The parking in Orlando is as much as $20

Posted Wednesday, November 11, 2015 8:22 AM | Contributed by Jeff

When Walt Disney World raised the price of its park passes last month, a less-noticed increase went into effect. Parking fees jumped from $17 to $20, one of their biggest increases ever. The fee was $15 early last year, meaning the cost to park has soared 33 percent in a year and a half.

Read more from The Orlando Sentinel.

Friday, November 13, 2015 1:54 PM
slithernoggin's avatar

ApolloAndy said:

But the line has to be somewhere.

Indeed it does; the line gets drawn right around the point where a rising price meets customer resistance.

As Lord Gonchar notes, we're much more attentive to such variations in price than a more typical guest.

Speaking for myself, on such occasions as I've had to pay for parking, I did so without a second thought as to what parking may have cost on my last visit, last year or last week. I don't complain about paying for park parking without "getting" something in return any more than I complain about my Quarter Pounder costing more this year than it did last year without getting an extra quarter pound of meat or slice of cheese for that increase in price.


Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

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Friday, November 13, 2015 2:11 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

Sure. I totally understand the supply and demand thing and the "what the market will bear" thing. I just disagree with the notion that nobody is turning around because of the $5 increase...because of supply and demand.


Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Friday, November 13, 2015 2:42 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

I'd be impressed if you could find a single person who legitimately decided not to visit WDW because parking went from $17 to $20.


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Friday, November 13, 2015 3:02 PM
Jeff's avatar

bigboy said:

I have trouble imagining that the average park-goer thinks that hard about what they're paying for parking vs. what they're getting in return. The vast majority pay whatever it is and drive right on through to get to the fun park.

I think this is absolutely true. I think the pricing is most certainly a "rip off," but I don't complain about it because I've almost entirely avoided it now for years. I don't remember the last time I paid for parking at a theme park. At WDW, I've always been either staying on-property or a passholder. Ditto at various other parks.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Music: The Modern Gen-X - Video

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Saturday, November 14, 2015 11:48 AM
ApolloAndy's avatar

Lord Gonchar said:

I'd be impressed if you could find a single person who legitimately decided not to visit WDW because parking went from $17 to $20.

But if you apply this logic, you could say the same thing about $20 to $23. Or $23 to $25. Or $25 to $27. At some point some $2 increase has to turn people away or else you could charge $500 for parking. It's a classic instance of Heap Paradox.


Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Saturday, November 14, 2015 12:09 PM
slithernoggin's avatar

But a smart business -- and Disney is very smart about getting large amounts of money out of your wallet -- won't repeatedly raise a price by $2 until it starts to drive customers away. They'll raise that price by those small increments without crossing that line.

Last edited by slithernoggin, Saturday, November 14, 2015 12:16 PM

Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

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Saturday, November 14, 2015 1:29 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

ApolloAndy said:

But if you apply this logic, you could say the same thing about $20 to $23. Or $23 to $25. Or $25 to $27. At some point some $2 increase has to turn people away or else you could charge $500 for parking. It's a classic instance of Heap Paradox.

You're ignoring time frame - which is very important.

Could they go from $20 to $23 to $25 to $27 this week? No. That's, for all intents and purposes, a jump from $17 to $27. Could they do it over the next few years the same way they went from $12 to $20? Absolutely. And they will. Someday parking at WDW will be $30 and then beyond that it will be $40 and then further down the line it will be $50 without turning away customers. The same way is used to be $15 and used to be $12 and used to be $9.

It's the time frame and economic change that allows this to happen.

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Saturday, November 14, 2015 1:33 PM
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Monday, November 16, 2015 11:51 AM

Why couldn't they do it this week? Would people turn around at the parking lot entrance? What if instead of the original $3 increase it was a $5 increase? I suspect nothing would have been any different.

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Monday, November 16, 2015 6:47 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

Your claim was that nobody was turned away by a $3 increase. That cannot be the case or the increase should have been $4 and/or happened a long time ago.


Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Monday, November 16, 2015 8:02 PM
slithernoggin's avatar

No one is going to be turned away by a $3 increase because it is a $3 increase, part of increases made over months or years, not days or weeks. If you've spent hundreds of dollars on airfare and hundreds of dollars on accommodations, if you're even aware that the price for parking has gone up -- you're not going to balk at the price for parking.


Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

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Monday, November 16, 2015 9:35 PM

Right. So why only a $3 increase? Why not more?

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Monday, November 16, 2015 9:41 PM
slithernoggin's avatar

My assumption? That Disney (or any company, anywhere) raises prices for parking, tickets, souvenirs, dining plan, what have you, based on research: they raise a price based on what their research tells them will not result in significant pushback from consumers.


Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

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Monday, November 16, 2015 9:48 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Guest perception. That's why.

At some point the increase is enough that it doesn't turn people away, but it pisses them off.

The increase from $17 to $20 at this time satisfies Disney's goals - which are presumably to increase parking revenue while not losing customers or creating negativity with guests.

You keep the price/increases in line with inflation, demand and your market.

Sometimes I think you guys make this way harder than it really is - which I do appreciate for the sake of discussion.


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Monday, November 16, 2015 10:21 PM
Tommytheduck's avatar

Also, guest expectations. People know that the Orlando theme parks are expensive because they are a vacation destination to most, not the local Six Flags. They expect to pay a lot to park since they pay a lot for the vacation overall.

Now when I show up to a "regional" park, for example, SFMM or SF GrAdv, and am asked for $25 right off the bat, that's another story. First, it absolutely pisses me off, and I've been aware of it for years. But my SFoT pass doesn't cover parking at SFMM, so they have me over a barrel. To those taken by surprise, it does even more. It helps set the tone for the rest of the day. It puts them in the mindset of "I'm not even in the park yet, and they are already ripping me off." It makes them watch the rest of their spending more carefully. Perhaps they decide they are no longer going to buy ice cream now, or maybe instead of a t-shirt, they will buy a cheaper patch instead. (Maybe this is why patch jackets are all the rage.)

But again, all that is on the regional park level. The family vacationing to Disney is still going to buy t-shirts, Mickey ice cream bars, and for some reason, ridiculous hats that I've never seen anyone wear outside of a Disney property, ever. It's a totally different mindset.

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Monday, November 16, 2015 10:32 PM
slithernoggin's avatar

Tommytheduck said:

...and am asked for $25 right off the bat, that's another story. First, it absolutely pisses me off, and I've been aware of it for years.

My take: the vast majority of people pulling up to the booth to pay for parking at any park -- or any arena, stadium, museum or what have you -- have no idea how much parking cost previously. And they don't care. Paying for parking is part of the price of admission.


Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

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Monday, November 16, 2015 11:07 PM

But it doesn't mean it still isn't a negative first impression that sticks in their minds. I know I'm going to have to pay $20-25 to park at the garage next to the Amway for the TSO concert, and that's just part of the price of the concert, but it still ticks me off and I obviously remember it. I know the Regal at Pointe Orlando is the only true IMAX screen in a theater in the area, but I've yet to see a movie there because I just will not pay the extra for parking when I now have 3 other theaters with the faux IMAX screens where I don't have to pay for parking (Cinepolis, DTD, and Universal, and I don't pay full retail at any of the 3, either).


Original BlueStreak64

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Monday, November 16, 2015 11:38 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

I always think it's interesting how adverse people are to the parking fee thing.

It's just such a nonissue to me.


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Monday, November 16, 2015 11:41 PM

But if there are enough people who are willing to pay the parking fee, Regal at Pointe Orlando may well be fine with the bad taste it leaves for some customers as well as people who won't pay the fee. Depends on the number of people in the latter categories compared to the number of people willing to pay the fee (both reluctantly and without thinking about it). More art than science as there are a lot of factors involved in the analysis.

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Monday, November 16, 2015 11:48 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

GoBucks89 said:

More art than science as there are a lot of factors involved in the analysis.

Yes. This.

Which is a hard discussion to have with a group that, by nature, thinks so logically and...well, scientifically.

I think all of us would be surprised at how much 'feel' goes into this sort of thing.


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Tuesday, November 17, 2015 7:32 AM
birdhombre's avatar

I think where some people are getting hung up is reconciling these two thoughts:

1) No one thinks about parking fees when planning a visit, so they won't notice or care if the cost goes up,

2) But the park has to raise the parking fee gradually over time because people will notice and care.

And perhaps 1a) People are already spending over $1000 on this trip, so what's another $X for parking.

I think that's what Andy was getting at. If the parking fee went to $100 tomorrow, would people stop going? After all, they already spent $123456 on this trip so what's another $100?

Edit: Maybe part of the "art" and "feels" of this is the problem of speaking in absolutes: It's not that "no one" cares about parking fees; enough people do that #2 above has to be true as well. If all the world were Gonches, maybe #1 would be true. ;)

Last edited by birdhombre, Tuesday, November 17, 2015 7:50 AM
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