Premium experiences boosting revenue at Orlando theme parks

Posted Monday, September 8, 2014 9:45 AM | Contributed by Jeff

The new "Villains' Sinister Soiree" is one of several events debuting at Walt Disney World and other theme parks this year. Such theme-park extras are becoming more common, experts say, as the industry tries to squeeze more money from die-hard fans and well-heeled visitors willing to pay prices the more casual visitor might find frightening. They present an opportunity to increase revenue without charging more for general-admission tickets.

Read more from The Orlando Sentinel.

Monday, September 8, 2014 9:51 AM

This is what Matt Ouimet called the "benefit oriented consumer" in our interview with him a few years ago. It makes total sense, and I think it reinforces the fact that a lot of people think the value is already pretty high for theme park admission, if they're willing to spend even more.

We finally did one of the less expensive events about a week ago: The Illuminations Sparkling Dessert Party. It's $49 per person, and it was worth every penny. All the bubbly stuff you can drink, very delicious desserts, including flambéd doughnuts and churros with ice cream. Insanely delicious. I mean, you haven't lived until you've had someone pour 151 on a doughnut and set it on fire. Oh, and it's easily the best viewing for Illuminations anywhere.

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Monday, September 8, 2014 11:23 PM

Count me in as one of society's winners who takes advantage of stuff like this. I'm of the "less but better" mindset and they have my number. While I could stay at a value resort for a week and live on chicken fingers these days I'm all about the long weekend with fancy drinks and premium experiences. And I'm not even among the folks with REAL money who are really the ones driving this strategy. Disney has barely scratched the surface here.

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Monday, September 8, 2014 11:39 PM

Golden Oaks residents receive a number of premium offerings, including in-park VIP benefits, private transportation throughout the resort and Disney holiday decor for their homes. The company may not be scratching very hard, but I think WDW is trying to scratch this itch.

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Tuesday, September 9, 2014 4:03 PM

I guess I'm in that "less time, better experience" boat as well, though I obviously play by different rules since I live next door. But even then, I think they extend the same idea to the cruise line. A 3-night itinerary ends up averaging around $500 each, but I'll never eat so well or be so taken care of as I will be those three nights. That's totally worth it to me. And if I can share a ridiculously expensive cabana on Castaway Cay with another family (as we did last time, with Mike's family), even better.

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