Walt Disney World raises its admission price

As of this Sunday Walt Disney World will be raising the price of its theme park admission. The basic adult ticket is climbing 6 percent to a record $71 and other ticket levels are rising as well. Since you can purchase tickets online with a non-expiring option, right now is the time to buy tickets if you’re planning a Disney World vacation in the next few years.

There are two main reasons Disney raises ticket prices. First is perceived value. Perversely, Disney believes that just raising the price of daily admission makes a Disney vacation a more treasured experience. If they don’t keep their prices ahead of similar entertainment (other theme parks like SeaWorld and Universal, but also concert and sports tickets, movie tickets, etc), then they’re afraid the public will see Disney as less of a value and stop coming.

—–"We strongly believe that Walt Disney World represents a great entertainment value. Our guests agree," spokesman Rick Sylvain said. "In our guests surveys, nine out of 10 rate their theme park experience from good to excellent."—–

Can’t you just hear Disney executives, "Guests are happy with our product. Let’s charge them more and see if they still like it." What ever happened to the idea of just providing more product to sell.

The second reason is capacity. These last few years, and especially last year, the theme parks, while never at "close the gates" capacity, were busier than ever on average. Yet, Disney hasn’t increased the capacity of the parks by adding new attractions, shows, or parades. If the supply side is unchanged, then something on the demand side must change. Usually that’s the price. The other option would be to sell dated tickets to prevent overcrowding. I don’t see that idea going over very well with the locals.

At some point this game will end. Disney will raise ticket prices above the general perceived value of a day’s entertainment. Fewer people will buy tickets. Hopefully Disney will realize this early on before they price themselves out of the market. For now, remember that if you buy a 9-12 day ticket with the non-expiring option you’re still saving quite a bit over the price of tickets as long as 10 years ago.

Of course the other option is… they invest some of those profits you mentioned and actually increase capacity (new attractions, a fifth gate, etc…). Sure they won’t be able to raise prices as often, but they’ll get more bodies through the gates and into beds and will make it up in volume, as they say. (Via Orlando Sentinel)