Friends, with the very recent announcement that the prices to have your next magical experience have increased upwards of 25%, I want to have a bit of a conversation with you about whether Disneyland is “worth it”.
First, I want to give you my take on why the prices have gone up. I saw a stat that said the single-day, one park ticket price for Disneyland has increased threefold since 2000. Most of the pain is in the prices of the highest Annual Passes. My take on this is fairly straight-forward. Disney needs to control the crowds somehow. Galaxy’s Edge was just confirmed to open in California in June. This alone is going to drop an atomic bomb on both parks for many months. I’m not saying that Disney is completely innocent here, as far as some calling them greedy. Certainly added profits and revenue are great side-effects. However, Disney also recently announced some price increases across the Nation at Walt Disney World. The difference is that while WDW also has Galaxy’s Edge opening this year, their increases were very small in comparison to Disneyland’s. This cements to me that it’s not at all a greedy move. It’s crowd-control, period.
I will say that it’s unfortunate that it happens. It’s sad that there are many families that will effectively be priced-out of a magical experience. But for some, the challenge is just to work harder to save up and wait a little longer to make it happen. Conveniently, those folks might have just avoided the massive crowds by being patient and saving up.
Some will go no matter the price. We are not what I consider financially well-off. My wife and I both work full time to make things work. We have two kids that normally make the trips with us. We are not currently Annual Passholders but we had been in the past. Because of our feelings about Disneyland and how much we adore the place, we would likely find a way to make it happen, no matter the price. This gets me to answering the title of this article.
Is Disneyland worth it? Let me pull this apart a little to help me illustrate my point. The phrase “worth it” means different things to different people. What does it mean to you? I like cars. I enjoy car shopping. I love watching YouTube videos reviewing cars from A to Z, typical econo-boxes to Ferraris and Bugattis. I love cars! If you were to ask me if owning a $300,000 Lamborghini was worth it, I’d proudly exclaim, YES! But, would I ever buy one? Heck no! Why? While it would be an absolute dream car to own and to drive and to show off, ownership would not make any sense. I certainly could not afford it. The loan payments, the ridiculous insurance, gas, tires, maintenance/repair, and speeding tickets would completely break us financially. Would it be worth it? Yes. Would it make any sense? No. The question about a trip to Disneyland shouldn’t be, “Is it worth it?” Because that answer would always be YES. The question should rather be, “Does it make sense?”. Because we all are in different financial situations, I can’t tell you that Disneyland makes sense. It wouldn’t be fair to tell you that. But, if you could dig in, make a plan, save your money, and dream big, you will discover that it will ALWAYS be worth it!
In an earlier article, HERE, I discussed the idea of separating the financial aspects from the magical experience itself. I won’t re-hash that here, but it does fit here nicely. The bottom-line here is to save up the money, make a smart plan and budget it all accordingly, and make it happen. Once you experience it (again, if it’s been a while), you will never have to approach the topic of the worth of a Disneyland trip. Because, duh!