Disneyland Annual Pass Price Increase

So in case you haven't heard, Disneyland Annual Passholder prices rose on Sunday October 4. As a former Annual Passholder, it's sad that the prices have risen. As a former Cast Member, I completely understand the need. As a smart and reasonable person, I completely understand, despite how much a price increase sucks.
{photo by Ricky Romero via flickr}

Crazy Crowds
If you've been to Disneyland during a busy season, you know how crazy it is. Yes, that's when most people are off from work or school, but the people that do have to go during those times (when that's the only time possible) really shouldn't have to suffer crazy crowds. 
I know most of my friends here are APs or Cast Members, but with the new strategy of a huge price increase between having all of the days of the year except two weeks of the holiday (Disney Signature Passport) and the pass that gives you all the days of the year (Disney Signature Plus Passport), it really makes sense.
 If you're a local AP, you get the whole year to visit the parks whenever you can. Yes, you are paying the higher price at once, but it's breaking down to cost you less per trip. Plus, do you really want to deal with those times where every inch of the park is as busy as the photo above? Those guests that travel to come to Disneyland for their one-time trip during the holiday have to deal with both parties' traffic. Just imagine your first trip being that packed. I mean, on those dates, the gates are routinely closed for capacity. Isn't it only right for Disney to think of those guests and say, "Okay, the people who can get in in these two weeks are guests who pay for tickets and Annual Passholders who pay a significant amount more than others."
 I think that's fair. It's well in line with the travel industry, as hotels and airlines charge more around the holidays too.
 {photo via Wikipedia}

PhotoPass as an added value.
So if I was an Annual Passholder, I'd be stoked about having free PhotoPass downloads. PhotoPass photographers can always take personal cameras, but if they're into the session on their own camera and don't have to worry about the personal camera, shots usually turn out better and they look better because they're on a DSLR.
And for those parents that always stand back and take photos? You finally get to interact with your children and the character as a family!
When we went to Disney World, we used the Memory Maker and I just loved it. No more fumbling for and handing the camera to anyone and losing time with an awesome character. Plus, APs might start actually looking at all of their photos. I hear so often from people that, "PhotoPass sucks," but they base it on one bad picture, which really isn't fair. Just remember that the photos you see on the website don't show the actual quality of the photos! You'll see the quality once you download it.
{photo by Loren Javier via flickr
But aren't all those attractions closed during 2016? 
Yes, they are. Which really stinks because Fantasmic! is a great show and the Disneyland Railroad is one of my favorite attractions. But do you know what that means? That means there are unfortunately less rides to go on which would decrease capacity. You think the park is busy now? Imagine how busy it's going to be once a lot of the attractions are closed? Especially losing the train. So, less room means less people need to be coming into the park for it to feel manageable. 
I know most people have the idea that when stuff is closed, prices should be less, but a balance needs to be found during those times. I don't think they've reached the best solution quite yet, but I know they've been surveying people about a tiered system, which I think could be helpful.
 {photo by Joe Penniston via flickr}
You're telling me it's cheaper for a Walt Disney World annual pass? 
Yes, Disney World is less expensive now at $829 for an annual pass with no blockout dates, but it makes total sense. Disneyland is very localized, a big portion of the attendance is California residents. Florida? It's not as accessible. WDW is literally a huge swampland. It's worth noting that their Annual Passholders do not get discounts on food, either.

In general- price increases suck; I agree.
As for the price increase in general, yes, it's sad that having no block out dates is incredibly expensive. As for people saying, "I can't afford this anymore, looks like I'm never getting an annual pass again. Oh whoah is me!" (And this is an exaggeration), there are lower price points available. If that top tier isn't affordable, there are passes still available as low as $599 for the Disney Deluxe Passport. Yes, you lose being able to come everyday, but you'd still get to come.
 I personally won't be getting an annual pass anytime soon, though I wish I could. For me, gone are the days where our family would get an AP, even though we live in Arizona, because 2 trips would pay for it.

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