When you live in Southern California, specifically around Orange County, you start to know people who love Disney. And not just love it, they bask in loving it the way a cat might sprawl itself in a beam of sunlight. When they turn 16, they get a job at Disneyland. They own an annual pass. They become part of the Disney culture, getting to know every park employee and immersing themselves in the constant goings-on at the park. Disney becomes their life. They own mugs and dinner plates featuring Mickey Mouse. They know the rides like scripture, pointing out every turn and drop and reciting each line of recorded dialogue from Jack Sparrow to Jack Wagner.
I’ll admit I have huge admiration for the world that Walt Disney created. He built an empire upon imaginings so richly absurd that it could have only happened in America, and that’s to his credit. But this beast of his has a hunger that can’t be controlled. It’s like when a sun goes supernova and it just sucks in everything around it. And my gripe is not with the world of Disney or its strange mythos that caused people I know to dim the lights in their brain and become Mickey worshipping retards, it’s with how pompously cynical the whole thing has become. Disney has an essentially locked in fanbase. And so long as they feel they can still put on the most lavish, dazzling production in town they feel no need to bend to the needs of their customers or their community. Keeping in mind that Disney gladly took tax dollars to perfect their fireworks display, it’s kind of a shitty attitude to have.
But I’m just telling you things you already know. Disneyland’s main attractions, from Space Mountain to the Matterhorn Bobsleds to Pirates and the Haunted Mansion were completed prior to Walt Disney’s death in 1966. Since that time major additions to that park have been Star Tours (completed in 1987), Toon Town (completed in 1993), and the Indiana Jones Adventure (completed in 1995). And while the major bulk of Disneyland remains the same old and stupid crap that hasn’t been updated since the Eisenhower administration, the cost of a ticket to Disneyland has risen dramatically over the last decade.
Courtesy of Wikipedia. One day pass to Disneyland per person:
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Folks, we are just days from 2010. Cameron has just introduced the most revolutionary form of film technology since sound and just last week I saw a man on YouTube who built his own sentry gun using a laptop and a paintball gun. There’s no reason why a park should charge $76 dollars going into 2010 when half their rides feature animatronics so outdated I can hear their mechanical mouths moving up and down. And I’m sorry, but inserting a Jack Sparrow puppet into Pirates of the Caribbean isn’t any more of an update to that ride than my using spellcheck on a script and calling it a rewrite.
It took us two hours to get into the park. Twenty minutes to drive to Disneyland and two full hours to get in. That was one hour waiting in their parking lot and another hour waiting in the ticket line while their cashiers up-sold annual passes. As the cashier explained to me, “When we sell the passes it takes a while because there are contracts that need to be signed.” Great, do that on your own fucking time.
The passes I should add, cost $192 dollars a person for Southern California residents and come with “blackout dates” which include Saturdays, the two weeks of Christmas break, and the entire fucking summer. They don’t include the $14 dollars to park or the typical $15 dollars a plate their restaurant charges for a plate of cafeteria slop. Having just come back from Vegas, where price-gouging is a cultural staple, even I was a little shocked.
The day cost $250 dollars and with lines we were only able to visit 6 attractions. For us that’s not so big a deal, certainly not anything to sneeze at, but I wonder about these families in this recession who had to save amid terrifying financial difficulties and who were treated like sheep for their dollar. With a family of four that would be $500, the price of a new television or a month’s car payment and utilities. Does Disney care? Do they give a shit that people have to work harder than ever to afford small luxuries like a day at Disneyland? Probably not. Mickey, like all great dictators, has expensive tastes and cannot be bothered with the petty troubles of the proletariat. He’s kind of a douchebag that way. No coupons, no concessions, no customer service. And sadly, I want to go again.
Disneyland: Overpriced, outdated, and stupid.