I haven’t posted in a long while, but I feel I must open up my heart to you all about a quandary I'm in. (Warning, this is going to be a bit wordy)
I’ve held an Annual Pass since 2006 and have progressively seen it’s value decline in the recent past. I didn’t think much about losing my picture on the pass until I started to have to bring out my ID for every purchase. Not a big deal, but it was a start. I even felt that the large price hike on my annual pass was (gritting my teeth) acceptable considering all that I got in my Disney experience.
I expect that in having a Premium pass that it promises access to the Disneyland Resort 365 days a year, but it feels like that access is getting chipped away at constantly.
With the addition of the Mickey’s Halloween Party as a pay extra event (even as cool as it is), the removal of the personalization of the napkins, the drink cups, and other packaging that helps you to be enveloped in the Disney environment I feel the dollars flowing in are more important than the experience for those who visit the parks.
As I tried to explain to a Disney representative: Let’s say you buy the car you’ve always wanted and you drive it and love it, and one day the dealership calls you to say that unless you pay extra there will be dates and times you will not be able to use this car you love so much....how does that sit with you? The representative spoke of the usual contractual fine print that states opening and closing times are subject to blah, blah, blah.... We all remember reading that part of the annual pass contract, don’t we?
I’ve since read a Miceage article by Al Lutz, titled “At Disneyland Christmas may be extra”. If you haven’t read this, you owe it to yourself to do so. http://tinyurl.com/cp5dr8r
This article details changes to the Disneyland Resort that are not so great. Just one small part of it is that your Fastpass will soon be held to that one hour window printed on it. You knew that, right?
I know that all of this seems like sour grapes, or perhaps all of this is old news, or maybe even irrelevant to all of you. But my visits to DLR are better than any therapy I could get in a doctor’s office to alleviate the stresses of the outside world and now I feel like I’m going to have all that spoiled by greed.
I apologize if this seems like a hate speech towards Disney. This is in no way directed towards any of the CMs, and please understand that I view this the same way I would view finding out someone I cared for deeply was stealing from me. I’m very disappointed.
All this being said, I’m now giving serious thought to allowing my annual pass to expire.
I would sincerely appreciate some feedback, good or bad. Maybe I can be shown something I’m missing looking through this dark cloud?
Have a Magical Day,
All I can say is that I'm sorry you're disappointed. :( The real world is a tough place, and I think we all have those moments when we feel let down by a person or idea that we 100% believed in. I'm sorry that Disney was that thing, for you. If you feel that you should let your pass expire, then trust your instincts--if you have a bit of a sour taste in your mouth, that's ok. It's understandable--DL has changed. It's a different experience than it was even 4 years ago when we bought our first APs. Perhaps you need a DL break. You can always renew at a later time--there's nothing wrong with that. :) - Spoonful_O_Sugar
439.1 #288 2:50PM
Thank you for your classy answer. - alankeno 57.4 #3658 9:50PM
I feel you completely! Visits to my therapist added up and DL truly helps. I still see its worth and there is no way I can live without Disneyland now, so I would go down AP before I let it expire - MarshaMouse
2935.8 #16 2:50PM
I think you need a Disneyland break. - cynDOLEwhip
745.3 #138 4:35PM
Huh? I just cant read all this...cliff notes anyone? - Minnis2Society
366.4 #394 1:04PM
Gas used to be 99cents a gallon. My old car used to get 20mpg. Now gas is $4.50 a gallon and my new car gets 12mpg. Will I still drive? Yes. Is it a bargain to drive? No. But I enjoy being able to drive places and I am willing to pay the price for that privilege. Some people aren't. Kinda get where I am going with this? No biggie if you let it expire, it's only a $20 loss if you decide to get one again. - Linzee
533.3 #218 1:06PM
Linzee...TY for your perspective, but not really where I was going with this. - alankeno 57.4 #3658 2:32PM
If you have the means to renew and it wouldn't be a burden on your budget then you should do it. You seem to really enjoy your visits. The cost of living increases are frustrating from gas, food, taxes, entertainment etc. Could this be what is troubling you? If it is Disney then you may have to let your pass expire. Good luck on your decision. - RadiatorSprings4Ever
166.9 #2090 3:31PM
very well said and I totally get where your coming from. As far as feedback, as an adult you are responsible for making adult descisions about how to balance your life. Are you a local? are you getting your money's worth just by going to the parks and taking it all in? - mochamistie
272.8 #820 3:53PM
No offense, but even if If I was a zombie that would have bored me to death. - madsdad
1237.3 #67 4:42PM
Speaking of Zombies, WALKING DEAD OMG!!!!! - Slotherini 911.7 #100 10:15PM
Can't deny nor say what you wrote up there has a lot of truth in it but times change, things change, economies change, cost of business goes up, etc. I can give up Disney logos on napkins. What company doesn't have politics aka corporate greed and all the problems that go along with doing business? That said if cost is your issue then do what you need to do. I have one really special son that keeps me coming back and that is priceless time. I count my blessings because I am just lucky to be. - Plumiegirl
3502.9 #11 10:10PM
Plumiegirl, I understand. I count me blessings, but obviously not enough. I had the great fortune to meet you both at the 2nd MW birthday gathering, I believe. - alankeno 57.4 #3658 1:09PM
I hope I never feel the way you do!! - dug_one
1436.7 #55 10:25PM
I hope not as well. Kind of a dark place when you consider giving up DLand. - alankeno 57.4 #3658 8:11AM
Hi Alan! Long time no see! I understand where you're coming from, as it is happening all over. My beloved Balboa Park here in San Diego will charge for parking in the next few years...I remember when the museums were free. Education...remember when Ca Community Colleges were free?! I've been going to DL for over 50 years now, and while the prices are recently skyrocketing, so is the value of what you get. I just renewed my AP because I cannot go without my magic place! 6 trips a year and its paid for. Right now, it's gas prices that hold me back from going more. I consider myself lucky to be able to afford it. To me, my pass is a priority, and I will pay the price, because I do feel it is worth it to me. - Gia
794.1 #122 10:26PM
I love Disneyland as much as anyone, and as much as it delivers the magic, we can't forget that it's a business and there definitely is a cost to running that business. LIving in Hawaii, I've never had an AP (there was still Magic Kingdom Club when I moved from So. Calif!), but from what I've read in everyone's Disney has done a good job at trying to keep the cost down, while still offering an attractive product. To me it comes down to a personal decision. If it were me, I'd look for other ways to cut back (like forget the daily lattes or pack home lunches) in order to renew the pass. Ask yourself...will life be the same without it? If the answer is "no", then I say renew and enjoy it! And if the answer is "yes", still think what you might end up spending in single-visit costs if you miss it too much! Good luck (and if it makes you feel better...it usually costs me around $4k to visit for a week once a year!). - msdizmaui
521.5 #226 11:06PM
I would love to afford to go whenever I wanted to Disneyland. I wish I lived closer. It's not in the cards for me. Be thankful for the opportunity that you have to enjoy it for those of us who can't enjoy whenever we want to. - Mrs.mouse
426.1 #304 11:20PM
Did anyone see this news story about Knott's harassing their guests? (http://tinyurl.com/8fxltgs). If you ever feel disillusioned by Disney over some kind of lowered standard or price cut, take a look at what other places do... then come back home. - MyPark
946.4 #94 11:34PM
Thank you for your thoughts and comments. I appreciate your viewpoints and have added them to my thought process for this decision. For the sake of clarification, it’s not the price of the AP that’s an issue (the price change will increase our monthly payment less
than two fast-food meals for two people per month) but the perceived declining
value in the named takeaways. (pay extra events, etc.) When you buy eggs would
you consider the same brand if your next dozen had only 11 eggs and you could expect fewer the next time? and If you were told “price of doing business”? If you REALLY love those eggs like we all love Disneyland I guess you would. I realize I’m sounding like a cheapskate, but I want to know I’m making the right decision. Thank You All again! - alankeno
57.4 #3658 8:36AM
but there are PLENTY of days to go when an event is not happening. and what would your next brand be?? maybe a little break would make you realize how much you actually do get? I live 365 miles away and am overjoyed at the opportunity to get to the Parks. Maybe it's different bc you live closer? I do not know. Best wishes 😊 - HandMeAChurroImmaFaint 1837.7 #43 8:45AM
I live about 6 hours away and I just purchased my first AP. I love going and have no problem with paying extra for events like the Halloween party. The issue that you have with ids being checked, that is for your protection against theft and fraud. I agree, maybe you should take a break and see how you feel then. - Sharkgrrl19 203.0 #1623 1:41PM
Just FYI - you were always supposed to be asked for ID. That you weren't meant that folks were breaking the rules. That Disney wasn't enforcing the Fastpass times was also them not enforcing their own rules. Our APs entitle us to entry, and that's it. I know it's a bit depressing to lose these little perks, but they were never promised... - ThatKimberly
335.5 #461 8:40AM
If you are basing your decision on rumors and what Mr. Lutz says, you may want to see what his track record and accuracy is.... - NotSoDapperDan
313.5 #561 1:34PM
While I feel your pain, I think this is not the place to air your concerns. First of all, its against the rules, and secondly,most of us on here joined because we love Disney, not because we want to pay through the nose for magic. I would LOOOOVE to be able to afford a premium pass, but since it costs over $80 for gas on top of hotel expenses, I have had to consign myself to the value seasons sans weekends. If you need some tips for saving a few deniro, check out my blog: themagicisfree.wordpress.com. I know it's heartbreaking to see the price tag go up year after year, but the way I look at it, so do the value of the memories I create there. - LittleAprilShowers
500.7 #241 1:50PM
Also, while I see your point on the "value", I can't agree. Disney may have taken away the logo on the napkins, but they added Carsland, for cryin out loud. - LittleAprilShowers 500.7 #241 1:57PM