It's a Line-Cutting World After All


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/01/10/its-a-line-cutting-world-aft.html


#2


#3

I’m having a hard time with the caring on this.


#4

This sounds like a real Mickey Mouse operation


#5

Not even the most militant Marxist would want to see Mark Zuckerberg and family among the crowd waiting in line for Peter Pan’s Flight.

I would.


#6

My question is, did they do this because a handful of Rich and Influential People quietly made them do it? Or are they in increasingly dire financial straits due to declining attendance such that they are quietly seeking alternative revenue streams?

I might speculate that buying Fox and Lucasfilm, it’s only a matter of time before someone decides to just spin off the whole theme-park business into its own separate corporate entity.


#7

I’ve been warning people for years, anybody who would listen.

The Mouse is the Antichrist.


#8

It’s more likely some bean counter showed them how much money they are leaving on the table by not selling preferred access. What shocks me is that they are only charging $50 per ticket. They could get 5x that amount.

When the Star Wars hotel opens, my kids have already said they want to go. When we do, you better believe I’ll pay an extra $50 per day to skip lines. That’s a bargain. It will also likely be the last time I go to Disney. Might as well go all out.


#9

After the California Experience, the Soviet Experience…

I have a deep abiding hatred of Disney and its copyfighting ways, and never understood Cory Doctorow’s fascination for that tawdry kitsch. Even for those who don’t mind, I can’t for the life of me fathom why anyone would pay that much money and tolerate having to stand in line for that long.


#10

So, mostly because AN UNNAMED WEBSITE made me kind of obsessed about visiting the Haunted Mansion, I went to Disneyland last month! (No children were involved in this trip.) We did the MaxPass option ($10/day per person), which granted us essentially all the FastPasses we could use, and you just select the ride you want on your phone, without having to actually visit the ride first. It seemed… like… unfair and too good to be true. (The Haunted Mansion was amazing.) Also, we met Kylo Ren.


#11

That was my thought, too. It’s almost as if some people are fooling themselves into believing that a regular, middle-class family (and I mean real middle class, not the $400,000 per year that for some reason is counted as middle class in the US) can afford a family vacation to this joint, and that 3 days of family time is to be considered well-spent waiting in excessively long lines to maybe get to go on…3? 4? rides per day?
I mean, do whatever floats your boat, but don’t take the family to Disney World then gripe about the rich elite. You’re already having an experience that so much of the country can’t afford.


#12

I thought the old system of getting your fastpass time and then doing other things was fair. You could not be on more than one queue at once. Took my kids twice and now they’re teens and done. Next time is grandkids if ever.


#13

It’s a slow, steady return toward E-ticket rides.

For those of you very young - Disneyland used to be fairly inexpensive to get into, but the rides required tickets - you bought them in a book. There were 5 “grades” of tickets in the book, with the E-ticket being for the “best” rides, like the matterhorn. If you wanted to ride the best rides over and over, you had to have the cash. It actually wasn’t horrible, because it spread the crowd out - used up your E-tickets, maybe it’s time for the carousel or motorboat rides.

So now, the ultra rich can ride the “good” rides as much as they’d like… just like before. While normals get to stand around. That was fine when park admission was $2 (1966), but not so much at north of $100. Well, that’s why my Annual Passholder family is no longer an Annual Passholder family (at Disneyland, at least - if you want thrill rides, there are better options today). It’s a pity - I prefer the Disney ambiance, but it’s clear they don’t want the shrinking middle class as a customer.


#14

Really, attendance is up so that is not it; Given a recent trip I made, very little is being invested in updating anything at the parks, even though attendance is up and profits are up even more, so they are printing money. There would be a huge demand for charging for fastpasses, because if you go to any of the parks on a busy day, your fast-passes are the only rides you are iikely to get on without a 1-3 hour wait. This was even true for Space Ship Earth at Epcot.

I think the rationale for not going down the Universal’s route is that they want the middle-class coming back year-after-year. Compare that to Universal, where if you get their fast-pass deal can set you back more than $1000 per day for a family, it becomes more like a trip to Europe–inaccessible to many, and a one-time trip for many more. Even the tired Epcot, with attendance of about 11 million, beats Universal’s 7+ million attendance, and there are probably some traditionalists there who are worried about alienating their Middle-america customers and latin american customers, who seem to be a large percentage of their park-goers.

So, this half-measure keeps the appearance of a level playing field, while monetizing a one additional aspect. But it is probably inevitable that some genius will eventually get a completely pay-to-play fast-pass–this is how airlines and professional sports works.


#15

I’m not privy to insider info, but a basic Google Search for “Disney World annual attendance” shows that admissions had gone up every year for over a decade. Do you have other info that contradicts this?


#16

I don’t know this beyond any doubt.
What I do know for sure, that rabbit… he’s a total dick.


#17

The last time I went is the last time I’ll go.
The crowd after the fireworks was criminal.
With strollers and old folks… it just wasn’t even a little bit safe.


#18

Well said. When my family of 4 went a few years ago, 3 days in the park ended up costing around $5000. Why wouldn’t you pay another $600 to skip lines? You will get to do twice as many things for about 12% more money.


#19

No affordable healthcare, dying because you can’t afford the medicine that would save your life while your fellow countrymen laugh at you as they shit in golden toilets, that’s all well and good. But there are some lines you just do not cross.


#20

Attendance may be up, but Disney’s revenues are noticeably down in 2017 from 2016 across all major revenue sources. Their TV revenues (ESPN, Disney Channel, etc.) have been struggling for years, and really only were buoyed by some short-term emergency decisions. Their videogame revenues are toast, and there’s no major revenue driver like Frozen on the horizon at the moment either.

Long story short, Disney appears to be struggling to compete in the digital era. People don’t watch much TV anymore, and so many studios are pumping out blockbusters that it’s hard to keep something in the popular consciousness long enough to properly monetize it.

I think we’re going to see a lot more questionable, short-term revenue boosters like this one while Disney Corporate tries to find a way out of a long, slow potential slide. Infinity War will probably help them out, but they also have a lot of overhead to maintain; they need other sources as well.

Yeah, but they’re not making the parks massively bigger or anything - this means that they’re dropping prices (by way of special offers, packages, etc.) to get you in the door and then try and milk you dry, but also that they’re massively overcrowding the parks and making the experience suck a little more every time. My first time at Disney was nice, but the couple times I went back (around the same time of year), it was notably more crowded and unpleasant. And now they’re trying to not lose the high-roller crowd (because the unwashed masses kind of gross them out) by offering a way around this overcrowding problem they’ve created by making core admission more affordable.