Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort Announce Ticket Price Increases….And Guess What…It’s Not the End of the World

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 ParkSaversGet Away TodayOfficial 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.


Rey Meet and Greet Experience Begins this May at Star Wars Launch Bay at Disneyland

Star Wars Launch Bay in Tomorrowland is the place for all things from the galaxy far, far away while the construction of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge continues at Disneyland. Beginning this May, Resistance’s newest hero, Rey will join this interactive experience.

According to Disney –

“Joining Chewbacca, Rey will visit with guests at the Light Side character experience throughout the summer, with Darth Vader and Kylo Ren encountering guests at the Dark Side area.”

The character encounter aspect of Star Wars Launch Bay has been a popular activity every since the area opened up in both Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  Having the ability to encounter Chewbacca, Darth Vader, and Kylo Ren for the casual and hardcore Star Wars fans has been special and fun experience.  Now by adding Rey is making this encounter it is getting even more exciting.

Right now this is only happening at Disneyland.  I sure hope that they are expanding this to Disney’s Hollywood Studios soon.

Disney Shows Off Working Model of Pixar Pier Showing Newly Themed Areas Coming Summer 2018 to Disney California Adventure

Coming summer 2018, Pixar Pier will transform the southern shore of Paradise Bay at Disney California Adventure with whimsical neighborhoods filled with characters from some of your favorite Pixar stories. Today, we are bringing you a first look at this transformation through photos of a working model now in use at Walt Disney Imagineering.

Featuring newly themed attractions, foods and merchandise, this area will introduce new neighborhoods representing beloved Pixar stories. The neighborhood inspired by “The Incredibles” will be anchored by the Incredicoaster, which will feature a new mid-century-modern-style loading area inspired by the Parr family home as seen in the upcoming “Incredibles 2.”

Another of the neighborhoods will be a celebration of many of your favorite Pixar stories. In this neighborhood, each of the 24 gondolas on what is now Mickey’s Fun Wheel will feature different pairs of Pixar pals, and at the Games of the Boardwalk, all of the midway games will be inspired by characters from films such as “a bug’s life,” “WALL·E” and the Pixar short “La Luna.”

Pixar Pier will open summer 2018, during the first-ever Pixar Fest celebration, which begins April 13. The celebration will include the new “Together Forever – A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular” fireworks spectacular as well as the return of Pixar Play Parade and “Paint the Night” parade, and much more throughout the entire Disneyland Resort.

From The Disney Parks Blog

Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival Expands to Six Weeks in 2018

Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival will return March 2 through April 12, 2018, bringing delicious cuisine, specialty beverages and exciting entertainment to Disneyland Resort guests for its third season. The culinary festival will expand to six weeks, with more days for guests to enjoy the flavors of the Golden State.

More than a dozen Festival Marketplaces will feature California-inspired tastes and sips. Guests will experience presentations and demonstrations with celebrity chefs such as Robert Irvine and Alex Guarnaschelli; food and beverage tastings; winemaker dinners; beer, wine and spirit seminars – all in addition to live music, entertainment and special activities throughout the festival.

The festival’s signature events will include new experiences such as the Disney Family of Wines Dinner, as well as returning favorites like Sweet Sundays and the Winemaker or Brewmaster Dinners. Another guest-favorite returning to the festival is the Junior Chef experience, with hands-on fun led by Chef Goofy, for children ages 3 to 11.


Additional fees required for the signature events and certain seminars. Separate admission to Disney California Adventure Park is required and is not included with the cost of such events. Space is limited for all ticketed events; advance reservations are recommended. Guests must be 21 years of age or over to consume alcohol and to participate in some events; valid photo ID required. Events and demonstrations are subject to restrictions and change or cancellation without notice.

From The Disney Parks Blog

Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa Unveils Magical, Hotel-Wide Renovation

An exciting, hotel-wide refurbishment brings new magic to the deluxe Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at the Disneyland Resort, with completely redesigned guest rooms plus a refreshed lobby, pool area and concierge-level lounge. The most extensive refurbishment since the hotel’s 2001 opening elevates the premium guest experience and brings a contemporary approach to the Arts & Crafts design style.

Named a AAA Four Diamond hotel by the Automobile Club of Southern California for the sixteenth year in a row, the 948-room Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa is the first Disney resort hotel in the world to be located inside a theme park.

“Our renovation brings an even more upscale experience to this iconic Southern California hotel, while staying committed to its signature Arts & Crafts design,” said Dan Coleman, General Manager of Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa. “We want our guests to enjoy the unique experience of staying in a Disney hotel that’s distinctly situated in beautiful California. The revitalized design helps convey this feeling and allows us to continue exceeding guest expectations.”

Guest Rooms

Every single element in the redesigned guest rooms is new—from flooring and walls, to furnishings and bathrooms. Upon entry, guests will notice beautiful hardwood-inspired flooring transitioning into soft, bright-toned carpeting. Linens and pillows are restyled in a bright, white palette and upgraded bathrooms include new fixtures. The room decor features all-new furniture made of quarter-sawn oak, specially designed for each room, as well as California-inspired artwork.

The headboards are made of quarter-sawn oak, a hallmark of Craftsman design, which frame a blossoming orange tree mural overhead—with mischievous Chip n’ Dale playing in the branches. When guests open the sleeper bed (available in select rooms), artwork of Bambi, along with other woodland creatures, bid them goodnight.

Countertops of the room’s desk, dresser and coffee station incorporate pieces of green glass from wine bottles, creating a beautiful, unique surface. Above the coffee bar, textured copper detailing adds depth to the aesthetic of the room while enforcing the Craftsman story.

Lastly, all rooms are powered with the latest technological features and premium amenities, including 55-inch smart TVs, Keurig coffee makers and built-in USB chargers. In addition, many rooms offer breathtaking views of Disney California Adventure Park and Downtown Disney District, the lively avenue with unique restaurants, interesting shops and dynamic entertainment venues.


Great Hall Lobby

The already stunning six-story Great Hall lobby has been upgraded with new, stylish furnishings and design elements. To complement the existing Arts and Crafts motif, new contemporary designs can be found throughout the furniture pieces, upholstery, woodwork and carpeting.

Custom tete-a-tete chairs provide interesting design and function, while boldly upholstered sofa and chair pairings offer a comfortable, welcoming setting. Coffee tables and lamp fixtures nicely complement the space, and leather-topped stools showcase hidden Mickey details. The redesigned space is perfect for lounging with family, relaxing with a glass of wine from the Hearthstone Lounge, or simply admiring the lobby’s focal point—the cavernous fireplace and its roaring fire.

The Veranda

The concierge-level lounge has a new name—The Veranda—and a new design that draws inspiration from the architectural and furniture designs of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, a visionary of the Arts & Crafts movement in Glasgow, United Kingdom. New hardwood flooring, custom-designed rugs, finely-crafted artisanal furniture and specially-commissioned art adds to the sophisticated tone of the lounge. Club-level guests may enjoy complimentary refreshments, as well as views of park fireworks in this exclusive setting.

Pool Deck

Each of the three pools have been redesigned with a variety of natural stones and brick to not only create a warm and welcoming environment, but also define the distinct pool settings. In keeping with the Arts and Crafts style of the hotel, the stone work was hand-laid by master stone masons.

Disney’s Grand California Hotel & Spa is located inside Disney California Adventure Park, providing guests with a special entrance to the theme park. Food and beverage options at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel include the award-winning Napa Rose, as well as character dining at Storytellers Cafe and the cozy Hearthstone Lounge. Guests staying at Disneyland Resort hotels also enjoy Extra Magic Hour*, which provides early entry to select Disneyland or Disney California Adventure attractions (valid theme park ticket and active hotel room key required).

*Extra Magic Hour valid for registered Disneyland® Resort Hotel Guests for admission to select attractions at either Disneyland® Park or Disney California Adventure® Park before the applicable Park opens to the general public. Check Disneyland.com for schedule of when each Park offers Extra Magic Hour. Applicable Theme Park, days and times of operation and attraction and service availability may vary and are subject to change without notice. Subject to capacity, cancellation and other restrictions.

Disney Announces Memorable New Story Elements that Add to the Fun at the Pixar Play Parade During Pixar Fest Celebration

Pixar Play Parade returns April 13 to the Disneyland Resort – this time, at Disneyland! Part of the limited-time Pixar Fest celebration, this delightful parade will bring even more of your favorite Pixar stories to life with the addition of three new story elements.

The parade will begin as all Pixar films have, with an appearance by the iconic and adorable Pixar Lamp. Rolling ahead of the famous lamp will be the familiar yellow Pixar Ball, making a cameo in Pixar Play Parade, as it has in many Pixar films.

Also joining the parade are characters from the beloved film, “Up.” Wilderness Explorer Russell will appear astride the colorful flightless bird, Kevin, with Carl Fredricksen and Dug following behind amid green foliage and snipe chicks, with Carl’s tethered house floating above.

Another popular Pixar story coming to Pixar Play Parade is “Inside Out.” Perched atop colorful memory orbs, Joy and Sadness take flight aboard Bing Bong’s rocket wagon, with Bing Bong himself cheering them on!

Don’t miss these new story elements and the return of Pixar Play Parade, beginning April 13 at Disneyland park.

From the Disney Parks Blog

Disneyland’s Downtown Disney District to Get New Dining , Retail and Entertainment in Early 2018

Lots of exciting changes are arriving at Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort in early 2018! With new dining and entertainment experiences, here’s a peek at what to expect at the beginning of next year.

The new, groundbreaking hyper-reality experience, Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire by ILMxLAB and The VOID, will transport guests deep into the Star Wars universe, walking freely and untethered throughout the multisensory experience with friends and family. In groups of four, teams will go undercover as stormtroopers to capture Imperial intelligence vital to the budding rebellion’s survival. Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire will open on January 5, 2018. Tickets available now at TheVOID.com.

Splitsville Luxury Lanes is a dynamic recreation destination offering a unique combination of dining, drinks, bowling and entertainment. The Downtown Disney District location will feature 20 bowling lanes interspersed throughout the location, four dining areas (indoors and out), more than 25 flat screen TVs, and the ability to host both live performers and DJs. Splitsville will open in early 2018.

Also, D-Street will close on January 2 and reopen in early 2018 as a reimagined retail space that offers Disney fans a variety of Disney-themed home goods. Guests will find a curated assortment of products that will change with each season. Not to worry, most of the unique items found at D-Street are available throughout the resort and shopDisney.com!

From the Disney Parks Blog

Disneyland to Stream ‘Believe…in Holiday Magic’ via #DisneyParks LIVE

#DisneyParksLIVE is celebrating the holiday season at Disneyland this Thursday, November 30th, with a live stream of “Believe … in Holiday Magic” fireworks spectacular!

The holidays have begun at the Disneyland Resort, and Holidays at the Disneyland Resort is in full swing, with returning favorites such as “Believe … in Holiday Magic” fireworks, “A Christmas Fantasy” parade and Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle at Disneyland park; and Festival of Holidays, including Disney ¡Viva Navidad! and “World of Color – Winter Dreams” at Disney California Adventure park. There is even new festive holiday decor at Downtown Disney District and the Hotels of the Disneyland Resort.

Tune in for the live stream of “Believe … in Holiday Magic” fireworks spectacular November 30th beginning at 8:40 p.m. PST, and find out how you can participate in the live stream yourself on the Disney Parks Blog and on Twitter at @DisneyParks!

From the Disney Parks Blog

Encounter Black Panther at Disney California Adventure in 2018

Early next year, Super Hero fans will explore the isolated and technologically advanced kingdom of Wakanda when “Black Panther” opens in theaters February 16, 2018. And for a limited time, Disney California Adventure guests will have the opportunity to encounter the king of Wakanda himself, Black Panther.

“Black Panther” follows T’Challa who, after the death of his father, the King of Wakanda, returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation to succeed to the throne and take his rightful place as king. But when a powerful old enemy reappears, T’Challa’s mettle as king — and Black Panther — is tested when he is drawn into a formidable conflict that puts the fate of Wakanda and the entire world at risk. Faced with treachery and danger, the young king must rally his allies and release the full power of Black Panther to defeat his foes and secure the safety of his people and their way of life.

From the Disney Parks Blog

Lunar New Year Festival Returns to Disney California Adventure

Kick off the Year of the Dog with the return of the popular Lunar New Year festival at Disney California Adventure park!

From January 26 through February 18, this spectacular festival will feature live entertainment, delicious food and more. Take a look at the favorite experiences returning for this year’s celebration:

  • Hurry Home — Lunar New Year Celebration, a nighttime water show on Paradise Bay
  • Disney characters such as Mulan and her friend Mushu, along with Mickey Mouse and his pals, all dressed up for the occasion — including Goofy dressed as the God of Good Fortune
  • Specialty Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese foods at Paradise Garden Grill
  • Commemorative merchandise featuring designs inspired by the different cultures of East Asia
  • Lucky Wishing Wall, where you can add your own wish
  • The festive Mulan’s Lunar New Year Procession, traditional crafts and more!

From the Disney Parks Blog