It's a Small World (Paved With Big Bucks)
The name Disney conjures up whimsical images for children and warm memories for many adults. And though it may have a place in our hearts, Disney is first and foremost a business. From movie studios and television stations to merchandise and music, the global entertainment titan is a marketing master that is an expert at getting you to take money out of your pocket and put it into its cash registers. Case in point: The theme park giant is raising prices on annual passes at Disneyland in California. Increases range from an additional $50 to $449 a year for its most affordable pass (available to California residents only) to $200 for the top-tier package, which now costs $1,599. Moreover, the passes have blackout dates, so if you're keen on visiting around the December holidays, be prepared to purchase a daily ticket for $164 for each visitor.
If you're a newbie to any of Disney's dozens of parks, you're likely going to make some costly rookie mistakes. Fortunately, there are some ways to save money at Disney. And if it all seems too pricey, there are also cheaper family vacation alternatives.
Related: Cost of Disney Through the Years