Walt Disney World to Introduce New Online Vacation Planning Site and Identical Single Day Ticket Pricing for All Parks

Yesterday Walt Disney World announced that beginning October 16th that they will be launching a new vacation planning site to help guests purchase date-based tickets.

In the announcement Disney stated –

“With all there is to see and do in our parks, we know guests are increasingly looking for easier ways to plan a vacation with personalized options that fit their individual needs. Beginning October 16 on DisneyWorld.com, guests will be able to access our new online vacation-planning destination and purchase tickets priced by the date of visit. These changes are designed to simplify the booking experience, give guests an enhanced way to purchase theme park tickets and help them more easily plan the Disney vacation of their dreams”

While Disney has not stated this, presumably this is being done to make it easier for people trying to book and plan a vacation to Walt Disney World by streamlining the now disjointed process by guiding people through the process on a single website as opposed to navigating through the abundance of dropdown menus on Walt Disney World’s current site.  The fact that there is no mention of the fact that date-based pricing that was announce a while ago and has been the pricing practice for the Disneyland Resort for a while now and that they seem to emphasize the planning process seems to verify this.  Personally I’m skeptical that this process will be as “streamlined” as Disney professes.  Disney has a history of making complicated processes even more complicated.  That’s on top of their history of having technical issues and outages.

Here is the video that Disney is using to explain the new site.

What also was not mentioned in the announcement but has been found out is that as of October 16th Walt Disney World will begin pricing all four of it’s theme parks at the same price for single day tickets.  This will eliminate the Magic Kingdom premium, and raising the price of the other three parks to match the ticket price for the Magic Kingdom.

Beginning in the summer of 2013, the Magic Kingdom carried a premium price, putting it at around $5 more than the other three theme parks. The new pricing will now put all four Walt Disney World theme parks between $109 and $129, depending on the season that they will be used.

Currently one-day tickets for Epcot, Studios and Animal Kingdom are between $102 and $122.

With the impending opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Walt Disney World in late fall 2019, the launch of the new planning site seems to make sense due to the anticipated increased bookings of vacations.

What seems odd about the same price for all parks beginning in October is that much of Disney’s Hollywood Studios is still under construction due to the new Star Wars land.  While the price difference between parks doesn’t seem like a lot, the fact that the Studios is barely a full-day park, Disney is expecting guests to pay the same daily ticket price as the other parks.  Maybe Disney is thinking that the Magic Kingdom Premium was too difficult for guests to figure out and this just makes things easier.  If that’s the case, I don’t have as big of an issue with the change and after all we’re only talking about a few dollars a day.  The premium really didn’t seem to change crowd distribution between the parks much anyway.

It will be interesting to see what if any affect this will have on bookings and guest satisfaction.

Advertisements

Disney Cruise Line Plans to Build Miami Terminal for Year-Round Cruises

According to Travel Weekly, Disney Cruise Line has agreed to sail a ship of at least 3,500 passengers out of Miami on a year-round basis starting in 2023.

The agreement which was approved by the Miami-Dade County Commission on September 6, will give Disney the first rights to build a new terminal on the south side of the port to the east of the existing Terminal J, which currently caters to small cruise ships.

Disney Cruise Line is expected to begin year-round four-day and five-day cruises from Miami in 2023.  Disney is expected to followed this with the addition of a second, seasonal ship in January 2024 that would sail three-day and four-day cruises.

As reported earlier Disney is currently building three ships scheduled for delivery in 2021, 2022 and 2023.

With this announcement Disney Cruise Line would join Carnival Cruise Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean International a year-round operator out of Miami.

The agreement will guarantee the PortMiami at least 360,000 Disney passenger movements per year starting in 2023. The agreement would yield the county-run port $7.2 million a year.

Disney has cruised seasonally from Miami in the past and plans to bring the 2,700 passenger Disney Magic to PortMiami starting December 4th.

According to reports the construction of a new terminal on the port’s south side depends on widening the ship channel and turning basin on that side of the port along with the acquisition of cargo land currently under lease to Seaboard Marine.

If construction is deemed non-viable or unsuitable, Disney and the port will reportedly explore options on port’s the north side, where all of the larger cruise ships currently dock.

Many cruise line experts have wondered for a while if Disney Cruise Line was exploring other ports for year-round cruises once the new ships were announced in 2017.  There have also been rumors that Disney is looking for another private island to stop at because Castaway Cay has been talked about as being at or nearing capacity with the current line of ships.

Even though the new ships are a ways off…for fans of the Disney Cruise Line and their cruises, at least for me, this brings the new ships even closer to reality.

Walt Disney World Announces New Dates for ‘Disney After Hours’ for Magic Kingdom

Walt Disney World announced earlier today that ‘Disney After Hours’ will continue for the Magic Kingdom into the winter of 2018 and into 2019, with dates available from December 3, 2018 until March 7, 2019.

As before, when attending this event guests can get in as early as 7 PM to experience the fireworks before hitting more than 25 attractions and experiences with little to no wait!  The event also includes complimentary ice cream novelties and beverages.

The new dates and times are:

  • December 3: 10 PM – 1 AM
  • December 10: 10 PM – 1 AM
  • January 7: 8 PM – 11 PM
  • January 17: 8 PM – 11 PM
  • January 24: 8 PM – 11 PM
  • January 28: 8 PM – 11 PM
  • February 7: 8 PM – 11 PM
  • February 14: 9 PM – 12 AM
  • February 28: 8 PM – 11 PM
  • March 7: 9 PM – 12 AM

The cost of the event has risen by $6, and is now $125 plus tax for ages 3+ with advance purchase, or $129 for day of. Passholders and DVC can get a discounted rate of $95 for an advance purchase. Theme park admission is not required.

I have not had to attend a ‘Disney After Hours’ event yet, though it looks like one of the new dates might be during my next trip.  This is definitely something I am considering.  Everyone that I know who has gone has loved the event.

You can purchase tickets by calling 407-827-7185 or by going online.