How do you spell the word "greed"?
How about D-I-S-N-E-Y.
The economy is suffering, housing prices have tanked, gas is sky high, lots of folks are losing jobs, and the cost of living is rocketing.
And the fine folks at the Mouse House have decided it's the perfect time to … raise prices. Again!
As of Sunday, admission to a single Disney World park jumped from $71 to $75, and tickets for kids 3 to 9 were bumped to $63 from $60.*
Yes, a day at Disney World -- $276 plus taxes plus parking plus gas plus all the overpriced food you're forced to eat -- is now even less affordable for the average American family of four.
Not to mention the average family in the state of Florida, which is officially suffering a recession, according to some economists.
Mickey sure is one heckuva greedy mouse. So much for that "most magical place on earth" hype.
Mickey is nearly as greedy as Tampa's Glazers, and other owners of NFL teams, who routinely charge an arm and a leg for the privilege of enjoying 100-degree afternoon heat while watching overpaid athletes do their thing, and relishing the profanity-laced enthusiasm of drunken middle-aged couples. Priceless!
No, of course I'd never advocate that government should regulate admission prices for theme parks, or football games, or prices for other businesses' services. I believe in the free market.
But that doesn't mean that I can't give Disney a little friendly advice.
Hey, Mouse House execs and marketing team, what you're going to gain in short-term increases, you're going to lose in long-term goodwill. Does that matter to you?
If you want to retain your image as a great place for families, then how about demonstrating how much you care about families by keeping your admission prices in check?
Another thought: Since the state of Florida historically has given Disney World so many, many tax breaks and given the company so much leeway to do whatever it wanted to do in Central Florida, then why can't Disney do something in return?
A good place to start: Offer a 35% discount to Florida residents - no strings attached, and one-day, one-park admission included - at least through 2009.
*prices are going up at Disneyland, too.