Friday, June 6, 2014

With the Price Increase, is Disneyland Still Worth it?

Magic Kingdom

   Recently, Disneyland “adjusted” their prices. A lot of people were up in arms about the increase. I wrote to Disney and asked them what justified the price change and in response they invited me to come visit the park as their guest to see for myself.

   Disneyland has always had a special place in my heart. When I was young my grandma would take all the grandkids to Disneyland every summer. I was scared of a lot of the rides so I actually spend a lot of time with her as she watched us from the sidelines in her wheelchair. I asked her once, “Grandma, does it ever make you sad that you can’t go on the rides?” “Gradypoo,” she responded, “seeing your smiling face and knowing I put it there is all the happiness I need.” Grandma has been passed away for nine years now, but this is a lesson I have never forgotten and tried to honor on our adventure at the Magic Kingdom.

Kid at Heart  We were fortunate to have my sister Summer (Munchie’s Mama) as our tour guide. She came with her kids and we brought my Mom, to babysit of course! It was such a great time for the cousins to be together. One of the best parts of going to Disneyland back then was getting to be with my cool big cousins. The boys had a great time together. Being the only adult male I joined in on all their fun and my inner child was able to come out and play!   In case you weren’t aware, I am a huge Star Wars Fan! Disneyland has a Jedi Academy show where kids are brought up from the audience and taught how to use a lightsaber. Then they must confront either Darth Vader or Darth Maul and use what they have learned to defend themselves. Garren was selected on our last visit about five years ago and he jumped off the stage in fear when Vader came out. He was selected again this day and faced Darth Maul. His brothers and cousins were so excited for him and Garren was having a blast on stage!

Trains   Summer and I were partners in crime when we told Garren that we were going on Big Thunder Mountain. He is much like me with his adolescent fear of roller coasters. I told him it was a train ride similar to the Casey Jr. train. After being in line for a bit he started to get wise to our rouse. He was so brave though. He screamed a lot, and when we got back to Kristie he told her it was horrible. Yet, he had the biggest grin on his face as he did so.

Ginger 2  It was our Ginger’s first trip to Disneyland and she was a doll all day. She waved to everyone in line and was blowing kisses and playing Peek-a-Boo. I almost wanted to tell people she was four months, because when I said nine they would ask all the questions I hate because she is so small. (click her link for more on that) My mom was so good with her and mom was so kind to sit with the kids as Kristie, Summer, and I went on some big kid rides.

IMG_3806   It was great to have special moments with Kristie where we got to just be husband and wife. Twelve years ago I proposed to her at Snow White’s wishing well! It brought me back to when we were newlyweds and would go on Disney Dates for just a couple hours on a Friday night. I am a big believer in Date Nights! Just to escape for 20 minutes and grab some Chinese food was a great refresher.

DateNight   It was our first time seeing the new Cars Land and it was so impressive! I felt like I was really in Radiator Springs. The highlight was when Greyson spotted Lighting McQueen. He kept jumping up and down and shouting to him, “Hi Lighting! It’s me, Greyson!” We had to take a picture and it was so cool to see him actually drive away when the picture taking time was over, but then Mater pulled up. On Greyson’s last trip he spoke to the animatronic Olaf for 20 minutes.


   Not a single kid was awake by the time World of Color ended. We still had two more hours to head back to Disneyland to do the things we skipped. It was their day, so I gave the older boys the choice. They were both spent and ready to go home, even though I was still on my Ghirardelli's Ice Cream sugar high.

   So when all is said and done, are Disney passes worth it with the increased price? Yes! My family had so much fun and made some lasting memories. I loved watching their eyes light up as they saw familiar characters come to life and go on rides that took them places they had never been. Disneyland passes are not cheap, and it is a shame that they might not be an option for every family’s budget. For those willing to make the sacrifice in money and time, you can rekindle the flame of courtship in your marriage and ignite the imagination of your children. We loved our day at Disneyland and are starting to collect bottles and cans so we can all go again soon!

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