Bloomberg (via Zero Hedge) had this chart on Disney theme park entrance prices:
A few random thoughts:
- This highlights how hard it is to do inflation statistics correctly. For example, the ticket being sold in 1971 is completely different from the one being sold in 2015. The 2015 ticket gets one access without additional charge to all the attractions. The 1971 ticket required purchase of additional ride tickets (the famous, among Disney fans, A-E tickets). So this is not an apples to apples comparison. Further, Disney has huge discounts for multi-day tickets. The first day may cost $105, but adding a fourth day to a three day ticket costs just a trivial few bucks. Local residents who come often for a single day get special rates as well. So the inflation rate here grossly overestimates that actual increase in per person, per trip total spending for access to park attractions
- This is a great case in pricing strategy. Around 1980, the Bass family bought into a large ownership percentage of Disney. The story I am about to tell is often credited to their influence, but I am not positive. Never-the-less, someone had a big "aha!" moment at Disney. They realized that families were taking trips just to visit DisneyWorld. These trips cost hundreds, even thousands of dollars. The families were thus paying hundreds of dollars per person to enjoy Disney, of which Disney was reaping... $9.50 a day. They had a stupendously valuable product (as far as consumers were concerned) but everyone else in the supply chain was grabbing most of the value they created. So Disney raised prices, on the theory that if a family were paying over a thousand dollars to get and stay there, they would not object to paying an extra $50 at the gate. And they were right.