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Why do people go to Disneyworld?

My family just visited Disneyworld. It was fine and the people there were mostly nice and friendly.

It was not cheap. We paid $400 a night for a standard hotel room and a 3 day pass to the park was over $1000 for my family. Renting a double stroller for a day costs $18 just as one example of inflated prices inside the park.

And mostly we just waited in line. For instance, here is one of our days at Disney. We left the hotel room (which was on Disney property) at 8:30 am and returned around 3 pm. Here is what we actually accomplished in those 6.5 hours: (1) we had breakfast, (2) we went on a 20 minute African safari, and (3) we saw a 20 minute 3D movie. Combined these took a little more than an hour. The other 5.5 hours were spent waiting or trying to get from one place to the next.

I will probably not ever willingly go back to Disneyworld. But it wasn’t as bad as my description above would suggest. This is largely because Disney has truly mastered the art of waiting in line. First, they don’t let you see where the lines go. They just wind and wind through constantly varying surroundings and waves of distractions that are often more entertaining for the kids than the destination itself in many cases. Second, somehow the lines are always moving forward also. Third, they price discriminate by having a “fastpass” option where for extra money by which you have to wait to go on the ride, but you don’t actually have to wait in line. You pay your money and they tell you to come back in say an hour to do the ride. That is a tremendous improvement over when I went to Disneyworld as a kid (or maybe it was always an option and my parents were just too cheap to pay for it).

As pricey as Disneyworld was, I wish it had been even more expensive to drive away the crowds. Disneyworld has a great problem — so much demand they don’t know what to do with it. Even in late April when most kids should be in school.

I have two completely unrelated questions for readers:

1) Why is demand for Disneyworld so great?

2) Why do they make you stick your fingers into some machine when entering Disneyworld? What is the point?