In recent years the Disney parks business has been booming. They report record growth every quarter, and it appears the parks have been lumped with picking up the slack with Disney's TV/ESPN side of the business struggling to grow, as well as picking up the slack when they don't release a blockbuster movie. This creates a sort of love/hate relationship with the fans. Fans want the parks to do well, because it makes them invest in new things like Pandora, Toy Story Land and Star Wars Land. The bad side, is that because the parks are doing so well, it's one division that is plugging the gap for the not so hot other parts of Disney's business.
It's great the parks are growing, profitable, and being invested in, but it's sad that even though it's doing well, people are complaining that there is a lot of up-sells and penny pinching etc.
Two of the latest ways Disney is doing this was firstly starting to charge for parking your car at your resort, something that has always been free and included, and secondly, finding sneaky ways to sell Fastpass.
The two general concerns at the moment I believe is Fastpass and Extra Magic Hours. Even though Extra Magic Hours isn't as quiet as it used to be, especially in the evening, people do fear these will turn into pay only options and not included for those staying at a Disney resort. Although I don't think they'll do that (touch wood), they will just find ways to use up hours elsewhere in the mornings and evenings to sell hard-ticketed events, like the Magic Kingdom After Hours event (which is where at select nights Magic Kingdom opens 3 hours later for around $120 each).
Next up is Fastpass. Love it hate it, Fastpass is here to stay. Every ticket gets you 3 Fastpass selections. Recently, Disney has been trying to sell Fastpass in the form of pre-selected Fastpass tickets. These are day tickets you can buy the day before visiting which come bundled with some Fastpass selections. The other way is allowing some club level deluxe resort guests purchase 3 extra Fastpass (with no tier restructions) for $50 each.
Disney may always give everyone their 3 included Fastpass selections, but the question, and perhaps the overall problem, is where the Fastpass spaces they're selling is coming from.
Are they adding more Fastpass into the overall pool? If so that will increase the Fastpass wait which in turn will make the standby lines even longer. Or are they cutting down the amount of Fastpass everyone can pick and selling those off? I don't think the answer is particular good either way. Remember Disney don't hate long lines, if people know wait times are long they might be more likely to add an extra day to their stay.
Overall, I don't mind Disney doing up-sell events (I love the Halloween parties), as long as it doesn't cut into what should already be included in an already incredibly expensive holiday.
However, with it getting more expensive each year and new add-ons always being offered, I genuinely think they are doing what they can to not price people out of the gates. Yes, the price goes up each year, but I think if they didn't do extra things to sell to the people who can afford to do whatever they want, the ticket prices would reflect that and most probably be higher than they already are.
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