Over the years, we've been extremely fortunate to have had friends who could sign us in to Disneyland once a year. If you haven't been recently and want to see both Disneyland and the adjacent "California Adventure" park, a single day adult pass is over $100. After parking and food, our family of four could be looking at $500 for a one day visit.
The folks running the show at Disneyland aren't stupid. Over the past ten years, they're aggressively marketed various types of annual passes. There are now close to one million annual pass holders, most of whom live in greater Los Angeles.
On one hand, it's a great deal. Sort of. Rather than paying $100 for a single visit, you can visit multiple times a year for "only" $184. (that's the cheapest annual pass - the prices go up, way up, from there).
Yet, to me, it feels like an "all-you-can-eat dessert bar." What if we don't want to take our kids to "the happiest place on earth" over and over and over and over . . . ? What if, like Halloween candy, we want to limit their "Disneyification" to just once a year?
With my sister on our family's "once a year" day at Disneyland - circa 1975
Referring to television, the great theologian Willie Wonka said, "I suppose TV is OK, in moderate doses." I kind of feel the same way about an amusement park - any amusement park. Once a year is fine. After that - there's a big world out there, and better ways for us to spend time with our kids.
"If you see honey, eat just enough - too much of it and you'll vomit" wrote King Solomon.
Honestly, Disneyland feels like "honey" - yummy, but ultimately junk food.
Again, we are VERY thankful for having a couple of friends who could sign us in. Not only for allowing us to make some neat family memories . . .
photo credit: members.shaw.ca
. . . but also keeping us from even considering going more than once a year and getting stuck in what can actually start to feel like a "small world."
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