LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Well, we all knew it was coming. We have been talking about it for some time now. On Tuesday, Walt Disney World Resort implemented not only higher prices on most annual passes, from three to nine percent, depending on which pass you purchase. But they on the same day they have also released a NEW online vacation planning tool, which not only explains why certain days are more, but also give a full hands on experience when planning your dream vacation.
Didn't DIsney Just Raise Prices
Actually yes! A recent price increase in February would make this the second rate hike this year. But this increase comes with a lot more changes. So we are gonna break it down for you….well the best we can.
So let’s first dig into the annual passes. Now we know there is never a good way to tell you prices are higher, but remember, don’t shoot the messenger!
- Disney’s Platinum Plus – pass is now $849, up 2.4 percent from $829;
- Platinum Pass is now $749, an increase of 2.7 percent from $729;
- Gold Pass is now $609, an increase of 3.4 percent from $589;
- Silver Pass is now $479, a 9.1 percent jump up from $439.
- The Florida Resident Theme Park Select Pass stays at $439 – weekend restrictions for select parks that includes no Saturday admittance to the Magic Kingdom and no weekend admittance to Epcot during the Food and Wine Festival.
- The Weekday Select Pass is now $319, up 10.4 percent from $289 – restricts visitors to a Monday-through-Friday access only.
And there's more
- The Epcot After 4 Pass – A $10 increase from $279 to $289, a 3.5 percent increase
- Water Parks After 2 – Up from $75 to $79, an increase of 5.3 percent.
- *Parking fees at all parks have also increased, up from $22 to $25 — oversized vehicles will now pay $30, up from $27.
Now that we have that out of the way, are you ok?! Now we know for some they will just say it’s only a few dollars. But when others are trying to plan a vacation for a family of 4, you have just increased your needed vacation fund by hundreds of dollars.
With this new pricing plan comes with new online changes as well when planning your “Dream” vacation. You will now notice “Day- to day” ticket pricing. Yep, it’s here.
A few years ago some will remember Disney started an incentive for guest. What they did was each month was divided into values, One regular and one peak. Pricing was flexible to try and get guest to visit during those “slower times” at the park. We’ll think of this as a revamp of that, but on steroids.
Under the new Day-to-day pricing, prices will vary based on the particular day.
Single-day, single-park tickets will now range from $109 to $129, all depending on how “popular” that day is based on, key word here, expected attendance. Now this new system, based on past ticket sales, a team of probably 100 analyst and analytics that most wouldn’t even be able to decipher, isn’t perfect. Unlike the old system being used, where single-park admission to just the Magic Kingdom was slightly higher than the other parks, now ALL PARKS are priced the same. Not sure that’s a good thing. We all know that EPCOT on a Sunday compared to Hollywood Studios on Sunday is no comparison. But hey, I’m not one of the analyst, they know WAY more than I do.
New Vacation Planning Tools
Now Disney knew there would be chatter, and bloggers and Disney fanatics doing their own breakdown of the new system. So Disney wanted to make sure they explained it to us the best way they know how, WITH PICTURE GRAPHICS and a VIDEO!
What's All This Mean
Well, we are already reading nasty comments online, shocking right. Also people are saying the new system is confusing and time consuming. With a different price for each day of the month. Disney says that it is instituting the new ticket price changes as a crowd-control measure.
“Introducing date-based tickets and pricing will allow us to better distribute attendance throughout the year so that we can continue to improve and deliver a great experience,”
What do you think? Is Disney really trying to control crowds for its guest, or are they trying to cash in on popular dates like Christmas and other “family traditions” throughout the year? If price increases actually controlled park attendence, well over the years this would have left The Magic Kingdom more like a Ghost Town. And as we all know, that is far from the case.
But the bigger question and fear for Theme park fanatics like myself….every time they do a price increase, the set a new standard in ticket pricing for the industry.
Visitors can find the lowest-priced days by clicking on a calendar at Disney World dot com