Why I Gave Up My Disneyland Annual Pass

A big perk for me moving out to Los Angeles was the proximity to Disneyland. No, no, it wasn’t a reason I moved but yes it was an amazing plus. The friends I had when I moved out here all had Disneyland Annual Passports, or APs, and we took the hour drive regularly. Whether it was to spend the entire day or just catch a show or grab dinner, it always seemed worth the drive.

A pass holder is definitely one of a kind. We are Disney fanatics, from loving the movies, rides and shows, to knowing exactly how to time getting from one end of the park to the other, right in the middle of a parade. More often than not, we end up driving for hours (LA traffic), to go on a ride or two and turn around and come back.

Three and a half years ago when I first moved to LA I decided it was worth it to drop just under $200 to go to the park 170 company-selected days out of the year. Okay, okay, I think in that first year I went 18 times, not 170, but that still means each trip only cost $11.11 for admission. Then in 2012, just when they opened the 12-acre Car’s Land (based on the Pixar movie with the same name) AP holders around Southern California were up in arms. They were raising our ticket prices at an average of 30%.

At this point I had upgraded a time or two and was paying for the Deluxe Pass with only 50 blackout days a year and 10% off a certain retailers and restaurants on the property. The new cost of my ticket would be $469.

Currently APs range from $279 a year all the way to $669 for no blackout dates after the second price hike in June of this year.

Yeah, you heard… err, read me right. $669 a year to go to Disneyland. Now if I was a teenager, with no job, who was home schooled, and did my schooling on the drive to Disney, then yeah I can see paying close to $700 a year on admission alone. But as a 20-something, with a job (or three) and a social life that doesn’t always consist of the mouse, I just can’t do it.

Chris and I both did not renew our passes this year, along with a couple other friends. It’s nothing against the company, I get it, they need to keep their lights on too… umm yeah, but I need to keep my lights on as well and a $34 payment (with a $92 initial deposit) is not something I am looking to pay each month.

Instead this money has been redirected toward paying off my debt and living just a little more comfortably. Yeah I know, $34 a month isn’t outrageous to pay but when I am so far in debt to begin with, I have no right spending money on such an unnecessary expense.

This article sites prices from the Orange County Register and the Disneyland Annual Passport Web site.

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