Posted Monday, December 29, 2008 9:41 AM | Contributed by ridemcoaster
SeaWorld Orlando is increasing the price of its base theme part ticket by $5 to $74.95 on Jan. 5, the third price increase there in 14 months. The new rate essentially matches the pricing at Universal and Disney. The price of a basic, one-day ticket to Busch Gardens-Tampa Bay goes up $2 to $69.95.
Read more from The Orlando Sentinel.
Yeah, that's real smart when the economy is tanking and their attendance is going in the crapper.
Wow, is raising ticket prices a good move at this time? Many people do not pay the gate price anyway with all the online promotions etc. But the fact that it was announced in the Sentinel, the people's perception is going to factor in somehow.
Yeah, I guess they've forgotten the world is in recession. $75 for a single day admission? They can go forth and multiply...
(and yes, I know nobody sensible pays that price, before anyone spouts off that old chestnut again)
Florida residents who would read that article still get a season pass for the price of a single day and I doubt vacationers will know nor care about $5 more per ticket.
I don't know about that. Vacationers will see that a park that isn't Disney/Universal wants $75 admission to enter - and they'll take their dollars elsewhere.
I kind of disagree with the thought that if its not Disney/Universal they wont go because of a price hike. Disney and Universal raise their prices as well, yet people still go there.. Fact of the matter is, (since you are using $75 I assume you mean Sea World), its a totally different draw than Disney/Universal. It has things that neither park has to that scale. So it makes for tough comparisons.
I doubt very seriously they will "turn around" when they see the $75 charge. You may get few Nay-Sayers, but Im thinking it wont affect the park to the scale you predict it will, least no more than the price hikes at the other Florida parks affect them.
Also keep in mind.. New coaster coming to Sea World. People will find a way to get in (full price or discounted), due to the added attraction.
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Right now, you can get a 2 park Busch Gardens, Sea World ticket for $90+ Tax. I wonder if it will go up as well.
The single-day gate is the last thing the Central FL parks will discount, just because the market is so different. It's overwhelmingly tourist-driven, and the pricing is set to acknowledge that. Tourists that want to "see it all" on a once-in-a-lifetime trip get soaked (and probably barely even notice, because they paid $300 a person just to fly there). But, the pricing is set so that tourists willing to return a couple times (and buy a couple more meals) get good deals, and locals can get very good deals.
Any tourist that goes to these parks and pays full price deserves to get hosed, as they could have taken 15 minutes of effort to find discounts online.
Most Canadians who are members of CAA (auto club) know that they can go to the CAA and get discounted tickets for all the Florida parks. I bought Busch tickets a few years ago, and the deal was that I got the tickets "at par" (same price, but in Canadian money, which at the time meant a 15% discount to me), and the ticket was good for return visits for the next 7 days. So, we went back to the park the following day to get re-rides on our favourites.
At first I was like, "Ok they must be out of their minds!" But if you think about it. Universal and Disney charge a high fee to get in and people are obviously visiting those parks. And Seaworld is the only park of it's kind in Orlando so why not raise the ticket price if people will pay. Plus people by those two park special combo tickets. It was only $60 something! We went to Seaworld one day and Busch Gardens another! Great time! Who cares $5 more bucks, if your worried about that makin or breakin you then I dunno!!
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Assuming that people are indeed paying full price, if you're travelling to Florida for a vacation, are you really going to pass on Sea World or Busch because of an extra $5? Even for a family of five visiting both parks, that's $50.
Maybe they're following Gonch's rule #1: It's more efficient to make more money from fewer people.
If I am an out-of-towner planning an Orlando trip, I'm going to the Seaworld Web site. There, I see a $64.95 online best price. I also see that the single day gate gets me in for a second day free. The $75 dollar figure isn't in the equation. For an effective price of $32.50 a day, I can get two days at SeaWorld. (Doesn't matter if I take advantage of the second day or not, it adds value to the the cost of the ticket).
The primary audience of the Sentinal read the story and learned that thier "season passes" to Sea World will now cost $75, "season passes" to Busch Africa $70. Still bargains for the FLA folks.
And the price adjustment implies that the value of a Seaworld experience continues to be on par with the mouse and Universal.
If I am an out-of-towner planning an Orlando trip, I'm going to the Seaworld Web site. There, I see a $64.95 online best price. I also see that the single day gate gets me in for a second day free. The $75 dollar figure isn't in the equation.
And that, in a nutshell, is the entire key to the approach to pricing in Orlando.
If anything (and for lack of a better way of explaining it) those published one-day prices only exist to make the 'real' prices too good to pass up...and all of the 'real' prices try their damndest to keep you at their park as many days as possible and away from the other parks.
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