If you read this blog regularly, you’ll notice that questions of the week have been on hiatus the last month or so. I’ve been trying to find a way to retool that type of blog post to make it more conducive to our schedules. Instead of just doing a basic question with answers we have decided to do more of a discussion every other week. Here is our first post in that format. Enjoy!
Discussion/Question of the Week: I recently wrote about a slew of upcharge events Disney has announced. Do these events upset or affect the way you think of the Disney Parks? Is there a breaking point where there are too many upcharge events?
Andrew – I think Disney upcharge events can be pretty cool. They sometimes offer very unique experiences. To those of us that get to go to the park quite a bit, that’s a benefit. What I don’t like to see upcharge events do is take away from standard park hours. When this happens that Disney is only trying to appeal to those that are willing to spend whatever it takes to avoid lines. This in turn hurts the people who can’t or won’t spend that money. I think these upcharge events are nearing a breaking point already where Disney will lose loyal customers if they continue to add events that affect park hours.
Cassie – I think it’s never a bad idea to add more options, and I don’t really think it will affect those who aren’t attending the events. I do think the after hours event is really awesome and something I would mayyyyybe consider looking into.
1. I am naturally a night owl and my favorite time to be at the parks is late..so the later, the better.
2. I am not a fan of waiting in lines, so if that sliced it, I’d enjoy my ride experience more.
3. I don’t believe a lot of children will be at the later night event, which is appealing in its own ways (aka, less stroller traffic.)
Andrew – If you don’t mind me asking, Cassie, what would you be willing to pay for the After Hours event?
Cassie – Hmmm, I am going to say $130 would be a reasonable price. If you figure a normal one day ticket is about $100, then tack on $10 an hour for those three extra hours, $130 would be probably what I would be willing to pay. How about you Andrew? What about for the other events?
Andrew – I would probably go a lot lower. Since the event ticket doesn’t come with regular park admission, I’d say around $60 is probably about what I’d be willing to spend on the after hours event. I think it’d be nice to have a lack of crowds but there is only so much you can do in 3 hours and it’s not really my favorite thing to do to book it from attraction to attraction. I prefer a more leisurely pace, so I don’t think I would get the value some others would from this deal.
The morning event that was recently announced for Magic Kingdom is even less appealing to me. I don’t typically like breakfast buffets all that much and I think you’d only be able to get 2 attractions in, albeit popular ones. I’d probably be willing to pay around $30-$40 for that event. There definitely are some tours and events that appeal to me. It’s only a matter of time before I try the Wild Africa Trek at Animal Kingdom and I’m going to do the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party this fall. But they have to be pretty unique for me. If they are unique enough then I’d probably be willing to spend way too much money.
Melissa H. – I think that giving people extra options is always a good idea. It gives you the potential to avoid crowds and the crowds are often one of the biggest complaints about Disney parks. I don’t think that some of the events are that exciting (the Magic Kingdom one sounds like a bit of a dud to me), but others would be worth the price if I could afford them! The biggest drawback to me is that they can have a negative impact on those who aren’t willing to pay for it simply can’t afford the event. For example, when we were in Disney in October the parks were PACKED on the days of the Halloween party because tons of people bought their event tickets in addition to their regular park ticket. So we had to wait in longer lines AND had to leave the park early because it closed for the event. I know that all events are managed a little differently, but I could definitely see some people getting frustrated.
Andrew – That’s absolutely my biggest worry and source of frustration Melissa. If they keep offering these more frequently they are going to negatively affect those that aren’t paying for them.
Melissa H. – Definitely Andrew. I mean, when we were there Disneyland closed at 7:00 for the event and if you just had a park ticket you could go to California Adventure, but it was a zoo over there since everyone with a park-hopper was trying to get their money’s worth. So the whole day felt super long because it was so crowded. We planned on trying to see World of Color and got out of line because it was so crazy and just went back to the hotel. I am also curious how the seasonal upcharge events (like the Halloween party) will impact their new ticket pricing system. Will it make gate tickets more expensive during those times? That particular event had made October crazier than ever. I guess that question might have already been answered, I will totally admit I haven’t looked too deep into all of it.
Andrew – That question hasn’t totally been answered. The ticket prices haven’t come out for the Halloween Parties yet so we’ll see if it affects gate tickets. I bet they won’t at least for this year as they are still getting used to the tiered-ticket system. Over the next few years, I think that’s a pretty interesting concept though. Closing a park down at 7 PM alone affects guests, then you add in the extra crowds and people taking advantage of park-hopper and then it could really hurt a day or two of people’s vacation. I think that’s fine for special events like a Halloween Party or Christmas Party as they are at certain, special times of the year. If park operations start adding events (that aren’t unique) all times of the year, then it really hurts guests.
Melissa H. – I’m just very interested to see how it all plays out. They are doing A LOT in these next few years and it will be interesting to see how it all ends up working out.
What do you think of these upcharge events and will they affect guests that don’t attend? Let us know in the comments. Also, if you enjoy what our blog please subscribe via email or WordPress. You can also like our Facebook Page. Both of those options are on the right side of this page. If you have any recommendations on this new format for our Question of the Week, let us know in the comments. Thank you for reading!