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.

Friday, February 23, 2018 11:36 AM
LostKause's avatar

There is a lot to do at WDW, but I don't think capacity has been scaling to attendance. They need either more to do or even more efficient capacity, which is a problem that costs money and eats into profits. Better capacity within their already existing attractions might be impossible to do.

In other words, I think they need more to do or need to double the capacity on more of their attractions. Difficult problems require difficult solutions.

More people standing in lines means less value for those customers. Raising prices also decreases value. Star Wars and Toy Story will help, but I think they need to address this issue at other parks as well, especially MK.

But that's coming from a guy who hasn't been able to afford to visit MK in over a decade. What do I know?

Friday, February 23, 2018 12:21 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

But the thing is, the value is clearly there for at least as many people as it takes to fill the parks most of the year. Increasing prices gives them more money and solves their "problem" (at least what I perceive as a problem) and the only people who miss out are the people who don't find value at that price point...which they probably don't want anyway. The one danger I see is that Disney has always been "the All American vacation" and there's a lot of brand capital at risk if you start pricing out too many people. If the parks ever become "that thing that only rich people can do" then you lose a lot of the synergy with movies, merch, and TV.

Last edited by ApolloAndy, Friday, February 23, 2018 12:33 PM

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."

Friday, February 23, 2018 2:33 PM
Jeff's avatar

Capacity doesn't mean the same thing at WDW. They've literally increased the size of the hub at Magic Kingdom at least 3x for fireworks and parades. At Epcot they added a third theater to Soarin' and a third track for Toy Story at DHS (and FP's are now possible day of or day before). They're going all-in on in-app food ordering. To say they aren't managing capacity just isn't true.

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

Saturday, February 24, 2018 9:47 PM
OhioStater's avatar

Our last trip to WDW was 2 years ago this week. Since then, they have added Pandora, Toy Story Land is right around the corner, the Frozen ride and experience, that extra Soarin' theater, not to mention the Tron coaster coming, the Guardians of the Galaxy coaster coming, and Star Wars Land is opening in about a year's time. By the time we go back we will probably spend more time doing things that did not even exist last time we were there, and that will be a time-span of roughly 36 months.

I'm not sure what more one could conceivably have on a wish list.

Just typing that makes me want to start looking into our 2019 trip.

Saturday, February 24, 2018 10:51 PM

Capacity at Epcot is now adequate for the crowds with the 3rd Soarin' theater and the Frozen boat ride being a desirable attraction. It now spread things pretty evenly for those who want to go on rides. Ratatouille will have a decent 2000+ riders per hour capacity and I am waiting on more details about the Guardians coaster to figure how long the lines will be.

I was at WDW this week and things at the Studios were quite miserable. All parks were crowded but poor Studios, with only four rides in operation, was an embarassment. Add to that that the whole indoor queue and 3rd track at Toy Story Mania are closed and Toy Story Mania had waits approaching Flight of Passage levels. Toy Story Land should be a cute diversion and I am curious to see how the finished product of the new Toy Story Mania line will look.

Magic Kingdom huge attendance and capacity in the park is seemingly on a tight razor's edge now. Last thursday, all the mountains had extended downtime and while things were ok at Splash Mountain, Seven Dwarves Mine Train and Big Thunder Mountain on Friday, the woes continued at Space Mountain. Three downtimes in the morning lead to an insane rush of people on both stand-by and fast passes lines. By 11am, Space Mountain was showing a 205 minutes wait and Fast Pass? The line extended to the Star map lobby of the line! Peoplemover was in rough shape, missing some trains and of the trains in operation, most had 1 to 3 cars roped off.

I took a look at the TRON location and land clearing has started. 2021 can't come here fast enough...

Last edited by Absimilliard, Saturday, February 24, 2018 10:54 PM

Sunday, February 25, 2018 1:24 AM
LostKause's avatar

I forgot about new attractions at the other parks. It makes sense. I was imagining somehow magically raising capacity for existing attractions. I have no idea how they'd do that, so I suppose new attractions help.

Sunday, February 25, 2018 12:24 PM
Jeff's avatar

Absimilliard: So, anecdotally, Magic Kingdom had one bad day?

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

Sunday, February 25, 2018 1:27 PM

If I count the quoted TEA attendance figure and the fact there is now seemingly always a Race Weekend, a holiday weekend or something, the number of "bad days" at the Magic Kingdom outnumber the good now. Add the fact that the Mickey's Not so Scary Halloween Party now start in the middle of August, things won't improve for a while at the Magic Kingdom.

Sunday, February 25, 2018 2:15 PM
OhioStater's avatar

It seems a bit short-sighted to harumph about the current state of Studios. I mean, I get it; if one was clueless to what was going on I can see how one could be caught off guard by the state of things, but with what is coming in the next 12 months I would find it hard to complain. It's mostly a construction zone.

I'm not sure I would even visit Studios if we were there currently. Of all the parks, it would seem that would be the most miserable in terms of a balance crowds and things to do.

And geez, I forgot all about Ratatouille coming as well.

So...what is the timeline for all of these?

Toy Story: June 2018

Star Wars: 2019 (presumably)

But what about Tron, Ratatouille, and the Guardians' coaster?

Last edited by OhioStater, Sunday, February 25, 2018 7:46 PM
Sunday, February 25, 2018 9:40 PM
Jeff's avatar

I've been to MK twice in recent weeks, on weekends no less, without closures or issues. It's crowded, sure, but my kid sure has a good time. Sorry you witnessed sub-optimal operations, but it's still the park that can run a Vekoma roller skater with two trains no stacking. I don't share your sense of impending doom.

It's hardly a mystery that DHS is in transition, and I don't think anyone goes to WDW thinking otherwise.

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

Sunday, February 25, 2018 10:09 PM

I can't help but laugh at this idea that DHS is so terrible because it only has 4 rides. 4 rides, down from 5 when The Great Movie Ride closed last summer, and down from 6 when the backlot tour closed 3 years ago. And that completely ignores the shows in the park with monster capacity. Oh, the humanity.

I feel like the undercurrent to all of the discussion about capacity by the fan nerds who will never be happy is their perception that a 5th gate is needed to fix everything. In the end, guests go to the parks expecting crowds and they don't seem to have enough of an issue with the crowds to stop going. And Disney doesn't see "capacity" or crowds as a problem. Crowded parks = people spending money.

Monday, February 26, 2018 3:31 AM

Toy Story Land is opening on June 30th and in addition to Toy Story Mania that is getting a new waiting line now, two new rides will open. They are a covered Green Alien themed version of Tow Mater's Junkyard Jamboree (from DCA, the tea cups/Whip hybrid flat ride) and a dual launch Mack Youngstar Coaster called Slinky Dog Dash. That new land replace the old costuming/Earful Tower/production area behind Toy Story Mania. One interesting piece of work that happened is that since the Rock n Roller Coaster Gravity building will be visible from there, it was repainted in a sky blue scheme to blend in better.

Ratatouille is 2019/2020 at Epcot. The show building will go behind the Morocco pavilion and an expansion of the France pavilion will connect to it. Once it is done, the pavilion will have an L shape and will also gain an additional facility, like a store or restaurant. Ratatouille is a trackless dark ride that mix live sets and lots of screens. Capacity should be good with the Paris version getting 2000 guests an hour through.

Mickey and Minnie Runaway Train is second half of 2019, before Star Wars Galaxy's Edge open. Expect a trackless dark ride using glassless faux 3-D in the same manner as the Hogswart Express windows at Universal Studios. That is the ride replacing the Great Movie Ride at the Studios.

Star Wars Galaxy's Edge is slotted for late 2019, but the attached hotel probably won't be ready at that time since it is currently a huge pile of dirt at the corner of World Drive and Osceola Parkway. Two rides will be featured: the Millennium Falcon and Battle Escape.

Guardians of the Galaxy at Epcot is currently at the land work phase to reroute a canal and a new 14 story tall show building will then be built behind the old Universe of Energy building. Part of that building has already been demolished and the waiting line, preshow and load and unload will go inside. Then, through a long bridge tunnel, the ride will connect to the new massive show building. As for the ride system, it will be one of the longest enclosed coaster in the world (I predict 3600-3700 feet long) and the rumored manufacturer is Vekoma, excellent news.

TRON Lightcycle Power Run is scheduled for 2021 and its location is behind the Speedway in Tomorrowland, to the left of Space Mountain. Picture the Rose Walk path linking the Circus area of Fantasyland to Tomorrowland and the Canopy will start near the Space Mountain exit building. You will go up escalators or an elevator up to an elevated walkway that will go over the Steam Train track and the massive show building will between the Steam Train track and the Perimeter Road. The show building will be huge again since the train enters it at 80+ feet level and it has to house a lot of track, an indoor queue and a huge station area featuring dual sides with unload and load. Add to that maintenance space for 6-7 trains and I am quite curious as to how it will blend in. The ride system is a highly customised Vekoma Motorcycle coaster using some of the beefiest track ever built, a very efficient LSM launch system and beautiful Lightcycle trains.

TRON in Shanghai has seven trains and five of those has 14 Lightcycle in seven pairs of two. Two trains replace the last pair with a standard Lightcar with Everest like lap bar and seats for those who either can't ride or can't fit on the Lightcycle. I fully expect the WDW version to have that vehicle on every train since many guests simply won't fit on the Lightcycle with the restraint system. You need to bend down over the Cycle and pull the handles back. A back rest lifts up, rest on your back and at the same time, a shiny metal bar on each comes out to secure your calfs and prevent you from standing up. Someone with thick legs or a thick chest won't get those to lock and they have to use the sitdown car.

Monday, February 26, 2018 3:37 AM

Funny you mention Barnstormer as it was built during an interesting era at Disney. That ride has THREE trains and the third one had just come back from Central Shops last week and was sitting near its maintenance barn. Gadget Go-Coaster at Disneyland was also overbuilt: that Roller Skater can only run one train, yet WDI and Vekoma designed a clever maintenance track at the bottom of the lift hill. They park the train on the lift hill, slide the transfer track over and the train goes backstage for easy access and maintenance.

My one wish at the Magic Kingdom would be for a decent crew on Seven Dwarves Mine Train: they simply can't pull "Disney capacity" out of that ride even with 4 attendants checking lap bars and five trains running.

Monday, February 26, 2018 9:30 AM
Jeff's avatar

I'm not sure what point you're making by reciting information that we've seen before. I also don't agree with your Seven Dwarfs assessment, as they were running five trains the other night with barely a stop in front of the Snow White dancing scene. In fact, I was surprised when my nerdy 7-year-old asked how many trains there were and the attendance basically shouted the answer to him as he hustled back to his dispatch button.

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

Monday, February 26, 2018 12:55 PM
OhioStater's avatar

Hmm. Well, if Star Wars is not done until late 2019, it looks like our next trip to WDW will get pushed until....

wait for it...

(you hear her voice in your head, don't you?)

Last edited by OhioStater, Monday, February 26, 2018 1:11 PM
Monday, February 26, 2018 5:58 PM

I hear Sheri O’Teri’s voice impersonating Bawbwa Wawtews...

But then again, what do I know?

Monday, February 26, 2018 9:23 PM

Yeah? Well, I hear Gilda Radner.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018 10:25 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar



Wednesday, February 28, 2018 11:52 PM
OhioStater's avatar

I stopped reading at "I have never been to Disney World".

(still in the voice of Barbara).

Thursday, March 1, 2018 8:05 AM

I finally stopped when the third-year university student, in proclaiming the money is better spent on a college fund, said “brass tax”.


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