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I’ve Made A Huge Mistake

October 11, 2023 by Tim

Pardon me my moment of therapeutic venting.

I’m so over crowded amusement parks. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve had a lot of fun as a family at some, but I feel like as they get more crowded and more expensive, the cost-to-stress-to-value ratio is tipping too far out of balance.

Of course, in six months to a year I’ll likely have forgotten this again, enough time will have passed for me to think going to a park is a fun idea, and only when I pull into the parking lot will I remember what a mistake I’ve made.

Note: I’m almost done signing all the Console War posters, they should start shipping out soon.


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Graham Best
Graham Best
7 months ago

$400 is cheap for what you’re getting. Ask anyone who has paid for Disneyland tickets and food. Parking is already $30 before you step in the park.

kaladorn
kaladorn
7 months ago
Reply to  Graham Best

Worked on projects for the Mouse Kingdom. They are not what Walt would have wanted. They really get the notion that any coin you have should rightfully be theirs regardless of your opinion.

I like the fact that they have cut back many streaming properties to become more profitable (and removed the episodes they have of them) while expecting us to keep paying for the now notably weakened library they offer… I’m ready to bail from them now….

Martin
Martin
7 months ago

How true….

leduk
leduk
7 months ago

As a parent, I do not do that. No fucking way. I hated that as a kid, and I wont pretend I love disney or shit. Let’s do something else.

Graeme Spence
Graeme Spence
7 months ago

Back when my younger nephew was 10 I took him to Legoland Windsor and while he enjoyed it my autistic brain was getting melted by the crowds and cause I took him so far on our own I was so concerned for his safety that I didn’t realise that I was baking in red hot sun without fluids and ended up having a seizure and collapsing.

Still enjoyed spending time with my nephew but I wish I paid extra and took my partner who offered to come along as reinforcements

Kryg
Kryg
7 months ago

Hahaha Bill Burr had a great bit about this the other day

Steve
Steve
7 months ago

Honestly? We had a great time at Disney this spring. We had two things going for us: we pulled the kids out of school to book the least crowded days of the year (worth it!), and my wife ran the Genie pass like a pro. We took time off to sit in the hotel pool for part of the day and returned to close out the park. If went on more crowded or hotter days, it would be anyone’s guess how it would have gone. We aren’t rich, so we had to be very organized to make it work for… Read more »

Number51x
Number51x
7 months ago
Reply to  Steve

Lost me at “to book.” I can go to Knotts whenever I feel like it. Fastlane is expensive, so it actually works as intended so lines are reasonable for either Fastlane or standard. The fact that someone has to be a “pro” to get the most out of a day is why the Disney parks are dead to me. This is coming from a “2 weeks a year, every year, at DW for over a decade” person. Disney is broken.

Steve
Steve
7 months ago
Reply to  Number51x

I can see your point. In our case, we had to drive two full days to get there, so casual dropping in was not an option. Thank goodness my in-laws live at that halfway point. My kids are becoming roller-coaster enthusiasts and Disney won’t be the attraction it once was to them. And yes, the cost is brutal. If we’re in the greater LA area, we’ll check out KBF.

hwertz
hwertz
7 months ago
Reply to  Steve

I mean, I guess it’s like Tommy Lasorda said “Nobody goes there any more. It’s too crowded.” LOL.

Gnarph
Gnarph
7 months ago

Im sorry your experience was less than ideal. If it’s any consolation in the years to come the kids will mostly remember the rides and time spent with mom and dad, not as much the queues. My parents took us to Memphis, Tennessee to see Graceland and go on a riverboat on the Mississippi way back in the 80’s. Graceland was closed that day and we ended up going to a zoo and Mud Island which is a museum of sorts about the Mississippi river. My most vivid memories are not the long car ride (which logically there had to… Read more »

Derfman
Derfman
7 months ago
Reply to  Gnarph

Rusty, is that you???

leduk
leduk
7 months ago
Reply to  Gnarph

idk, man, I really hated that as a kid. I’m glad I never went to disney, but even others, damn, I hated waiting in a line so hard… and I still do.

Donni
Donni
7 months ago

That’s why my family always took us to parks off-season, in the middle of the week, and in cloudy/rainy weather when all those crowds were suddenly gone. I know most people can’t do that because of their jobs and fixed holidays, so we were really lucky. I still remember the first time I went with friends to a park I had been with my parents before during “regular” days and how frustrated I got on suddenly having to wait hours for rides that I previously could just jump in.

Meatballs21
Meatballs21
7 months ago
Reply to  Donni

This. I went to one for my bachelor party, mid-week in mid-May. Went on every ride in the place. Awesome.

leduk
leduk
7 months ago
Reply to  Donni

problem is not the job, I have 7weeks and I can take them whenever I want. Problem is: kids missing school. And that’s a real problem for me.

Rolando
Rolando
7 months ago
Reply to  Donni

I hear you. One of the many benefits of being freelance most of my life. I never liked amusement parks or so, but your logic works just as well for vacation spots.

Cyrad
Cyrad
7 months ago

Amusement parks are so much better when you can go to them out of season, but in the middle of summer, it’s absolutely horrible.

Joel
Joel
7 months ago
Reply to  Tim

There really is, but the problem with having kids is that there is literally almost no time in which everyone else with kids isn’t also trying to maximize those breaks.

I have no kids, so when my wife and I go to such places, we go on Tuesdays/Wednesdays outside of summer, and even Disney is pretty much a breeze.

Jesse
Jesse
7 months ago
Reply to  Joel

This. The off season is when kids are in school. You go to Disney on a random Tuesday in November (not Thanksgiving week), and you’re golden.

Of course, that doesn’t help those of us who HAVE kids and need to vacation with them when they’re not in school, but alas…

Arcatus
Arcatus
7 months ago

This goes for allot of things; traveling, eating at restaurants, purchasing some toy.

The cost-to-stress-to-value ratio is seriously underrated.

WereCatf
WereCatf
7 months ago

There’s a reason they’re often referred to as abusement parks.

Drakin
Drakin
7 months ago

There are whole guides dedicated now to minimizing your expenses and maximizing your experience at some of the largest theme-parks. It’s been years since I went to one, but if I ever get a high paying job I plan to go to one again. I have my sights set on the Disney Epic Universe opening in 2025 with the Nintendo Land attractions. I’m hoping it’ll be a 40th birthday present for myself. ^_^;;

Paul
Paul
7 months ago

I remember when I was about 15 or so (about 20 years ago), as I was standing on some line at some generic amusement park, I thought “Ok, this is not worth it”, left, and that was the last time I ever set foot on an amusement park. I really wanted to like the experience, but it’s just not possible anymore, specially with rising temperatures.

J.D.
J.D.
7 months ago

People ruin every thing

Speak
Speak
7 months ago

And this is one reason I am so glad I live less than 2hrs away from Knoebels in central Pennsylvania. For those who don’t know, Knoebels is a “free” amusement park. There is no fee to get in or to park or use the picnic area, where you can bring in your own food. If you want to ride the rides you can buy ticket packs and pay by the ride or buy an all day pass. So as a family you can go and spend less than $20 per person on average and still have a good time. My… Read more »

Mitoni
Mitoni
7 months ago

As someone who lives in Orlando, I often wonder how families do it. I have my annual pass because it’s a place to go for a few hours on a weekend, but I haven’t been able to do the “whole day” experience in years!

leduk
leduk
7 months ago
Reply to  Mitoni

and some ppl do the whole week experience, even worse.

Arvandor
Arvandor
7 months ago

I feel the same way. And not just about amusement parks. Skiing has gotten really bad too, and almost not worth the opportunity cost. Even a lot of the hiking and stuff has gotten so overcrowded that it just isn’t enjoyable anymore.

Eric the White
Eric the White
7 months ago

Speaking as a former Disneyland employee, take the kids out of school for a day or two the first two weeks in February (or another time no one is off from school) Sure the park is only open till 8, but you’ll walk right on to every ride practically.

Phaet
Phaet
7 months ago

Sooo happy to be 41 and still single (never even dated haha! I’m so proud of it xD ) and living alone playing video games and counting my money during loading screens xD

leduk
leduk
7 months ago
Reply to  Phaet

damn… money is made to be spent, my dude, kids or not!

Pulse
Pulse
7 months ago

been to two parks in my life, and ill never go back. its been 20 years since the last time and i HIGHLY doubt dumping two months of pay for 5 hours of driving and 4 hours of standing in the sun without shade of any kind while wonder why the people around me dont have moons is worth it.

Derfman
Derfman
7 months ago

My son worked for the biggest one her in central Florida. The only way to enjoy these parks is to know someone who works there and can get you in for free. Go in, ride a few good rides and leave. I felt sorry for all the people that were standing in lines for hours and paying for the privilege.On a good note, the lines have been much shorter as of late due to limits on attendance and of course the price rising above many middle class incomes ability to pay for it.

Last edited 7 months ago by Derfman
Kaitensatsuma
Kaitensatsuma
7 months ago

Well, spending an afternoon at the mall is rapidly becoming less of an option these days

Jeff
Jeff
7 months ago

You should look up Jim Gaffigan’s “I hate Disney World” standup. His best quote: “My favorite ride was the air conditioned bus back to the airport“.

leduk
leduk
7 months ago
Reply to  Jeff

I cant imagine taking a plane to go to a park. That’s just so crazy.

Benjamin Frank
Benjamin Frank
7 months ago

Could you please fix the comment link only working on the word “here” but the whole sentence being clickable?

VibrantEvolution
VibrantEvolution
7 months ago
Reply to  Benjamin Frank

or the issue where the entire option to get to the comments vanishes when you accidentally missclick 😉

Xolodno
Xolodno
7 months ago

I worked at Disneyland and mid week used to be sparse with people. Years ago, my wife and I got the premium annual passes as we could only go on weekends since living almost two hours away. One time, used vacation time and went mid week. In the morning, fairly empty. About 3 pm, all the sudden it swelled with tons of kids. And at 6 pm, the adults started showing up, 10 minute wait times went to 90 minutes. That’s when I realized it became a day care facility. We got USH passes, it costs extra to go for… Read more »

C Johnson
C Johnson
7 months ago

Go in December, you’ll be amazed the difference.

Mytre
Mytre
7 months ago

The Trick I found for this was to go off season, harder with kids but a weekend getaway at early start of summer or between sept and dec, even january around march is amazing, no lines, cheap prices in some cases.

Not that Brian
Not that Brian
7 months ago

I feel much the same way. In addition, lately, I’ve been ruminating about how getting popular has ruined some of our favorite Halloween attractions. One of them got popular enough that they had some major security incidents involving teenagers sneaking in noisemakers and the like and causing a ruckus to the point where they actually had to shut down a couple years ago. Last year they reopened as a kid-focused alternative and got rid of all of the haunted houses. Another one now is just overcrowded after getting all of the people who used to go to the first one.… Read more »

Eric the White
Eric the White
7 months ago
Reply to  Tim

They do cap ticket sales the old fashioned way they raise the price until the attendance drop to maximum occupancy. 400 bucks for a family of four is cheap for Disneyland. I think tickets are close to 200 now for Tier 6 days. On a tier zero day its 104.

Scarsdale
Scarsdale
7 months ago

First time I took our kids anywhere was to the museum of science and industry in Chicago back in the mid-80s, it was a nightmare! Way too many people, not enough exhibits, and my youngest got tired early on and rode on my shoulders the ENTIRE TIME. back then a Big Mac cost $1.45, but there it was $5. There wasn’t as many amusement parks as there are now, the few there were, were scary crap that got people hurt. NO thanks. The county fairs were the best option.

Scarsdale
Scarsdale
7 months ago
Reply to  Scarsdale

I messed up, it was the mid-90s, not mid 80s my eldest wasn’t born until ’88. Just a stupid typo…

Freddie
Freddie
7 months ago

And now, your signig hand may take a long-neded break.

KaoGen
KaoGen
7 months ago

One of the best experience I’ve had when I was a kid, is when me and a friend went to a small waterpark on a warmer autumn day. Place was basically completely empty, and we got to ride the waterslides pretty much back to back.
Had to leave a little earlier than we would in summer, since the heat vanished from the day much quicker, but still so much fun not dealing with lines and so on.

Teshimine
Teshimine
7 months ago

In New Zealand, for 2 adults and 2 kids to “Rainbows end”, which is the main theme park here, it costs $260 just for tickets alone, then if you want food and drinks and didn’t being a picnic, you can easily expect to spend around $100 over the course of the day, so your numbers aren’t far off.

Rolando
Rolando
7 months ago

Ugh. Never liked them, never will. At least, seeing my wife enjoying one of those makes it bearable. But it’ll always take some serious convincing, for me to go.

I can only hope that, when the time comes, our kids will take after me on this.

Dee
Dee
7 months ago

“Oh, hey! For only $100 bucks more, I can upgrade each ticket to a season pass! That’ll practically pay for itself after 2 visits!” – Never return that year

kaladorn
kaladorn
7 months ago

In my experience, the best time to attend is on a Wednesday of a workday. The rides are usually short lines and same with the concessions. I’m old enough now the Gs I’d like to experience could now be overlapping in the Venn Diagram from the category of Gs I ought to avoid. I do have fond midway experiences and water floom experiences. On a ride called the Zipper, my female co-worker and I were in one of the little spinning pods on the spinning arms of the not-quite-ferris-wheel. I thought I had all change well anchored in my cargo… Read more »

Dr.Synth
Dr.Synth
7 months ago

I got spoiled as a kid in regards to amusement parks. My grampa worked at the the steel mills in Indiana, which would rent out Six Flags Great America for a weekend every year for the employees to take their families. It was always awesome. The lines were usually like 2 rides long, 3 max. We would do like 20-30 rides each both days. Then we stopped going for a while because he retired and we couldn’t afford to go ourselves. Finally in early highschool for me we went again and it sucked so much. The lines were 30-hour long… Read more »

Namefield
Namefield
7 months ago

You got it wrong. Your suffering is the amusement and why it’s an amusement park. The videos are recorded and sold to the elites who laugh at common people who try to get a few moments of happiness and quality time in exchange for their hard earned money only to be let down massively. That you pay them for the services provided is just the cherry on top. The content is then also sold to AI research to learn when and how people become erratic, with different variants used to study all the outcomes. This helps AI to make people… Read more »

Lily
Lily
7 months ago

Going to an amusement park alone, greatly reduces the stress. You definitely miss out on some aspects when you are alone, and some places might feel a little more awkward alone, but without kids the stress is greatly reduced. It also feels a lot cheaper, because you are paying the high price once, instead of x5(or how ever many people you got).

Not that I suggest everyone ditches their kids and go alone. I am just saying, it is nice to go to these places alone once in a while, if you can.