Thursday, October 28, 2010

Parks - "Hard-Ticketed" Events

We're going to be at Disney next month, and though it's not running at all on any of the nights we're in town, Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party is a so-called "hard ticket" event that will be available before and after our vist.

I've always wondered how these events are. I've heard good and less-than-great things about Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party...more good than bad, actually. I've heard it's a treat to see the park lit up in spectacular fashion, to get the treats from cast members in costume, to see some neat mini-shows and such going on, and of course, to be able to get on rides quickly and without lines. What I've heard bad about it is that it's not great for families with smaller kids, since it doesn't really "start" till 7 pm, and if your kids are going to be crashing by 9, you're not getting much for your money. We've been there two or three times when MNSSHP was running, and never saw fit to buy the tickets for it.

I've heard that MVMCP is not as good. I've heard that the park looks good, and the fireworks are first rate, but it isn't as much fun for the kids as the Halloween events. Still, with my kids getting a little older now, I was thinking of doing it, as much for the access to rides as for seeing the park decorated and lit specially.

I do think, however, that these sorts of ticketed special events are good for the business. With three parks that DON'T require a special ticket to go to, closing one park early to all but the ticket holders has to be profitable. And having a special event that makes the guest feel really plugged in, really special, can be a lot of fun, I'd guess. I really think that, if I were Disney, I would be looking at doing more of them throughout the year.

I've mentioned it before, but I think DHS would be a natural place to have one, some sort of "movie premiere" night where you could really feel that you were going to a red carpet Hollywood event. I'm sure you could think of a really cool thing to do at Animal Kingdom, too...the old Beastly Kingdom thing would be a cool overlay to part of the park for a special hard ticketed event a few times a year.

Anyone have any thoughts on this? Do you like "hard ticketed" events? Do you hate the concept? Would it just be greedy of Disney to do more of this? Or would it enhance the experiences of those guests purchasing the tickets?


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