Walt Disney World starts the annual Orlando theme park price hikes

Posted Sunday, February 11, 2018 10:44 PM | Contributed by Jeff

Magic Kingdom one-day tickets are up $4 to $119. Off-peak is up $2 to $109, while peak is up $5 to $129. At the other three parks, a regular ticket is up $7 to $114. Off-peak is up $3 to $102, while a peak ticket is up $3 to $122. Annual pass prices rise $20 to $50 depending on blackout dates.

View the pricing calculator on the official Walt Disney World site.

Sunday, February 11, 2018 10:46 PM

Looks like our family of three will be spending an extra $90 this year for AP's. Meh, if I'm being objective, we still get a ton of value out of it. The Epcot entertainment and concerts alone are pretty compelling. Also, my kid will finally ride Space Mountain.

+3Loading
Monday, February 12, 2018 1:42 AM

Just messing around with the WDW tickets page. To take a family of four to WDW for 5 days with park hopper is $2002.20 after tax...shipping not included...(!?)...just for tickets.

I don't care if Walt Disney himself rises from the grave to tickle my giblets...that ain't happening.

Now it could be argued that that says more about my interest in the Disney parks than my willingness to part with two grand for a good time and the truth probably lies between. Is $2000 too much in this case? Apparently not, given the reality of attendance. But it is for me. I simply don't feel that a 5-day trip to WDW is worth $2000 for my family...or yours, really. But you do you, people.

It has nothing to do with being expensive or hating poor people or whatever, but, Jesus, how much pixie dust has to fly up your butt for this to be a value?

If I manage to turn out 5 full, non-stop 12 hour days, I'm paying $34 an hour just for the privilege of stepping into the parks.

I'm old. My kids are grown. Mickey can go to hell.

With all of that said, more power to them. It really is amazing to watch. It wasn't too long ago that people balked at the idea of a $75 ticket. (actually it was 10 years ago that they hit $75 - late summer 2008) That's almost a 75% increase in a decade! Incredible. If we go back another decade they were $42 in 1998. The daily ticket price has tripled in 20 years.

Interestingly, the increase from '98 - '08 is also almost 75%. If we do 75% every 10 years, we're looking at $225 a day in 2028.

The craziest part?

They'll get it.

+9Loading
Monday, February 12, 2018 8:19 AM

I'm old. My kids are grown. Mickey can go to hell.

And that's the thing. They keep making more families with young kids. So as you age out, new ones come along, and a Disney Trip is practically a rite of passage for folks in a pretty wide socio-economic swath.

But, some of the folks who might otherwise age out keep going, because it's The Thing They Do. So, Disney keeps its long-term growth curve going. It was the Thing I Did for a while, until I took on a bunch of other life changes and decided that this could go by the wayside as well. And, I'll still go back from time to time, but I'm re-making the rest of my life, may as well re-make my vacation habits too.

+1Loading
Monday, February 12, 2018 8:45 AM

For some, the percievedvalue of a WDW trip is worth the cost. I get that. I'll balk at paying more than a dollar for store brand soda pop, but happily drop a couple hundred bucks on a fountain pen. A dollar for a McDonald's cheeseburger? Nope. Thirty bucks for a steak at one of Chicago's many historic steakhouses? Yes, please, cooked rare.

I remain convinced that Disney isn't raising prices on a whim; they've crunched the numbers to see what their market will bear.

Full disclosure: I've never actually paid to get into a WDW park ( it's good to know people in the right places ), so my perception may be skewed.

Last edited by slithernoggin, Monday, February 12, 2018 8:48 AM
+0
Monday, February 12, 2018 10:50 AM

Lord Gonchar said:

Just messing around with the WDW tickets page. To take a family of four to WDW for 5 days with park hopper is $2002.20 after tax...shipping not included...(!?)...just for tickets.

I don't care if Walt Disney himself rises from the grave to tickle my giblets...that ain't happening.

This is weird to hear from you, because that works out to be $100/day/person, which you have suggested is a compelling price point relative to other forms of entertainment (sports, concerts, etc.), and you've also insisted that people don't really need park-hoppers. Do we have to Gonch-back you or what? :)

I get it though, it's not going to be everyone's thing, although for me the kid factor isn't the whole story. Again, $589 for a pass for me is worth it as a local for the entertainment alone, and riding roller coasters in January is pretty cool. I didn't pay close attention, but the discounts made a difference this year, probably to the order of $100 total. That's not a huge dent, but I would have spent that money anyway.

+4Loading
Monday, February 12, 2018 11:28 AM

Lord Gonchar said:

It wasn't too long ago that people balked at the idea of a $75 ticket. (actually it was 10 years ago that they hit $75 - late summer 2008) That's almost a 75% increase in a decade! Incredible. If we go back another decade they were $42 in 1998. The daily ticket price has tripled in 20 years.

I always like looking at the figures adjusted for inflation too. $75 in August 2008 would be $84 today. But $42 in 1998 (the year DAK opened) would be $63 today.

+1Loading
Monday, February 12, 2018 12:11 PM

AP's at the Disneyland resort increased between 10% and 18%. My AP increased over $100 (Up from $619 to $729 for Deluxe Passport) and the most interesting part is they have stopped the renewal discount being offered. Up until this point, it had been cheaper to have separate AP's for Disneyland and Walt Disney World, but currently it would be about the same price for Premier Passport at almost $1600 with tax. Disneyland is also expected to make major announcements to the annual pass program later this year. These changes certainly have started the process of thinning the heard in preparation for Star Wars: GE opening next year at Disneyland Park. If Walt Disney World can open Star Wars: GE in 2019 (Hollywood Studios the last I heard was 4 to 5 months behind schedule), but we could see two major increases next year one around now and the other being in late summer / early fall.

+0
Monday, February 12, 2018 1:34 PM

The 2015/2016 WDW increase was the one that had me placing my AP on indefinite hold. I totally see why it's still worth it for so many people though.

+0
Monday, February 12, 2018 1:51 PM

Brian Noble said:

And that's the thing. They keep making more families with young kids. So as you age out, new ones come along, and a Disney Trip is practically a rite of passage for folks in a pretty wide socio-economic swath.

Totally.

It was the Thing I Did for a while, until I took on a bunch of other life changes and decided that this could go by the wayside as well. And, I'll still go back from time to time, but I'm re-making the rest of my life, may as well re-make my vacation habits too.

This describes us with parks in general. Life moved on and the time and resources are better spent pursuing other things.

But even at the height of our traveling enthusiast insanity, I still think I would have had apprehension about spending $2000 on theme park tickets for a 5 day visit.

Jeff said:
This is weird to hear from you, because that works out to be $100/day/person, which you have suggested is a compelling price point relative to other forms of entertainment (sports, concerts, etc.), and you've also insisted that people don't really need park-hoppers. Do we have to Gonch-back you or what? :)

Nope. I'll admit to both of those. But we can probably Gonchback (not sure if here or maybe Facebook) to just last year when we were literally staying a block or two from Disneyland (a park we've never been to and drove right by every day of our week in CA) and couldn't justify stopping by based on the ticket price. They've priced me out based on perception of value, not ability to pay. I think I can get a bigger bang for my buck.

In my post above, I worked on the assumption that most tickets are probably sold with the park hopper attached. I feel like I've been the odd one out on that. If not, it's still almost $1700 - about $28 per hour based on the 12 hour days scenario.

I've totally paid more than $28 and hour for entertainment. Plenty of times...and been very satisfied. But never for a theme park or amusement park, I don't think. Honestly, this isn't just a Disney thing for me. This is where I live up to the unenthusiastic enthusaist moniker. No park is worth that to me. If the going rate of theme park tickets was anywhere near $28 an hour, my credit list would read more like a haiku than a short story. Hell, at the big regionals, even a full-priced ticket and a shortened day will easily keep you under $10 per hour.

It's not just the hourly or daily breakdown - and maybe it's a psychological thing - but the $2000 price tag is like a punch to the gut.

Two grand just for tickets for 5 days - before accomodations, travel and expenses are even considered.

I get it though, it's not going to be everyone's thing, although for me the kid factor isn't the whole story. Again, $589 for a pass for me is worth it as a local for the entertainment alone, and riding roller coasters in January is pretty cool.

And this shows how different the value proposition is for locals. At $589 a pass, that's $2356 for a family of four....for the year. That's on an entirely different planet in terms of value. Plus, it's not just a theme park ticket - it becomes a concert pass (national acts pass through WDW), a seasonal ticket (halloween, X-mas) and a special event ticket (wine festival, arts festival, etc.). It's practically a steal in that sense. Here, I'm paying to visit a theme park, go to a couple of concerts, take in a festival or two, do a haunt and see an X-mas display. You have that pass as a catch-all for what amounts to a huge, world-class entertainment venue.

And you don't need to pay for travel, accomodations or nearly the same amount of in-park spending for food and such.

It's practically apples and oranges.

Also the last time we lived in Florida, residents could buy a 4-day pass good for the year for $99. Get off my lawn!

+5Loading
Monday, February 12, 2018 3:49 PM

Lord Gonchar said:

Just messing around with the WDW tickets page. To take a family of four to WDW for 5 days with park hopper is $2002.20 after tax...shipping not included...(!?)...just for tickets.

I don't care if Walt Disney himself rises from the grave to tickle my giblets...that ain't happening.

Now it could be argued that that says more about my interest in the Disney parks than my willingness to part with two grand for a good time and the truth probably lies between. Is $2000 too much in this case? Apparently not, given the reality of attendance. But it is for me. I simply don't feel that a 5-day trip to WDW is worth $2000 for my family...or yours, really. But you do you, people.

It has nothing to do with being expensive or hating poor people or whatever, but, Jesus, how much pixie dust has to fly up your butt for this to be a value?

If I manage to turn out 5 full, non-stop 12 hour days, I'm paying $34 an hour just for the privilege of stepping into the parks.

I'm old. My kids are grown. Mickey can go to hell.

With all of that said, more power to them. It really is amazing to watch. It wasn't too long ago that people balked at the idea of a $75 ticket. (actually it was 10 years ago that they hit $75 - late summer 2008) That's almost a 75% increase in a decade! Incredible. If we go back another decade they were $42 in 1998. The daily ticket price has tripled in 20 years.

Interestingly, the increase from '98 - '08 is also almost 75%. If we do 75% every 10 years, we're looking at $225 a day in 2028.

The craziest part?

They'll get it.

This is so me. Would much rather spend $2000 on something else.

+3Loading
Monday, February 12, 2018 4:31 PM

Disney does it right if you use the trip planning features on their website. You pick a hotel first, pick out the number of days and the type of passes, plug in some add-ons and everything is rolled into one. Every time I've booked on the site it has never even occurred to me how much I'm plunking down on what and I've never questioned the value. And we're taking our 4th trip in 4 years (family to WDW and DLR in back to back years, an adult trip, and family again to WDW in early June). I would imagine the vast majority of guests book either online or through a vacation planner where the price breakdown can be out of sight, out of mind. As I've gotten older and we've made vacationing and experiencing things a priority, I've made peace with the fact that a good vacation without leaving the country, whether it's for the adults or all 3 of us, will set you back $3000-5000. It doesn't have to every time and it doesn't have to hit that high end to be great or better, but if I go in with that mindset, I end up feeling better about it. Disney falls in that range for our family. And we're not exclusively Disney vacationers. We've squeezed an adult Disney trip, an adult NYC trip, running around Southern California on either end of the DLR trip, a cabin trip to Colorado, and a 2 cruises for the girls. Outside of the NYC trip, the other trips came in far below the $3000 line.

Last edited by bigboy, Monday, February 12, 2018 4:34 PM
+0
Monday, February 12, 2018 4:36 PM

I'm kind of in that boat too, especially if you want to fly anywhere. People ask why we cruise as often as we do on DCL... it's because it's a fairly high-end experience without airfare. Stress free, I just drive an hour, get on the ship, and someone tells me where to eat. It's still not cheap, but the $1,500 I'm not spending on airfare makes it feel like a pretty good deal.

+2Loading
Monday, February 12, 2018 4:41 PM

That's exactly the reason why my parents have cruised like crazy in retirement. They can go out of the country at a relatively cheap price when school is in session. The cost of the 5 hour drive to Galveston and a night in a hotel is just a fraction of the cost of flying just about anywhere.

+1Loading
Monday, February 12, 2018 6:44 PM

That's why we bought a resale DVC(160 points) and then just added 25 points direct through Disney vacation club for the annual pass discount etc. My wife and I are big kids and still enjoy amusement parks and Disney. We figured they'd price us out in the next 10 years if we didn't buy in. It's enough for us to stay 2 weeks a year in a studio at our home resort Saratoga Springs. On year we buy passes we'll get 3 to 4 weeks at the parks by banking or borrowing points. Really get our moneys worth and not have plan every minute of our vacation.

That's what i hated our every 5 year trip to there for a week to 10 days depending on if we were going to the other parks. On years that we don't want to go to Disney we can get Busch Gardens passes and Universal studios to visit those parks.

My 15 year old daughter and 26 year old son really care about amusement parks even though I brought them up to love them. They do love Disney and would like to visit the new Star Wars land when it opens.

+1Loading
Monday, February 12, 2018 9:23 PM

Also messing around with the website;

If it's us (a family of 4) staying at, say, Art of Animation in late April, the price for tickets (no hopper) for 5 days is $1561, or $312 per day, or $78 per day, per person.

That brings it down to a very reasonable $6.50 per hour, per person.

Or, nearly 11 cents (10.8) per minute.

Assuming those beautiful and unrealistic 12 hour days.

Robot Trump better have great hair.

We enjoy Disney, but will likely never do what we did a few years ago; going back-to-back years. There are just too many other adventures to have with our girls while they are still our little girls, and we could even tell with them that some of the excitement was muffled the second year. Time with kids flies, and it seemed like we had literally just left and there we were, back again.

That said, we are tentatively planning on heading back once Star Wars land opens, but we also might give it a year or two depending on the timing of some other developments in the pipeline.

Next time you see a penny on the ground, you are looking at 6 valuable seconds at the Magic Kingdom.

Last edited by OhioStater, Monday, February 12, 2018 10:54 PM
+4Loading
Monday, February 12, 2018 11:00 PM

Christ, I hadn't really looked at full blown packages. This is even more disheartening. I'm trying to find the deadest time possible. When is that? I'm thinking the 2nd week in September, maybe? Back to school, not a lot of people pulling their kids for vacations then. Is there a better time frame?

Sticking with Art Of Animation, I'm looking at checking in on Sunday the 9th, 5 days tickets with park hoppers and cheking out Saturday morning. I'm adding the cheapest dining plan because I'm Joe Sixpack booking my vacation on the Disney site. I'll skip the Memory Maker add-on.

I'm at $4432.45 and I just pooped a little because I still have to book a flight and budget for spending money during our visit.

My wife hears my audible gasp and rectal release and rushes in. Upon seeing that number on the screen she exclaims, "Joseph Herbert Sixpack! There's no way in hell we're spending that much to take the family to see a kid in a rat suit! Book a cheaper hotel!"

So I, Joe Sixpack, switch over to one of the All Star resorts and get the price down to $4144.11 and this time I don't poop a little as I recently took care of that, but a little sad trumpet-like noise does come out. So I kill the park hopper and I'm still at $3824.59 before flight and spending money. If I kill the quick service dining plan and figure on paying to check an extra bag of corn cobs for the kids to gnaw on I cut it down to $2564.71, but now have to pay an extra $45 to check my corn cob carrier. Still a win overall. The kids do like their cobs.

But I, Joseph Herbert Sixpack am a dreamer and I like to imagine how the other half lives, so I fantasize a little.

I book a standard room at the Polynesian for the same time frame. Same 5-day tickets with park hopper, but I'm going for the Deluxe dining plan.

$8401.45

Screw the family, I'm buying the Boxster.

Joe Sixpack, Porsche owner.

+10Loading
Monday, February 12, 2018 11:27 PM

Funny that the cruise comparison was brought up, as I have another window open looking in to a cruise the week after Thanksgiving.

7 days, family of 4, balcony room, free alcohol package, $2650. $200 on board credit, and if I book it through ebates I get 10% back. So I'm taking my family on a week's vacation including lodging, activites, visiting 4 countries, all meals, and drinks for under $2200. When I flew to Ft Lauderdale in December it was $59 per person each way, so even with flights we're around $2700.

So I can take the vacation and still squeeze in to this Boxster. With a manual transmission.

I know it's a different experience, and I'm not saying I won't go to Disney again, but they've definitely priced themselves away from what they were 10 years ago when we went in September, stayed at All Star for $75 per night and got the dining plan included. We're not rushing to go back any more. My oldest is past the point of giving a crap about Disney. My youngest is getting there in a couple years. We're really the Universal/Sea World/Busch demographic now.

I'm sure we'll be back again after the Star Wars stuff opens. Look for me. I'll be the one in the used Porsche.

+2Loading
Tuesday, February 13, 2018 1:26 AM

I went to Tokyo Disney Resort last month for two days while I was in Japan. My two day ticket, where you have to decide which park you visit on specific days cost me 122$ US. Yeah, I got two days over there for the price of a one day ticket at Disneyland or the Magic Kingdom.

If I take the four day "magic passport" sold there, where you visit specific parks on the first two days and then can park hop on day 3 and 4, using the 4 day park hopper sold at WDW as a comparison: for four adults, it costs 830$ US at Tokyo Disney and at WDW, 1938.32$ US including tax. Its over double the price at WDW versus Tokyo Disney, parks that happen to be on very expensive reclaimed land next to Tokyo, one of the world's most expensive city. Tokyo Disney also offer more discount on their tickets: an After 6pm 39$ US ticket and there are separate prices for kids (3 to 11) and junior (12 to 17).

Where they make their money though is on two things: very expensive annual passes and the fact the guests spend on average over 100$ at a day at the park, half of which is MERCHANDISE. The stores move an insane amount of stuff there and they even publish a yearly catalogue that go over the new things coming to the store and every month has new merchandise releases.

Annual passes? A two park Annual Passport is 860$ US. A one park Annual Passport is 583$ US. This does push guests toward using day tickets that are never discounted for adults and yet, they still get a cool 30-31 million guests a year at their two parks. There was a bit of a surreal moment in 2016 though: Universal Studios Japan, located in Osaka, received 14.5 million guests that year, beating Tokyo DisneySea and most Disney parks in attendance. Universal Studios Japan follows a similar pricing structure to Tokyo Disney and adds insane profit on top of that, thanks to very very expensive Universal Express passes.

Say you want to visit Universal Studios Japan and want to skip some lines, here's how it works: you select a "premium attraction", say the Flying Dinosaur (B&M Flying Coaster), Hollywood Dream Backdrop (backward train on the B&M Hyper Coaster) or Space Fantasy (Mack spinning coaster that runs VR half the year, currently showing Final Fantasy XR- The Ride). Then, you pick a time for that, a time to enter Harry Potter without waiting and times to ride both Forbidden Journey and Flying Hyppogriph.You then have 4 attractions Universal Express entry to go on the Minion Ride, Jurassic Park, etc. How much does that cost you? On average 150$ US on a slow day and the sky is the limit on a busy day. Yes, they will sell out on those and when I went in June 2016, I used an online guide to book my park ticket and two sets of Universal Express passes. I was barely able to ride everything in a single day even with that.

To finish on this side tangent, prices are increasing at WDW, but at least, new attractions are coming now. I am very excited for TRON.

Last edited by Absimilliard, Tuesday, February 13, 2018 1:29 AM
+1Loading
Tuesday, February 13, 2018 8:29 AM

Comparing to cruises is kind of fun. When we did Alaska on DCL, summer before last, we spent $5,782 for three of us. That was 7 nights out of exotic Vancouver (another country!), visiting three ports, including all food and entertainment. We managed to get a crazy good deal on flights to Seattle (drove up with family to Vancouver) at about a grand for the three of us. Maybe calling it life-changing would be dramatic, but it was a pretty amazing experience.

+7Loading

You must be logged in to post

POP Forums - ©2018, POP World Media, LLC
Loading...