Walt Disney World Introduces New 'Magic Your Way' Pricing PlanWalt Disney World: An analysis of the new ticket pricing plan reveals a big price increase on single day tickets, along with price cuts on multi-day passports.
From Robert NilesAttention, obsessive-compulsive vacation planners: Walt Disney World has a deal for you....
Posted December 2, 2004 at 3:42 PM
Starting January 2005, Disney World will offer a new a la carte pricing plan, dubbed "Magic Your Way." The plan will allow visitors to tailor custom theme park passes and hotel packages from a menu of options.
The base price will start at $59.75 for a one-day, one-park ticket, according to a company statement. (That's a $5 increase from the current $54.75 price.) Visitors can chose to add on park-hopping privileges for $35 (same for a one-day ticket or a seven-day) and a "plus pack" of visits to Pleasure Island or the water parks.
Here is the pricing grid, courtesy Disney (prices are for ages 10 and up):
The program will launch on Jan. 2 at Disney World's website. No word on whether this program will replace the current park hopper and length-of-stay passes, or be an additional option. From the analysis below, however, it would be hard to see how Disney would keep the current park-hopper pricing structure in place with this plan available.
Clearly, the purpose of this plan is to encourage longer stays at the Walt Disney World Resort. (Take *that*, Universal Orlando!) Indeed, Disney's press relase included this statement attributed to Walt Disney World President Al Weiss: "With so much to see and do at Walt Disney World, guests want to take a week to experience it all, at their own pace. With this new plan they can -- and at more affordable prices that reward more leisurely stays."
"Simply put," he said, "the more you play, the less you pay, per day."
The Magic Your Way pricing structure marks a $1 price increase on a 4-day park hopper ticket (from $219 to $220), but a $21 price cut on a 5-day (from $249 to $228).
What is unclear is if Disney World will continue its policy of unused days never expiring. If that feature is not a part of the Magic Your Way ticket, and the current park hoppers are no longer available, visitors will lose the incentive to "overbuy" with the idea of using unused days on a future visit. Which, in turn, traditionally has helped ensure repeat visits to the resort. Of course, the other effect will be to encourage visitors to "overbuy" on their current week's stay in Orlando, sacrificing visits to other theme parks and attractions in the area in favor of additional days at WDW.
[Added - Dec. 6] Comparing apples to apples, the Magic Your Way tickets represent an average 5.3 percent price increase over equivalent tickets that exist under both the current and Magic Your Way ticket plans.
The Magic Your Way tickets expire 14 days after first use, so to make a true comparison, one must factor in the additional cost of making unused ticket days not expire under MYW. The no-expiration option costs $10 for 2 and 3 day tickets, $15 for a 4 day ticket, $35 for a 5 day ticket, $45 for a 6 day ticket, and $55 for a 7 day ticket. That puts the apples-to-apples comparison below:
Note: the closest equivalent to the park-hopper plus tickets is to select the "Plus Pack" for each ticket, which gives you one extra day's "side" visit to either Pleasure Island or one of the water parks than you would have gotten under the current park-hopper plus.
Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.
From Russell MeyerThe new pricing schedule does make sense. Who in their right mind is going to pay $90 to hop between parks on a single day? However, the new 7 day park hopper plus, which includes more plus days than it used to, is cheaper than the 6 day park hopper plus I bought 4 years ago. The key will be if the days expire.
Posted December 2, 2004 at 8:13 PM
If they do, expect a revolt! People do not want to be locked into stuff, and Disney does not loose any money on the non-expiration policy. I know a lot of people who have had unused Disney World days, and have just lost their pass in the years between visits to Florida. And then there are those who forget they even have the passes with days left, and just buy new ones when they get to the park anyway. Disney wants guests to come for 7 days, and they could care less whether the days are today or 10 years from now. They still have their money, and all of the money the guests will spend in the park when they come back to use the rest of their days. I sure hope the policy remains the same.
From Robert OGroskyI read a press release somewhere that stated for a additional amount of money(cant remember the amount) you can have your pass be non-expiring rather than being no good 14 days after you start using it.
Posted December 2, 2004 at 9:03 PM
From Jason Lester60 bucks for a day! 60 BUCKS! Who is going to pay 60 bucks to go to a park for 1 day when the best rides there are being renovated anyway. If Disney thinks that attendance will go up because of this, I don't know what Eisner is smoking. IT'S INSANITY!
Posted December 2, 2004 at 9:08 PM
From Robert NilesThis is what I like to call a "talk yourself into it" pricing plan. The one-through-three day visits are so outrageous that few will go for them. But if you can talk yourself into staying a few extra days, then the pricing makes sense.
Posted December 2, 2004 at 10:32 PM
Of course, read past Disney's spin and no one is going to extend their Orlando vacation a few extra days to take advantage of Disney's new pricing structure. Most Americans get a week at a time off work. That's it.
No, what they will have to do if they "talk themselves into it" is buy days for a future trip (if, again, they do not expire) or cut out the other stuff they would have done. Like go to the beach or SeaWorld or Universal Orlando.
UO will have to respond. Now's not the time to have no new major attractions under construction at IoA and USF. Not with Expedition Everest rising over the Animal Kingdom, Soarin' rising over Epcot and Disney introducing a pricing plan designed to lock its visitors inside the WDW resort.
From Pete BrechtHow is it that UO needs to respond? I just checked their website, and you can get a 2-park (Studios and IOA) annual pass with a handful of blackout days for only $110. If the blackout dates are a problem (personally, I'd avoid a park on blackout days anyway due to the heavy crowds), you can buy an unlimited 2-park pass for $180. That compares pretty favorably to Disney! It sounds to me as though Disney is putting themselves at something of a competitive disadvantage with their new pricing.
Posted December 3, 2004 at 8:22 AM
OTOH, I still don't quite understand why Disney's pricing is so high in the first place. Virtually every major park chain in the US sells a multi-park annual pass for around $100, whereas Disney's are several hundred bucks. I guess it's all in the marketing....
From Jason MooreSeems to me they are just trying to make it more confusing so they can hopefully "trick" people into spending more. From what I understand reading about it on other sites, the new tickets will most definitely expire in 14 days.... unless you pay another upcharge for the "no expiration" option. The OCD freaks that plan their vacations down to the very second should be able to work this in their favor, but the average casual visitor is going to be really confused and or outright get screwed. Of course, this opinion is based just on what I've read of this so far. it seems to me that none of the theme park comunity has been able to wrap their heads around a full understanding of the system yet.
Posted December 3, 2004 at 8:44 AM
From Deborah DavisThe St. Pete Times printed a few more details for WDW:
Posted December 3, 2004 at 9:35 AM
There will be a 10% discount for Florida Residents visiting WDW. Also, they will be able to purchase a 3-day pass for the price of a 2-day, but they must be used within 6 months.
For non-residents, the breakdown on multi-day discounts shows that a 4-day pass would cost $46.25 per day, but if you go for a 7-day pass, the cost drops to $28.43 per day. The advantage for the new multi-day passes is this: in the past, there was a 4-day minimum on passes, but now you can buy a 2 or 3-day pass. Where before visitors would often buy more days than they needed in order to get the discount, now they can buy the amount that they need without wasting any.
The charge for non-expiring passes will be $10 (although it doesn't say if it's per day, or for all days on the ticket.) The park-hopping add-on is $35, but the paper reported that the water parks, Disney Quest and Pleasure Island can be added for $10 more. (The table looks like it would cost $35 + $45 to park-hop & get water parks.)
One other thing: They are expanding their Early Entry program by allowing their hotel guests to stay in the park for 3 hours after they close to the general public, but details of the restrictions weren't given.
From Joe LaneI think what Robert means by Universal responding is introducing more reasons for guests to visit the park--meaning more new attractions. Islands of Adventure hasn't seen a new ride since Stormforce and The Flying Unicorn opened. The Studios opened Revenge of the Mummy earlier this year, but many of Universal's attractions are already showing their old age. I speculate Back To The Future may be next on the chopping block (if not under the microscope for a possible retooling). There's rumblings of a Jeep Adventure going into JP, but thus far, there have been no green lights on any new attractions, which is what Universal needs--something new to draw in the masses.
Posted December 3, 2004 at 11:26 AM
And for the record, I don't like this new Disney ticket system. I'm so glad I'm a FL Resident...
From Jason LesterThere are rumors about jeep tours in Jurassic Park at Universal so they might speed up construction on that if they want to respond. They need new rides there and I don't mean another Stormforce Acceleration.
Posted December 3, 2004 at 2:54 PM
From Robert NilesDisney is taking a risk here.
Posted December 3, 2004 at 8:57 PM
This pricing plan encourages people to spend their entire week in Orlando at the Walt Disney World Resort. But what if people do not want to spend five, six or seven days at WDW? Then, their alternative is to spend no time at Disney, and instead find a better deal for a shorter stay at another park.
And *there* is the opportunity for SeaWorld and Universal Orlando. If they can offer enough exciting attractions, at an enticing price, they can persuade a significant number of Orlando visitors to choose the "nothing" option in Disney's all-or-nothing-with-us gambit.
This does not mean that Universal must persuade theme park fans to forsake Disney forever. Even if they can get a significant number of visitors to say "no Disney" on every other trip to Central Florida, then this pricing plan might backfire against Disney.
However, Universal and SeaWorld will not be able to convince many people to eschew Disney if Uinversal and SeaWorld fail to offer any new world-class attractions... and soon. Disney's debuting three major attractions within the next year or so. Couple that with a new pricing plan designed to lock visitors in with the Mouse, and the two challengers could be facing several lean years. Which they simply cannot afford.
So dust off the plans for the IoA Robocoaster. Greenlight a USF flume. Find a way to get Sylvester McMonkey McBean open. Whatever it takes. Because Disney is making a strong move to retake the Orlando theme park market. If its competition fails to make an alternate case, they will lose it.
From Derek PotterThe pricing structure makes more sense than it did before, I'll give them credit for the restructure itself, but while the seven day deal has more value up front, take into consideration the amount of money the other four days inside the park will cost. What money they lose by offering the extra days, they will surely make back at the food and drink stands, the souvenier stands, and the hotel. This is clearly a plan to boost attendance by offering the illusion of a bargain. Make no mistake, Disney isn't giving anything away here.
Posted December 3, 2004 at 10:40 PM
Here's something else to think about. A family of four actually decides to get this 7 day pass. Before you even enter the park....$1200 right off the top. Throw in the hotel, probably a Disney one for another $500 minimum. Add seven days worth of food, drink, gifts, games, souveniers, and any extras that aren't included in the parks (at the hefty Disney price). Don't forget the trip itself, if you drive from the north, a couple hundred each way..if you fly, four times that. Add all that together, and ladies and gentleman, you have broken the bank. Now ask yourselves, is a week at Disney really worth that much money, especially to the northern/midwest folks who live hundreds of miles from the beach.
Don't get me wrong, if you have young kids, Disney is a great place to go, but in a town that has Sea World and Universal Studios (both better than Disney in my opinion), than why in the world would I stay on Disney property the whole time I'm there? And who said that Disney was the only Orlando park that had things for the kids? I remember loving Sea World at eight years old, and Universal Studios a few years after....way before IOA was built. Wait a minute, why would I even bother with Disney in the first place.
If somebody wants to shell out a three grand minimum for a week long trip to Disney, than more power to them. As long as people buy into the "magic" and shell out the cash, Disney will be there collecting money and raising prices again and again. As for me, I don't think that there is any magic to be bought right now, so my next trip to Orlando contains absolutely no plans to go to Disney. If I'm gonna pay $50 a ticket, it's going to be for Universal/IOA, and Sea World. That's three days for less money and far better value. As for the other four days, they belong to the beach. With the money I save, I'll buy Kings Island and Cedar Point family season passes for the next three years.
From Robert NilesStrong points, Derek. That's *exactly* what Disney's up against in trying to gain more market share in Orlando.
Posted December 4, 2004 at 9:13 PM
Personally, I'm atheme park junkie. (Duh.) But I can't ride my family through a bunch of parks in one week, the way I'd do it. In six full days in Orlando during a week's vacation, I can get my family to go for three days at the parks. With maybe a fourth evening thrown in for a meal at Epcot. That's it.
Non-expiring passes are a must for me to get good value from these trips. That way, I don't have to guess exactly how many days we'll visit on this trip -- or obsessively plan every moment of the trip in advance to ensure I don't overbuy. With non-expiring passes, I just buy the multi-day pass with best per-day price, and rest assured that we'll be back sometime in the future to do the days we don't on this trip.
So flexibility and a lack of "right-now" commitment are important selling points I look for in a plan. If Disney's plan can accomodate me, great! If not, then, well, I guess my kids are gonna be spending more time with Shamu and in Seuss Landing than with Mickey and Co.
From Matt EAll passes have a base rate and three "add-on" options for an additional price, those being: a) Park Hopping, b) Visits to water parks, Disney Quest, Wide World Of Sports and c) a No Expiration option.
Posted December 5, 2004 at 12:32 PM
All 5, 6 and 7 day passes with all of the above options "added-on" are CHEAPER than their current available counterparts. A 4 day pass with the Park Hopper add-on costs only $1.00 more than the current 4-day Park Hopper. The difference is it will only cost you more for 4-day Magic Your Way pass if you want the days to never expire. But for most guests who choose a 4-day pass to begin with, they will probably use all 4 days and won't need that no expiration thing.
The new pricing structure is great, imo. While only spending 1-3 days will cost you more than before, spending 4 will cost basically the same, or for 5 or more will cost you LESS, even with all the add-ons. Take off potential unnecessary items like the no expiration option and perhaps even visits to the water parks, and 5 to 7 day passes will be consdiderably cheaper than any option available now to guests.
Most guests who do indeed buy single day tickets are Florida residents. In that case, with the new Florida discount options, it will also be cheaper to visit the parks (with a 10% discount on a single day price or 3 days for the price of 2).
Again, for a majority of folks who visit WDW, this new pricing program is great. The fact that WDW DOES have enough to do for an entire week gives them the advantage to offer great deals for staying longer. UO and Seaworld currently do not have such a luxury to compete with, so its a smart business move on Disney's part as well.
From Matt E<< With non-expiring passes, I just buy the multi-day pass with best per-day price, and rest assured that we'll be back sometime in the future to do the days we don't on this trip.
Posted December 5, 2004 at 12:50 PM
So flexibility and a lack of "right-now" commitment are important selling points I look for in a plan. If Disney's plan can accomodate me, great! If not, then, well, I guess my kids are gonna be spending more time with Shamu and in Seuss Landing than with Mickey and Co>>
Do you visit the water parks? If not, it sounds like the best option for you would to be a 7-day Magic Your Way pass and then add-on both the Park Hopping and No expiration options. That will cost you $289.00 or about $41.25 a day.
Consider this to the fact that currently, the cheapest, non-expiring pass is a 4-Day Park Hopper pass that costs $219.00 at the gate, this new pass will give you three more days that you can use whenever for only $23.33 a day!
From Matt E^^One quick thing I wanted to add. Concerning the 7 day Magic Your Way pass, if you rarely park hop when you visit the parks, consider buying a 7 day Magic Your Way Pass with only the No Expiration option added on and it will cost only $36.29 a day for passes that NEVER expire.
Posted December 5, 2004 at 1:12 PM
From Derek PotterWhat happened to straightforward pricing here? Too much of this upgrade/expiration/upcharge/add on stuff. Are they actually trying to confuse people into spending more money with this, or are they really that greedy that they charge for every little perk that they can think of. If I am gracing their park with my presence and money for 7 days, than there should be no expiration, and park hopping should be free...especially in a place where none of the parks are what I would call a complete park. In the case of Universal and Sea World, I know that while they don't build new attractions every year, when they do build, they are great. I don't think that this price adjustment will have a whole lot of bearing on the Orlando market because people still have to pay a lot for three or four days at Disney, and the only "bargain" you get is if you are nuts and stay for seven days in a row. Even for a park nut like me, that's a bit of an overload....especially when you bring little children along.
Posted December 5, 2004 at 1:40 PM
From Matt E^^It is wrong to say they are making you "pay" to park hop when you compare it to the current available park hoppers and their prices. Again, even if you add ALL the options onto 5-7 multi-day passes they come out CHEAPER than any respective available ticket now. Knock off any options you don't need (such as it never expiring or ability to visit a water park) and the price drops considerably. So much so that you could end up only paying $28.43 per day for 7 days.
Posted December 5, 2004 at 3:13 PM
Currently, the only way to park-hop is to buy a 4-Day Park Hopper pass which costs $219.00 at the gate. The new Magic Your Way pass with Park Hopping option is $220.00. You are not paying MORE to park hop then you are now(well, maybe a dollar). However, if you don't WANT to park hop, you can get a much cheaper ticket than currently available.
The new system is not really that confusing. It lays out base prices and then you just add on what you NEED/WANT. That way, folks are no longer paying for passes with things they don't want or use (such as it never expiring or the option to visit a water park, etc.). It is not meant to confuse anyone into paying more. Rather, its allowing you to pay LESS (with the exception of a 4-day pass with Park Hopping AND the no expiration option), by only choosing what YOU want to do.
When you stop trying to compare it to the current system and its pricing, it is not confusing at all. It doesn't punish anyone who buys a multi-day ticket (4 to 7 days), but rather rewards those who decide to stay longer.
From Matt EBecause I want to remain credible, I need to correct one of my above statements and ask that any comparison above that I had said otherwise be disregarded.
Posted December 5, 2004 at 5:05 PM
I've just noticed that a 5 day Magic Your Way Park pass with all options (park hopping, water park add-on, and the no expiration option) is in fact MORE than the respective 5-day Park Hopper PLUS currently available that offers the same thing. However, take off the no expiration option (which is a good idea if you KNOW you are going to use all five days) and the pass becomes a lot cheaper. Sorry for any misunderstanding/misleading above.
However, I stand by the fact that this new pass system is better than the old and in reality should be more beneficial to a majority of guests as it lets them finally CHOOSE what they want. In some cases it will cost certain folks more, but in many more circumstances it will end up costing a lot of folks less.
From Robert NilesComparing apples to apples, the Magic Your Way tickets represent an average 5.3 percent price increase over equivalent tickets that exist under both the current and Magic Your Way ticket plans.
Posted December 6, 2004 at 2:18 PM
The Magic Your Way tickets expire 14 days after first use, so to make a true comparison, one must factor in the additional cost of making unused ticket days not expire under MYW. MousePlanet reports that the no-expiration option costs $10 for 2 and 3 day tickets, $15 for a 4 day ticket, $35 for a 5 day ticket, $45 for a 6 day ticket, and $55 for a 7 day ticket. That puts the apples-to-apples comparison below:
Note: the closest equivalent to the park-hopper plus tickets is to select the "Plus Pack" for each ticket, which gives you one extra day's "side" visit to either Pleasure Island or one of the water parks than you would have gotten under the current park-hopper plus.
From Derek PotterThere's the breakdown right there. Personally I don't think the value of this even comes close to the Orlando Flex Ticket...which oddly enough, includes every non-Disney Orlando park and even Busch Gardens Tampa. Think about it, for 200 bucks you have unlimited access to both Universal parks, Sea World, Wet & Wild waterpark, and BGTB...and they will even provide free transportation to Tampa. Parking? you pay once a day, no matter how many parks you visit. Also they give you free entrance to City Walk. This is unlimited entrance to all of those places for two weeks, complete with free park hopping. In my book, all of those parks and attractions for 200 bucks and two weeks is a far better value than 300 bucks and a week for Disney. New attractions or not, for someone who goes to Orlando every once in a while, the flex ticket is the better deal.
Posted December 7, 2004 at 8:39 PM
From Robert NilesMy problem with the Orlando Flex Ticket is that it is a use-it-or-lose-it ticket with a fixed expiration date. I prefer buying a certain number of days that I can use whenever to buying unlimited use of something within a defined time.
Posted December 8, 2004 at 12:03 PM
*That* is why I thought Disney World's old plan was so brilliant. I could buy a five-day passport and give it as a Christmas or birthday gift. I could buy a new ticket when my old one ran out, with no consideration for how many days I was in Orlando on that trip. I could decide to go do something else on any given day in Orlando without feeling guilty that I was wasting a theme park ticket.
I wish I could do the same for Disneyland, Universal Studios Hollywood, or any other theme park. Please, theme parks, let me buy multiple days that never expire at a discount from the regular single-day price! I'll do it, locking me into visiting you in the future. Because when I can't buy tickets that way, I know from experience that I end up buying fewer tickets and visiting parks much less often.
From Derek PotterThat's a valid point. However I can understand why they have expiration dates. Disney is a single company that has total control over it's prices and policies. In the case of the flex ticket, there are 3 different theme park companies that are involved, all probably with different policy, ideas...etc. The only thing that they probably have in common is wanting to dethrone Disney. For them to get together and offer a deal like that is good stuff. Personally, I have no problem with the expiration because of this. These 5 parks are basically giving you 2 weeks of free admission for around $200. I understand that we would like them to have no expiration, but think about what you are getting for your money. Personally I can't complain about the expiration because I think that they are giving enough. Disney's property doesn't have nearly the number of attractions that these 5 combined parks have...not to mention that they are better attractions in the first place. I can understand your point though, it doesn't do any more for west coasters than the Disney pass does.
Posted December 8, 2004 at 4:10 PM
From Justin SmithNo Jason Lester, tell us what you really think about changing the price to 60$. LOL
Posted December 11, 2004 at 3:05 PM
From Robert OGroskyI just got back from visiting wdw/USF/IOA and BGT.
Posted December 16, 2004 at 11:54 AM
When visiting the parks i found wdw to be very busy this Dec, busier than any other time we have visited in Dec. The lines werent bad if you knew what you were doing but the parades/shows etc were packed. And i thyink the nice pricing policy will only help them more, escpecially with new attractions coming.
As for BGT/USF/IOA these parks werent anywhere near as busy as wdw. I visted IOA/USF on the weekend and wdw was busier on a weekday than IOA/USF was on a weekend. I stayed on site while at USF/IOA and with fotl we were actually getting bored after 2 /12 days because we had seen all the shows and ridden all the good rides numerous/dozens of times Universal needs to add new attractions to there parks and also to put grinchmas somewhere with a much larger capacity for people to view the show, As for citywalk, it may be good for adults who like to drink, but it offers nothing at all for families who have younger kids and over the weekend we found most outside seating area's taken up by teenagers who were just loitering.
As for BGT the park has a great atmosphere but some of the worst ride-ops even when compared to SF, i have rarely seen ride-ops so slow when the park ran almost every coaster on 1 train operation.
I would agree with Robert that Universal needs to do much more to compel people to visit there parks and the combination of BGT/SW/IOA/USF cant compete with all the options that one can find on wdw property. They need some type of nighttime event like fanatamsic/Illumations to end the evening and make citywalk much more family friendly in its offerings.
From Jayson MyersHow did having a choice in what to buy become confusing? They are letting you buy what you want. I like it.
Posted December 21, 2004 at 7:44 AM
From Bryan RiesI THINK WHAT HAS HAPPENED IS THAT THE MAJORITY OF YOU HAVE FORGOTTEN WHAT A VACATION REALLY IS. IT IS A TIME OF REST AND RELAXATION, FUN AND FAMILY. IT IS NOT SUPPOSED TO BE, "LET'S GO, GO, GO AND SEE HOW MUCH WE CAN POSSIBLY GET DONE AND HOW LITTLE WE CAN SPEND TO DO IT." MY FAMILY DOESN'T MAKE A LOT OF MONEY, BUT WE KNOW THAT THERE IS NO BETTER PLACE TO "VACATION" THAN DISNEY. THE PARKS, RESORTS, TRANSPORTATION, FOOD, SHOWS, AND YES, MAGIC IS WORTH EVERY PENNY. DISNEY HAS ENOUGH REGULAR PATRONS, THAT I DON'T THINK THAT THEY LOST A WINK OF SLEEP OVER THOSE OF YOU THAT ARE DOING ALL OF THE COMPLAINING CONCERNING THEIR NEW PRICE PLAN. I'VE NEVER BEEN ABLE TO SPEND AN ENTIRE WEEK AT WDW AND NOW I CAN, AND I CAN'T WAIT! WE ARE GOING TO GET THE BASE TICKET FOR 7 DAYS WITH THE PARK HOPPING OPTION AND THE DINING OPTION ($35/NIGHT) WHEN WE GO. IT IS AWESOME!
Posted December 23, 2004 at 12:41 PM
From Ben MillsI THINK MAYBE YOU NEED TO SPEND A LITTLE LESS MONEY ON VACATIONS AND BUY A KEYBOARD WITH A WORKING CAPS LOCK KEY!
Posted December 23, 2004 at 1:26 PM
From Derek PotterYEA I AGREE WITH BEN. WITH THE BAJILLION BUCKS YOU SAVE BY GOING SOMEWHERE ELSE, YOU COULD HAVE THE BEST KEYBOARD ON THE MARKET.
Posted December 23, 2004 at 6:15 PM
In all seriousness, we all know that Disney won't lose any sleep about our little posts here...just like I won't be gaining any sleep at a Disney hotel. These threads are here to discuss, and that's what we do. Personally I feel that the new Disney pricing plan saves the average family money up front at the gate, but ends up costing them what they saved in the end. Translation....attendance boost. They act like they are giving things away, but it's just like Vegas, they will give you a little bit, but if you stay long enough, they will get a whole heck of a lot more out of you. If you think the "magic" is worth it, than great. I used to think that, but not anymore.
From Rodney BooneI've been to Orlando without going to Disney. Our last trip was just UO and BGT and it just isn't the same experience as going to Disneyworld...I was disappointed! I can get virtualy the same experience going to my local themeparks and state zoo and save hours upon hours of driving instead of going to UO. It just isn't so much better than Busch Gardens Williamsburg or Kings Dominion to warrent a drive over 9 hours. Disneyworld is the only themepark resort worth a trip to Orlando to see.
Posted December 30, 2004 at 9:55 AM
I have also been to Orlando and stayed at Disney the whole time and have always had a great experience. Granted, UO and other themparks save you money, but you get what you pay for and I think Disneyworld is worth the trip. I can't get what Disneyworld offers locally (I live in North Carolina). That being said, I also don't overbuy when I plan my Orlando trips. If I buy a 6 day ticket, I'm using all 6 days on this trip. I believe most people do the same and the 'Magic Your Way' pricing is geared toward people who want to stay longer at WDW. If you advance purchase a Magic Your Way ticket with Dining Option & Magic Plus option for six or seven days I think it is a great deal and a way to experience more Disney than perhaps you did on any previous trips, but I guess I'm a minority opinion on this message board. For my family it looks like a good deal and I will be booking a 'Magic Your Way' vacation this Sunday Jan. 2, the first day it's available!
From JEANY SANCHEZthe magic your way is the cool way to go all the theme parks.
Posted March 6, 2005 at 10:20 AM
From Erik YatesYou also forgot that if you are a florida resident you get admission for the old price, park hopping(1 day) for the new one day single park price and a three day park hopper for 120. Dig a little deeper in those pockets you disneyphiles.
Posted March 6, 2005 at 6:02 PM
From steve leeIt's the cool way to go? Excuse me? It's the only available friggin' option! Coolness has nothing to do with it.
Posted March 7, 2005 at 10:09 AM
From Joanie meckelbergThis is my first visit here, and I stumbled upon this discussion while searching for a current list of WDW Pricing. I have been a Wisconsin travel agent for 18 years, and former Florida resident. It has always been difficult for me to explain ANY Disney passes and pricing to my customers, ever since Disney got rid of their ride tickets!(Remember those E rides?) I'm getting better with this new pricing, but find it hard for families to tie themselves to a schedule and anticipate their needs ahead of time. Especially when adding the waterparks & Pleasure Island options, when weather could be a factor. My average family books a 5-7 day vacation to Orlando. (Usually a day there and a day back of flying, which puts a maximum of 5 full days at the theme parks. Realistically, most folks don't get off the plane, dump their bags and RUN to the WDW front gate that same day. By the time you arrive, get your luggage, rent a car, drive to the hotel, unpack and dine, you're looking at a wasted park pass for that day. I like the "never expire" passes, and wish Disney still sold everyting that way. One thing that irks me about the hopper passes is that it is impossible to check what you have left on them except by physically going to a Disney park, and Disney makes a big deal about it! I always by 7-day hoppers and know, eventually, I'll use them up. Every time I go to my hotel concierge or to a Disney ticket window, they act like I bought these on the secondary market and I'm treated rudely. I've had to show proof, and even when they were "electronically stored" on my Disney hotel room key that clearly has my name on it, I've still been treated suspiciously. Although I will always be a true 'Disneyphile' it doesn't mean I enjoy feeling like I am always getting ripped off. They'll get us one way or another, whether in increased admission prices or over-priced sodas. I agree with one of the postings that many people lose or forget about their unused passes. It happens in my agency all the time. Even though Disney sells theme park passes at their Disney stores in malls, they can"t (or wont') let you bring your old passes in to check how many days are left. This just makes them look greedy to me. Thanks for letting me vent!
Posted March 7, 2005 at 1:18 PM
From Robert NilesJoanie,
Posted March 7, 2005 at 2:28 PM
You're not venting, you're right on the money. Disney, along with all other companies, must constantly remind everyone in their organization about the paramount importance of customer service.
The fact is, when you buy seven days of Walt Disney World vacation, you should get seven days of WDW vacation. If you want to pass some of those days along to a family member, a friend or sell them to a stranger, you ought to be entitled to do that. Disney, or any other company, shouldn't undercut or destroy the value of what you bought by restricting its use or by expiring those days before you get a chance to use them. And if a valid ticket is presented to a Disney cast member, that CM should treat that customer as a treasured guest, rather than a potential criminal.
From Dennis YazellSURPRISE!! WDW also has a 10 day ticket. Bringing the price of a day down to $20.80. All parts of the *admission ticket* are on a sliding scale. No expiration option is also sliding. For the 10 day ticket, with no expiration option, it's a total of $30.80 a day. That IS half price from the $60 single day/single park ticket. Add Park Hopping to it for just $2.40 a day.
Posted March 9, 2005 at 6:01 AM
When i go in May, i might use 5 of those days. When i go back at christmas, i will pay for hotel and NOT have to pay for tickets. Since i already have 5 half price tickets left.
Remember, Disney starts picking up on-site guests on the airport in May. Saving money on cabs and rental cars. But also making it tough to leave.
You have to call for the 10 day ticket. It's not on the website anymore. Guess they want to keep it a secret.
From Pete BrechtThat's funny; I just checked Disney's website less than a week ago, and they had the 10-day option listed then. Of course, I notice that the ticket-ordering portion of the website is labelled as Beta, so I wonder if someone screwed up in letting the 10-day ticket option show.
Posted March 9, 2005 at 7:51 AM
Another change that I noticed from last year is that it doesn't look like non-Florida residents can order annual/season passes anymore.
From steve leeI just checked, and the 10-day option is on the site now. Of course, I may have been at the Bizarro-Disney website, since there was a big fat banner ad for Twentieth Century Fox's "Robots" on the top of the main page...
Posted March 13, 2005 at 10:36 AM
From Jimmy ColstonI hate this new little Disney system. Disney is way overpriced in my opinion and Universal is a much better option, especially if you are a Florida resident. I got a 2 year premium Universal/IOA pass for only $150 compared to the $400 pass for 1 year of unlimited Disney stuff. And you get a lot of discounts on restaurants and stores at CityWalk with the Universal pass which is useful even if you don't go inside the parks. I also like Universal better because though there are technically two parks, you can easily traverse between the two with a short five minute walk from gate to gate versus the leaving the park, riding the tram, and driving to the other park and riding their tram at DisneyWorld. And though I do like DisneyWorld, Universal doesn't get as old nearly as fast as Disney does. I still have a place in my heart for Disney and I'll probably end up getting an annual pass for it this Christmas despite the high prices. How much are those premium-annual-everything-you-could-ever-do-at-Disney passes now?
Posted July 12, 2005 at 8:43 PM
From Terri ThomasI've read the hype, crunched the numbers and still come up with "this is one sweet deal."
Posted January 5, 2006 at 8:01 PM
Consider this: You buy a 10 day park hopper + water park & more fun (which includes 6 side visits) + non-expiring option. For a family of 4 (2 adult age children) that's $1668.00. That's 16 days of Disney fun to use however you want. We will be splitting it up like this:
March 25th through April 1st = 8 days. Minus the drive down to Fla & back home to NC = 6 days left. We will each use 3 days of park (hopping) out of the 10 we purchased & 2 of the 6 side visits for a total of 5 days of activities. Since we only have one day free we'll rest that day in the lovely vacation home we're renting (for 765 week)in the pool with jacuzzi, full kitchen, 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, game room, barbeque grill, lake, playground, etc...
Next year (or whenever we can get away) we'll do it again only this time we only need to rent the house. The year after the same thing.
For each of the 3 vacations (house not included) we will have spent $555.60 (total for family of four, not each!) for tickets , for each of the 3 vacations (with one ticket left over per person!).
If we were to purchase the same thing each year separately, it would look like this:
To save a bit more money (we're not the Hiltons) we avail ourselves of the local Publix the night we arrive at our rented home and stock up. We bring our own lunch into the park in a large cooler that fits into an $8.00 per day locker until we're ready to eat. While everyone else is waiting on long lines for a $5.00 ala carte hot dog or a smoked turkey leg that looked better than it actually was, we're sitting in the shade or rocking in a chair at Tony's Town Square on Main Street, eating roast beef hogies, fuit salad, cookies and sweet tea. We keep everything nice and cold with 8 frozen bottles of water. We bring 4 with us into the park in the morning, then we carry the other 4 around the park after lunch for the rest of the afternoon. The empty cooler goes back in the locker until we're ready to go home & we've just eaten lunch in Disney for the same price we would at home.
Around 4:30 we leave the parks and go back to the rental home (4 miles away). Cooking is a breeze on the grill by the private pool & it gives us a chance to get away from the noise & crowds. We eat, swim, nap & return to the park to visit more attractions & watch the fireworks.
And we will do this three times for less than the price of one Disney vacation if purchased separately!
From Gareth HWow, a lot of thought went into that one. You should publish something with ways to save money on vacation.
Posted January 6, 2006 at 10:56 AM
Only thing I could add to it is to eat a big breakfast at an all-you-can eat buffet in the morning, at around $3.99 each.
From Adrian HobsonWe recently bought 7 day premium passes through Disneys UK website (with all the add ons)for the equivalent of about about $270.
Posted March 14, 2006 at 4:15 PM
The main effect was that, for the first time ever, we decided to limit our entire visit to the Disney Parks.
This was also helped by the way the UK website sells hotel and ticket packages linked to the length of stay. So, for example, a 6 night stay at Pop Century gives you only one ticket option - the 7 day premium.
To be fair we knew we were being held captive on Disney property in this way. Its a bit like surrendering to a benign dictatorship.
Additionally the effect of the free Magical Express from MCO was that I decided not to rent a car for the first time in many years. Consequently in the first week of our stay every single cent I spent went to Disney!
I guess the combination of these sales tools will increase the percentage of vacation expenditure that Disney retain.
Quite a contract to the days when I rented a car, stayed in Kissimee for next to nothing and left the park at lunchtime to eat in McDonalds!
From Gareth HDisney, Prison with Benefits!
Posted March 14, 2006 at 5:09 PM
From Jayson MyersI like the new pricing. B/c you can just buy exactly what you want. When you call Disney, you just tell them what you want. They offer and assist and making sure it fits your needs. I personally love it (even though I'm a FL resident).
Posted March 15, 2006 at 10:08 AM
About the AP's usually being 100 bucks, Disney is 100 bucks (per park, per year). But yes, you have to buy all 4 parks :P (b/c I would not buy MGM).
From jane MillsUpdated Pricing
Posted March 18, 2006 at 1:56 PM
As reported from Disney Online Website on 3/18/2006
Unknown what date prices changed
The No Expiration option has gotten ridiculous. If you are staying for less than a week, it may be cheaper to pay for extra days and use extra admission days to park hop.
Option prices now depend on number of days - samples below
Unlimited Expiration - Allows use after 14 days from purchase
From Michelle SeagoI agree this is all confusing. But some of you sound like you could afford to join the Disney Vacation Club and it might be a better deal for you! The thing that is REALLY expensive is the hotels. And Disney never seems to have any specials on that. And I haven't heard anyone mention much about the dining add-on. It seems to be a great idea, but quite expensive also.
Posted May 22, 2006 at 2:41 AM
From michelle mooreExtra admission days cannot be used to park hop. If you try to go to a different park in the same day and don't have the park hopper option, the turnstile will not let you in, and you will be sent to guest services to add the park hopper, or told you may only enter the original park you visited. The employees can see which park you visited that day on the turnstile readout. Just FYI
Posted January 12, 2007 at 12:10 PM
From Fred WilsonHey, me and my friends are just trying to spend a couple of days there, but yikes. The new system frowns on that, apparently.
Posted January 26, 2007 at 12:12 PM
Does anyone know if these new passes are transferable? I haven't been able to find a definative answer yet. Like, if I know a Florida resident with passes, would we be able to take advantage of that? Or will they nail us at the gate if we try to use them?
From David KirbyYou won't be able to use someone else's pass.
Posted January 26, 2007 at 2:27 PM
This discussion has been archived, and is not accepting additional responses.
Theme Park Insider Guidebooks
Top U.S. Theme Parks
Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
Other Top International Parks
Readers' Top Themed Rides
Top Roller Coasters
Top Theme Park Shows
Features, News and Advice
2013 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2012 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2011 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2010 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2009 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2008 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2007 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2006 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2005 Blog PostsDec.
2004-2005Staff column archive