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Disneyland raised prices to shorten ride wait times


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An interesting twist on cause and effect between ticket prices and ride wait times:

Disneyland raised prices to shorten waits. Here are the results.

Los Angeles Times, Jul 12 2017 12:15 PM

Like scores of other Disneyland fans, Craig Yoshihara has developed his own time-tested technique for avoiding long wait times for rides in the park. The pastor from Dinuba, California, who visits at least once a month, rushes in as soon as the gates open and quickly heads to Space Mountain and Star Tours before hitting other popular rides. He walks in a counterclockwise direction around the park — against the tide of visitors — and avoids the queues between lunch and dinner time, when the park is most crowded. "I don’t think most people spend the time looking at flow patterns in the park," Yoshihara, an annual pass holder for nine years, said of his strategy. "It’s really good to do your research first."

There is good reason for such efforts. Average wait times at the Disneyland Resort have been on the rise over the past few years, despite efforts by the park to ease crowding by raising ticket prices on peak demand days and expanding a ride reservation system, among other changes. In fact, Disney has faced queuing problems for so long that it has become a pioneer in line management, dating back to the early days of the park when it used stanchions and tape to create switchbacks that are now widely used at airports and theme parks worldwide.

A Times analysis found that the average wait time for the resort’s most popular rides in the first six months of the year was 24.4 minutes, a 28% increase over the same period in 2015 when the park drew record-high attendance numbers. In the first six months of the year, the ride with the longest average wait time at Disneyland was Space Mountain, at 65 minutes, up from 48 minutes in the same period in 2015. At adjacent California Adventure Park, Radiator Springs Racers had the longest average wait time, 86 minutes, up from 73 minutes in the first six months of 2015.

Even higher ticket prices to visit the “Happiest Place on Earth” have not dissuaded the Disney faithful — many of whom visit the park dozens of times throughout the year and contribute to the crush. One-day ticket prices have jumped by nearly 70% at Disneyland since 2007, to $124. An annual pass with no blackout dates now sells for just over $1,000. Prices are so high that the resort began a few years ago to offer California residents a monthly payment plan for annual passes. And sales of some passes have been temporarily cut off at times to help thin the crowds. Despite the rising cost, attendance at Disneyland has jumped 20% since 2007, to nearly 18 million visitors in 2016, according to an estimate by the Los Angeles consulting firm Aecom.

New attractions, as expected, draw the biggest crowds, at least until the novelty of the ride wears off. At California Adventure Park, the drop-tower ride known as Twilight Zone Tower of Terror was revamped this year to feature Marvel superheroes and was renamed Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout. During the first month after it opened, the new Guardians attraction had an average wait time of 93 minutes, with the maximum wait time climbing to five hours.

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-disneyland-wait-times-20170712-htmlstory.html

 

 

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Maybe adding Fast Pass to more rides increased the standby wait times?

 

I thought lines were much shorter at Disneyland compared to Disney World. We walked right onto the front row of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad around 11:00 am in standby last year. In Florida, even with a FastPass, you don't get a walk on. I guess it depends on when someone visits and weather. This was during mid June and a crowd calendar had it as 6 - 8 out of 10 for crowd levels.

 

The line for Pirates never stops moving in California with no FastPass to slow the line down. What would have been a 30 - 40 minute line in Florida took just under 10 minutes in California.

 

I also liked so many more rides at Disneyland and California Adventure had single rider lines to help avoid wait times.

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I also liked so many more rides at Disneyland and California Adventure had single rider lines to help avoid wait times.

I would think single rider lines would help the efficiency of most rider, and help the staff trying to fill ride vehicles to their capacity (instead of having to call out for single riders). I don't know why more parks and rides don't implement them. Is it because it requires separate queues and signing? Or because less people would buy fast passes?

 

Ironically I was at SFNE last month and after waiting a while in line, the operator told me next time to just use the single rider line, which I had not even noticed because I wasn't looking for it.

Edited by dougdrummer
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I think more parks don't use them because it requires extra staffing and can create more problems. At Green Lantern I see way too often people jump over the railing in the station separating the single rider line from the regular loading areas and then if a ride operator sees it, they have to get the people to move back. There is also the problem of people refusing to ride separate and think if they complain enough, the ride operator will give in and let them ride together which seems to happen more at Disney than at Great Adventure.

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Maybe adding Fast Pass to more rides increased the standby wait times?

I thought lines were much shorter at Disneyland compared to Disney World. We walked right onto the front row of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad around 11:00 am in standby last year. In Florida, even with a FastPass, you don't get a walk on. I guess it depends on when someone visits and weather. This was during mid June and a crowd calendar had it as 6 - 8 out of 10 for crowd levels.

The line for Pirates never stops moving in California with no FastPass to slow the line down. What would have been a 30 - 40 minute line in Florida took just under 10 minutes in California.

I also liked so many more rides at Disneyland and California Adventure had single rider lines to help avoid wait times.

Years ago, their POTC used to have fastpass but they removed it. I still have a few old FP tickets from then.

 

Sounds like Disney admission tickets have inelastic demand, meaning price changes have little to no effect on demand.

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