Disney World raises ticket prices for the second time in a year

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(CNN) — If you plan to go to Walt Disney World in 2023, you can still purchase next year’s tickets at current prices through December 8. This is when prices for most ticket types will increase, including single-day tickets, multi-day passes, and annual pass renewals.

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

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

The current price for a one-day park ticket is between $109 and $159, depending on demand. But from December 8, this range will now also depend on the 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 both seeing increases of more than 12%.

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

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

Disney’s Hollywood Studios: $124 to $179

EPCO: $114 to $179

Magic Kingdom park: $124 to $189

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

Variable ticket prices

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

Currently, park reservations for Magic Kingdom are no longer available for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Eve 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 second most popular park, largely due to Star Wars Galaxy’s edge.

He said this price change per park was about demand management.

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

Munsil said maybe lower day prices at other parks will attract people to them.

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

“We continue to focus on giving guests the best and most memorable Disney experience, and we do that by expanding our theme parks with incredible new attractions and offerings,” the spokesperson said.

“We’re also making planning easier with new one-day tickets that automatically include a guest’s theme park reservation and continue to offer a wide range of options to visit throughout the year, including our cheapest $109 ticket that hasn’t changed in over four years.”

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

Those who want to go from one park to another in the same day will also see the price of the “park hopper” vary according to the date. Starting Dec. 8, there will be some dates where park visitors will stay at $65, but other dates will see higher rates.

Annual plan prices are increasing

Prices for most Walt Disney World annual pass renewals are also increasing. Beginning Dec. 8, the price of three of four Walt Disney World Annual Passes, which are currently only available for renewal, will increase to $100.

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

New sales are suspended for Incredi-Pass, Sorcerer Pass and Pirate Pass. But the prices increase as follows: Incredi-Pass will increase from $100 to $1,399; Wizard will increase from $70 to $969; and the Pirate pass will increase from $50 to $749. The renewal rates for these passes are offered at a reduced price.

Tom Bricker, co-founder of DisneyTouristBlog.com, said Disney World fans are “increasingly disappointed with ever-escalating prices coupled with cost-cutting measures and the myriad ways the company has made visiting its parks more tedious.

“However, pent-up demand remains strong and parks are crowded, for now. Already investors and analysts have wondered how Disney would adapt to a recession or economic downturn. If so, it remains to be seen. see if Disney will be able to pivot and maintain high numbers, or if higher prices and various frustrations alienate lifelong fans and cause irreparable damage to the brand.”

Changes to restaurant reservations

The resort has also updated its restaurant reservations policy, effective immediately. Reservations can now be canceled up to two hours before the reservation time without cancellation fees, except for three locations. Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue, Victoria and Albert’s and Monsieur Paul will maintain the penalty-free cancellation policy up to 24 hours in advance.

Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., is planning similar changes for restaurant reservations.

“Disneyland Resort plans to update its restaurant reservations policy to allow same-day cancellations later this month,” Disneyland officials said, also allowing cancellations up to two hours in advance.

But unlike Walt Disney World in Florida, the California resort will still require park reservations for all ticket holders, and it will maintain a $65 flat rate to jump between parks.

Around this time, both stations raised prices for Genie+ skip-the-line service and merchandise such as custom-made lightsabers and droids, among other items. Disney World also jacked up the prices of hundreds of food items.

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

In income report earlier this month, Disney reported $7.4 billion in global parks revenue, a 36% increase from last year. According to the report, larger crowds and higher spending per guest drove that revenue. He said the growth in customer spending was due in part to the introduction of paid service Genie+ Skip The Line.

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

Herman C. Harkins