I’m a big Andrew Sullivan fan, so when he posted the video from Walt Disney Animation of the 50 Disney animated films, I squeed a bit. Then another reader wrote in to criticize the list for excluding “Victory Through Airpower” and “Song of the South,” which of course immediately prompted me to shoot my mouth off. Which the Dish then posted.
Disney fans across the Internet have been all abuzz about Al Lutz’s latest column on Team Disney Anaheim’s discussion of having a extra-cost Holiday Party similar to the way it worked for Mickey’s Halloween Party this year. The idea would be to make the popular “Believe” fireworks spectacular and “A Christmas Fantasy Parade” exclusive to the Holiday Party.
This leaves many people angered, disappointed or depressed about such news. I am actually torn about it.
I was one of the people who not only went to Mickey’s Halloween Party once…but twice! And, despite some hiccups, I had a ball. But, I didn’t really pay the extra money to get an exclusive viewing of Halloween Screams (although, it was a nice perk). I went for the things that were always exclusive to the Halloween Parties anyway — meet-and-greets with some random characters and Mickey’s Costume Party Calvacade.
There was part of me that wondered if the Halloween parties were a success if they’d think about doing an extra-cost Holiday Party. And, if they did, I would, in a heartbeat, buy tickets. But, not because I want to exclude people from the magic of the holidays at Disneyland.
On one hand, I don’t agree with people that say Disney only makes things special for those who can pay. Halloween managed to happen and people were able to celebrate the season during the day without needing an extra ticket. I can imagine the same thing happening with the holidays.
But, for some reason, what’s at stake for a proposed holiday party tends to pull at me. Perhaps its because there tends to be more emotional ties to the holidays. Halloween is fun, but Christmas hits people down to their souls. It conjurs up images of warmth, tradition and family. The idea that “A Christmas Fantasy Parade” would only be available to people who pay for the priviledge doesn’t seem to sit well with me. I think of the little girl who sat next to me last year one time while viewing the parade. She was enchanted by the calvacade of stars passing by, but the thing that meant most to her was having Mrs. Claus and Santa Claus wave at her. I wonder if her family would be able to afford an extra ticket to bring her that holiday magic again.
Now, I wouldn’t object to their being an exclusive parade during a Holiday Party…but, let everybody enjoy some kind of holiday parade. And, ”A Christmas Fantasy Parade” is what people have the most emotional connection to. If anything, I would propose that a secondary parade — a holiday calvacade — be developed for this party.
Of course, Al notes in his column that none of this has been green lit. It’s all just talk. But, I can see it happening. It seems too lucrative of a business decision to pass up. I can’t fault the Walt Disney Company for that. As much as we Disney fans want to believe Disney is a lifestyle and wonder what Walt would have done, we have to remember that Disney is a business and has to survive in order for us to continue to enjoy the Disney things we all covet so much. The world is a much different place than when Walt Disney was around. That said, there are still many ways they can do this without taking away the holiday magic from people. After all, this is the season of giving…
It’s one of those things that I can go both ways on as well. I totally get that the massive human crush after the holiday fireworks is no fun for anyone, but I feel like trying to squeeze what is essentially two full-price tickets out of a single operating day just feels greedy. Given that one of the major problems is the excessive number of passholders who swarm in for the evening entertainment, to me, I think the best compromise would be to simply increase the number of blackout days for APs, or to make the evening entertainment and add-on (for, say the price of a blackout day ticket). If you’re a tourist with a dated (i.e., a single or dated multi-day ticket), that ticket would include the parade and fireworks. That way, the attendance numbers on peak times are pushed down to sane figures and the park is able to make some additional money from the APers willing to pay extra for the holiday entertainment. It might not be as profitable an option, but it also doesn’t involve single-day attendees from being shepherded out of the park at 7:00 p.m.