Contractors are hired to imagine and plot the rides. Concept drawings and models are made on paper and on the computer. Occupied land space is bulldozed to make room for the new attractions. Materials are purchased and most often imported, where they are constructed in warehouses and assembled on the park grounds. Disneyland maps, websites, and commercials are updated to preview the new attractions, and additional costs are spent each day to maintain and run those rides. As you can well imagine, each ride costs Disney a pretty penny and they only get more and more expensive. Disney World's Expedition Everest cost a whopping 100 million dollars just to build. That's over three months of total park revenue.

4. Quality Food

Disney Parks have the best theme park food in the world. Seriously. Some restaurants such as Wine Country Trattoria and Carthay Circle are renowned food establishments. Are they expensive? Certainly. But you don't have to pay a royalty to eat high-quality food at Disneyland. The Tomorrowland Terrace, Gumbo Shop, and the turkey leg stands all offer delicious meals for under 10 dollars.

3. Cast Member Salary

Think about how many people must work at the Disneyland Resort. All the costumed characters, janitors, chefs, food vendors... all the security guards and secret service members... There's approximately 20,000 employees at Disneyland. And considering that working at Disneyland isn't exactly a minimum wage occupation, you have to expect that all 20,000 employees are going to require a paycheck just like any other job. Every restaurant, every ride, in fact every 185 square feet of the entire resort will have a cast member in it. And they're the smiliest, friendliest employees you can find. Even though Disney probably treats them like drones. So just remember that when you drop a hundred dollars on a park ticket, you're paying for all of those ice cream salesmen who have to slave away in the sun, and Goofys and Tiggers your kids took a picture with.

2. Maintenance

If you're a regular at Disneyland, every once in a while you've probably had to step off of a ride, or maybe you walked all the way to Adventureland to find that Indiana Jones has been closed for repair. Sure, it's a bummer at the time, but be grateful that Disneyland offers so much care to their rides and attractions. In fact, if they didn't have scheduled repairs or shut down the rides at the first sign of malfunction, those rides could be closed for months at a time. Disneyland is always innovating new ways to make the rides safe and operate cleanly, to prevent as many disasters as possible.

1. Just Because

Now before you accuse me of copping out of a real reason, hear me out. Disney is a multi-billion dollar franchise, and they're always looking to make as much money as they possibly can. And with great power comes great responsibility. The park costs billions of dollars to run each year, and they end up keeping approximately half of their revenue. So while prices are always increasing for annual passes or food and merchandise, so are the costs that Disneyland has to pay. So of course Disneyland is expensive, but it's also the greatest amusement park in the world. You're donating a lot of cash to keep Disneyland as awesome as it is, so why not enjoy it?


  1. I hear that it's too expensive because they're trying to keep gangs and low-lifes out of the park so they won't be able to afford it.

    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    2. That makes absolutely no common sense. The real answer is "it is expensive to run that park close to everyday of the year and pay all the bills it generates as well as make a profit.

  2. I have been going to Disneyland park for 40 years since I was 4 and I have been taking my 8 kids every year of their life. I think the prices are what they should be for all the services and entertainment they provide. I have never had a bad day there and never have I seen the restrooms or rides dirty. Their staff is the sweetest people you will ever encounter. I love the park and no matter what it cost I will gladly pay it cause its worth it.

    1. Wow, 8 kids! Keep the tradition going.

    2. Damn you must be ooober rich to take 8 kids an ur self seeing how thats a 1000.00 bucks just for one day or should i say a few hrs. Disneyland is not what it used to be paying all that money just takes the fun out of it for me. I will never go to disneyland agin. Really how hard would it hit them if they had a few days a year when the less fortunate family's could afford a ticket. I wish people would stop going so disneyland would get a reality check. As far as im concerned my olny wish for disneyland is that they go out of busisness tear it down and let people enjoy what comes next. Disney would sell them selves to the devil if the proce was right.

  3. No excuse is valid for their greediness!

  4. But then you have the lower-class working hard families like myself who will never be able to afford to take our two children.

  5. Unfortunately, at the rate I'm going even with ONE child I will never be able to afford Disney without saving for years. I've wanted to go since I was young and I've always wanted to take my daughter but the prices are just crazy. I'll have to find another way to get there. It might involve getting on a pole and stripping but I'm sure Disney doesn't care. LMAO!

    1. You're right, and that's why Disneyland is a luxury, like fine dining or going on a cruise. If they didn't make as much money they wouldn't be able to sustain such a beautiful and pristine amusement park.

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  7. it was not always that way. I worked at Disney World for a year and we saw the prices dramatically increase once Eisner took charge. No reason really, just greed. And yes. He became very rich during those years.