The Walt Disney Company (parent corporation of ABC, ESPN, Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, and other properties) has once again decided to raise the price of admission to its amusement parks including Disneyland in southern California and the various lands that make up Walt Disney World in central Florida. The new rates range from $99 for a person ten or older at Disneyland to $105 for the Magic Kingdom at Disney World. That’s admission for a single person on a single day!
Now, Disney does sell multi-day tickets and packages at a discount, but still… a hundred bucks is a lot for one person to pay just to get into an amusement park for one day. For a family of five, going to Disneyland for a day costs nearly $500.
That’s a lot of money.
To put the cost in perspective: A single parent getting paid at the federal minimum wage of $7.25 would have to work over forty-five hours just to earn the money to afford to get in the gates for a day with two kids.
And once inside, they’d find it difficult not to spend more money on food, plus the temptation of merchandise that Disney offers for sale at every corner.
When Disneyland first opened in the 1950s, admission was $1 and tickets to attraction were extra. When Disney World opened in the 1970s, admission was $3.50. Admission has since gone up, as has the cost of living. But worker wages have been largely flat; income inequality in America has gotten much worse.
As a consequence, fewer families can readily afford to spend a week at Disney’s theme parks. The irony is, the so-called happiest places on Earth are only accessible to those who can afford to get in and not worry about the expense of a vacation.