Theme Park Insider

Disney raises ticket, annual pass prices at Disneyland and Walt Disney World

February 11, 2018, 5:00 AM · We have been telling you for a couple of weeks now — if it's February, it must be time for Disney's annual ticket price increases. Well, now it has happened. Disney has "adjusted" its prices at the Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts. And this is just the warm-up for some fundamental changes to Disney's ticketing programs yet to come later this year.

"We know how important making memories at Disney theme parks is to our guests and we will continue to evolve our pricing in a way that gives them a range of options to meet their budget and helps better spread attendance throughout the year so they can make the most of every visit," a Disneyland spokesperson said, explaining one of the company's main motivations for how it is structuring this particular price change.

Annual pass prices at California's Disneyland are going up by as much as nearly 18 percent, as Disney looks to better balance its crowd levels throughout the year. The prices for Signature and Deluxe annual passes are going up by more than 17 percent, as is the renewal price for a SoCal annual pass, which is no longer available for sale to new customers. Disneyland's lowest-priced (and most restricted) annual pass, the SoCal Select, is going up by nearly nine percent, while the unrestricted Signature Plus, which includes free parking and Disney's Maxpass online ride reservation system, is going up by nearly 10 percent, to $1,149 a year.

At the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, annual pass prices are going up by just under five to just over nine percent. One-day ticket prices at Disney World are going up between about two to four percent and multi-day tickets increased between one and 8.6 percent, with the biggest increase on a four-day, non-Park Hopper (aka the "rookie" ticket).

Disneyland is holding the value-season price for a one-day, one-park ticket steady at $97 and is actually dropping the price of a one-day Park Hopper on value-season days by $10, from $157 to $147. On regular and peak days, Disney is raising the price of Park Hoppers by less than it is one-day, one-park tickets, suggesting that Disney would really rather you hop over to California Adventure for part of your day at Disneyland than crowding just the one park all day. But it hasn't gone to the point of pricing Disneyland higher than California Adventure on a one-day ticket, the way that it does with the Magic Kingdom versus the other three Walt Disney World parks in Florida. Multi-day tickets at Disneyland are rising between 3.7 and 6.6 percent.

Parking is up 10 percent, from $20 top $22 a day at Disney World.

Here are the price changes, which are effective immediately:

Disneyland one-day tickets (Value/Regular/Peak):
$97/110/124 -> $97/117/135 (0/6.4%/8.9%)

Disneyland one-day Park Hoppers (Value/Regular/Peak):
$157/165/174 -> $147/167/185 (-6.4%/1.2%/6.3%)

Disney World Magic Kingdom one-day tickets (Value/Regular/Peak):
$107/115/124 -> $109/119/129 (1.9%/3.5%/4.0%)

Disney World (other parks) one-day tickets (Value/Regular/Peak):
$99/107/119 -> $102/114/122 (3.0%/6.5%/2.5%)

Disneyland SoCal Select AP
$339 -> $369 (8.9%)

Disneyland Deluxe AP
$619 -> $729 (17.8%)

Disneyland Signature AP
$849 -> $999 (17.7%)

Disneyland Signature Plus AP
$1,049 -> $1,149 (9.5%)

Disneyland/WDW Premier AP
$1,439 -> $1,579 (9.7%)

WDW Florida Silver AP
$419 -> $439 (4.8%)

WDW Florida Gold AP
$559 -> $589 (5.4%)

WDW Florida Platinum AP
$679 -> $729 (7.4%)

WDW Florida Platinum Plus AP
$769 -> $829 (7.8%)

WDW Platinum AP
$779 - $849 (9.0%)

WDW Platinum Plus AP
$869 -> $949 (9.2%)

Disney's theme parks adjust their one-day ticket prices based on expected crowd levels for the day. You pay more when the park expects bigger crowds because Disney is trying to steer you toward less-busy days to even its crowds through the year. But later this year, the Walt Disney World Resort will begin adjusting prices for multi-tickets based on expected crowd levels, as well.

That means that at some point in 2018, multi-day tickets to Walt Disney World's theme parks will become date-specific. Your Disney World theme park admission tickets will be tied to the dates you plan to use them, just like hotel reservations and airfares.

At Disneyland, the resort will change its annual pass structure yet again later this year, as it attempts to guard against human gridlock in Disneyland when the new Star Wars land opens in 2019.

"We will be reshaping our Annual Pass program to better manage the guest experience throughout the year, which will help all Disneyland Resort guests have a great visit, particularly as we look forward to the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in 2019," a Disneyland spokesperson said.

Replies (30)

February 11, 2018 at 9:31 AM · Have you any idea about price increases for Walt Disney world annual pass renewals? thanks
February 11, 2018 at 9:36 AM · Hi Robert, what fundamental changes do you think will they be doing to the annual pass program and when. Thanks great job keep up the good work.
February 11, 2018 at 11:44 AM · My guess on the Disneyland AP? Keep in mind that this is only a guess and not based on any insider information.

It really all depends on whether they install a way to limit access to Star Wars land based on what ticket you are holding. If they do, then there will be APs that include Star Wars access and those that do not. I also think it is possible that all new APs sold after some date in 2018 will be blocked out for the first month or so that Galaxy's Edge is open. Disney probably would have to give us the Star Wars land opening date before then, because the blockout dates will reveal it.

I think Disney might stop selling new SoCal Select APs, too.

February 11, 2018 at 12:14 PM · We we’re there two weeks ago on crowd level days of 2 and 3. It was the busiest we had ever seen. I can see why they crank their prices as people are flooding into the parks. We have been every year for 10 years but we are done for a while. It’s not fun for three fast pass rides and then 2 more hour waits in line.
February 11, 2018 at 1:08 PM · Disney World Platinum AP renewal went from 705 (with tax) to 767...Should have done it yesterday
February 11, 2018 at 2:04 PM · I think Disney Studios went up 50% at the moment they closed almost all of their rides, shut down a third part of Toy Story Mania because they need a new entrance and have RnR on breakdown almost every day.
February 11, 2018 at 3:25 PM · I'm interested in how UK marketed prices compare... Anyone want to help me match these to the nearest equivelent US marketed ticket?

For WDW Both 7 and 14 day "Ultimate" tickets are currently priced at £369 (the 14 days for 7 has been running for at least the last 6 months, so I don't think its a time limited promotion), whilst 21 days is £409. Google puts those at abut $US510 and $US565...

Bear in mind that the UK includes tax in the price (VAT is 20%), but you Americans don't seem to do that.

February 11, 2018 at 3:55 PM · Not surprising, but I do find the patterns a little interesting. I've got a hunch that Disneyland is trying to get more visitors on value days because they may not be able to rely on passholders to fill the parks much longer. Looking at the cost of the passes, it's becoming very difficult to justify keeping one. I'm on the fence about renewing mine in April, and it's at the Southern California level...I can't imagine any scenario where you truly get enough out of a top tier pass to justify that cost.

As for the upcoming pass changes, my guess is that they'll probably come sooner rather than later. I have no idea what they may be, but my hunch is something along the lines of the following:

-Both So Cal passes end and are replaced by a new value pass for around $400. This pass would be valid at both parks, but would not include park hopping.
-Introduction of park-specific blockout calendars for all passes. This would help prevent one park from becoming packed during a special event while the other remains relatively less crowded.
-All passes are blocked from Disneyland beginning in May 2019 until a specified end date (higher-tier passes have a shorter blockout period). To allow guests to experience Star Wars Land, every passholder receives one blockout day ticket that can be used during that period, but the day must be selected in advance and only so many passholders will be permitted each day.
-Removal of the option to keep free parking on your pass. Only the top tier pass includes it as an option, and all others must pay per visit.

February 11, 2018 at 7:02 PM · I know Six Flags doesn't compare to WDW/Disneyland, but an annual pass for the one near me runs $69, and includes parking for the year. Much, much less than even the cheapest Florida AP.
February 11, 2018 at 8:22 PM · Magic Kingdom = $50 in 2003
In 2018 = $129
That is almost a 3x increase. Smh!
February 11, 2018 at 8:40 PM · I more afraid how the price will affect multi day tickets and how Universal will respond. Don’t break the bank.
February 11, 2018 at 9:42 PM · I've been going down to WDW with family every 3 or 4 years over the first part of December for the past 20 years and the crowd levels had been great....until our visit last year. I know I was spoiled in the past but it was bad and I don't mean the standing in line for a hour sometimes two or in the case of avatar 3. I don't really mind that to much but the part that annoyed me most was playing dodge the crowed just walking through the park, it was nuts everyday. Days that crowed levels where supposed to be 3-6 would end up being 7-10. Hard to appreciated the creativity of the park if you spend more time trying not to run into people. And I hate to say this but probable wont be going back for a while at least to WDW might be time to try the other disney parks
February 11, 2018 at 9:44 PM · An old story goes; There was a farmer, long ago, who accidentally stilled some sawdust into his chicken feed. It didn't harm the birds and his egg production continued as it always did. So he decided to add sawdust all the time. No change. He added more. Nothing to notice. He added a lot more and all his chickens died. Lesson; a little sawdust is OK a lot will kill off your income. Disney is playing a dangerous game. The value of their theme park experience is high the first time. But eventually, guests will say "enough". Once they are gone they'll be gone. California Adventure is a half-day ticket. No worry there.
Why not Advance Reservation wherein you reserve your entrance in to the Park? Charge a $20 reservation fee...non-refundable so if you don't show up you don't get your $20 back? And thus limit the number of visitors...period. An optimum crowd and the Park is FULL....just like parking lots. No pun intended. Better than fiddling with pricing which is too high already!
February 12, 2018 at 2:52 AM · I know Disneyworld is a business and first time visitors won't notice the difference to the same extent, but it is staggering how Hollywood Studios remains the same price for a day ticket as AK considering that with the current closures it barely functions as a half day park...
February 12, 2018 at 8:30 AM · The rumored plan to start forcing guests to lock in specific days for multi-day tickets is a real problem. WDW bills itself as a full-blown resort with many places to go outside the 4 theme parks. The flexibility to spend a day at your hotel pool, play a round of golf, or go to one of the water parks is touted over and over again by Disney marketing. By forcing all guests to pick the days they plan to go to the parks, Disney is being incredibly hypocritical.

If I'm staying at a WDW resort, in particular, I may want to have a few "wild card" days that allow me to shift my schedule based on weather and/or how my family feels on a given morning. I may purchase 4 or 5 day passes, but plan to spend 6 or 7 days at WDW, allowing for some flexibility. I'm already being inconvenienced by not picking days for my theme parks because I cannot select FP+ reservations ahead of time, so why does Disney need to "punish" me further by jacking the price up just because I don't know if I want to go to the park on a Saturday or a Tuesday?

Sorry, this is really getting out of control. "Magic Your Way" is a complete farce. Disney is trying to suck blood from a rock here by trying to maximize revenue at the cost of guest flexibility and satisfaction.

February 12, 2018 at 8:39 AM · WDW is now and has been since the 2000’s driven by foreign guests. Brazil, UK, Japan, & others have stronger currencies than the US and the tickets they buy are much more sustainable to WDW. WDW and the surrounding area cannot build hotels fast enough to hold guests. These price increases for Domestic and FL residents are designed to reduced aforementioned customers, and and increase the tickets and customers that have higher margins(Foreign). Foreign guests contribute more money to WDW as a whole (Hotel stays, restaurants, merchandise, etc.) rather than just ticket prices. Not being prejudiced, just stating hard economic realities.
February 12, 2018 at 9:14 AM · What a shame. I remember my families’s (4) first trip thinking it would be our only time to be able to afford this luxury (probably 1986). Now I feel sorrow that my two great grandsons will probably never get to go because of the non-affordable cost. Sadly, on my subsequent trips I have to point out that the attention to park detail, as well as, park visitors does not compare to my first few trips (WDW). Thank goodness I still have a few days left on a “forever” pass we purchased several trips ago.
February 12, 2018 at 11:16 AM · Does this mean there will be revenue available to update the WDW monorail? Eh, probably not.

February 12, 2018 at 3:41 PM · @Kris

Exactly! How about revenue to fix the sorry state of Tomorrowland?

February 12, 2018 at 3:43 PM · @Kris

Exactly! How about revenue to fix the sorry state of Tomorrowland? Maybe they'll use all that cash to build a 3rd Disneyland in China lol.

February 12, 2018 at 4:08 PM · Given how (over)crowded the Florida and California resorts seem to be, is it time for Disney to build a third US resort?

Yeah, I know, "Where?" That's the billion-dollar question. There are a limited number of places they could build a year-round resort. Would Disney even consider a seasonal resort in (for example) the Northeast or Chicago area? Or do they continue to build/expand resorts in parts of the world from where Orlando and Anaheim are drawing the most visitors?

February 12, 2018 at 8:04 PM · Regarding WDW Multi day tickets being "dated."

@Russel Meyer. I think a "dated" multi day ticket would not be specific to each Park day but instead for say a 14 day period of time. (Like time limit of first use now, but ticket only works between X and Y dates for ALL parks not specific. This would not lock you in to a specific day for each park. (FastPass+ does that but can be changed or cancelled.)

Seems to me that this could be a logistical programming issue for Disney and presents possible issues as follows.

> What if I buy a "dated" ticket in advance and travel plans/dates change? Will Disney change dates? And do I have to do this PRIOR to coming to Guest Services in person?

> If WDW makes tickets Date specific, they could also control how far in advance you can buy tickets. (What if I went to buy in 2017 for end of 2018 anticipating the price hike?)

> Could also mean 3rd party "authorized" ticket distributors
(AAA,etc.) are limited in their ticket dates.

> Similar to issue at Disneyland One day tickets, what happens if I come to front gate with ticket with wrong dates? Be sent to Guest Services probably.

Seems like a programmer's nightmare. And one more step for the Guest in Planning stage to arrange buying tickets with correct dates.Which do I do first, ADR or tickets?

February 12, 2018 at 10:11 PM · It amazes me how much people complain about WDW and USO raising ticket prices.

They complain about the price of gas, movie tickets, theatre tickets, food, clothing, utilities, hotel rooms, etc.

Ask them if they want to roll back the costs of living by 20 years and they say, yes. Just don’t roll back my salary, benefits or lifestyle. And, leave my 401(k) returns alone!

YOU GOTTA LAUGH!

February 13, 2018 at 10:38 AM · @69.143.79.217 - Your theory seems logical, except Disney currently charges different prices for weekend days than weekdays (some weeks can see Wednesdays as "Value" days while Saturdays are "Peak"). I don't think that's what Disney is looking for here by attempting to have variable pricing even for multi-day tickets. They've already made significant adjustments to AP rules to try to discourage guests from visiting on the busiest of days, and now they want to do the same with multi-day ticket holders. I don't see why Disney would create a variable pricing model if they can't control exactly which days guests visit. Disney wants guests to lock in their dates (they already essentially force guests to lock their dates already with FP+), and pay extra if they're visiting on peak days.
February 14, 2018 at 6:03 AM · Russell you have changed your tune.

A few weeks ago talking about careful planning and not having any problems.

Glad to see the colour is beginning to fade from those rose tinted glasses you had.

Is the Disney app broke.

February 14, 2018 at 7:23 AM · I haven't changed my tune. It requires a lot of work and advanced planning to make the most of a visit to the WDW parks these days. However, by forcing variable pricing and date selection onto multi-day tickets, Disney is essentially trying to force guests to do something they already do (and subsequently changing them more for that when they choose to visit on busier days - when it's even harder to secure FP+ reservations for the most popular attractions). Multi-day passes should come with some level of flexibility, and if guests choose to lock in FP+ reservations to ensure access to popular attractions without obscene waits, that's how Disney should be controlling crowds, not by charging a few dollars more just because they want to walk in on a Saturday instead of a Wednesday during their week-long vacation.

I'm a strong proponent of "early bird get the worm", and the FP+ system rewards that philosophy. However, by now charging variable pricing for what appears to be simply a "cash grab", it minimizes the power of using FP+ to control crowds (Disney touted that the change from Fastpass to FP+ would give them that ability, yet they're now arguing that they need pricing to do that). The variable pricing scheme would also prohibit guests from seeing what FP+ reservations are available before locking in their park dates. Before you can access the FP+ reservation system, you have to have a ticket. If this variable pricing rumor for multi-day tickets goes into effect, guests will have to select their days BEFORE they can even access the FP+ system, so they would be completely blind as to what may be available on a given day.

As it currently works, guests with valid admissions can look at FP+ reservations 60 days in advance of their check-in date (if staying on-site) or 30 days ahead of their visit (for non-resort guests), so if you really have your mind set on riding Flight of Passage, you could look at availability on multiple days before locking in which day you're going to visit DAK. By introducing variable pricing on multi-day tickets, guests will be forced into locking in their park days BEFORE being able to see FP+ availability. This would be a HUGE degradation in the advantages of FP+, and one that would significantly change my opinion on the system.

February 15, 2018 at 3:33 AM · Russell You need to read your post from the 12th of Feb again.
February 15, 2018 at 8:37 AM · "Russell You need to read your post from the 12th of Feb again."

OK, so what's inconsistent? I clearly state that the rumored plan to have variable pricing on multi-day tickets "is a real problem." I also note that by doing this, "Disney is being incredibly hypocritical." The FP+ system already exists to force/encourage guests to lock in their park days as much as 60 days in advance (but at least with some knowledge of what rides they can get reservations for prior to picking specific parks for each day of their vacation), yet now they reportedly want guests to pick their days blindly through their ticket purchases (tickets are required to be purchased before guests can access the FP+ system) without knowing what FP+ reservations may be available for specific parks and attractions on the pre-selected days.

I'm not sure how much more clear I can be. Perhaps you've not visited WDW in the past few years, but the FP+ system is a blessing and a curse. If you know how to use it and to leverage it to your advantage, it can make visiting the parks a breeze. However, if you're not willing to do some advanced planning or simply don't understand how the system works, it can be the bane of your existence. The indication that Disney is going to force guests into multi-day variable pricing, will take away one of the significant advantages of the FP+ system, which is to evaluate how crowded a park is going to be weeks in advance of your arrival and to secure reservations for the most popular attractions.

February 16, 2018 at 6:51 AM · I have been in WDW last summer and numerous times over the last number of years. With a 21 day pass on one occasion and numerous two week passes on other dates so I understand very well how the system works.
The old system was ok but the new system is a curse not a blessing.
You talk about advance planning to get the most out of your vacation and yet talk about having a few flexible days as if at that stage you can just go on to the app and still pick what you want to do.
February 16, 2018 at 7:58 AM · I see where you're coming from now Del69. Yes, you still have to pick you FP+ attractions 60+ days in advance (or 30 if you're off-site) if you want to have the most options. However, if Disney makes you pick which days you're going to each park when you purchase your ticket (meaning BEFORE you can even view what's available in FP+), then it eliminates your flexibility to shift park days around as you're making your FP+ reservations if rides you want are not available on specific days.

Let's say you're staying on-site for 10 days exactly 60 days from now, and purchased 7-day passes (planning to spend a few days at the resort, water parks, Disney Springs, or doing activities other than the theme parks). Most guests are looking for that coveted morning Flight of Passage FP+ reservation, and will typically be willing to shift which day they visit DAK to make sure they get it. With FP+, guests can look at FP+ times for the 10 days beyond their check-in date once they get within 60 days of that check in. So, If I originally planned to visit DAK on the first day of my trip, but a FOP FP+ is not available on that day, I can look at days beyond to see if there's another day when that FP+ is available. If Disney starts forcing guests to pay variable pricing for their admissions (that must be purchased before accessing the FP+ system), guests will essentially have to lock in the specific days they are visiting before seeing that all of the FOP reservations are gone for that first day of their trip, and now they're stuck.

As far as FP+ beyond this specific point, I think it's all in how you use the system, and how diligent you are in checking what's available. My in-laws just spent 2 days at WDW this week. They didn't bother telling my wife and I that they were going until last week, and knowing that we had just visited last fall and knew the ins and outs of the park, they called to see if they needed to do anything before showing up. Our jaws dropped when we heard this, because we knew their experience would be significantly diminished by just "showing up" without any pre-planning (yes, this is a significant negative with FP+, which I have not denied). My wife immediately went onto MDE and was able to secure them some FP+ reservations for the parks they were planning to visit (DAK and EPCOT). We were even able to find them an early morning FP+ reservation for Frozen (9:30) a few days before their visit, and ultimately picked them up a same-day FP+ for FOP (we got two on the day we visited last fall), so they got 2 rides on the hottest attraction including their walk-on rope drop ride. So even with just a week of advanced planning, we were able to get FP+ reservations for two tier 1 attractions, including one that has been averaging 2-3 hour waits for the past 9 months. You could have never done that with the old system, and would have been lucky to get just 1 FP+ for the best ride in a park on a given day because you had to sprint to the FP machines at rope drop and then constantly doubling-back as you picked up FPs, returning to the same spot an hour or 2 later.

Is FP+ great? Absolutely not, and the pre-planning aspect required to make the most of the system is frustrating. However, I appreciate the aspect of rewarding those that are willing to put in a little work ahead of time or to be persistent if what they absolutely want is not available at first glance. However, the rumored variable pricing coming to multi-day tickets will be a huge determent to one of the nice advantages of the FP+ system, which is to see what big rides you'll be able to get FP+ reservations for BEFORE locking in your specific park days.

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