I think what will happen is as prices to enter go up I'll just buy less souvenirs. It works out okay for me because my boys are getting older and want less junk in the parks. I've stopped buying tee shirts entirely and now look for bargains online throughout the year...and I can give the boys Disney shirts before our trip, and they can wear the shirts there. For 1/4 the price of the parks.
What would be the highest price I'd pay before it really felt expensive? I think $126/day would be too much. I think the admission could go up to $124.99 and I would think it would be steep, but not too much. But $126 and I think it would not be worth it for my family.
I bet, though, that my boys will be in high school before it would get that high. Maybe even in college. I bet in 10 years it will be $125 or more per day, easy.
Having high prices discourages locals from coming. But families going on vacation just build their budgets around the ticket prices. I doubt people will blink much until it gets to $125 or so. But if prices were $50 or $60 to get in, I think Disney would be flooded with teens who would just come to hang out, get into trouble, not buy anything, and ruin the vacations of families who traveled far to be there.
Just my take on it. Would love to hear Robert chime in regarding how much high ticket prices are part of a strategy of keeping gangs and troublemakers out of the parks.
As others are saying - theme parks are businesses so they are going to push their prices as high as the market will bear. If you don't like it, don't go. But as long as people go in record numbers the prices will continue to rise. And rise.
As a matter of interest Robert, what percentage of visitors actually pays the one-day price as opposed to the multi-day deals or passes?
This years attendance figures will be interesting when released. WDW had significant attendance loss in 2001-2002 and reaching the 2000 level in 2004. This was followed by significant growth in 2005-2007, small growth in 2008-2011, and about a 2.4% net increase in 2012. Their price increases seem to very roughly follow attendance gain plus inflation plus about 2%. I suspect twice a year price increases will become the norm due to all the to try to make the changes smaller and reduce the press. Also would make the audience slightly more receptive to seasonal pricing in the future.
Disney sees the high price of the one day ticket as a promotional tool for the multi-day visit. The multi-day annual family vacation is the target customer and their pricing structure makes this extremely clear. One-day visitors may be highly profitable, but they want to convert them to the multi-day stay sleeping in a Disney Resort spending their whole budget at WDW.
The Florida AP's are needed in the off season though as busy as they are, they probably increase costs more than they benefit Disney during peak season. Disney has been incredibly effective at off peak marketing with things like Food and Wine/Flower and Garden, Sports special events, and small conventions. Seems Disney would be better off adding more value like parking to the off-peak seasonal passes to switch the demand.
I saw a really interesting show, Brain Games that explains why businesses do it. Its called the decoy effect.
Here's the clip: http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/channel/brain-games/videos/the-decoy-effect/
Basically, 1 day at magic kingdom for $99 seems like a total rip-off - and it is! They price it ridiculously so that their other options seem like a much better deal. 1 day is $99 so why not do a seasonal pass for $300? If you go 3 times, you've already paid for it.
I doubt many here would argue with the assertion that a decision to increase ticket prices is a process that involves casting dice. Former Disney CEO Michael Eisner once said Disney is not "recession-proof" -- specifically citing gas prices and the cost of plane tickets (jet fuel). But then no one can control those outside variables. Disney can only embrace assumptions based on its internal, (very) educated guesses.
Having said that, I know a local family who had wanted to take their six year old girl to the Magic Kingdom last Saturday. They asked friends on FB if any cast members could sign them in.
Today on FB, they posted photos of their family ... at International Drive's Fun Spot.
When those parks cost 50$ in the past, I didn't see any gangs. So I don't buy that argument.
Universal is looking better all the time. Knott's Berry Farm is looking better all the time.
Disney is becoming a playground for the rich and entitled. The middle class should look elsewhere.
Tell us, how are things over there in Universal's marketing department?
The fact of the matter is that almost no one (annual pass holders aside) goes to a Disney park for just one day. Last year my family of five went to Disneyland Resort for five days and our tickets equated to about $50 each per day. When we went to WDW for ten days in 2010, it was like $30/day. Far as I am concerned Disney still offers the best vacation value in town.
As a matter of fact the good people of South America visit and spend MORE $$ here in the parks, etc, then the likes of the above poster who seem to think the high prices of Disney equates to some kind of exclusivity that only Middle and Upper class Americans afford !
Really, the nerve!
Price of a 3 day ticket at Universal Orlando: $126.00
Price of a 3 day ticket at Disney World: $274.00
Universal offers consumers a better value. The price is lower, the lines are shorter, and Universal has the newest E-ticket attractions in Orlando.
These increases just prove that the individual has to plan and decide where to spend his money.
Disney appear to be creating a bigger divide for those that have and haven't the means to go and have some fun. While we face that problem in every walk of life, Disney ought to hold up a little and bear in mind that more and more families become heartbroken by the knowledge that they will never visit the place of their dreams.
Some might say 'tough', but that was definitely NOT the 'Disney Way' was it?The success of Disney is down to everyone that couldn't make the parks, didn't make the movie theatres but still clung on to their dreams.
I love WDW, but little projects like MyMagic+ have detracted away from the 4 Orlando parks. Bigger gate prices should mean more fun, but New Fantasyland aside, Disney are investing more in 'money suckers' like Disney Springs and Magicbands than they are their core park activity; Fun!
And to TH's point, the one day ticket is the one causing all the fuss, and Universal's one day ticket at $92/day (and soon to be raised, I am sure), is really just as expensive as Disney.
Neither park chain is where one goes for a bargain, at least not when you consider that you can get a season pass to Silver Dollar City or Dollywood (two premiere non-Disney/Universal theme parks) for ~$75.
But Disney and Universal are ultra expensive for a reason - they are the industry leaders. And for the most part, you get what you pay for... and most folks only go once every two - three years anyway, if they go at all. So it is an event for which most people save for years, and for which park admission is usually the "cheapest" of all the expenses.
Apparently there are a lot of parents who can't afford proper child care and would buy an annual pass for a child, drop them off at one of the Disney parks, and then head to work, only to pick them up afterward.
I can't imagine a parent would do this, leaving a kid in a park all alone. Yes, Cast Members are good about locating and taking care of lost children, but the whole idea of this disturbs me!
I guess this didn't really have to do exactly with the original post, but the "Orlando teen gang" thing caught my attention.
As a side note, I've only been to Magic Mountain once, and my wallet was stolen. Definitely has incredible roller coasters, but the park is not even in sniffing range of what Disney offers, and price could very well be part of it. More, it's a culture thing, and by that I mean a company/corporate culture. Six Flags doesn't give you an experience. It doesn't have a brand. It doesn't go the extra mile to take care of guests, nor train their employees to do so.
It is what it is, and Disney is the leader in family entertainment for a reason.
Let's compare:Price of a 3 day ticket at Universal Orlando: $126.00
Universal offers consumers a better value. The price is lower, the lines are shorter, and Universal has the newest E-ticket attractions in Orlando
Im sorry whils Universal is a great day out its is just that ... you can do all of universal in 1.5 days. It takes a week + to do all of disney. So dollar for dollar its disney that is better value for money. And its not all about E ticket rides. Universal has to keep throwing more money at the park because the rides it choses are based upon franchises that have a limited shelf life. Universal have some big rides but also alot of rides that are so run down and tire they can be skipped. Thats not good value
Often, the price increase are compared with other entertainment options like concerts, shows, and sporting events where the more popular acts can be well over $100 a ticket. Where the comparison breaks down is often you're not bringing a family of four to these events. The better comparison is Disney On Ice. I went to shows that are purchased at $25 a ticket for good seats. You get an entertaining show at a good price that are suited for the audience of Disney fans.
Now, it is evident that families have to visit other places like SeaWorld, Universal, Legoland, and local carnivals and amusement parks. They are adequate to satisfy kids in general to ride the carousel or the train. Leave Disneyland or the Magic Kingdom as a treat every couple of years. Or perhaps wait for the local specials like what Disneyland is offering now... $129 for 2 parks, one park per day. That's a bargain (although still pricey for many).
It's the same reason your rarely see Disney put discounts and other incentives on one-day tickets, they'd rather offer discounted dining plans, or other such offers, on multi-day, on-site, visits to encourage higher spending.