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Thursday, October 10, 2013

Unaffordable Family Entertainment

Unaffordable Family Entertainment

Every stage in life comes with advantages and disadvantages.  When we consider the cost of living during the time that we were raising our children, everything was cheaper.  Wages were no different, they were also cheaper (lower).  Some of us always find a way to come out ahead, and the majority of us simply roll with the punches, and get by.  I learned early on that there are only so many hours in the day that can be traded on a basis of labor for money.  Once again I digress, this subject will be followed on a different future post.

I recently posted a picture of the Disneyland Castle on Facebook (titled “A people trap set by a mouse”), and it took me back to the many years my family has visited the famous resorts in Southern California.

Evolution of Disneyland Tickets

When the gates to Disneyland opened on July 17, 1955, visitors paid a mere $1 to get into the park. This fee, however, did not include attractions and rides. Those additional tickets, roughly $2.50 for eight attractions, could be purchased in books, with the prices depending on which attractions you wanted to attend. Those books ranged in classes from A to D. A few years later, an "E" class was added, which covered all of the big thrill rides. Those rides were later coined "E-ticket rides," a name that has stuck throughout the years. Disneyland officials abandoned the books in 1982 and began charging a single fare for each patron entering the park. The price included all rides and attractions, with the exception of the arcades and the Frontierland Shooting Gallery.

Present Day Ticket Prices

Ticket prices are set for adults (ten years and older) and children ages three to nine, while guests younger than age three are free. There are no special discounts for senior citizens or disabled persons. California Adventure theme park admission prices are the same as Disneyland's, and there are several types of tickets to choose from.

·       Single-Day Theme Park: A one-day trip to Disneyland, not including parking or admission to California Adventure, costs around $92 for adults and $86 for children.

·       One-Day Park Hopper: Admission into Disneyland and California Adventure costs about $137 for adults and $131 for children.

·       Two-Day Park Hopper: For around $175 for adults and $162 for children, you will receive a two-day admission for either Disneyland or California Adventure. For $35 more, you'll receive admission to both parks for use on two days. The ticket expires 13 days after its first use.

·       Southern California CityPass: For $319 for adults and $279 for children, you can buy a three-day admission to Disneyland theme park, California Adventure, and several other Southern California attractions, such as Universal Studios Hollywood, SeaWorld, and either the San Diego Zoo or San Diego Zoo Wild Animal Park. You must use the ticket within two weeks.

·       Bonus Park Hopper Tickets: Three, four, and five-day park hopper bonus tickets are also available. These tickets include a "Magic Morning" early admission at one of the theme parks (to be decided upon at time of purchase), but only when they're ordered in advance.

I don’t mean to pick on the world’s favorite mouse, but because it is so popular, is becomes an easy target.  Sports events are also pricing themselves out of the typical family range.  My children grew up attending concerts (NSYNC, Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears, etc.), and WWF Main Events, NFL Games and on. While prices were high back then, today’s prices are through the roof.  I refuse to get a second mortgage for a weekend’s outing.  The best is yet to come…..

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