Opinion: Disneyland raises prices, and it won’t matter. Here’s why.

"Mary Poppins" author P.L. Travers (shown here in the movie "Saving Mr. Banks," played by Emma Thompson) apparently didn't care for Disneyland.
(Francois Duhamel / Disney Enterprises)

Disney may be right: It is a small world after all. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for another price increase at the company’s Anaheim theme parks.

Over the weekend, the Happiest Place on Earth also became the Even More Expensive Place in SoCal, with ticket prices for those 10 and older going up to $96 from $94 for either Disneyland Park or Disney California Adventure Park. (Oh yeah, and parking went up a buck too, but you know what P.L. Travers would say: In for penny, in for a pound, you Disney cretins.)

It’s all kinda goofy, though, considering that prices also went up 4% in June 2013. Oh, and they went up in August 2010, June 2011 and May 2012 too.

All of which might prompt some park visitors to ask, “Excuse me, Minnie, is that another new dress?” Or, “Hey, Mickey, nice ride; the new Ferrari hybrid, huh?”


Anyway, the price hike prompted the usual gnashing of teeth, with commenters on The Times website, for example, muttering darkly about never setting foot in the place again.

But, much like the climate change deniers, the views of the naysayers make little sense. The outraged anti-Disneyites complain about the cost, sure, but they also tell tales of jampacked parks and horrendous waits for rides.

Which means, of course, that the place is more popular than ever. Which also means that Disney can keep right on milking this goose that lays the golden eggs (shh, only really talented bloggers can get away with using a mixed metaphor like that) for seemingly as long as it wants.

Want to complain? Want to boycott? As they sang in “Mary Poppins”: Go fly a kite.

Now, I have a theory about the apparent contradiction between insane prices and packed venues (see, Dodger Stadium, any hockey game, English Premier League soccer and “The Book of Mormon”). It’s called the Theory of Diminishing Memory, or DIM (c’mon, just go with it).

You see, those of us of a certain, ahem, age are usually the most outraged at today’s insane prices. Mainly because we recall, for example, when visiting Disneyland cost $4 to get in, plus a stupid ticket book that never had enough tickets for the good rides. The same with Dodger Stadium, where once a ticket, a dog and a soda was an under-$10 deal.

We DIM folks might not be able to remember what we had for lunch, but otherwise we have long memories. And we ain’t gonna pay no 100 bucks to go to Disneyland.

But we — OK, just go ahead and say it — old fogies are a dying breed (mostly literally).


To the youngsters out there, Disneyland and other attractions cost what they have always cost, give or take a few bucks. You see, the youngsters aren’t afflicted with DIM. And they may not have good jobs, these millennials, but they have money (or their parents or grandparents do), and they spend it. On pricey Dodgers tickets. Or Lakers tickets. Or Lorde concerts.

Or Disneyland.

Someday soon, a Disneyland ticket will cost $100. Then $150. Then $200. Like global warming and those rising sea levels we keep reading about, it’s inevitable.

By then, today’s young people will have DIM. They will complain about prices.


But their kids will happily pay the price to visit the one-and-only Happiest Place on Earth.

It is, I suppose, the Circle of Cash.