It’s not just the rubber band holding mouse ears in place that’s testing the elasticity of Disney (NYSE:DIS) fans. The undisputed champ in family entertainment stunned the theme park industry on Sunday by dramatically hiking the rates of annual passes to its stateside theme parks.
The most expensive annual pass at California’s Disneyland resort soared 35% to $1,049. Disney World annual passes are also moving sharply higher, though not as dramatically as we’re seeing on the West Coast.
You will also have to pay more for your car to visit the House of Mouse. Parking rates went up by a buck in California and $3 at Florida’s four theme parks.
Foodies are also flinching, as Tables In Wonderland — a plan where members receive discounts at Disney World resort restaurants and access to high-end dining events — is seeing its subscription climbing 50% to $150 a year.
Disney isn’t just raising prices. It’s trying to sweeten the pot by offering pass holders free digital downloads of all of the photos taken on rides and by staff photographers throughout the park. However, that’s a perk that may seem hollow to annual pass holders since regulars aren’t likely to be active buyers of snapshots or souvenirs.