Walt Disney World raises annual pass prices

June 18, 2019, 10:03 AM · One day after announcing that it would allow certain top-tier annual passholders to preview its new Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge land, Walt Disney World raised prices on its annual passes across the board.

Non-Florida resident prices:

Florida resident prices:

Platinum passes are valid every day of the year, while Gold passes are blocked for two weeks at Christmas and another two at Spring Break. Silver passes also are blocked out for most of the summer. The Plus pass adds the water parks and Oak Trail golf course to the main four theme parks.

While Disney obviously if looking to contain attendance after the opening of Galaxy's Edge in Disney's Hollywood Studios on August 29, it is offering a couple of discounted ticket deals to fans who visit the resort before then, including a Summer One World ticket special that includes one admission each to Disney World's four theme and two water parks for $444 plus tax and a Get Your Ears On Ticket for Florida residents that includes three days of visits to any of the four Walt Disney World theme parks for $199 plus tax and four days for $219 plus tax.

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Replies (26)

June 18, 2019 at 10:21 AM

Woah. This will pad those numbers a bit for those shareholder calls at the end of the year.

The funny thing is, I don't think this will impact the number of AP holders. I'm sure they will complain, but I'm willing to bet folks will just kinda suck it up.


June 18, 2019 at 12:06 PM

I had already made the decision not to renew, so this is merely an extra nail in the coffin, but it's still extremely disappointing. Disney is supposed to be for everyone, not just the very wealthy.

June 18, 2019 at 12:54 PM

"Disney is supposed to be for everyone, not just the very wealthy."

Says who? It's about supply and demand, and with parks overflowing with people virtually every day of the year, how is Disney supposed to control crowds? Would you rather they increase blackouts for the lowest tier like they've done at Disneyland? I hate to see prices increase too, but they've got to do something to make visits to the parks for those spending $100+/day less crowded.

I would argue that a $1,000 Florida Resident Platinum Plus AP for WDW is still a very good deal if you plan on visiting the parks more than 15 days a year. If you can visit 20 days in a year, that's $50 per day, less than what it costs to spend a day at a Six Flags, Sea World, or Cedar Fair park.

June 18, 2019 at 1:03 PM

I like this. The percentage increase is less on the lower-tier passes, and increases with the price. This means those who don't need to go during peak periods can continue to go, and can continue to renew, without it breaking the bank (I assume). While those who insist on going during Christmas, Spring Break, and summer periods will pay whatever they have to, in order to keep going. However, it'll likely be cost prohibitive to certain families, and they will therefore drop to Gold or lower, which will help make those peak times more bearable.

Nobody wants to deal with 2 hour wait times just to go on Living With the Land during the busiest days.

It really is supply and demand. Disney is watching this like any smart corporation should. They're looking at all of the numbers, and balancing profit with user experience.

I'm glad they really pushed the pricing on the top-tier passes. It's better to make a drastic change and see how it shakes out, than to do yearly 7% increases, which is kind of like inflation. Nobody really bats much of an eye. Doing it this way will let them see real change in attendance numbers. Or rather, see what the market can handle.

Good job, Disney.

June 18, 2019 at 1:09 PM

Well as a 4 year silver passholder who was considering upgrading to gold to (maybe) have a shot at passholder event invites, I think I just changed my mind. My rates have gone up $90 since last year so I am staying put at silver, it's just not worth it as I don't particularly care about the photo pass.

Galaxy's Edge doesn't do anything for me but if it was Lord of the Rings? I would be all over it and upgrade.

June 18, 2019 at 1:34 PM

evanweston is on an anti-Disney crusade across multiple posts today!

June 18, 2019 at 2:00 PM

I am sorry, but it is a terrible idea for them to just cater to the wealthy. I get wanting to control crowds, but they can do that without making a vacation be unobtainable except for those who happen to be wealthy.

June 18, 2019 at 2:27 PM

Russell, I understand the business side of it perfectly well. There is no moral argument for charging prices like these.

The value of the AP also has to bake that crowd factor into account. It has become virtually impossible to enjoy a day at Walt Disney World without paying an extreme upcharge for an experience like After Hours on top of the already ludicrous admission price. Those who can afford to pay for those experiences (a very small percentage of the population) can still enjoy the parks as intended. Those who can't, i.e. the vast majority, are up a creek.

I love Walt Disney World more than anything. It's my favorite place in the world to spend time, outside of maybe Disneyland. It infuriates me to be priced out of it.

June 18, 2019 at 2:40 PM

What do you want them to do? It's like saying a iPhone or Samsung Galaxy are too expensive. There are other options out there like Universal, Six Flags, Sea World, et al. The problem is that Disney produces a product LOTS and LOTS of people like and are willing to spend $$$$$ to enjoy it. However, if Disney wants people to come back, they've got to do something about the crowds. Aside from physically closing the gates and limiting ticket sales, pricing controls are the only strategy at their disposal. The only other option is to leave prices where they are and watch as overcrowding conditions continue to deteriorate.

Robert and other have noted multiple times that a day at a theme park is quite possibly the best deal in entertainment today. Even at $145 to enter the gates, guests are treated to a full day's worth of activities. Try doing that anywhere else aside from a National/State/Local/Municipal Park, and you'll probably run out of activities or money by lunchtime.

I definitely bemoan the financial pinching of the so-called "middle class", but I really don't think Disney has any other options. As also noted by Robert here on TPI, Disney is increasingly seeing itself as a "lifestyle brand" that extends far beyond just a day at a theme park or watching a movie at the local theater. There's a certain cache to taking a WDW/DL vacation to the point where it's almost a status symbol.

June 18, 2019 at 2:49 PM

For a chance to preview GE, plenty of people will pony up. If I lived close enough to visit multiple times per year, I`d get an annual pass in a heartbeat.

June 18, 2019 at 2:55 PM

evanweston - That's true, but there's also no moral argument against it. It's simple supply and demand.

June 18, 2019 at 4:22 PM

Ouch! For out of townies with a Platinum+/Platinum pass you may be wiser not renewing for a couple of years and using the money to buy a house with no mortgage.

Every day in every way Disney find a way of ripping its loyal fans off and every day in every way we roll over and accept it. However, there has to be a threshold. How close are we?

June 18, 2019 at 5:16 PM

The cost really is sickening, obscene and a number of other adjectives. But the word that I would use is "sad." The cost really is getting prohibitive to some, and that's a shame.

With that said, I was in Orlando in May, just before the "busy" season started and the parks were crowded. Disney should raise prices, because obviously people are paying. It's simple and basic economics. If Target or Walmart were selling an item that people were snapping up, they would (and should) raise the price.

I have been fortunate enough to visit Disney many many times. I can afford the price, but I've gone less in recent years. The ticket price, combined with the hassle of ride and food reservations and the general crowds, have made me reduce my visits. I loathe the parking fee. And while I don't expect "cheap food," the $4 Coke REALLY bothers me. All of those factors have made me enjoy it less. The breaking point is different for each person. But I do have to admit, I can't begrudge Disney for upping the price.

June 18, 2019 at 5:44 PM

>>>I am sorry, but it is a terrible idea for them to just cater to the wealthy. I get wanting to control crowds, but they can do that without making a vacation be unobtainable except for those who happen to be wealthy.

Disney, ultimately, is in the Entertainment Business, not in the Entertainment Charity sector. The primary purpose of the Disney corporation is to make profits for shareholders... everything else is secondary.

June 18, 2019 at 5:47 PM

Disney is not a non-profit. Low-cost annual passes aren't a human right.
And these are ANNUAL passes! Nobody is forcing you to go to the parks 30 times a year.

Not only this, but as is being made clear, the biggest jumps are for the high-end platinum passes. They didn't raise the price of the Weekday Select from $319 to $649.

If you can't afford an extra $30/year, consider how you're spending your money, and please stop griping about the prices of the top-tier platinum plus.

At this point, they should just stop advertising the price of the platinum and platinum plus, and simply go with "if you have to ask how much it costs, you can't afford it".

June 18, 2019 at 6:39 PM

I'm not going to say Walt Disney World isn't expensive...it absolutely is, and you can do a theme park vacation almost anywhere else for much less. However, when they're adding six E-ticket attractions over the next three years (three or four of which will be opening within the lifetime of a pass purchased today), a 10-20% price increase is absolutely justified. Given all that the resort offers, a gold level pass is a fair price for a year IMO, and anything below that is a great value. Platinum is for those who need the benefits of it or for those who have extra money to spend, and is not the pass on which price should be judged.

June 19, 2019 at 12:02 AM

As the population increases going to a place like Disneyland/World, pro sports games, etc are going to become more exclusive and something most people won't be able to do on a such regular basis. There just isn't enough space for all the increases in people that want to go. Sorry it's just supply and demand.

Look at pictures of WDW from the 70's and in most all pictures the place looks deserted compared to how it is on a daily basis today.

June 19, 2019 at 12:23 AM

The Floridian resident passes need to go up in triple figures.

They contribute to huge crowds, pay little, compared to the amount of people outside Florida bring in (if you include park prices, hotels, food, merchandise).

The experience is ruined by allowing Floridian residents to basically go for bargain budget prices.

June 19, 2019 at 6:02 AM

Don't worry … at some point, all this "free" money will go away when people finally max out their credit cards and tap every last penny of equity out of their homes. A majority of these dream trips to Disney are financed by debt. And the debt party can't go on forever. As far as Florida residents invading the parks, when the bubble finally pops many people that have moved to Florida in the last few years are going to learn the hard way that it isn't all sunshine and beaches. That's when the crowd issue will finally see some relief.

June 19, 2019 at 9:03 AM

@jeremygary - You would think that would happen at some point, but this "bubble" shows no signs of popping. You would think that the piper would eventually come calling for these lower-income people that somehow find the money to visit WDW on an annual basis, but they keep coming. Even when the Great Recession hit, the crowds subsided somewhat, but it was short lived and grew back to beyond previous levels despite Disney still increasing admission prices.

I don't think any business is truly recession proof, but WDW seems to be pretty reslient, and as they lose revenue from lower income guests that can no longer afford to visit as frequently (if at all), higher income guests that are less susceptible to financial ebbs and flows are increasing their visits.

I think the notion of WDW as a value vacation destination for the middle class is no longer accurate.

June 19, 2019 at 8:51 AM

I literally had two 10 day tickets in my cart at Undercover Tourist (that we intended to upgrade to APs at WDW the first week of July) YESTERDAY - when I saw the report that prices had been increased by $225 overnight. Fortunately, I was able to get the APs through AAA at the pre-increase price. Whew! JUST dodged a $500 bullet!

June 19, 2019 at 9:10 AM

I love the “Disney catering to The Wealthy” crap. It’s all what your priorities are.

June 19, 2019 at 9:13 AM

Peeps trading Disney passes for Universal and never looking back. ROFLMAO. There isn’t even a comparison. Universal giving free months, Disney raising prices. Hmmm, Disney has sooo much more to offer. Not even close.

June 19, 2019 at 4:20 PM

@ Gabriel-At this point, they should just stop advertising the price of the platinum and platinum plus, and simply go with "if you have to ask how much it costs, you can't afford it".

I just hit the floor. LOL

June 19, 2019 at 4:29 PM

Wow, I guess I'm ignorant to the fact that people utilize credit cards to finance a vacation vs saving and spending the extra cash.

June 20, 2019 at 12:48 PM

".... evanweston
June 18, 2019 at 12:06 PM

I had already made the decision not to renew, so this is merely an extra nail in the coffin, but it's still extremely disappointing. Disney is supposed to be for everyone, not just the very wealthy. ...."

Disney is SPECIFICALLY an amusement product for the wealthy. Fact.
Local city playgardens, petting zoo's and State recreation parks, are the products for the non wealthy.

However, as it ranks in the luxury & just sub luxury category amongst recreation products, it's still shocking to see how the QUALITY of the product tumbles down ever more (crowds, exuberant waiting times, food quality below every imaginably level as even your local mini-restaurant around the corner serves you better & tastier food...) .... the prices hike up.
It's completely out of balance.
What leads me to saying : it's SPECIFICALLY for the wealthy-without-a-decent-level-of-education....

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