A few weeks ago, while organizing old Star Articles I ran across one that I found vaguly interesting from 1994, comparing the cost of a Starlight 4-show pass with a Worlds of Fun season pass. I mentally filed it away as mildly interesting and went on with my organizing. Today, I noticed the post on Worlds of Fun's Facebook regarding their Season Pass sales for the 2019 season, which if you renew within their "limited time" for $102 (or initial payment of $14 plus 11 payments of $8 each which is also $102 total) includes the rest of the 2018 season too. I then noticed someone complaining about how they would visit if the price was "less". I found the concept intriguing. Was Worlds of Fun really as expensive as some feel? Now, I can't make a decision on what someone's money is worth, for me, living in Florida it's "worth it" for me to buy a Worlds of Fun Gold Pass... because that's just me, and I am weird. For others, Roller Coasters and Waterslides are eh. I get that. However, if twenty-five years ago it was a worthwhile argument for The Star to compare Worlds of Fun's value to Starlight's... I would argue it would still be relevant today. So let's just do that why don't we?
So $102 compared to $78, not too far off, especially when one considers the $102 includes the 2018 season, AND Starlight includes only grass parking included, paved parking... is $5 extra per show. So you could reasonably argue that $78 is now $98. ($5 times four shows). With that being said, I wouldn't be being impartial if I didn't say all parking is not created equal, and paved parking at Starlight MAY be closer then your paved parking spot at Worlds of Fun.
The argument from 1994 was somewhat familiar, and I thought we would taken a minute to look at that as well. In 1994 a Worlds of Fun Season Pass was $54.95, or $47.95 if you bought three or more. A Parking Pass (which was extra at the time) was $25, and an interesting point also to remember, is that the $54.95 or $47.95 DIDN'T INCLUDE BOTH PARKS. it was $29.95 for the second park. So for one person, for both parks, including parking was $109.99.. Yes folks, a season pass to Worlds of Fun and Oceans of Fun in 1994 was MORE then, than it would be today!
Now truthfully, not everyone needed a $25 parking pass, but even with that not included, its really not that far off when one considers gas was .75 cents a gallon, and minimum wage was $4.25 an hour in 1994 that is (I remember this because I paid that, and I was paid that, in that order).
At the time in 1994, a Starlight four-show package for Rear Third of the Theater (or that $78 4-show ticket today), was $28, that $140 ticket today, was $48. Again, when one considers inflation it's not all that big of a jump, but here's the rub... If Worlds of Fun had increased along the same lines of inflation a season pass SHOULD be $148, instead its almost $50 less. AND that includes the rest of 2018 season too!
A simple numbers game, and I love numbers, years, dates, figures fascinate me. I also, in all fairness am probably not 100% unbiased, I love the park and want it to succeed more than anything. With that being said, numbers are numbers, and numbers don't lie. I realize most who read this are die hard Worlds of Fun fans much like myself, but its a fascinating discussion, and one that like every other blog I have written I feel I have gained just as much insight from writing as anyone who should read it.
Mann Fuller, J. (1994) "Passes can push down prices", The Kansas City Star, 25 June.