Posts Tagged ‘ticket prices’

As I mentioned last month, Alan wanted to take his grandsons to Disneyland to celebrate his (Alan’s) birthday last weekend. As I also mentioned, after searching for deals on the internet and not finding any, we had a choice between going to Disneyland and paying $288 admission, or going to Knott’s Berry Farm, which had all kinds of discounts available, for $102. Not too tough a choice. Sorry Mickey.

Being vegan, I also had some other research to do. Amusement parks aren’t known for their healthy food, so I figured that my chances were slim to none that I’d find any options at Knott’s. They do not allow you to bring in your own food. I started by posting on their facebook page:

After deciphering Stephanie’s post, I thought that she had the best idea. I did check out TGIF and Johnny Rocket’s on-line menus, and although Johnny Rocket’s did have a veggie burger available, I didn’t hold out a lot of hope that it would be vegan. And TGIF is hopeless, unless you choose to eat lettuce.

Then last Friday, I received this message on Facebook:

You may note that this message was dated May 10. Well, Facebook notifications had been whacko all week, and I didn’t receive the message until Friday evening. I replied back, but had a feeling that Willie was probably off for the weekend. Oh well, I figured I could tell Guest Services, or if necessary, flash them the message on my phone’s facebook app. We were good to go, food-wise.

Our plan was to drive to Huntington Beach early on Saturday afternoon. The boys had a baseball game at 5:00 that we were looking forward to watching. If you’ve never seen six year old boys (and one girl!) play baseball, you should put it on your bucket list. Seriously, it is so much fun. They are so joyous about the play, they are just starting to learn their skills (and the rules), and, unlike the professional pitchers’ games of today, there is a whole lot of scoring. Some scenes from the game:

Last year was T-Ball, this year the coach pitches (this coach is Alan's son)

Batter Up!

Players rotate positions each inning. That's our grandson the catcher

Base hit!

Action shot...check out his mouth as the ball gets closer.

Another hit. Must be that batting glove.

Grandson on the mound!

See dad? There's some hustle here!

I just love this pose.

He lost the other front tooth a little later during the game.

Sometimes it's hard to pay attention when there is so much going on all around you.

Ready for action.

Sunday morning brought clouds, rain, and cold. Alan and I took a run along the coast and I never felt like I warmed up. I hoped that the rain would pass, but long experience told me that a rainy day is really the best day to go to an amusement park. It keeps the crowds away. But, just not pouring, please.

After checking Knott’s website the evening before, we had one worry. The height requirement for most of the ‘cool’ rides was 48″. We lined the boys up (every family has a place on the wall for measuring, right?). They are fraternal twins, remember. One boy made it easy, 49″. Uh oh, his brother just barely hit 46.5″.  We had to hope that they weren’t too picky about measurements.

As we parked our car on Sunday morning, the clouds cleared, the sun shined, it was a beautiful day. We had decided on a food plan. On the way in, we had stopped at Mother’s Market, which has a wonderful deli with a huge selection of vegan salads, entrees, pizza, and more, and picked up enough for lunch. We decided to leave it in the car instead of hauling it around the park all day. I figured we’d be ready for a break in the action at lunchtime, we could head back to the car, drop off any extra clothing, eat our food, then head back to the fun. Which is exactly what we did, and it was perfect.

We  walked into the park with our eyes skyward, checking out the rides. The first one we chose, La Revolucion, had one of those 48″ limits. We decided to try our luck, but unfortunately, when we reached the front, were were told that our smaller twin would not be able to go on the ride. We decided that Alan would ride with the taller twin:

I felt so bad that we couldn't go on the ride. I promised that we'd go back next year, when he would be tall enough.

Click on the pic and you'll see Alan's feet. Way up there and upside down!

After that, we tried one more ride with the 48″ limit, but when that was a no go, we restricted our rides to the ones which we could all ride (the map had the height limits). This is not to say we didn’t have a great time. The boys won a Big Bird stuffed toy at a baseball toss (see, it paid off already!). We rode the log ride (twice!), several of the faster rides in Camp Snoopy, the Calico Mine ride, where I took my final picture. After that, I dropped my camera (on a wooden floor!), and, well, it died.

One of the rides that we check out early because we would all be able to ride, was the Bigfoot Rapids. However, the sign said, “You will get wet. You may get drenched.” When we (the grown ups) saw that, we told them (the twins, who probably would have been happy to be wet the whole day), that, yes, we would ride that one, but it would be the last one of the day.

So, after a brief lunch break at the car, we headed back into Knott’s, where we caught the tail end of the Stunt Show. I was sorry that we’d missed most of it, because I remember it from years ago. Gunfighters, falling off buildings, shooting it out, all that western fun stuff.

The boys decided that they were ready for the Bigfoot Rapids. Even when we reminded them that it would be the last ride of the day, they said that they were ready. All I can say is, good thing it was the last ride. While the boys remained pretty dry, I got wet and Alan got soaked! I’ll also say that the Family Dryer, that costs $5, but seems like a good idea when you are soaking wet coming out of that ride, does not dry jeans. Nope, Alan pretty much had to be wet and cold all the way back to the house.

All in all, we had a really good time at Knott’s Berry Farm. It has great value, the rides are fun, I can’t wait until we go back with taller grandsons!

Read Full Post »

With my youngest son turning 30 in a couple weeks, I realize that it has been a long time since I had young children (a really long time!). It has also, obviously, been a long time since I was a child. Since the ‘arrival’ of our two six year old grandsons last summer, however, Alan and I have started to revisit the idea of amusement parks and other family-style entertainment. When you live in Southern California, the first amusement park that comes to mind is, of course, Disneyland.

As I mentioned in a recent post, we are planning to take the grandsons to Disneyland to celebrate Alan’s birthday next week. As I was researching ticket options and pricing, though, I was hit with a bit of sticker shock. The price for a one-day, one-park visit to the Magic Kingdom is $76 per person, for children age 3-9, the price is $68. Doing the math, the price for a family of four to purchase the most basic of entries is $288. That is before doing anything optional like, well, eating. And of course:


As I also mentioned in that last post, I spent a lot of time at Disneyland when I was a kid. We lived close by and my dad was a member of the Magic Kingdom Club.  Back then, you had to purchase the old A-E ticket books. Magic Kingdom Club membership meant that our tickets were basically all as good as “E” tickets (in addition to other perks like discounts and Editor’s Day-unique back then, but basically meant the park was open, no tickets needed). And, it was pretty cheap. Admission was separate from the ticket price, and was about $4.00 (we’re talking late 60s, early 70s here). A book of tickets was around $6 or $7. I think there were 10 in a book. So for about $10 you were good to go for a day at Disneyland. Plus that pesky food thing.

As I was researching for this post, I found that Disney’s most recent price increase was August of last year (no recession in the Magic Kingdom!) and that they have raised prices each year since 1994. You now pay $10 more for the single park ticket than two years ago, and $35 more than a decade ago. FYI, they usually raise the prices the first week of August, so if you plan on going this summer, you might want to purchase your tickets before then.

Since our hearts are set on amusement parks, I thought I’d do a little comparison shopping. Knott’s Berry Farm, which is just a few miles away, was also a favorite of mine when I was young (and it was barely more than a berry farm/ghost town). I even sneaked a puppy home from there once, but that’s another story. The price for adults is $33.99 when purchased online (you save $23).  That is their winter price. In June, that goes up to $46.99. The price for children (in this case ages 3-11) is $22.99, which will go up by $2 in June. That is the same price that adults 62 and over pay with the senior discount. Adding it all up, total for this family of four: $102.96.

I also checked the prices for Magic Mountain, even though I don’t want to drive all the way north of Los Angeles. I didn’t go there often when I was young, but Alan and I went a few times when my son was a teenager. When purchased online, the adult tickets are the same price as their child tickets: $34.99. Price for our family of four is $144.96. Half the price of Disneyland.

Now, of course, as a vegan, there are other things to consider when traveling. From the various blogs and articles that I have been reading, I gather that finding vegan food at Disneyland is pretty easy. Many of the restaurants offer vegetarian choices that can be ordered without dairy. One blogger even wrote of an experience she had when planning her trip. She called the Disney Dining Line the night before and was given the chef’s private line, where she left a message. Amazingly, when she arrived to eat at Ariel’s Grotto in Downtown Disney, she was delighted to find that a special dish had been created just for her. Now that is vegan friendly!

Unfortunately, Knott’s does not seem to have as many choices. Now, I’ve just begun my research, but their website says nothing even about vegetarian options. A keyword search only gave me a couple dated forum-type questions and responses. I have a pending question on their Facebook page, so I’ll see if that comes up with anything. Even if I have to bring my own food or head outside the park for lunch, the thought of saving $185 makes that idea, well, more palatable.

I did a quickie search for vegan food at Magic Mountain, just for the purposes of this post since I really doubt we’ll go there. I found this article, which indicates that there are a few choices, in particular, for this french fry lover, a little cart called Fresh Cut Fries, which uses veggie oil. Plus a few healthier options.

Am I the only one who finds the idea of a $400 one day Disneyland experience a little outrageous? Maybe more depending on your food and shopping choices. Vegan-friendly or not, I think it is over the top, especially compared with other Southland amusement parks. Yet, millions of people each year will keep handing Mickey their hard-earned dollars.

Maybe it is just me.

Read Full Post »