I like how the “lesser” parks will do a “buy a day, get the rest of the year free” with fairly stringent blackout dates during busy times. I know that Disney would never do this, but I also know that Universal would not have gotten so much of my ancillary business (parking, food, merch, etc.) without this model.

Shitty traffic on the Cahuenga Pass makes “Hey, let’s stop off at Universal” an appealing alternative.


They have made some good attempts to reduce lineup frustration, for those of you that haven’t been to a park in a number of years.

Disney’s Fast Pass allows you to check in to a ride, it gives you your ride time. You return then and skip the line or wait a much shorter time. While checked in you’re free to go spend money shopping etc. A bit cynical but effective. If I understand correctly, the Fast Pass will let you check in to up to three rides. On a less busy weekday the majority of your time is spent walking between rides and not waiting in line.

The Disney system is actually decently fair, its included with your ticket price and, although there are a limited number, they’re given to people that arrive early and therefore there’s a meta-benefit in distributing loads. (At least this is my understanding).

Now my local park, Canada’s Wonderland in Toronto, has adopted a much worse version of this system. On top of your regular admission fee there is a ‘fast lane’ add on that is $45 per person. Plus there is an even more premium fast lane for $55 that gets you more rides.


I’m not so sure it is bad. Keeps local prices low and gives visitors an incentive to upgrade for a better experience. I’d never do it, but then I am local and can go pretty much any time I want to.


The premium-price fast pass seems the norm for coaster parks, and the $45/$55 price tag must be way on the low end for Cedar Fair properties. I could probably see doing that if you’re making one big trip to a park on a busy summer day. You could easily ride more times in one day with the premium pass than you could by spending two days in the park without the pass. We have season passes to the local park, so we just go when it isn’t busy. Lousy weather is our friend.


Fair point but on the busiest days the lineups for the best rides can reach 2.5-3 hours, so it’s not only pay-to-win, but a compound issue where the fast lane holders bump the regular pass holders, delaying them more and more and further incentivizing anyone who can afford it to pony up. Though also little sympathy for going on the busy Saturdays in the summer in the first place :).


The new system is much, much better than the old. You can also reserve Fast Passes via an app or at any designated kiosk in the park, so no more running to a ride to grab a Fast Pass for it (or worse, see that they’re all gone). There are some limitations, like you have to pick three from ride “groups”, so you can’t grab three for the most popular rides at the same time. I think it worked out to one of the popular, and two from any other ride/show.

That said, once those three passes are gone, or while you’re waiting for the next one to come up, you’re still going to try to get into something, and more than likely going to be waiting for a bit if it’s at all popular. You also can’t grab a fourth Fast Pass until the original three are gone.


Club 33. Ate there a couple of times. It’s for celebrities, dignataries, etc., so they can eat unmolested. Not that I would count myself in either category (I seem to recall it was with Stuart Moulder when he was at Microsoft with the Age of Empires thing, and another time with my sister when she was working at DIsneyland).


I bought the top tier for my wife (free parking is very important)* and the cheapest resident for myself and it’s going to expire in the next couple of months. She takes our little guy once almost every weekend, but gets there right as it opens and leaves before 1pm. We usually go as a family once a night as well, lots of fun. We won’t be renewing for at least a few years though, until the little guy gets bigger and can ride the coasters. So tired of trying to explain to him why he can’t ride any but toon town.

In total I think it would be an additional $120 to renew for both of us and she would lose 5 days out of the year. But those are 5 days they would never go on anyways so really it’s just a $120 price hike for both of us. Plus the little guy won’t get in free anymore so that’s another ticket to buy.

The way to think about resident blackout dates isn’t as a list of dates you can’t go - it’s a list of dates you really don’t want to go. Even better, pick the nights they close early as well for minimum line times. Assuming you have a little guy who will be passed out by then.

Surprisingly Mother’s Day was d e a d. Great time to go. Though point taken, especially the summer restriction. Way too hot, way too crowded.

The only way that makes sense to me is if you substituted Legoland for Universal. Legoland definitely skews younger. I am pretty bored there but the little guy loves it.

  • Or if you are only going to be there a couple hours you can park in downtown disney for free for 2 hours, then an additional 2 hours if you sit down at a restaurant.


Talk about a true fan…

Reitz, an Air Force veteran, credits the parks with giving him something to look forward to each day, noting that he enjoys hearing the music as he enters, interacting with the friendly park cast members, and watching the park guests having a good time. He also enjoys the shows and attractions, including one of his favorites, the Matterhorn Bobsleds adventure. Reitz says he plans to continue treating himself to daily park visits for as long as he can.[/quote]


A more detailed look at the upcoming Star Wars park installations:



Screw Disney and their ever-increasing prices to keep the poor kids out. We’re not renewing our passes after they expire this month. Up $300 each compared to what we paid last year. Sickening.


Starting Sunday, a one-day, one-park ticket for Disneyland or California Adventure park rises to $104 from $97 for low-demand days, such as weekdays in May. That is a 7.2% increase. Meanwhile, the consumer price index for the 12-month period ended in November rose 2.2%.

A ticket for regular-demand days will rise to $129 from $117, a 10.3% increase. The price of a ticket on peak-demand days will rise to $149 from $135, a 10.4% increase.

For annual passes, the least-expensive Southern California Select Pass, which blocks out all weekends, most of the summer months as well as a big part of the fall and winter holidays, will cost $399, up from $369, or 8.1% more.

For the Deluxe Pass, which includes admission to both parks on select days, customers pay $799, up from $729, a 9.6% increase.

For the most expensive pass, the Premier Pass, which includes parking, access to both parks and no block-out days, the price rose to $1,949 from $1,579, a 23.4% increase.

The MaxPass, a digital ride-reservation system that guests upload to their smartphones, will be priced at $15, up from $10, or 50% more.

Gotta make dat chedda! Mouse is hongry.


Supply and demand. I thought it was far too busy when we had season passes a few years ago.

We will probably get season passes again after the Star Wars section has been opened for awhile and the lines died down (from insanity to just really really bad)


We won 4 tickets in a high school football raffle fundraiser. It’s the biggest thing I’ve ever won and probably the biggest I’ll ever win. It’s been about 2 years since we’ve been and the kids are in prime time (11 and 8) so we are pretty excited.

I don’t blame Disney though, if they didn’t charge that much the parks would be miserably busy 100% of the time. We went to knotts one day this summer — much cheaper than Disney — and every single line was 2 hours long.


Congrats!! Highly HIGHLY recommend you get there when it first opens so you can enjoy about an hour of relatively low crowds before the masses get there. Also grab the fast pass for your 2nd favorite ride before you get on the first. Our standard procedure all year long was get there when it opens, hit a few favorite rides, then head home 3-4 hours later when it’s just insane.

We’re thinking about doing Knott’s this year and doing the same thing, though it’d be about $2,500 cheaper for the passes.


We did the same thing. We always did mornings and left before or at noon. We also did evenings that worked well (usually) but the little guy wouldn’t last long.

Get a list of black out dates for the cheapest season pass and avoid any days that are blacked out even if your tickets let you go then. Think of it as a helpful guide as to when the park is gonzo busy.

Some rides offer a single rider line but it’s not always obvious. You won’t be sitting with your family but if you want to experience some rides it’s the only sane choice at normal park capacity.

We just wrapped up our Knott’s year a few months ago and had a good time. They have some decent roller coasters for shorties. We didn’t go nearly as often as Disney but that’s the thing - we didn’t feel like we had to. With the Disney passes being such an investment we felt we had to go every chance. So we did, minimum once a week, usually two times.

The previous year we did Universal and then Legoland before that. Had a good time at all of them but Disney was of course the single best park for a multitude of reasons. If you don’t factor in the money anyways, that flips everything on its head.

I just remembered we have a season pass to Legoland right now because it was so cheap but that’s my least favorite park now that the little guy is bigger. He looooOoooovveeess to wander around the lego cities they built, never gets tired of it. I however am quite finished with it.

Really looking forward to when he gets big enough to ride the big coasters with me so we can go live at Magic Mountain. It’s a drive for us but they have some amazing coasters.


I spent the last several posts being genuinely bewildered as to why someone might need to visit Disney multiple times a year badly enough to justify dropping $2,000 on it, until @Gendal helpfully reminded me that children exist.


According to my quick math, it was roughly about $145 per trip for us to go 20 times in 2018. 18 trips for all 4 of us and my wife & I each took the girls once on our own. So I guess that’s a relative bargain compared to the roughly $400+parking it would cost per trip for us to go with regular ticket rates.

If we renewed our passes and took the same number of trips in 2019, the cost per trip would suddenly be $195 per outing instead. Thanks Disney!


I wanted to renew on Saturday but couldn’t do it online because my wife had the premiere pass last year and that requires a booth. So I waited until Sunday because we were going anyway. That cost me 300 bucks. Still, I take my two year old about every other week. It’s great family time that you can’t put a price tag on. Now next year when it’s time to pony up for a pass for her it becomes a different story.