Disney Introduces Demand-Based Pricing At Its Theme Parks – Avoid Visits During Holidays And Weekends?

Disney Introduces Demand-Based Pricing At Its Theme Parks – Avoid Visits During Holidays And Weekends?

Disney has introduced demand-based pricing at its select theme parks in the United States. Single-day tickets to these recreational parks will now cost substantially more during holidays and weekends when there’s a surge of visitors, as compared to other times, when there’s a relative lull.

For the first time, tickets to Walt Disney World in Florida and Disneyland in California will become dearer during holidays and a few weekends that see a lot of foot traffic as compared to other days which are considered as slower periods. The company appears to be trying to space out the crowd, and making tickets costlier could be a strong incentive to go on other days that do not witness as strong crowds as on holidays.

Interestingly, the seasonal ticket-price changes affect Walt Disney World in Florida and Disneyland in California differently. Moreover, the changes pertain to single-day tickets only. Multi-day packages that most vacationing families buy, have been exempted from the differential demand-based price surge.

Interestingly, Disney isn’t offering an incentive to visit during the off-peak days, but appears to be penalizing the visitors who wish to drop by during peak hours. To avoid visitation during the days when the parks are bursting at the seams, Disney has jacked up the prices by as much as 20 percent. The seasonal changes, which take effect Sunday, affect the two theme-park resorts differently, reported Seattle Times.

Disney Introduces Demand-Based Pricing At Its Theme Parks – Avoid Visits During Holidays And Weekends?

Previously, all one-day tickets at the Magic Kingdom and Disneyland cost visitors $105 and $99 respectively. The prices never varied according to the days. Since the price remained the same, patrons made a beeline to the park on any day they deemed fit. However, with the differential pricing technique being deployed, visitors are expected to plan their trip to the Disney parks. The management at the most popular theme parks in the world hopes visitors would decide to space themselves, and the crowd could see more visitors on off-peak days.

It is not clear if Disney offers differential pay to its employees based on the crowds they have to entertain, but it may be assumed that the entertainment company doesn’t. This explains why Disney is keen to see increased visitors on off-peak days.

Starting Sunday, a one-day ticket to Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom will cost $105 on “value” days during slower periods, such as September. The cost for “regular” days will be $110, reported Reuters. During major holiday periods, spring break and parts of the summer, Disney has chosen to raise single-day ticket prices to $124. Similarly, at Disneyland, the differential pricing will be $95, $105 and $119 for value, regular and peak days, respectively. As suspected, the “value days” fall on weekdays during the academic school year, while peak times are around holidays and weekends in July and December, reported The New York Times.

Disney said it will post eight- to 11-month calendars online that list which days fall in each pricing period, reported Business Insider. With Disney actively expanding its parks with new attractions based on popular franchises such as “Star Wars” and “Frozen,” it would be wise to refer to the Disney’s calendar frequently.

Shrewd visitors have always avoided Disney parks on the busiest days. The number of visitors to Disney’s U.S. parks routinely set records in the last quarter of every year. The October to December period is undeniably the peak time and visitor count has risen by about 10 percent annually, which has put extreme pressure on the smooth functionality of the parks.

Overcrowding at the parks routinely causes serpentine queues. When parks become overcrowded, management often orders temporary gate closures, till the crowd thins out. Then there’s the omnipresent challenge of extending preferential treatment to certain sections of the society. It seems with demand based pricing; Disney expects to address these concerns.

[Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images]