This Sunday Disney seemingly “shook” the Disney fan community with it’s annual ticket price increase for Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort. The uproar and shock of Disney ticket prices seems to happen every year yet it happens every year and at this time of the year for the last five years or so.
Let’s go over the basics of the ticket price increases…
For Disneyland we have –
Peak one-day tickets increasing from $124 to $135. 8.9% increase
Regular one-day ticket increasing from $110 to $117. 6.4% increase
Value ticket will remain at $97.
At Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, a Signature Plus annual pass is now priced at $1,149, a Deluxe is $729 and a SoCal Select costs $369. If you talk to people visiting Disneyland Resort over the last few years a common complaint is the fact the parks are very crowded, especially on weekends.
For locals that don’t have Annual Passes I will acknowledge that the single day ticket increase might be an issue. For guests coming from out of the local area this isn’t really an issue. Most of these guests are going to be buying multi-day passes, staying 3-5 days, which even though saw price increases the price per day is still significantly less than the single-day pass.
Disneyland for the most part depends on the Annual Passholder for its ticket revenue, but the problem over the last few years is the number of passholders that are coming during peak times, especially on weekends is causing crowding and parking issues. While not publicly stated, Disneyland has been using prices and blackouts to lower the number of passholders especially those visiting on weekends.
Now onto Walt Disney World –
Regular tickets increasing from $115 to $119. 4.3% increase
Peak tickets increasing from $124 to $129. 4.0% increase
Value tickets increasing from $107 to $109. 1.9% increase
Walt Disney World also raised the price of its annual passes at the different theme parks. At its Florida parks, a silver pass now costs $439, a gold pass costs $589 and a platinum pass is $849, or $729 for Florida residents. The platinum pass rose by $70, or $50 for Floridians.
According to Forbes, Disney claims the reason behind the rising prices is to help regulate crowd sizes throughout the year in hopes of reducing the wait at the parks.
Frankly, this is really the only way to limit the number of guests in the parks. People have complained that the price increases are pricing out the ‘average family.’ Yet, despite the price increases over the past few years, the parks have gotten more crowded. There used to be ‘slow times’, especially early December and the early part of the year before Spring Break and Easter. Those slow times are gone and basically the crowds have gone from “Insanely Crowded”, “Crowded” to “Less Crowded.” There is no slow time at Walt Disney World anymore. Despite the price increases people are still coming, even if it means they have to save longer for the trip.
So if you look at the ticket prices to regulate crowds Disney obviously hasn’t hit the ceiling…yet. Will this be the price increase that does it? We’ll have wait and see. Whenever Disney ticket prices increase people come out of the woodwork and complain, some even stating they’ll never go to the parks again…..yet more people are going to the parks than ever.
The one thing that needs to be mentioned. Very few people and families that visit Walt Disney World purchase the one-day ticket. Except for locals who don’t have Annual Passes or Florida Resident passes, very few people visit Walt Disney World for only one day.
This point is echoed by Disney spokeswoman Andrea Finger –
“Given the small percentage of guests that purchase a one-day ticket at Walt Disney World, extending pre-published, date-specific pricing to multi-day tickets will further advance our efforts to spread attendance throughout the year and ensure all guests have a magical experience no matter when they visit.”
Those of us who need to budget for a trip to Walt Disney World and don’t have Annual Passes, Disney is aware of this.
Finger also stated, “We know how important making memories at Disney theme parks is to families and we will continue to evolve our pricing in a way that gives families a range of options to meet their budget and helps better spread attendance throughout the year so they can make the most of every visit.”
Until these plans are released what can the average guest do now that the prices have increased? My suggestion is to book your trip as soon as possible and contact third-party sellers of WDW tickets. Guests need to comparison shop the third parties to see which are cheapest. Third party that are trusted and recommended by multiple people are ParkSavers, Get Away Today, Official Ticket Center or Undercover Tourist.
These third party re-sellers still have some tickets at the old pricing, but these tickets won’t last forever, so it is imperative that if you have a trip planned anytime in the near future and haven’t bought tickets and want to save money, that you contact these companies as soon as possible.
No one likes to see price increases….for anything, but this is not the end of the world.