Disney World increases ticket prices for second time in a year

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(CNN) – If you’re planning to go to Walt Disney World in 2023, you can still buy next year’s tickets at current rates until December 8th. That’s when the prices of most types of tickets will increase, including one-day tickets, multi-day passes and annual pass renewals.

The company’s flagship resort in Orlando, Florida, already raised ticket prices in February, making this the second time in a calendar year that entry to the “most magical place on earth” has become more expensive.

A Disney spokesperson said this is driven by continued strong demand and significant investment in the company’s theme parks in recent years.

The current price for a one-day, one-park ticket is between $109 and $159, depending on demand. But starting December 8th, that range will also depend on which park you choose to visit. Three of the four theme parks will be more expensive to visit, with Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios seeing more than 12% growth.

From December 8, one-day, one-park tickets will be:

Disney’s Animal Kingdom: $109-$159 (same range as today)

Disney’s Hollywood Studios: $124-$179

EPCOT: $114-$179

Magic Kingdom Park: $124-$189

Those who buy such tickets for one day, without a park, no longer have to make a park reservation for that day. Park reservations are still required for all other ticket types.

Variants of ticket prices

Disney notes that the high end of the one-day, one-park ticket, $189, only applies to the Magic Kingdom for nine days around the week of Christmas through New Year’s when crowds are highest. Magic Kingdom is the most visited theme park in the world and the most popular of the four parks in Walt Disney World.

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Currently, park reservations for Magic Kingdom are no longer available for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day in 2022.

Don Munsil, president and co-owner of Mouse Savers Inc., a website that tracks discounts and prices at Disney parks, said Disney’s Hollywood Studios is the next most popular park, in large part because of Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge.

He said that this price change per park is demand management.

“Their bottleneck is often the Magic Kingdom. Many people want to come to the Magic Kingdom. And Disney would really like people to spread out and try the other parks. And they tried to keep the prices the same as a way. sort of signaling that they’re all as good. But I don’t think anyone ever bought that idea,” he said.

Munsil said perhaps the lower prices for a day at other parks are drawing people to them.

Prices will also increase for multi-day tickets, but a Disney spokesperson did not offer specific pricing details.

“We continue to focus on providing guests with the best, most memorable Disney experience, and we’re doing so by growing our theme parks with incredible new attractions and offerings,” the spokesperson said.

“We’re also making planning easier with new 1-day tickets that automatically include guests’ theme park reservations and continue to provide a wide range of options for visiting throughout the year, including our low-cost ticket lower than $109 which has not changed in more than four years.”

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The $109 ticket only applies to Animal Kingdom and will be available throughout 20 days out of the year, during a lower crowd season. These tickets are mostly available on weekdays at the end of August and September.

Those wanting to hop between parks on the same day will also see the “park hopper” price vary by date. Starting December 8th, there will be some dates where park tickets will remain $65, but other dates will see higher rates.

Annual pass prices are increasing

Prices for most Walt Disney World annual pass renewals are also on the rise. Starting December 8, three of Walt Disney World’s four annual passes, which are currently only available for renewal, will increase in price by up to $100.

The price of the Disney Pixie Dust Pass remains the same: $399. New sales are currently possible for the Pixie Dust Pass.

New sales are on hold for Incredi-Pass, Sorcerer Pass and Pirate Pass. But the prices go up like this: Incredi-Pass goes up from $100 to $1,399; Sorcerer will increase from $70 to $969; and the Pirate pass will increase from $50 to $749. Renewal prices for these passes are offered at a discount.

Tom Bricker, co-founder of DisneyTouristBlog.com, said Disney World fans are “increasingly disillusioned with ever-increasing prices, coupled with cost-cutting measures and a myriad of ways the company has made visiting of its most annoying parks.

“However, pent-up demand remains strong and the parks are crowded, for now. Already, investors and analysts have questioned how Disney will adapt to a recession or economic downturn. In this event, it remains to be seen whether Disney will be able to pivot and maintain strong numbers, or whether higher prices and assorted frustrations will alienate lifelong fans and cause irreparable damage to the brand.”

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Changes to dining reservations

The resort has also updated its dining reservation policy, effective immediately. Reservations can now be canceled up to two hours before the reservation time without a cancellation fee, with the exception of three locations. Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue, Victoria and Albert’s and Monsieur Paul maintain a no-penalty cancellation policy up to 24 hours in advance.

Disneyland in Anaheim, California, has similar changes planned for dining reservations.

“Disneyland Resort plans to update our dining reservation policy to allow same-day cancellations later this month,” Disneyland officials said, which also allows cancellations up to two hours in advance.

But unlike Walt Disney World in Florida, the California resort still requires park reservations for all ticket holders, and maintains a flat fee of $65 to hop between parks.

At the time, both resorts raised prices for the Genie+ skip-the-line service and merchandise like lightsabers and custom droids, among other things. Disney World also raised prices on hundreds of food items.

Disney has invested more than $31 billion in new guest experiences over the past decade.

In an earnings report earlier this month, Disney reported $7.4 billion in park revenue worldwide, a 36% increase from last year. Higher crowds and higher spending per guest drove those revenues, according to the report. He stated that the increase in guest spending was due in part to the introduction of the paid service Genie + skip the line.

Top image: The Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom theme park on July 30, 2022. (Octavio Jones/Reuters)

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