We all knew it was coming, and a lot of us knew this year it would be different. February is the time when the Orlando theme parks usually announce their ticket price increases. Universal Studios Orlando announced theirs back on February 10th of this year. Back in January SeaWorld, Busch Gardens, Aquatica and Adventure Island announced their new Choose Your Adventure Tickets, which actually lowers ticket prices for multi-day tickets. Disney Parks announced on Saturday that beginning Sunday, January 28th there would be a new, tiered ticket pricing system for 1-day Disney tickets at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts.
How Does Disney’s New Tiered Ticketing Seasons Work?
For years Disney has used Seasonal Pricing on their resort accommodations. The prices were based on seasons with rooms costing the least in Value season and the most in Holiday season. Now Disney is translating those seasons to their 1-day ticket prices as well. In Value season a 1-day ticket to the Magic Kingdom will cost $105, in Regular season it will cost $110 and in Peak season it will cost $124. Prices for the other 3 Walt Disney World Resort parks are slightly less at Value $97, Regular $102 and Peak $114.
In addition, although in the past 1-Day tickets for Walt Disney World Resort did not expire, 1-Day tickets sold on or after Sunday, Feb. 28 for Walt Disney World Resort will expire at the end of the next calendar year. For example, 1-day tickets sold in 2016 will expire on Dec. 31, 2017. The amount paid for an unused, expired ticket may be applied towards the purchase of a new ticket at the current price.
Each month is divided into value, regular and peak days with an 8-11 month calendar available for viewing online. Here’s an example, if you plan a visit for March, you’ll have a variety of options, including March 1-3 in the Value season, March 4-10 in the Regular season and March 11-31 in the Peak season. If you plan to visit during a peak period, like the spring break, you will pay more. Purchasing a 1-Day ticket in a non-peak period, or choosing multi-day ticket and annual passes, will provide additional flexibility and value.
How Does the New Disney Ticket Pricing Effect My Vacation?
Right now, it probably doesn’t. Currently, this price change only effects 1-day tickets not multi-day tickets. If you are coming to the parks for a 2+ day vacation, you will probably have a multi-day ticket and that isn’t included in this change. The 1-day Disney ticket has been the most expensive Disney ticket to buy for a few years now and it is one I never recommend to my travel clients.
Why is Disney Doing This?
In a nutshell, they are doing this to spread out visitation. Disney doesn’t want you to wait 2+ hours in line for an attraction. Unfortunately that is a regular occurrence during peak season. By offering a more expensive 1-day ticket during Peak season, Disney hopes to deter some of those guests into coming when the tickets are most expensive, theoretically helping to reduce crowds and shorten wait times. I am rather confident that in the future we will see tiered pricing on multi-day tickets as well and that is when I feel it will truly impact crowds.
I hope this helps clear up the muddy waters of Disney Parks new tiered 1-day ticket pricing structure. If you have any questions please leave me a comment or if you want to start planning your magical Disney vacation, fill out my travel quote request form.