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Disney Facing Criticism for High Prices at Theme Parks

Credit: Unsplash

For many families in the United States, regardless of income level, visiting Disneyland has traditionally been seen as a rare and special occasion that may only happen once in a lifetime. Unless you come from a wealthy background, are a local to California, or fall into both categories, affording a trip to the popular theme park has always been a financial challenge. However, with Disneyland fully reopening recently, many visitors have observed that the prices have escalated to a point where even that small window of opportunity is closing.

In February, Disney CEO Bob Chapek announced that the company would be implementing a more aggressive financial approach with their theme parks, possibly to recover from the economic setbacks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This strategy is now being put into action, evident in the fact that basic park passes now cost as much as premium passes did before the pandemic. Moreover, Disneyland has introduced pricier experiences such as the $100 sandwich at the Pym Test Kitchen in the Avengers Campus. When factoring in additional expenses like parking and hotel accommodations, a single night at a Disneyland Resort hotel can now amount to around $500.

Rick Munarriz from The Motley Fool remarked, “Nostalgia comes at a high price, and Disney understands this more than ever.”

Interestingly, a survey by Business Insider revealed that people in higher income brackets who can easily afford these expenses are less interested in visiting Disneyland. Those with annual incomes over $150,000 were found to be the least likely to plan a trip to the theme park, whereas those earning between $50,000 and $74,999 showed the most interest, closely followed by those in the $25,000 to $49,999 range. Disney’s focus on wealthier customers may be a double-edged sword, potentially alienating their core audience while trying to recover from a year of decreased business.

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