The majority of daily ticket prices at Disneyland and neighboring California Adventure Park were raised on Monday, and the most popular days of the year, such as Christmas and New Year’s Eve, will be considerably more expensive.
Daily ticket prices are increasing by 3% to 8%, with normal daily parking charges increasing by 20%. The parks recently hiked ticket rates by as much as 5% in February 2020, just before the COVID-19 outbreak forced them to close for 13 months.
In 2016, the park implemented a five-tiered pricing plan to manage crowds, charging more on busy days and less on slack days. The pricing for the days with the least demand, such as Tuesdays and Wednesdays in late January, has remained stable at $104. But prices have increased for the four other tiers, and the resort added a highest-price sixth tier, $164 for a one-day visit to a single park on the highest demand days of the year, including select weekends, holidays and spring break.
The previous record for a single-day, single-park ticket was $154.
The cost of visiting Disneyland and the adjoining Disney California Adventure Park is the same. The cost of Park Hopper tickets, which allow you to visit two parks in one day, is rising by as much as 7%. For the 12 months ending in September, the inflation rate in the United States was 5.4 percent.
Several popular rides at the parks have remained closed since the parks returned in April following the pandemic closure, an issue that theme park enthusiasts have frequently expressed on social media. Most daily costumed parades, as well as nightly water and light shows like Fantasmic and World of Color, have yet to return to the parks.
While some Disney fans may be turned off by higher prices for fewer attractions, the price increase is expected to generate more revenue for Walt Disney Co. overall, even if attendance drops slightly, according to Martin Lewison, a business administration professor and theme park expert at Farmingdale State College in New York.
“I think many guests will find this a very bitter pill at this point in time, But it wouldn’t be the end of the world for the company if attendance dipped a little bit.”
In June, California Adventure Park opened a six-acre Marvel superhero-themed section called Avengers Campus, and the resort expects to open additional holiday events, including a new Christmas-themed parade, according to Disneyland spokespeople.
Since reopening, Disney has unveiled a slew of new initiatives aimed at alleviating the theme park’s most vexing problems: long ride lines and overcrowding.
Disney revamped its 37-year-old annual pass program in August, replacing it with a new Magic Key program that requires customers to make reservations before visiting the theme parks, while still restricting entry on the busiest days. The new initiative allows Disney park management to better control crowds on a daily basis by requiring reservations.
The Magic Key passes are usually less expensive than prior yearly passes, with four different options ranging in price from $399 for Southern California residents to $1,399 for the one with no blocked-out days and the most reservation flexibility.
Long-time annual passholders have expressed dissatisfaction with the Magic Key program, claiming that the reservation system makes it impossible to visit the parks on busy days, even for those with the most costly pass. The resort’s reservation calendar says that there are no bookings available for practically every weekend in the next two months, but that might change because Disney has periodically offered up reservations.
A few weeks after launching the Magic Key program, Disney released a new mobile app that lets parkgoers willing to pay an additional fee to avoid the lines for the most popular attractions.
The new software, dubbed the Disney Genie, replaces two prior systems at Disneyland — the free FastPass and the $20-per-day MaxPass — that allowed visitors to schedule a time slot for an attraction in order to skip the lines and instead enter a faster Fastpass Lane.
Disney Genie is a free app that suggests a day’s worth of activities depending on the attractions, shows, and restaurants that users select at the start of the day. A comparable software, Disney Genie+, charges $20 per day at Disneyland and may be used to make reservations for rides at a specified time, bypassing the regular lines and granting access to a new Lightning Lane instead.
There will be more than 15 attractions featuring Lightning Lanes at Disneyland, and more than 40 attractions with Lightning Lanes at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. At any one moment, users can only make one reservation.
However, park guests will have to pay an additional price to avoid the queues at the most popular attractions, such as Radiator Springs Racers at Disney California Adventure and Rise of the Resistance at Disneyland, which will vary depending on the day, the attraction, and the park. Disney employees said the actual pricing will not be revealed for some weeks.
Disney’s chief executive, Bob Chapek, stated in a recent earnings report that reservations for the company’s domestic theme parks are still robust.
“We’ve implemented a reservation system that’s going to enable us to spread our demand, increase our yield, and improve our guest experience at the same time,” he said.
When will enough be enough? When will you stop going because it is just too expensive? Tell us below 👇
Sid Philips is a father of two and a loving husband. He currently resides in Pennsylvania and has been a fan of Disney since his parents took him there in 1980! Sid has visited multiple Disney parks around the world and loves each one!
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