2020 Disney Theme Park Price Increases Are Coming. Here’s What To Expect
We are officially one month away from Christmas which also means that 2020 is just around the corner! With that comes the inevitable news that Disney will once again be raising theme park prices.
So what might these price hikes look like? Though there’s no way to know for certain we can use past years as an example.
As a recent article in USA Today points out, theme park price increases commonly happen in February or March. Last year Disney World waited until March to raise prices for Disney World. Hardest hit were single-day tickets going up to as high as $159 during peak season (which was up from $139.00.)
Last year Disneyland got hit slightly harder, their price increases came out in February with a 25% rise in some tickets and a parking fee increase of 25%.
We don’t know for certain what the price increases may look like for next year however USA Today did interview Touring Plans guru Len Testa who expects an increase of at least 5% on Disneyland Ticket prices in the year ahead.
What about Disney World? This is slightly harder to predict. Though we typically see resort rates and ticket prices increase year-on-year, we do know that the theme parks have had a bit of a slip in attendance.
In addition, as we mentioned here at MickeyBlog last week, Disney World has brought back its discounted 4-day ticket offer allowing guests to visit for as little as $89.00 a day. Discounts are usually only offered when attendance is down. If Disney is worried about low attendance they may hold off on price hikes.
We may not see tickets increase greatly into next year. However, a trend we are noticing Disney World incorporate more (with Disneyland following suit) is paid for extra events!
An Increase In Paid For Events
During the fourth-quarter earnings report for the Walt Disney Company, it was noticed that theme park attendance was down. However, theme park revenue was up! One of the reasons is extra paid-for events that seem to be springing up rapidly as of late.
Disney World has had success with early morning and after-hours functions at its four parks. Strong sales have proven fans’ willingness to spend above and beyond for an exclusive experience, especially when lighter crowds mean easier access to the most popular attractions.
Through events like Disney After Hours, Early Morning Magic Hours, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, and Fireworks Dessert Parties, visitors pay for a separate ticket to attend with prices starting to rival those of a single-day theme park ticket.
So though standard theme park tickets may not be increasing in price, families may buy two or three tickets to the same park (per person.)
Over at Disneyland, the extra paid-for options aren’t as bountiful but we are seeing them crop up more and more. For example, This year’s Oogie Boogie Bash at California Adventure required a separate admission ticket with prices starting at $109 per person.
That’s nearly as much as a single-day ticket. In addition, MaxPass can now be purchased as an additional add-on giving guests the opportunity to book FASTPASSES using your smartphone. Most visitors these days consider this a must-have even if it adds another $15 per person per day.
How High Can Prices Go Before It Impacts Attendance?
I hear people argue every day that they are getting priced out of the Disney market. In the USA Today piece, Len Testa argues that a price increase that proves to be too much for families could happy sooner than we think.
At Disneyland should tickets increase to $150 per person without an increase in salary, this is where families may start to sacrifice Disney plans and start looking for other vacation spots.
Though Disney World is a slightly more complicated calculation with lengthier stays, airfare etc. Increased ticket prices and increased resort prices could continue to increase making it more difficult for the average family to visit.
Combine this with a loss of onsite resort perks like FREE parking (Guests are now expected to pay $10+ a day) and an increase in dining costs and we could see attendance continue to taper off.
A Far Cry From $1 a Day
When Disneyland first opened, the cost of an adult admission was $1 and the cost for children was $.50. This was to get into the parks with guests then paying anywhere from $.10 to $.35 cents to hop on individual attractions.
Today it has 50 attractions and an additional theme park- Disney California Adventure. Walt Disney World now also boasts 4 theme parks, 2 water parks and over 25 resorts!
There are also a TON of new rides and attractions slated to open over the next few years. This includes a TRON coaster at Magic Kingdom, a completely re-imagined Epcot, a re-vamped Tomorrowland at Disneyland not to mention a new Avengers Campus at Disney California Adventure.
It would be naive to think that all this development won’t coincide with further increases in ticket and resort pricing.