Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Disneyland Traveler Starts to Worry About Christmas

By nature, I am a worrier. Now I certainly have far bigger worries than Christmas at Disneyland, many in fact, but still... I have a fear that they are taking my favorite time of the year at the park in a direction that I'm not very happy about.

Of course Al Lutz chronicled in great detail last week in his MiceAge column (link) how Disney finally made the move and did away with cast member after hour Christmas parties at the park, instead passing out cast members some extra passes for themselves and their families to enjoy Disneyland at Christmas - with the regular park guests. Disney's excuse was the parks are now so popular that they can't afford to take extra hours away from paying guests by closing down early for cast member parties. There are all kinds of holes with this reasoning but you can start with they closed the place down early a week or so ago for a private event. Anyway, instead of cast members filled with holiday spirit Disney is taking one more step into turning cast member's overall outlook towards "it's just another job".

And then there is this half baked idea of 20 nights of the Candlelight Processional instead of the traditional weekend event. Stripping the away festive aspect, it comes down to this (as always) - $$$$$. Disney is hoping that pairing Candlelight Processional event seating with expensive dining options (as they do at WDW) then a new holiday revenue stream gets created. But those in the know kind of feel that this may be first step towards having separate admission Christmas events similar to the very nice but very expensive Mickey's Merry Christmas Parties at WDW. Disneyland has done it for Halloween, Christmas is right around the corner and the thought of paying guests coming up with an additional $60 - $70 each to enjoy special Christmas events is an idea ripe with potential profits. Sleazy.

The last concern has to do with something I previously mentioned - turning the experience of wondering around Main St. at Christmas and making an eyesore with visible Processional seating areas and making foot traffic at the park entrance during the 20 nights of the Candlelight Processional virtual gridlock. Not something I'm looking forward to.

Where's Charlie Brown when you need him to call it for what it is - a commercial sham.

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