A Disneyworld vacation is going to be getting further and further out of reach for many families, as the stalwart Florida theme park has raised prices significantly in recent months. What’s more, according to Cheatsheet, they’re going to continue to go up for the forseeable future.
In fact, Disneyworld raises ticket prices every February, just like they did this year, and last year, and the year before that, and so on. The price increase has manifested in ways visible and not-so-visible, from a steep increase in off-the-rack, single-day admission tickets; to increases being built into the cost of multi-day tickets and vacation packages; to an increase in annual passholder prices. In fact, according to The Orlando Sentinel, even free parking — once a perk given to guests staying in on-site hotels — is going by the wayside.
So why is the “Happiest Place On Earth” becoming an expensive boondoggle for many families? There are several reasons, in fact, from mundane realities such as the cost of doing business, to a host of expensive projects in the Florida theme park that are going to require some capital.
The main reason the “House of Mouse: is raising its ticket prices may strike you as kind of off-putting: they don’t want you there if you’re not going to spend money.
Specifically, according to Forbes, the company is trying to price budget vacationers out of the market. And there’s a good reason for that: sticker shock aside, attendance has been surging at Walt Disney World, and that has meant longer lines. By fiddling with the pricing structure, and pricing out budget travelers, the parks can bring people through the gates year-round, meaning more consistent (and shorter) wait times.
— Walt Disney World Today (@WDWToday) April 1, 2018
New Attractions, Park Makeovers, New Hotel(s)
Meanwhile, even as record-setting crowds surge through the parks, Disney’s Hollywood Studios (DHS) remains a shell of what it once was, and Epcot languishes with an outdated concept and a pressing need for a fresh face.
The good news is that DHS is set to debut the new Toy Story Land, complete with a whole host of new attractions, shops, and restaurants, on June 30, with Star Wars Land (or more specifically: Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge) and with it, a Star Wars-themed resort hotel, to follow in 2019.
Meanwhile, Epcot, now pushing 40-years-old, is in desperate need of some fresh energy. New attractions are in the works, and a five-year overhaul of the park was announced at this year’s D23 convention.
Last, but perhaps not least, there are issues with Disney’s internal transportation system. The famed monorail system, which flows through three Deluxe resorts (the Contemporary, the Grand Floridian, and the Polynesian), and which generates a premium room price for the privilege, is aging, expensive, and prone to breakdowns, according to Theme Park Tourist. Keeping it up and running is at once both expensive and necessary (imagine Disneyworld’s marketing without the “highway in the sky” gliding through the background).
Meanwhile, another transportation innovation is coming to the parks. Also revealed by Theme Park Tourist, the park is introducing a gondola system to shuttle guests to and from various resorts and parks. Construction has already begun, although it remains unclear when the first guests will get to ride the new system.
There are still ways to save money when you go to Disneyworld. Stay off-site, for example, buy multi-day tickets, go during off-peak times, and so on. But the bottom line is still a disappointing one if you’re looking to bring your family to Orlando in the near future: Disneyworld’s surging popularity, slate of new attractions, and other innovations are going to cost you dearly.
And that’s exactly how Disney wants it.