View Full Version : How has your spending changed?

03-29-2004, 11:38 AM
This is for long-time/repeat APs:

Let's take an arbitrary time, say, 1999. What did you pay for your pass, and how much would you say you spent per year at Disneyland on top of the cost of your pass? Are you now spending more or less money at the resort?

In 1999, the premium AP was less than $200 (disclaimer, I was a CM at the time, but I WOULD have owned a premium AP). Prices for food and drink were significantly lower than they are now- I'd say a burger, fries, and a coke after tax ran around $6-ish. Pins were $4-$6 and beanies were $6.
I went to the park probably 3 Sundays a month, and at least 3 other partial days. On Sunday, I would buy lunch at places like Pizza Port, Plaza Inn, or Big Thunder BBQ. My typical lunch bill was $9-$12 total. I would also eat dinner, and average $11-$14. I would typically purchase 1 item per week, sometimes more (eg: buying 5 pins at once, etc).
So, average Sunday expenditure, taking the bottom of each price range, had me spending $20 on food, plus probably an average of $6 in merchandise or snacky stuff.
Since I was in the park frequently, I would probably purchase another meal, usually dinner, so we'll tack on another $11 in spending each of the 3 weeks out of the month I was likely to be in the park. So now we're at $47 per week's attendance.
12 months in the year, that's 36 weeks at $47/week. That year I probably spent around $1692 in regular expenditures (not counting high-ticket items).

Today, the AP is $279 (note: mine renews in January so let's say mine is $225). Granted, DCA exists, but when DCA first opened, I bought the DL-only pass for $199 - I do not count DCA for purposes of pass value because if offered, I would still own a 1-park AP. A burger, fries, and a coke at Whitewater Snacks now runs just under $10. I do not know what it costs at Plaza Inn anymore since I stopped eating there 2 years ago when the typical meal was starting to run $13. I'm guessing around $16 for an entree and a drink, does anyone know (go by the chicken prices since that's what I'd be getting)? I haven't purchased a beanie or a pin in over a year, they now cost an average of $10.50. A soda, with tax, is hovering dangerously close to the $3 mark.
Food prices have gotten so ridiculously out of proportion with quality and value (not to mention portion size, which has dropped!), that I avoid eating at the park if possible, and probably have ONE $10 meal per visited week.
I still go 2-3 Sundays per month, plus other days. Probably still visit at least 6 times a month. (come to think of it, I'm probably understating my frequency of visits both then and now). I go 3 months between merchandise purchases, and I don't typically spend more than $25 on whatever it is.
So, same 36 weeks of visitation, averaging $10/week in food, total $360, plus the no more than $75 per year in merchandise, has me spending $435 per year at the park (not counting AP price).

.... And now they've raised the AP price 20% (please note, inflation is hovering somewhere between 1-2%, I'm not sure the exact number, but it's LOW). Is this supposed to encourage me to spend more in the parks? Given the trend, do they honestly expect that charging me more is going to make more money off me?

I'm seriously beginning to wonder if they employ any microeconomists at all in this place. You know, there are people who can actually create reasonable price elasticity models....

Or, Eisner can just blame poor performance on 9-11 for the third year running (that excuse got old after the 1st year).

The Mouse Is Back
03-29-2004, 11:57 AM
Wow, I had never really given this much thought until now. I am not going to be able to list the actual price changes through the years - heck, I'm lucky if I remember my own name some days! :p

We used to go a lot more often when there was an actual off-season. I know my overcrowding complaint is probably getting old, but it has affected my spending probably more than any other individual factor - if we don't go, we obviously aren't spending our money there, and the crowds are a disincentive.

When food/drink prices were at least marginally within our budget, we used to eat one meal and a snack every time we went. Then we went to buying food inside the Park only on special occasions. We'd leave during the day, go to one of the many fast food joints on Katella or Harbor, and then come back. Even sodas got too expensive as far as I was concerned.

Because we don't go as often any more, when we DO go, I let my daughter get the fried chicken at French Market for a late lunch, and she is also allowed one small souvenir per visit. I can't afford for both of us to eat at French Market - heck, they don't even include a side salad any more as part of the meal - so I take a sandwich or something for myself.

I"m glad they at least allow "snacks" to be brought into the Park now, instead of the ridiculous "no food of any kind" rule they had for a while.

When we go on our mini-vacations a couple of times a year and stay at one of the local hotels, the rules change. Room service or meals at the Park and better souvenir items. It wouldn't be a real vacation if I pinched pennies too hard!


03-29-2004, 12:00 PM
Would you say you spend more, or less, total, per year?

03-29-2004, 12:00 PM
This is for long-time/repeat APs:

Let's take an arbitrary time, say, 1999. What did you pay for your pass, and how much would you say you spent per year at Disneyland on top of the cost of your pass? Are you now spending more or less money at the resort?

Don't remember what I paid for my pass at any particular time. I paid whatever the price was, minus the renewal discount if that was applicable.

Have no idea what I spent during the course of the year. I think I'm spending about the same as I spent then, maybe more. I used to spend more on food because I was going to the park every week, sometimes both days of the weekend, so I'd be spending money on lunch and dinner there. Now, we average once every other week, usually on Sunday, and we usually have lunch and dinner there. We're buying more higher-end collectibles now because we have a bit more spending money.

I'd be spending even more money at the resort if they hadn't destroyed so many of the restaurants I like.

The Mouse Is Back
03-29-2004, 12:03 PM
Would you say you spend more, or less, total, per year?

I would say overall, I'm probably spending less. If there were still uncrowded periods, we would be there at least once a week, probably more.

As it is, we go on average once a month, and then a couple of three-day vacations per year, but we don't stay at Disney properties so I don't suppose that counts as part of the DLR expenditures.

Matt Hamand
03-29-2004, 12:11 PM
I dont remember the food prices being that cheap circa 1999. They seem to me to have been pretty constant.

It seems to me that you have to take DCA into account, whether you would purchase a 1park pass if offered or not. After all, DCA Is included. That adds some value for me.

As far as spending, not withstanding the AP price hike, I don't think my wife and I spend much more or less than we ever have. Most of our spending comes from meals, usually 2 per 1 day trip. We were never real big merchandise buyers. Michelle buys a few Pooh beanies and a couple of pins a year, or so. I think the last merchandise purchase I made was a TRON sound track a couple of years ago.

edit to add:

This doesn't include the sometimes huge amounts we spend at the LEGO store in Downtown Disney. Both Michelle and I are big LEGO fans. I was referring to spending at Disney owned food and merch outlets.

03-29-2004, 12:37 PM
The price of the AP does not affect what I spend each time I go to the park. Although, it probably should. I've never considered the food to be outrageous because to me it's part of the experience, and I know where to cut corners. I'd NEVER buy a coke, burger, fry combo because all I need is the burger. The platters at Plaza Inn at $15 (with AP discount) w/o a drink and with a piece of chocolate bundt cake are big enough to share, so are the Turkey Legs at $6. For less than $5, the mousketeer meals at Plaza Inn are an excellent bargain. Plus, it makes room for ice cream. There are ways to eat cheaply in the park if you want to. To me, I'd rather do this than go to Subway or Burger King.

In actuality, I'll probably spend more next year because I'll try to go to the park more often to get my "money's worth". I'm also REALLY going to try to stay at the GCH this year for my birthday.

Of course I'm not a Disneyana collector. I do have a HUGE framed attraction poster in my room, but I don't own pins, figurines, $200 lamps, prints, etc. Not that I wouldn't want them, but I just choose not to spend my money on them. Occasionally I'll buy a shirt at the park or an antenna ball, but overall I don't spend my money on Disney merchandise.