Dear Mr. Colglazier,
You don’t know me, and I don’t know you, in fact I had to Google who you were this morning when I was trying to figure out how to address my letter. But this isn’t about me, this is about the thousands (maybe millions) of people like me who all have these same feelings this morning.
Mr. Colglazier, I’m sure it’s no surprise that I’m writing to you this morning in regards to the latest price increase (really price gauge) on Annual Passes at Disneyland Resort. This morning, it was released that the new Signature Plus Annual Pass (which is equivalent to the Premium Annual Pass) is now available for purchase for $1049.
For my readers, who aren’t familiar with what the benefits of this annual pass include, this is the only pass you can purchase that gives you admission for 365 days a year (meaning no blackout days).
For Mr. Colglazier, as a comparison, I purchased this same annual pass (well my parents did) in 1999 for $199. That is 527% inflation over 15 years. For further analysis, I purchased this same annual pass in 2008 for $389. So, for you mathematicians out there, that means from 1999-2008, a nine-year period, the inflation rate was 195%, from 2008-2015, a seven-year period, the inflation rate is now 270% (and rising).
Growing up, my family was a blue-collar family. My dad was a diesel mechanic, my mom worked in a restaurant and later moved into a more corporate environment after receiving additional training. But every year from the time I was four years old until I started my own family, we took a summer vacation to Disneyland. We saved for that trip all year and weren’t annual pass-holders at the time. It was the one week a year that we got to be together as a family without any interruptions or distractions, the one week a year that my parents and I got to enjoy each other and have fun together.
Which, Mr. Colglazier, if I’m correct, wasn’t that the sole intention for Walt’s motivation to create Disneyland to begin with?
Now, as a mother, I too look forward to my vacations with my daughter at Disney properties. At four years old she has been to Walt Disney World, Disneyland, and Aulani. As a DVC owner, Disney is and has been our vacation destination of choice as a family.
We live in Arizona, and my husband, daughter, and I have long enjoyed our spur of the moment decision trips to head to Disneyland having annual passes has enabled us to do. Our most recent annual passes (which were premier annual passes that I actually paid less for than your signature deluxe now retails for and allowed us admission to Disneyland AND Disney World) expired in August 2014. At that time, my husband and I felt it was no longer economical for us to be annual pass-holders, and clearly that rings even truer today.
Mr. Colglazier, I understand that being an annual pass-holder is a privilege, not an entitlement. For many years, I’ve been blessed to hold an annual passport and share these experiences with those I love. As a former operations manager, I also understand the business decision behind increasing the prices for annual passports.
What I do not understand, or ever thought at this point in my life I’d have witnessed, is 527% inflation.
While I’m sure this morning your share holders are happy (being that it’s a Sunday and the stock exchanges aren’t open, we won’t be able to truly know until tomorrow) please know that thousands of those who have been loyal and true to Disneyland even in her years of drought (circa 2003ish-the opening of Carsland) are now realizing that their once go to vacation destination, is fading to a distant memory.
It saddens me to see how corporate and capitalistic Disney has become in plain-site.
Thank you for your time.