Walt Disney Co. is considering switching to demand-based pricing at its parks in the U.S., the Wall Street Journal reported.
The proposed move by Disney, the first in 60 years, comes as it looks at ways to spread attendance at its parks throughout the year, according to the WSJ report.
It would help to reduce congestion on holidays and weekends as well as raise attendance at the parks during the low tourist season. The cost for single or multi-day tickets at Disney’s domestic parks has mostly remained the same throughout the year.
“We have to look at ways to spread out our attendance throughout the year so we can accommodate demand and avoid bursting at the seams,”
According to the WSJ report, Disney will start to survey previous visitors this week to gauge their reactions to variable pricing options. Under demand-based pricing, the tickets would cost less or provide more benefits on weekdays and during the low tourist season, while they would cost more or come with additional restrictions on weekends and holidays. This would be similar to airline ticket prices.
Disney, the world’s largest theme-park operator, normally increases the price of tickets annually. It is said to have invested more than $8 billion in its U.S. parks in the past five years.
Much of that money was spent on Magic Band technology, a new waterproof RFID ticketing system that can be used for hotel entry, theme park entry, and when linked to a credit card, payment for merchandise and food.
While Disney’s multi-billion dollar expansion at its domestic parks has helped to boost demand, it has also made the crowing problem worse.
Disney has continued to raise overall prices well above the inflation rate for some years, but this has not fully solved the problem of crowding, the WSJ reported, quoting Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Bob Chapek.
On the contrary, Disney has been seeing record attendance at its parks in Orlando, Florida and Anaheim, California during the last three fiscal years.
During the latest third quarter ended June 27, 2015, Disney’s revenue from parks and resorts increased 4 percent from the prior-year period to $4.1 billion. The segment’s operating income climbed 9 percent to $922 million, due to growth at the company’s domestic parks and resorts.
Visitors have experienced long waits for rides and gate closures at Disney parks on the busiest days, something that they would like to avoid when visiting the “Happiest Place on Earth.”
In Disneyland Paris, the company has offered tiered pricing since 2014. However, partly due to economic conditions, financial results have been stronger at Disney’s two domestic parks recently than the three parks overseas.
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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