Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Disney Tickets Increase...Yet Again...

As it had been rumored, Disney did indeed decide to increase their prices for park tickets. This price increase begins tomorrow, so for those of you who are in need of park tickets, today would be the day to buy them.

So, how have prices increased? Well first, a single day adult admission will cost you $82, instead of $79. If you've missed it though, here they are the rest of the price increases:

Base Ticket
(plus tax)

Park Hopper

Water Park Fun &
More Option
No Expiration
Option (plus tax)

Ages 10+ Ages 3-9
$54 (plus tax)
regardless of days

$54 (plus tax)
regardless of days

1 Day $82 $74
$54 (2 visits) Not Available
2 Day $162 $146
$54 (2 visits) $22
3 Day $224 $202
$54 (3 visits) $28
4 Day $232 $209
$54 (4 visits)

5 Day $237 $214
$54 (5 visits) $95
6 Day $242 $219
$54 (6 visits) $106
7 Day $247 $224
$54 (7 visits) $142
8 Day $252 $229
$54 (8 visits) $182
9 Day $257 $234
$54 (9 visits) $209
10 Day $262 $239
$54 (10 visits) $213

Now, of course, every year for the past few years at around this time, we've seen a price increase, so this should come as no real surprise to anyone that Disney was going to be doing it again this year.

However, as with all years, many start to wonder, when is enough going to be enough? Especially in a year where the economy is still so shaky. It would have been nice to have seem them stabilize the prices for a year.

And while I know that Disney really wants people to say for longer periods of time, which is why they sell park tickets cheaper the more days you play, it really does suck for those who can only go for a few days at a time. It seems like shorter stays get punished, when a lot of times, they can't be helped.

This of course isn't something that is new, but with the price of a 1 day ticket continually going up SO much, it just starts to look ridiculous. Especially when you consider that 10 years ago, a 1 day ticket was only $46, which is quite a leap in price for only 10 years, I'd say. Prices have increased to just under double what it was 10 years ago! It's especially hard to swallow when looking and comparing how much ticket prices changed for the first few decades. The past 10 years have seen the largest leaps in prices at one time. (In the 80s is when the tickets took the largest leaps as a whole. This past decades is the second largest jump though.) Before, the change would shift only 1 or 2 dollars or so. For more info on how tickets have fluxuated, please visit Allears Ticket History.

But, I can see it from the other side of the coin too...Disney is a business...and a very costly one at that. They have to pay a lot of money to keep those parks running...from Cast Member wages, to food costs, to bills, to new construction costs, to refurbishment costs....and I could go on and on and on. So, it's not like the money isn't going somewhere. It is helping them to be able to give you a magical vacation.

Also, of course, Disney wants to make a profit. They are not in it just for pixie dust and magic, much as we may not want to hear that. They are in this game to make money. Which, of course they are doing at WDW. I hear all the time how this resort is the cash cow, helping to support a lot of areas within the company too. (Of course, this last part is just hear-say, but I would assume this would be true on some level.)

And of course, other theme parks of lesser quality charge about the same it's really just a keeping up with the times kind of thing, right? If the market will bear it, they will try and take it from us.

So, like I said, I can see both sides of the argument on this one.

But my one issue with all these price increases is that it seems that while prices keep increasing, the product keeps slipping, just a bit...a little at a time. Not enough to really bother people if they don't look. But it is happening. We've seen it with the Spaceship Earth decent that was built, we've seen it with Space Mountain's refurb (in which the attraction's budget apparently got slashed big time), we've seen it with the Lights of Winter getting cut (I still don't believe the "obsolete technology" line), the Yeti remaining in Disco mode, and a diminished schedule of Fantasmic!. Little things that keep getting chinked away...not noticeable when looking at each thing individually, but noticeable when looking at the pie as a whole.

I would be fine with price increases if I saw that things were getting better. If they were putting that money to good use. And sure, they are doing some things, like refurbishments at the MK, new restaurants being built in Epcot, and of course the Fantasyland expansion coming. But, the way I see it, Team Disney Orlando is still very tight with the money, not wanting to spend it unless absolutely necessary. (I mean, the rumors are that the Fantasyland expansion was pushed on them by Glendale, not something they wanted to do in the slightest.)

To me, a theme park is somewhere where money should be able to be spent a little more freely. A place where creativity should reign. And while I know it costs a lot to keep things running and of course, you don't want to be in the red...with the price increases that keep happening year after year, I would like to see my money being put to good use. That's really all I ask for. I wouldn't be so upset with spending that kind of money for a 1 day ticket.

So, I want Disney to keep investing and invest even more in my parks. Do that and I'll keep investing in you. (Like a warped little stock market, except I don't get any money in return...just amazing memories that I'll be able to carry with me forever. To me though, that's a fair trade off.)

So what do you think of the price increase? Do you think it is necessary? Or do you think that they should have held off a year or so? Make sure to let me know in the comments section!

No comments: