The Great Disney Debate: The Infamous Renewal of the Annual Pass

As part of this blog, I would like to touch on one of the major Southern California destinations that nearly requires no introduction – Disneyland.

I’m frequently asked the same question about it. As recently as yesterday, I was asked, “What do you do there ALL THE TIME?!”

First off, just because I have an Annual Pass, it does not mean that I spend every waking minute of my free time there. I know plenty of people who do. In fact, there is a dude on Facebook who has a page dedicated to documenting the fact that he has been there everyday since 2010 (Disney366).

In a month, I visit the Disneyland Resort an average of two times. If it’s a holiday season or I take a little vacation time, maybe three or four times.  I go with friends, which is nice because there is an awesome buffer for awkward silence. I also go alone just to reflect on life, do whatever I want to do and to be free to talk to strangers in a socially acceptable setting.

If you live in Southern California and can’t afford to travel out-of-state due to time or money constraint, you may want to consider a Disneyland Annual Pass.

Despite popular belief that Disneyland is over rated, I can tell you from first hand experience that there is a lot more than meets the eye. Yes-they make it all look effortless. And yes- there is something to be said of a certain amount of campy/childish atmosphere that will leave most rolling their eyes and begging for Six Flags. But, if you really think about how much goes on behind the scenes and what the DIsneyland Resort truly has to offer, you might reconsider your stance on the subject.

Let me just take the time to point out the many types of professionals required to make the “magic” happen:

*Varying media artists: painters, animators, videographers and photographers, musicians (writers and performers), actors (voice, stage and characters), stage crews (sound, lights, sets, hair/makeup, costume designers and special effects), singers, conductors and band leaders, puppeteer, culinary artists  and servers (because the food has greatly improved since the over priced, dry hamburgers and chicken sandwiches that I remember as a kid) and interior decorators, ect.

*Customer service representatives: Cashiers, travel agents, phone agents, tour guides, guest relations representatives, concierge, receptionists, maids, security, cleaning crews, parade organizers, train/tram/bus drivers, event planners ect.

Misc: Engineers (Imagineers), scientists/inventors, public relations representatives (social media, media spokespersons, web artists, copywriters), environmentalists, landscapers, historians, business executives, merchandisers, child care (in the hotels), interns, animal handlers, emergency response, fire department, trainers, interns ect

I’m sure I’ve only named about half of the types of employees it requires to make it all work and look effortless. I would also like to add that I did not take into consideration anything other than just the Disneyland Resort and that nearly all the park employees start off at minimum wage and have very stringent rules they have to abide by just to keep their jobs.

Not everyone can make the expense of an Annual Pass, especially those with large families. However, you might change your mind if you consider what you might already be paying to see parades, going to other sub-par amusement parks, movies, museums, zoos, shopping, parking, dining out, gas and time required to go to each place on different days.

As you can assume at this point, I decided to renew my annual pass. Due to some changes at work that will greatly impact any future time off requests I can submit, it’s nice to have the option flee to Neverland and remember that there is still a bit of a kid in me.

I look forward to occasionally writing features on all of what will be going on for the 60th Anniversary, the Citizens of Disneyland and all the things that go through my mind as I wander into the Looking Glass into the lands of Fantasy, Tomorrow, Adventure and the Western Frontier.

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