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.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018 9:09 PM
sirloindude's avatar

I’m just wondering what happens when they reach critical mass, if they ever do. I suppose I just get shocked that there seems to be no amount to which they can raise prices and manage to deter any significant amount of people. I feel like at some point, it’s time to open up an additional park, but I say that more on principle than on business acumen.


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Tuesday, February 13, 2018 9:22 PM
TheMillenniumRider's avatar

HeyIsntThatRob? said:

Your current Disney experience doesn't match what it takes for my family to do Disney because we don't live there. It would be the same thing as you trying to find value in getting up to Cedar Point now and trying to enjoy a day or two there. It would be crazy expensive in your POV for you to stay onsite and buy a one or two day ticket in comparison to the value of living nearby and having a season pass where you can leisurely enjoy the park for the whole summer.

Actually I live ~3 hours from Disney, and even with resident discount it is still more expensive than for me to head to Cedar Point. I am going in May for SV, costs will be about $425 for hotel/tickets/rental car. Flight is points. Of course whatever I spend, but I eat whether I am away or at home, and I don't buy a bunch of junk. So it usually isn't much.

I will be in Disney end of this month, and I guarantee I will spend more than going to Ohio, and I already have the tickets. They are very expensive compared to others. I wouldn't have had the passes for this year, but I didn't purchase them, the wife did. I have no plans of renewing, and we may do Universal passes instead.

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Tuesday, February 13, 2018 9:54 PM

sirloindude said:

I’m just wondering what happens when they reach critical mass, if they ever do. I suppose I just get shocked that there seems to be no amount to which they can raise prices and manage to deter any significant amount of people.

As others have alluded to, I have a feeling that Disney spends a great deal of effort and money to know where that breaking point is and how close they can get to it.


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Tuesday, February 13, 2018 11:19 PM
TheMillenniumRider's avatar

Those little bracelets probably helped them a great deal with getting closer to that breaking point.

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Wednesday, February 14, 2018 8:02 AM

Tekwardo said:

Sugar Ray? They should pay you to have to sit thru that crap.

Why not... Fly?


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Wednesday, February 14, 2018 9:45 AM
Jeff's avatar

They're extraordinary entertainers, and every year they express amazement that people still come out to see them after decades. Then Mark McGrath walks around the crowd doing selfies with people. I hope I'm that cool when I'm 50.

bigboy said:
As others have alluded to, I have a feeling that Disney spends a great deal of effort and money to know where that breaking point is and how close they can get to it.

You know how insurance companies have actuaries? Disney has them to calculate everything. I think that's why the price hike this year is relatively minor. I think they're pretty close to the tipping point. Heck, this thread feels way different in response tone than it did a few years ago.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Wednesday, February 14, 2018 9:54 AM
eightdotthree's avatar

In the fall my wife and I went to a show at House of Blues and stayed at a Disney hotel for a night. We normally would have went to the park for at least a day but decided to go to Halloween Horror Nights for a few nights instead. We stayed at Sapphire Falls where people brought us drinks by the pool and floated on a boat to the parks in the evening. The Universal experience is better for us and their multi-day tickets prices are really great.


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Wednesday, February 14, 2018 10:31 AM
Vater's avatar

Jeff said:

They're extraordinary entertainers, and every year they express amazement that people still come out to see them after decades.

So do I.

Actually, to be honest, I didn't even know they played there. Good for them, seriously. I can vehemently dislike their music but respect them as entertainers. They're the Wayne Newtons of our generation.

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Wednesday, February 14, 2018 11:00 AM
Jeff's avatar

Most of the bands that play the Eat To The Beat series are like that though. They all continue to do OK financially, but now they're older and bring their kids when they play Epcot for a few days. The big surprise this year was how good 10,000 Maniacs were, now fronted by Mary Ramsey who is frankly a better singer and shreds on the violin (they also did a great cover of The Cure's "Just Like Heaven"). The douchey ones were American Authors, the only reasonably new band to play. Stupid kids.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Wednesday, February 14, 2018 6:28 PM
Raven-Phile's avatar

Smash Mouth is playing this year, right around when we'll be there, but I think I'll miss them by a week or 2. I hope their set is just a 2 hour long rendition of "all star"


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Wednesday, February 14, 2018 7:27 PM
Jeff's avatar

I saw them once because Luscious Jackson was the opener. Smashmouth was like watching the album... no crowd interaction or change in arrangements at all. (LJ was amazeballs though, and I'm glad I got to see them once.)


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Wednesday, February 14, 2018 9:22 PM
Tekwardo's avatar

I like mark McGrath he seems like a nice dude. But man is Fly such a horrible song.


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Thursday, February 15, 2018 10:26 AM
Tommytheduck's avatar

Being (one of) the resident car nuts around here, I'd never dissuade you from buying a cool car. However, once you've paid for and taken the Disney vacation, at least you're done spending. The act of buying the 1999 Porsche is probably the cheapest part of the overall experience.

Ever hear the expression "There's nothing more expensive than a cheap Mercedes?"

The counter enlargement,* of course, is that you get to use the Porsche for as long as you keep it running.

Totally get the Porsche!

* [EDIT] I love how my spellchecker told me that I spelled "Argument" wrong, yet changed it to "Enlargement." I didn't proofread the correction after I clicked it, so it stays. Some may argue that a Porsche is a form of enlargement anyways, which makes it that much funnier. (To me, anyways)

Last edited by Tommytheduck, Thursday, February 15, 2018 10:29 AM
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Thursday, February 15, 2018 10:45 AM

slithernoggin said:

For some, the perceived value 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.

This aligns closely to my thought process. When I plan a WDW trip, I don't necessarily compare the cost to other vacation options. If I want to take a cruise (or any other trip), I price it out and decide if it is worth going on.

Same for WDW.

I booked a last minute quick trip there for last weekend because flights were cheap and I was able to snag a great rate at Coronado (4 days out). So for what it cost, or the perceived value of what it cost me was worth pulling the trigger for a quick weekend getaway. And for me, I don't even "do Disney" anymore....it's more of being able to wear shorts for a few days during the winter and relaxing and enjoying the resort and what it has to offer. Having an annual pass also helps as I can come and go without having to worry about getting every minute of value from a traditional day pass. I easily spend more time out of the parks than I do in them.

Last edited by Hanging n' Banging, Thursday, February 15, 2018 10:47 AM
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Thursday, February 15, 2018 5:05 PM

You hit the nail on the head with the Annual Pass. We have hat same mindset with Darien Lake & SeaBreeze locally, albeit on a MUCH cheaper scale. We never go to either park for a full day. Usually catch the last hour or so at the water park, then rides & coasters till close, and laser show & fireworks if we are at Darien Lake.


But then again, what do I know?

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Friday, February 16, 2018 12:19 PM

eightdotthree said:

We stayed at Sapphire Falls where people brought us drinks by the pool and floated on a boat to the parks in the evening. The Universal experience is better for us and their multi-day tickets prices are really great.

When it comes to service level in hotels, Universal/Lowes runs circles around Disney.


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Friday, February 16, 2018 12:53 PM
eightdotthree's avatar

It's night and day. Even Cabana Bay does it better.


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Friday, February 16, 2018 1:47 PM

I think the biggest issue with the Disney parks right now can be found in one simple question:

Who is Disney trying to cater to?

I would argue that Disney - even with the price increases over the last 10 years - is doing all they can to make sure that they keep their ticket prices just affordable enough so that a very specific range of people can afford to purchase them. I think it's reasonable that range is likely somewhere between $30K and $60K, give or take some in either direction.

The reason that's important is because the tickets are the gateway for everything else done on Disney property - hotels, dining, shopping, etc. I imagine that the overwhelming majority of people who stay on Disney property will go to at least one of the parks during their stay. People by-and-large aren't flying from around the world for the sole purpose of staying in one of the Disney hotels; they're on Disney property in the first place because they want to spend time at the parks. If Disney were to overprice their theme park tickets those most sensitive to price changes - those in the group mentioned above - would likely reconsider going in the first place.

You then set off a chain reaction that would hurt Disney in a lot of areas. Higher ticket prices would lead to lower park attendance. Lower park attendance would lead to lower hotel demand. Both lower attendance and lower hotel demand would lead to a loss of jobs that would negatively affect a lot of people. Disney knows that this all starts with the price of their park tickets.

Disney doesn't hate poor people. Disney can't afford to lose poor people.

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Friday, February 16, 2018 2:18 PM
Jeff's avatar

Brian Noble said:
When it comes to service level in hotels, Universal/Lowes runs circles around Disney.

I wish that was my experience. I had a ton of issues with my last stay in 2011, and before that in 2007. Four-dimaond my ass. They had excuses for every failure.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Friday, February 16, 2018 10:09 PM

Presumably Disney prefers resort guests over non-resort guests as the former bring more money to Disney coffers. If you are looking at raising prices to thin the crowd a little to better experiences for guests (raising prices because your product is too popular is a rare "problem" to have) it makes sense to me to raise ticket prices. You can fine tune the system with lodging and dining plan discounts (which in some instances more than offset ticket price increases though not for non-resort guests but losing some of them was the plan anyways).

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