Families around the world who make their annual pilgrimage to The Happiest Place on Earth have even more reason to celebrate Disney, lower theme park ticket prices. Without any announcement, Disney cut its theme park ticket prices in half starting last night at midnight.
"It's our way of saying thank you to the loyal Disney fans all around the globe," said Bob Iger, the chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company. "When people think of Disney, we want them to think of 'fair pricing'," added Mr. Iger.
Over the past ten years, Disney has consistently raised the ticket prices to their theme parks arguing it was necessary to regulate park attendance that was growing out of control. "Raising ticket prices is the only way to maintain reasonable waits for rides and attractions," said Mr. Iger in 2006 when ticket prices were $63, half of what a peak ticket costs today.
"Thank you, Jesus," responded Gary Lewis, a resident of Houston who flies his family of five to Disneyland every summer, when he heard ticket prices had been cut in half. "Scariest place on Earth is what I called it. A green apple dipped in caramel costs eight bucks. You know much I paid for a Mickey shaped sucker? Five bucks. Place bleeds me dry. Giving you a break on the ticket is the least they could do."
Disney shareholders weren't sure what to make of the decision. "They're leaving money on the table," said Vanguard Group Inc CEO William McNabb III, who's company owns close to one hundred million shares of Disney stock.
"Seems to me if Disney wanted to show appreciation to its customers, they could have just dropped the price of bottled water from five dollars to four dollars. That would have made people just as happy," Mr. McNabb added.
There's no denying Disney customers have a loyalty that goes well beyond most brands. Just last week Mike and Jenny Peters, a pregnant couple from Los Angeles, CA were visiting Disneyland for the twenty fifth time this year when Jenny went into labor while standing in line at Space Mountain.
Rejecting assistance from paramedics, and against the advice of Disney's legal council, Jenny and Mike opted to have life-sized Mikey and Minnie deliver their baby inside the theater playing Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln. After a grueling twelve hour delivery, baby Walt Peters was born at the Happiest Place on Earth.