Wednesday, April 14, 2021

The Disneyland Dilemma

Some vintage Disneyland ticket books reminded me of Walter Oi's famous paper "A Disneyland Dilemma: Two-Part Tariffs for a Mickey Mouse Monopoly." He highlighted the two-part tariffs as part of their price discrimination scheme.

  1. The simplest rides, appealing to the younger children, such as Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough or the King Arthur Carousel, required only the cheaper A tickets. The best rides, such as the Matterhorn Bobsleds or Pirates of the Caribbean, required the most expensive E ticket. In between, rides could go for a B, C, or D ticket. Already Disneyland is price discriminating based on demand elasticity across rides.
  2. Disneyland made convenient ticket books with various numbers of each type available for a discount. There never were enough E tickets. This was an initial form of bundling.


  3. Next, Disneyland adopted Oi's two-part pricing. They set ride prices equal to marginal cost, essentially zero, but then required a high up front park admission fee.

  4. Next, they adopted multi-day and multi-park passes with a decreasing price for each additional day or park. They also offered season passes that were popular to locals who could visit parks on non-consecutive days. These are versions of quantity discounts.
  5. Finally, there exists a Disney Golden Pass that allows unlimited lifetime entrance to nine parks. However, it appears to be only given out to dignitaries and Disney officials.


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