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?
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.