The cost of visiting Walt Disney World is going up significantly just in time for the holidays.
Starting December 8, all four theme parks will use a variable pricing model based on the park, date, and expected demand. The changes will make tickets to the Magic Kingdom reach as much as $189 for single-day entry.
Previously, the highest price for a park’s single-day entry was $159. The lowest current price for any of the parks is $109.
With this change, prices for the four parks will be listed as follows:
- Animal Kingdom: $109–$159
- EPCOT: $114–$179
- Hollywood Studios: $124–$179
- Magic Kingdom: $124–$189
“We continue to focus on providing guests with the best, most memorable Disney experience, and we’re doing that by growing our theme parks with incredible new attractions and offerings,” a Disney spokesperson said, according to Yahoo Life.
Prices Based On Dates
This is not a dynamic pricing system, where prices fluctuate throughout the day or week based on attendance at that moment. Instead, it is date-based with Disney anticipating when the busiest times will be.
Disney noted that, in the case of the Magic Kingdom, the peak $189 price will only last for 9 days out of the year, all during the Christmas holidays.
Disney told USA Today that the higher price for Magic Kingdom is due to its extreme popularity.
“Magic Kingdom Park will be priced at or above our other theme parks due to the incredible demand as it remains the most-visited theme park in the world,” Disney said in a statement to USA Today.
In addition to the single-day price hikes, Disney will also be increasing Park Hopper and Park Hopper Plus pricing, which will also vary by date. The price for most annual passes will increase as well.
The increases for those changes have not been announced.
Disney Fans React
Those who follow Disney closely are not shocked by the boosts in cost, but are nevertheless discouraged.
“Even though this is the second ticket price increase of the year at Walt Disney World, it’s still not a huge surprise,” wrote the Disney Tourist Blog. “Crowds are crushing, pent-up demand is still strong, and the parks have a devoted and passionate fanbase.”
Pete Werner, CEO of wdwinfo.com, theorized that Disney is trying to attract casual visitors who spend more during each visit, instead of longtime visitors who come often and spend less inside the park.
“The bottom line is ‘make more money with fewer people, and we don’t care who we price out to do it,’” Werner told CNN. “And I’m going to tell you that the quality of the product is less, in my opinion, is less now than it was prior to the pandemic, yet the price has gone up considerably.”
Kevin Wong at Kotaku agrees with that sentiment.
“Disney no longer wants the maximum number of guests, spending a lot of money per day,” Wong wrote. “Instead, Disney wants a slightly lower number of guests spending a grotesque amount of money per day.”
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