Prices for tickets and annual passes at Walt Disney World will increase Sunday, while the resort will also make changes in policies regarding online purchases and expiration dates.
Disney last year introduced seasonal one-day ticket pricing, with three tiers based on time of year. For most Disney theme parks, mid-tier tickets will cost $107, up from $102. Peak season tickets – generally for spring break, summer and Christmas break – will cost $119, up from $114.
A one-day visit during the least-popular value days will cost $99, up from $97.
The Magic Kingdom has a premium tacked on to its admission. Prices will rise for value and regular seasons, but the peak price will remain unchanged at $124. A mid-tier ticket will rise to $115 from $110.
Prices are for adults do not include tax. Tickets for children 3 to 9 will also become more expensive.
Annual-pass prices will also increase Sunday. Florida-resident gold passes with blockout dates during Christmas and spring break will cost $559, up from $549. Platinum passes with no blockout dates will cost $679, up from $649.
“Our pricing provides guests a range of options that allow us to better manage demand to maximize the guest experience and is reflective of the distinctly Disney offerings at all of our parks,” the company said in a statement.
Prices for Disney tickets have typically risen each February.
Also starting Sunday: Visitors buying tickets online or on their phones can save $20 on Magic Your Way bundles from three to 10 days. SeaWorld and Universal Orlando also charge less for online purchases.
And all tickets will have expiration dates starting Sunday, not just single-day tickets. The dates will vary.
Disney World visitors typically buy multi-day tickets or passes rather than making single-day visits.
The price increases go into effect a few months before a new land based on “Avatar” will open at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
Overall, attendance declined 1 percent at Disney’s domestic theme parks in fiscal 2016. On Tuesday, the company reported the number of domestic visitors fell 5 percent year over year for the first fiscal quarter. The company blamed the decline on factors including Hurricane Matthew and a Christmas holiday shift. Seasonal pricing could also be encouraging visits during less busy times, executives said.
“However, the fact that Disney was still able to increase its theme-parks segment’s revenue by 6 percent and operating profit by 13 percent is exactly why it’s going to go through with this month’s inevitable hike,” analyst Rick Munarriz wrote Friday on the Motley Fool financial website. “Disney is learning to make more with less, and it won’t stop until revenue and earnings suggest otherwise.”
Still, the company could be reaching the point of pricing out potential visitors, said Bob Boyd, an analyst with Pacific Asset Management.
“We believe it’s going to become increasingly difficult for Disney to continue raising theme-park prices,” he said in an email.
The price of preferred parking, an option added last year, will rise to $40 instead of $35. Preferred parking is one of many perks Disney has added to generate more revenue from guests with the means to pay extra for them.
Also, Disney will eliminate the “water park fun and more” standalone option, which had combined admission to Blizzard Beach or Typhoon Lagoon with a golfing outing or a visit to ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Visitors can still get the combo with a park hopper ticket.
From the Orlando Sentinel