The price of a basic one-day, one-park ticket to SeaWorld is now $69.95, up from $67.95. Busch also increased the prices of basic tickets to Aquatica (to $41.95,) Busch Gardens (to $67.95) and Adventure Island in Tampa (to $37.95.) Multi-day resident tickets will see a 20% cut in price.
Read more from The Orlando Sentinel.
I remember when I said here on CoasterBuzz that $50 was the tipping point, way back when tickets were only $45ish. I guess I was wrong like usual.
Parks are getting very expensive though. I keep searching for a decent discount for BGE because I am going in a few weeks, and I can't find anything substantial. BG is way too expensive, but the product is high quality. You get what you pay for.
It's a stance I've taken for quite a while now. :)
Consider that SeaWorld is the 12th most visited theme park in the world and Busch Gardens is 19th. Doesn't sound like two parks that have priced themselves out of anything.
On the other hand, there is no denying that a lot of folks are feeling a lot of pain in any once place. So, the strategy clearly is: lighten the load on the locals (many of whom are really hurting) but soak the tourists who can afford it.
Sounds like a reasonable strategy to me. If I'm flying to Floria for $400 or so per person (which is not unreasonable for a peak season fare from DTW these days) a few extra dollars in tickets doesn't make or break the trip. But, the folks in Lakeland who are getting hammered in one of the country's worst real estate markets could really use the break.
We're flying to Orlando in the fall and were savvy enough to score FL state ID so that we can get the resident discounts on our trip.
Enough headroom to not change lives or plans, but still able to take advantage of the breaks available. To quote Hannah Montana, "It's the best of both worlds" ;)
The way I figure it, the $3 and one hour spent on the Florida ID could potentially save us 4 digits on 8 days at WDW.
Good enough for me...and the state of Florida to issue an ID.
In the spirit of full disclosure, though, my uncle owns a rental villa in Davenport, and he has offered me the use of his address to get a FL ID. In my situation, though, the savings aren't worth dealing with the FL DMV. If it were a matter of seasonal vs. annual pass, maybe, but we're never there for that long in a given year.
I don't think the DMV would've cared if it was a made up address. Seems alarmingly easy to get a Florida ID. I would've never thought of it myself, but my wife knows someone who suggested it (and did it themselves at the suggestion of others who've done it) when she mentioned we were going in the fall.
It's almost twofold for the savings. Score the seasonal pass (less than tickets with parkhopper) and since we want to say on property this time that opens up both passholder and resident opportunities.
Not to mention things like this BG discount for when return (presumably next year to do all non-Disney stuff)
I'm willing to spend for a good time, but I'm not stupid. So little effort for so much potential benefit is not something I'd pass up.
The one year we had two trips, the second was during a blackout period, so we needed the regular APs in any case. I'm guessing the very close pricing between a typical expiring parkhopper and the seasonal pass is no accident.
Don't neglect the Disney Dining Experience card, either. It costs $60, and gives you 20% off your bill at most sit-down locations, including booze (!), and also free valet parking at the resorts when you eat there.
I made that $60 back in one meal hosting extended family at 'Ohana.
Even the ticket savings are just icing, the access to passholder discounts (in park and resorts) are the real benefit.
Plus, everyone here seems to be of the consensus that they'd rather stay on property (even with my usually convincing hypothetical arguments against it) and you know damn well we're not staying at a value property and honestly the idea of outdoor entry moderates isn't very appealing either. Combine the desire for a deluxe and well, either status (passholder or resident) might help nab a large savings.
Not to mention all the possibilities at Universal, SeaWorld, Busch, etc next year when we return.
I suppose the bottom line is that even if it saves us nothing, it opened up the chance to save. It's about hedging the bets. :)
Aside from the DDE card and free parking, the Annual Pass hasn't provided me many discounts that I didn't have some other way. But, as I said, that DDE card is really cool; the ability to just roll up and hand your keys to the valet is a nice way to go.
I don't use the AP room discounts. Someday, I'll tell you how I stay in the Disney timeshare properties for about 25% of rack rate, but now's not the time.
Anywho.. Thinking of the rate hikes in general, I still think BG is still worth the cost.. Especially if you compare it to the theming that goes into it.. BG/SW is not just a thrill park.. They are themed, which costs a good chunk of money. Shows.. Performers, Animals, and of course Rides. I think BGs cost to ROI still holds well.
Granted im biased due to my wife being a "suit" at BGE so I don't pay for any of BE parks at all, but I do pay for Cedar Parks, Universal and Disney Passes and comparing all the costs to whats offered, if I had to, I would still pay the price of BG and not think twice. The others, in order of my writings, i have to contemplate/justify renewals yearly.
(and yes this article discusses day passes, but believe me Season/Annual pass hikes will follow.)
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