After years of rising ticket prices, Disney Parks has officially announced that they will reverse the depressing trend. The almost 63-year-old amusement park franchise has become unattainably expensive for the average American over the years as prices have rapidly surpassed the rate of inflation. Josh D’Amaro, chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, told the New York Times that he’s heard the cries for help and they’re doing something about it.
Most Americans Polled Thought Disney Parks “Lost Magic” Due to High Costs
A poll published in 2022 showed that 92.6% of Americans felt Disney World was too expensive for the average household. 68.3% said they felt the park had “lost its magic” due to soaring rates. 66.9% felt they were essentially getting strong-armed by the parks and wouldn’t fully enjoy them without paying for a list of upgraded ticket features. Nearly 50% said they postponed a Disney World trip due to the financial strain it would cause.
Disney also seemed to completely look over the fact that COVID and a global economic downturn might result in less spending cash for the average American. Just in time for the 2022 Holiday Season, Disney World announced yet another ticket price increase.
Magic Kingdom tickets around Christmas cost as much as $189 for one person. For a park hopper pass, that is an additional $65. In Anaheim, California’s Disneyland, a single park ticket could cost $179 per day with an additional $65 to visit California Adventure Park. In the busy season, a family of 4 with park hopper passes could expect to pay as much as $1,016 at Disney World. That would be $976 at Disneyland. That doesn’t count in additions like the Genie+ Lighting pass service, which is $25 per person per day at Disneyland and $15 at Disney World.
Add in parking, lodging, transportation, and a family vacation for a family of 4 is no longer possible.
Disney Actually Charges More Per Day for 2- or 3- Day Tickets
While Disney offered reduced ticket prices as low as $104 in Disneyland and $109 in Disney World, those were specific to certain midweek days in the off-season. Additionally, Disney World strangely has made it more expensive to buy tickets for 2, 3, or 4 consecutive days. A discount is applied for 5 days or more. Disneyland starts discounting consecutive tickets on day 4.
The prices have prompted many visitors to purchase annual passes, which offered tiers for different perks, booking times, and costs. But both Disney World and Disneyland stopped selling those in 2021 and 2022, respectively.
It’s not a recipe for happy locals or tourists coming to your parks. Which means they won’t be spreading happy memories with the Disney logo around on social media. Both of these things are needed for success in the digital age. Unless Disney wants to be known as an exclusive theme park for only the very rich.
Disney’s Prices Will Go Down for Some Things
In a Disney Parks blog update, Mr. Amaro announced the following changes would soon take effect:
- The park will increase the number of days that $104 tickets can be purchased to almost 2 months of the year.
- Beginning February 4, Disneyland Park Hoppers could switch parks at 11 am instead of waiting until 1 pm.
- Magic Key Passes (annual passes) would be offered again and at different points throughout the year.
- Ticket holders would be offered free Disney PhotoPass digital downloads of attractions from February 4 through the Disney100 celebration.
- So-Cal residents will be able to purchase 3-day midweek ticket bundles at $73 per day through late May.
Walt Disney World Resort
- Passholders will be able to enter the parks without a reservation after 2pm. There are exceptions. Magic Kingdom still requires a reservation on weekends and blackout dates still apply.
- Guests staying at Disney hotels and resorts would be given complimentary free parking starting January 10.
- Anyone purchasing Genie+ will receive free Disney PhotoPass downloads.
- Florida residents will be offered 2-, 3-, and 4-day discounted ticket bundles.