Home Disney World Why are Disney Parks prices going through the roof?

Why are Disney Parks prices going through the roof?


Why are Disney Parks prices going through the roof?

Since we just had another huge increase in Annual Pass prices which will likely be followed by an increase in ticket costs in coming months and we’ve seen significant increases in food costs, what is actually going on with Disney Parks?

Disney Parks costs will continue to rise

Well, Bob Iger told everyone a while back that they were going to continue to increase costs as long as the market will bear it out.  Disney Parks see themselves as a premium product and wish to charge premium prices.  they desire to attract more upper middle class and upper class clientele. the overall guest might see a 3 to 5% pay increase yearly, but Disney Parks are rolling out increases of 10% to 50% on some item and charging huge upcharge amounts for special experiences, many of which guests think they need, but really don’t.  Why all the increases?

The parks can only bear so many visitors, especially during the busy seasons. So the options are to pack in more guests or charge the guests significantly more and slightly decrease crowds.  They have already increased parking availability at Animal Kingdom are increasing the parking area at the Magic Kingdom and will soon increase parking at Hollywood Studios.  Epcot has one of the largest parking lots in the world, so you won’t see construction there.  But when the parks are jammed wall to wall with visitors who are upset about such a negative experience and long waits, and watching guests have fist fights, they will stop visiting.  In order to make more money from fewer guests, you must charge more money.  I’ve had a number of friends visit during summer months for many years who are now planning vacations elsewhere to avoid the current busy season crowds.

The Magic Kingdom and Disneyland see the crowds more than the other parks, so they increased the cost of visiting these parks for a single day.  Expect that trend to continue with a steeper price increase for Magic Kingdom only day tickets in the future.  In addition, Disney Parks will soon roll out a seasonal price structure to try to move crowds away from the busiest seasons like Christmas, Easter and mid-summer by creating even more costly tickets for those busy seasons.  You’ll pay more to visit when the parks are at their worst crowd wise.  Funny thing is that most people will still pay the cost increases to fulfill those kids dreams, but they likely won’t return as often as previous years. Some people’s job will not allow them to travel in what are currently less busy seasons, so they will pay the price.  This also helps entertainment continue to offer the same, characters, acts and parades and fireworks year after year.

Some weeks that were normally pretty quiet here have recently seen crowd increases that were unexpected by many, often even surprised Disney World, because Disney has offered discounts to South American travel groups to keep the parks filled. The major change will be that those same travel groups staying in the cheapest hotels along 192 will soon be required to book a Disney resort package in order to continue receiving the ticket discounts.  For example, early December used to be a glorious time to be in Disney World with all the festive theming, special Christmas entertainment and parties, great weather and low crowds.  Well, you get most of that, but crowds are increasing as South American groups take (summer) vacations to Disney World during the first 2 weeks of December.  Disney doesn’t want to miss out on hotel occupancy and income, so more packages will be sold to foreign tourists during traditionally slower times.

Traveling to Disney World is expensive.  Cost for a non-discounted standard value room for 2 adults a 12 year old and a child, park hoppers, regular dining plan and Memory Maker is over $4,000 in summer and even more during Christmas and Easter.  that’s before you include travel!  Well, get used to it because it’s only going to cost more in coming years, significantly more.


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  1. I meant you were right on the money ;)
    We just have one child (over 9), but beside that booked exactly the package you described, at AoA. If we did also have a 3-9yo child, it would’ve been $4K.

  2. Your last paragraph said, “2 adults a 12 year old and a child, park hoppers, regular dining plan and Memory Maker is over $4,000.” We just bought *exactly* this for April 9 to 15 at $3,600. Only difference is 2 adults & one 13yo child. Add cheap non-stop flights from NYC area, rental car, pocket money, etc… total around $5,000.
    Honestly, I don’t mind spending more to enjoy less crowds.
    It’s worth it to truly relax and not feel in competition for everything.

  3. Most of the South American economies are in the tank right now. Brazil can barely scrape together the money to host the Olympics; 2015 has already been the worst growth rate ever for the region, and SA is also home to the 2 worst stock markets in the entire world. Couple that with China’s market collapse and sluggish growth (the region’s biggest trade partner) and South American growth has gone from 6% growth in 2010 to 3% in the last few years to – a grand total of .4% this year. They could not even muster up a half percent. Perhaps it has been great in the past for them, but I doubt Disney can lay its growth chips on South America – at least for the next few years.

    • Didn’t say they were. Just mentioned that they were looking to keep them onsite. There’s still a lot of money in SA though. Just walk the parks and you’ll see.

  4. I think my family will start taking vacations to other destinations too. I just spent $8,000 for a trip for 4 days. I could travel around Europe for a week for less. Also, I could do 3 other trips for that price so I think we will also be taking a long break from Disney. We’ve loved our 10 years of trips, but it’s time to move on.

    • Wow $8000 for 4 days? It costs us half of that when we go for 2 weeks with free dining at the end of August, in the value resort. I guess you’ve been doing the deluxe resorts The longer you stay, the lower the entry price gets, that is why we always go 10 days in the parks with a few days off. But I get how you feel, prices have risen so much in recent years it is nuts.

  5. this should be a good test to see if disney enforces the no Chanting rule or not. or have they allready for anybody been their since it started.

  6. Count us out. Thankfully we went last summer to celebrate the adoption of our last 2 foster kids. With their adoption our family has 8 members, only 1 of which is still considered a child by Disney standards. My husband and I are both retired so our income has decreased. It will be impossible to bring our whole family again. How disappointing!

  7. We just got bac Sept. 10th and comparing with the same time last year, I found there were TONS of latino speaking people in the parks, tons. And the past 3 years, there seems to be TONS more smokers. Our first 3 trips (2008-2010), I actually thought WDW was smoke-free! But our last 3 trips (2013-2015), there are more and more crowds and more smokers… I’ve also noticed how many fewer meet n greets there are. In 2008-09 we had met Dopey with Snow White outside in Epcot, Belle and the Beast… now there is no such thing… it’s just cough up the $$$ for special events or restaurants if you want a glimpse of them! Hey, I am no old veteran to WDW and I have plenty to say. I can’t begin to imagine how the veterans visitors of WDW feel… sigh, most of them probably have stopped coming. There is plenty to love and to hate about Disney. My kids are still in the good age to visit the parks and that is why we have done 6 trips in 8 years… free dining is a deal breaker for us, let’s hope that will stay. I could go on all day about Disney, but I will stop here, thanks!!

  8. I’m glad we started taking my daughter 5 years ago before the prices started to skyrocket. I remember paying “rack rate” at Pop Century to get the “Free Dining” promotion. If I recall, rack rate was $84/night…

    Some of that is now that my daughter is older, we can’t go in the “slow” times and some of it is due to the price increases that have gone up 2-4x the average American salary increase over the past 5 years. :(

  9. I’m sure that part of it is crowd management, but a lot also has to do with astronomical salaries for the CEO, big wigs and Board members. I’m glad my kids are Losing interest. I love WDW, especially Magic Kingdom, but for $10,000 for travel, hotel, food and tickets my family of four can go almost anywhere in the world.

  10. great. that’ when we are going. Last time we went that time wa 2013 and it was delightful. So I can expect huge group of South Americans now? Just like in late January?

  11. Sound like Disney is pricing themselves out of the market. We have enjoyed Disney many times, but maybe never again. That’s sad.

  12. I’m glad my kids are mostly grown and we can explore different corners of the world. This pricing is ridiculous and it’s going to get worse…COUNT US OUT!

  13. I get all of it, but I think Walt is turning over in his grave. The very families that he built his dream for are now intentionally being kept out of his parks. It’s shameful.

  14. Sadly the price increase is even greater for Canadians (and other countries) at the moment as added to the Disney increases are our weak dollars compared to the US $. I help family and friends book trips and this year cancelled 6 trips for people (1/3 of those I booked) when our dollar fell so drastically. Every $1 of a Disney trip that cost me $1.15 last year is now $1.37! A tough pill to swallow on top of the prices going up!

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