Disneyland opened in 1955 and had created something no one had ever seen. It was a wonderland that they saw unfold in front of their eyes on the Disneyland TV show but they really couldn’t grasp it until they saw it. And many only saw it a few times growing up. I know my parents probably only went to Disneyland once as children. My mother grew up out-of-state so that’s not uncommon, but my father was born in Los Angeles and grew up in Torrance, CA – a short drive to Anaheim. I was born in Los Angeles in ’84 and grew up in an annual pass starting with Fantasmic! and had one thru the ’90s. I then bought my own in college along with so many of my friends that also had them – and almost all of us have kept those APs active since.
This was a new phenomenon that had never been seen before. Yes, even though Disneyland is approaching its 58th anniversary, the paradigm is still shifting. It’s likely slowing down at this point but Disney Parks have had to adjust to this trend of life-time APs. Society has shifted so drastically since the 1950s. We are living in a world where if we want something, a majority of us are lucky enough to just get that thing. For those of us with parents that saw Disneyland as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, Disneyland became a weekly activity. We are doing what they couldn’t – and we love it!
Unfortunately, this has led to crazy crowds at the parks due to locals getting off work, out of school, etc. to enjoy the luxury that is Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park. What I’m saying is: the price hikes are mainly our fault and I, for one, take responsibility for it.
For out-of-towners, like I mentioned in the last blog, Disneyland is still a once-a-year and even once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. And Disney’s reputation of being the crème de la crème of vacation destinations makes $90-$95/day expected and less of a shock. However, what I’ve been seeing on the blogs and twitter feeds is that the APs are hurting the most here. So much so that even my family has downgraded to just the SoCal pass from the Premier we had just last year. And I think we started last year with Deluxe AP last year and upgraded for our WDW trip.
The unfortunate truth is that Disney Parks need to be able to plan for this influx of APs and vacationers. At DLR more than WDW, the APs descend upon the park and tie up parking with single-passenger vehicles, tie up entrances with sheer numbers, and fill the lines when merging numbers with single-day park guests. We wanted to go to Disneyland more because we could — but are we sure we should?