Theme Park Change puts a theme park twist on giving

Theme Park Change is a new charity that encourages theme park fans to donate to a great cause. Donors can give in amounts similar to what they would spend at an amusement park. For example, you can make a $5 donation which in an amusement park is about the price of a funnel cake. There are eight levels of giving that represent items ranging from a soda all the way up to a season pass.

All proceeds go to Project Angel Food, a charity whose mission is to care for men, women, and children afflicted with life-threatening illnesses like cancer and HIV/AIDS. Every person who donates $10 or more will be entered in a drawing where they could win theme park tickets and other prizes.

You can give through April 30th and read more about this program at Theme Park Change’s website. Also, here’s a video about the charity featuring Neil Patrick Harris.

Fun to get more expensive at Disney World

Prices are about to go up at Disney World, but the company is keeping the increases reasonable. Theme park multi-day admission prices will increase by 2.5 percent to 5.3 percent, depending on the nature of the passes. In 2006, when the economy was strong, the park hiked prices 16 percent.

The money has to come from somewhere. Hotel bookings are down 7 percent for Disney’s domestic parks this quarter, and the discounts used to bring more people in the door are hitting the company’s bottom line, as well. Park attendance was up last quarter, but revenue fell 9 percent, thanks to aggressive hotel room pricing.

What’s this all mean? Disney CEO Bob Iger doesn’t expect the economy to recover anytime soon, so he’s got to keep Mickey’s pockets full. He does make the point, however, that a $79 ticket to the Orlando park compares favorably to sporting events, ski lift tickets and other forms of entertainment – not a bad point.