If you are a lifelong Disney fan lamenting the high price of the company’s theme parks, take heart. The Mouse has heard your pleas. Walt Disney Co. is changing ticket prices at its theme parks. Some fans will love the new changes. Most won’t.
Los Angeles Times reports that Walt Disney Co. is adopting a new policy for ticket prices. The new policy will reduce ticket prices on low-demand days. Many have compared the new policy to Uber surge pricing because prices for popular times will increase.
“The demand for our theme parks continues to grow, particularly during peak periods. In addition to expanding our parks, we are adopting seasonal pricing on our one-day ticket to help better spread visitation throughout the year. Multi-day tickets, annual passes and visiting during non-peak periods also provide our guests with options and savings.”
Starting Sunday, February 28, each day will be designated as a “value” day, “regular” day, or a “peak” day. According to Reuters, guests who visit Disneyland on peak days can expect to pay $119 for a single day pass. Guests at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom can expect to pay $124. Meanwhile, guests who visit Disneyland and Disney California Adventure on “value” days will pay $95. Guests who visit Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom on value days can expect to pay $105.
Unfortunately, Disney fans with season passes won’t see any savings under the new plan. And the vast majority of Disney theme park attendees will see price increases of $20 per single day ticket. The fans happiest about the new ticket price structure will likely be local fans, who can now enjoy the Disney parks at a discount.
According to Bloomberg, the move allows Walt Disney Co. to better manage park traffic while increasing revenue. In the last three months of 2015, Disney saw a 22 percent increase in operating income, thanks in part to park attendance. Disneyland, in particular, had to close its gates for periods of time because of overcrowding.
Some fans aren’t convinced that higher ticket prices will relieve Disney’s overcrowding problem.
Peak pricing will be in effect 26 percent of the year, but peak days will fall during holidays, spring break, and summer, all times when families are most likely to vacation at a Disney resort. The “value” days typically fall on weekdays when school is in session. But Bloomberg estimates that only 83 days will be designated “value” days.
Walt Disney Co.’s new ticket price structure isn’t the first of its kind. Universal Studios Hollywood introduced a discount system in early February. Through the discount system, buyers can save as much as $20 on non-peak day tickets. Universal’s discount days come just as the park prepares to open its version of the popular Wizarding World of Harry Potter attraction. Unlike the Disney resorts, Universal Studios Hollywood didn’t increase prices for peak-demand days.
In the meantime, Disney theme parks will feature a Star Wars-themed stage show to satisfy fans. Disney will also launch a stage show based on the popular film Frozen.
(Photo by Paul Hiffmeyer/Getty Images)