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It's Unfortunate How Expensive Its Become To Take Your Family Out For A Nice Time Compared To The Good Ol' Days

Handout. Getty Images.

Earlier this summer, Steven Martinez made a promise to his two young kids: He’d finally take them to Disneyland, the “happiest place on Earth.”

But Martinez, a customer service specialist in Los Angeles, didn’t feel the magic when he saw the price tag.

“Just for one day in the park and one night at the hotel, we were looking at over $1k and that didn’t even include food,” he says. “I had to explain to the kids that Mickey was out of Daddy’s budget.”

Most families across the country can relate.

In the 1950s and ’60s — the so-called Golden Age of American capitalism — family outings were within the realm of affordability for most median income earners. Many blue-collar workers could afford new homes and cars and still take their kids to Disneyland.

Despite rising wages, many of those same activities are now out of reach for everyday Americans.

The Hustle has a big article where they compare three events for families currently vs 1960 : 

- a baseball game

- movie at a theater

-  one-day Disneyland visit

The main takeaway is that these events have increased 2-3x the rate of inflation. 

It's good that The Hustle is pointing out just how much movie theaters and stadiums are gouging you for popcorn and parking. It should come as no surprise the $8.25 large popcorn you buy costs the movie theater about 13 cents and they pump out hundreds of buckets a day every day of the year for 14-16 hours a day. It also should come as no surprise  this how the rich stay rich. 

No shit companies are charging at a higher rate than growing inflation. It's because they have commodities that you can't ever fully replicate. My 55 inch TV gets great reception on a baseball game, but being in Citi Field and hearing the crack of the bat is different. I can watch any movie I want on streaming but being in the theater for Top Gun Maverick and hearing the planes whizzing by on a 30 foot screen. I was never a huge Disneyland or Disney World guy but you can't build Space Mountain in your backyard. 

Now add in the fact that these activities are for families ? Even more difficult to phase them out of the American budget. Tell a mom and dad in Sheboygan, WI who are Disney lunatics , raising kids who are obsessed with Mickey, Toy Story or any other of the cash cows they've released over the years that they will never go to Disney World ? Impossible. 

"Hey little Joey, The new Minions movie that released and everyone in your Kindergarten class has seen …we're not gonna take you to that because the theaters are jacking the price up the wazoo. " Good luck selling that to an 8 year old. 

Same goes for baseball, Dads and Moms across the country will want to see the face of their children when they see their first Home Run, or stolen base, or sing in the 7th inning for the first time. It's a tradition we will do in this country for as long as time exists. Same with Disney World and going to a movie. 

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So what does all this mean ? 

Yeah these companies are shoving it square up our ass by charging way more than we as a country can afford but you know what we're gonna do about it ? Nothing. We're going to complain on the drive there, while we're there, on the drive home and the day after and then the next summer we're gonna plan another trip to Disney, when a movie you really want to see comes out you're gonna go see it, and when your team has a meaningful series in August during a divisional race, you will shell out the money to go see it. They got us by the balls and that's never going to change. Just try to enjoy the ride without too much bruising on the old nuts.