The Disneyland annual passport tiers are currently $619, $849 and $1049. Here's
an article listing reasons they were increased: demand, revenue, spending, overcrowding, parking, experience, and Star Wars Land.
They're not high enough. Overcrowding is the problem. We accidentally went during "AP Days" (February 10 to March 9 this year) when we expected the park to be deserted, but it wasn't. Disney freaks were everywhere absorbing discounted food and exclusive merch. As a Californian I shouldn't complain, but I really felt sorry for the out-of-staters who stoically faced a week of long lines.
a place to start if you're hoping to beat the system. I'm told the 2 weeks of statewide testing every spring is promising. In my experience, rain closes a few rides, but all the locals race home to board up their windows.