As sure as the Earth goes round our sun, Disney’s US theme parks have raised their admission prices again.
As predicted the Walt Disney World one-day ticket price for the Magic Kingdom broke the $100 barrier increasing by $6 to $105. The other three Orlando parks – Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios – only rose $3 from $94 to $97. That’s $2 less than originally thought.
On the other coast, a one-day adult admission to Disneyland or Disney California Adventure will rise from $96 to $99. Prices for children ages 3 to 9 will rise from $90 to $93. A Premium annual pass with parking and no blackout dates will go up from $699 to $779. Almost a full day increase, but still a value if you go just 10 days a year.
I don’t really blame Disney. One of the big complaints I hear is crowds in the park. People were used to crowds during the busy season, but now it seems busy season all year long. Raising prices could help cap the crowds.
I do think Disney is missing the boat by not increasing capacity to match demand. In California, where the two parks are landlocked, they really need a third gate that will appeal to locals. Perhaps it’s time to revisit the plan for WestCOT. There is a possible deal involving land near Anaheim Stadium and a street car system to move people around. It would be in everyone’s interest to make that happen.
In Orlando, Disney needs to add a new people eater or two and a large theater to soak up crowds at the Magic Kingdom. New Fantasyland, when all was said and done only added a smidgen of capacity counting the stuff that closed to make way for it.
Epcot still absorbs crowds ok, but Future World needs some help in the afternoon. Disney’s Animal Kingdom is getting Avatar, but it’s taking forever. And I think we all know what Disney’s Hollywood Studios needs.
The other thing Disney could do to help crowds is to eliminate Fastpass. As it is designed to get people out of queues and in to the walkways and shops, it makes the park feel more crowded than it actually is. Let Imagineers design attractions that are worth waiting for and guests won’t mind the wait. It’s a revolutionary concept, I know, but it just might work. At least it would be worth $100 a day.