Very true but I think the assumption is that there is only "one place" to get a good vacation. Now Disney does have a unique brand that lord knows they market very well but unlike many here I don't think the public is stupid.
And this ties back to the image and brand Disney has built for generations now... that a Disney vacation is the "must do" thing that every parent should treat their child to. This image and legend fuels much of Disney's business.. and why people have advocated for a long time that damage to that image will have impacts that take a long time to play out. When this generation does not have the same image of Disney that their parents did... when it's time to take their kids somewhere.. will they continue to pay the Disney premium their parents were willing to do?
That's why these things aren't put to bed with simple YoY comparisons. Disney built this image and reputation over generations... it takes a lot to knock that out for people.
That's why I always say the consumer is in control. I totally, totally agree that satisfaction is not a static, binary thing so many Disney vacationers look at the "overall" price because there are so many ways to cut cost but I do think if the overall feeling was that they were not getting what they paid for or that they were getting "fleeced" then we would/will see a decrease in crowds.
Another important consumer factor to remember is the idea of "what they know" and familiarity. People are resistant to try new things... the most popular place in town isn't necessarily the best.. it may just be the most comfortable for people.
That plays out in vacation choices too... you'll probably find way more people repeat vacation destinations than those who want something new every time. It takes a big hit for those people or some other change to get them to venture out and give up their "comfort food".
An easy way to think about it is... imagine if there was no history for Disney.. and this was a brand new product. What would the reactions be like then? The same? Different?