While some headlines out there are screaming about Disney World’s $5 price increase for a one day ticket, the real story is the unique customization that is available now. With the new a la carte pricing structure they call "Magic Your Way" Disney World has made the extended stay much more affordable. LaughingPlace.com has an easy to follow chart with the new pricing options. Everything goes into effect on Jan. 2, 2005.
The new system isn’t really much more complicated than the old system. It will require more advanced planning on the vacationer’s part. So talking with a travel expert, visiting an online Disney fan site, or DisneyWorld.com becomes more important. It is possible that someone won’t understand the system fully and be suprised by the extra charges for park hopping, non-expiration date, etc. I’m sure Disney is counting on a little of this to pad their profit margin.
So where did they come up with this idea of total customization? I’m
sure it’s something they’ve been cooking up for a while. It’s a
reaction to a world where you can’t even order a cup of coffee any
more. You have to know what size (in latin, no less), milk or soy,
regular or decaf, etc.. Try to buy a computer online you get to chose
your processor speed, hard drive size, monitor, and much more.
"This approach to booking vacations will lead to a more fulfilling
and relaxing vacation experience for our guests," said Al Weiss,
President of the Walt Disney World Resort. "Why
do we believe that? Because this new ticket plan is based on guest
feedback. Our guests have been telling us they
want more flexible, more affordable vacations"
So the end result is good if you can afford to visit WDW for multiple days. A seven day admission is now cheaper than ever in relation to the one day ticket price. Even with park hopping and the non-expiration options it’s still a steal of deal.
Even if you can’t spend a lot of time at Disney World this vacation, it makes more sense to buy a 7 day ticket and add the park hopper and non-expiration options. You can always use them on your next trip back, even if it’s three years later.
Finally, nothing has been said about any price increase in the Annual Pass program. I’ll post more about any changes in that area as soon as I know.