Dear Bob Iger – Please Lower These Price Hikes
When Walt Disney Company’s beloved CEO returned, the kingdom rejoiced. As Rafiki once said, “The King has returned”, and many fans echoed that sentiment.
Fans cheered even louder when Bob Iger publicly denounced the price increases and the company’s lack of creative focus. Yet, the beginning of his new reign hasn’t reversed things like magic.
Expected layoffs, less flexible working arrangements, and the ongoing Reedy Creek battle have dominated headlines.
We know Disney has been through murkier times, but even the most die-hard fan can get discouraged. As a die-hard fan myself, I’m hoping Mr. Iger continues to make peace with the Disney community.
If I had his ear, I’d respectfully ask for the following things. (If you’re listening Bob, please know these requests aren’t made lightly.)
Make All Tickets Equal
Date-based (and now park-specific) tickets Walt Disney World tickets have been a sore spot for many. Originally designed to evenly disperse crowds, I don’t always see this benefit as a guest.
Date-based pricing causes tickets to be much more expensive on weekends, holidays, and any other “peak season” times. As someone who has visited Disney World during spring break, New Year’s Eve, and Thanksgiving, I don’t think date-based tickets deterred people.
Honestly, the price generally adds insult to injury as you navigate high crowds at a higher price point. (The same goes for fluctuations in Genie+ pricing.)
The idea had merit. But enough time has passed that we can see it’s not a guest-friendly decision.
Revamp Genie+ and Lightning Lanes
The paid version of FastPass+ is here to stay and I’ve made peace with it. Other destinations (like Universal) have been operating that way for years.
I simply love Disney and skipping lines too much to boycott Genie+, but there’s room for improvement. Specifically, I’d make a couple of suggestions.
First, get rid of a la carte Lightning Lanes. Depending on how prices fluctuate, you could pay a similar price for one ride vs. one day of rides.
Also, I’d much rather go back to planning my three FastPasses (now called Genie+ selections) in advance. Scheduling them months in advance was overkill but scheduling them at least one day in advance would save guests a lot of time.
I’m not a fan of babysitting my phone on vacation. Allowing a little more pre-planning could make all the difference.
Affordable Ticketed Events
Once upon a time, special ticketed events (like MVMCP and MNSSHP) were cheaper than park tickets. And what a grand time it was!
While these events offered special entertainment, character sightings, and food – the hours were always much shorter than a park day. It made sense that guests weren’t paying full price for less than a half-day experience.
I remember the glory days of paying around $60 for a weekend MNSSHP ticket. Compare this price to the skyrocketed rates in 2022.
These parties will always be popular, but lowering the price even slightly would make Bob Iger a hero. Making the parties more financially accessible is the most magical thing he could do.
Make Value Hotels a Real Value Again
Onsite hotels in the Value tier are still the best value for the money. But are these hotels still the “budget” option they were back in the early 2000s?
Of course, prices have risen across the board, but recent Value pricing has left me scratching my head. (The last search I did had Pop Century priced only $20 cheaper than most Moderate resorts.)
Prices like this are still very expensive for the average family. And off-site accommodations aren’t a better option after you add in the costs of transportation and daily parking fees.
A Disney World vacation will always be a financial commitment, but Value hotels shouldn’t be.
More Magical Incentives
If the pandemic proved anything, it proved people are loyal to Disney in most circumstances. Even when health protocols required distanced characters and no fireworks, people still visited.
Now travel is no longer taboo, and many people are back to regular adventuring.
That being said, the economy is taking a hit. Prices are rising and vacation funds are not as plentiful. The most loyal fan may have to forgo their vacation.
Bob Iger has spearheaded some goodwill (including some discounts) and I hope these continue/increase. It seems only fitting that Mr. Iger would show gratitude to a devoted fanbase this way.
Not only would more financial incentives benefit regular visitors, but it could also draw in thousands who are “on the fence”. I can’t think of an easier and better-timed win for his new regime.
If even one of these things happened, Disney World would be an even better place. And after years of patience and constant change, haven’t we earned it?
I hope you’re listening Mr. Iger.
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