Ticket prices seem out of control!

SNT471284

New member
Just need to vent for a second. With the insane increases in prices for non-FL resident AP’s, I can’t justify the prices of going to WDW next year. I paid about $879 for my AP in August 2017. Now, it’s over $1200. Times two for my spouse. That’s unreal. Daily ticket prices are not any better. They’re so restrictive on what dates they can be used and parking is not included (we stay in our timeshare offsite.) Being conscious of our budget at Disney is important to us so that we can keep going back, and ticket prices alone seem to have put up a barrier to returning. We will be back to Orlando because WDW isn’t the only reason we go, but it’s the biggest one.

Our family has reached its tipping point and it’s so stinking disappointing. I know we aren’t alone but it sure feels like it. We *could* spend the money but the value is no longer there, at least for the parks proper. Disney Springs and other Disney resort restaurants and stuff are another story and do at least have a Disney feel without an admission price.

On the other hand, Universal’s ticket prices aren’t any better.

Rant over.
 
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Deleted member 832

Guest
The ticket prices can be high but you don't HAVE to spend $1200 for an AP to go to WDW There are lower prices for tickets available. Maybe one of those will allow you to still visit.
 

MrFredricksen

Active member
I'm not sure on the annual pass, but someone once did some generic math. It was based off of a 7 day ticket. They then determined the average expected amount of time (in hours) you would be in the park. When you take those number and do the math, it wound up about the price of a movie. I'm not sure how long ago that was and if it is still valid.
 

hizouse

Member
Well, a 7-day ticket starting this Sunday is $475. To get to $5/hour, you'd need to spend 95 hours in the parks, which is over 13.5 hours per day. Not saying it's a bad value, but not a great comparison to movies for a number of reasons.
 

Anne

Well-known member
The platinum AP is up 25% just with the last price increase. As are several MYW tickets depending on dates and lengths. I just priced out a 1 day hopper for a friend going for business who wanted to add a day at the parks, $177 before tax. She decided on Disney Springs instead. No matter how we rationalize it we are still paying more money for the same thing. Which is not something anyone would volunteer to do. So yes, it stinks as a consumer. And each family needs to decide their tipping point.

But if the market supports it, the prices will continue. If not, or there is a recession, we will see discounts again. Maybe the most recent earnings report will put the breaks on?
 

mgarbowski

Well-known member
The platinum AP is up 25% just with the last price increase. As are several MYW tickets depending on dates and lengths. I just priced out a 1 day hopper for a friend going for business who wanted to add a day at the parks, $177 before tax. She decided on Disney Springs instead. No matter how we rationalize it we are still paying more money for the same thing. Which is not something anyone would volunteer to do. So yes, it stinks as a consumer. And each family needs to decide their tipping point.

But if the market supports it, the prices will continue. If not, or there is a recession, we will see discounts again. Maybe the most recent earnings report will put the breaks on?
Wow. I have not focused on the price of a single day ticket for some time. That's crazy. Curious, I just looked a bit further. The minimum base price for 1-day single park is $109 and for hoppers it is $169. That's a 55% premium to hop. As a comparison, for 5-day tickets the same prices are $83 and $109. That's an extra 31% to hop. I understand that you qualify for discounts with extra days, but I don't see why the proportional relationship between single park and hoppers should vary that much, and particularly why it should be so expensive to hop on a single day. They are really discouraging 1-day hopping (it worked with you and your friend) but I'm not sure why.

ETA: I fixed an early-morning math mistake.
 
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DopeyRunr

the jeweled acrobats only perform amazing stunts f
I don't see why the proportional relationship between single park and hoppers should vary that much, and particularly why it should be so expensive to hop on a single day.
I believe the hopping add-on has always been a flat fee, so it would be a much greater percentage of the cost of a shorter (or single-day) ticket compared to a longer ticket where the same flat fee is spread out over more days.
 

bnoble

he's right
They are really discouraging 1-day hopping (it worked with you and your friend) but I'm not sure why.
Disney's strategy has been to get guests to plan as much of their vacations as possible prior to their trip to Orlando, and to encourage people to plan to spend as much of their Orlando vacation time as possible with Disney. This has two components to that at the same time: encouraging longer visits by dropping the per-day price, and using the individual gates as a way of extending your trip. If you really want to see Magic Kingdom *and* Star Wars, Disney would much rather have you do that over two days. Their per-capita revenue due to admission goes down, but they assume they will make that back in other ways.

There's an old article from Laughing Place that talks a little bit about this.
https://www.laughingplace.com/w/leg/?legacyasppage=news-id507040.asp

Yes this means that some people with very limited time won't visit. But, given the attendance levels in the Parks, that is okay. Disney is not (currently) short of people who want to visit relative to what the Parks can handle. Iger is on record saying that reducing attendance slightly to be able to increase guest satisfaction was an explicit goal.

“We’ve made a number of steps to essentially grow revenue, in some cases actually at the expense of some attendance where we’re changing our pricing approach sometimes in part to moderate attendance so the park experience is a little bit better,” he said during a May 2016 earnings call.
https://skift.com/2018/09/26/disney-worlds-latest-pricing-changes-take-aim-at-crowd-control/
 

mgarbowski

Well-known member
I believe the hopping add-on has always been a flat fee, so it would be a much greater percentage of the cost of a shorter (or single-day) ticket compared to a longer ticket where the same flat fee is spread out over more days.
Not quite. Your post caused me to check. First, I found an error in my post which I fixed. The percentage cost of the hopper add on for 5 days is 31% not 19%. It's also $26 per day which comes to $130 total which is more than double the 1-day $60 cost of the add-on. Still significantly lower percentage-wise.

My best guess is that the demand for hoppers on tickets of 1-3 days is far higher than 4+. With every extra day the benefit of hopping decreases. At the 1 and 2 day end of things, a hopper directly lets you visit more parks than you can otherwise. At 4+ days that is not an issue. Hopping always adds some flexibility, which is why people will buy 6 or 7 day hoppers. But on very short trips it really adds value, and nobody would pay the same amount to ad hoping for 4+ days as they would for 1 or 2 days. Disney is, of course, just charging what the market will pay.

Maybe they don't want people wasting precious shopping time on the bus ;-)
They have every angle covered.
 

mgarbowski

Well-known member
Brian's post went up while I wrote my most recent, and adds more to consider.

I have a question, if anyone can remember and shed light, on one of the points in the 2003 article he posted. Our first visit was 2004. I bought tickets in advance from a local Disney store. Though the CM went through the motions of activating the cards, when we arrived at the gate they did not work. Fortunately it took very little time at Guest Services to fix, but the result of that was that I never bought tickets in advance again until FP+ came out. Instead I always bought at the resort concierge desk. Advance purchase seemed to offer more downside than up until FP+. But the articles from 2003 says advance purchase at Disney stores offered a [presumably meaningful] discount which caused 50% of guests to buy in advance. I don't specifically remember, but I don't think I would have given up a meaningful advance discount because of one bad experience that was easily fixed. Does anybody remember what kind of discounts they offered back then? It really does not matter, and I'm only mildly curious, but if you know....
 
The one day hopper (needed to ride the train) is $170 at Universal. I guess WDW isn't too far off.

My friend, his wife and 3 daughters were in FL for a wedding and decided to visit Uni for 1 day and without much prior investigation were shocked after spending $1400 that day. Yeah, without hotel.

All 5 bought 2 park hoppers and the 3 girls had the express add-on. They ate some food. $1400, lol :D

It felt expensive but it still was much cheaper than taking the family for 4-7 days which would've cost many thousands (which he laughs at us for spending every year at WDW).
 

cboyer

Active member
Their price on everything just keeps going up and up and up. I track our budget very closely and know how much our trips have gone up year over year, and over the past few years it has gone up at a much higher rate. Last year, 2018, we spent 16% less than we are planning on spending this year. Our trip looks very similar to last year. They are getting close to pricing us out. Or if not out then at least to less often. Its getting harder and harder to justify.
 

crumjack

Member
I had a strange dream involving Dave & Busters last night which made me think of this thread.

My daughter enjoys going there (and playing the claw machine) so we end up at D&B a couple times a year. It's not hard to spend a hundred bucks there in a couple hours. If we were there all day, I'd be insane and likely spend $200-300. Still cheaper than a day of tickets at Disney but not nearly as enjoyable. I'm not saying Disney is a great value. They will never sell on value (at least for the foreseeable future). But there are some entertainment spends that are probably worse values (like D&B) but they are easier to overlook since they are smaller purchases.

I'm not a Disney apologist and do feel like some of the premium they offer has decreased as prices have risen and cuts to streetmosphere, CMs at rides and QS locations have decreased service, etc. But they are still tough to beat for a theme park experience.

We are starting to see the economy soften or heading towards some relative softness. I doubt we see any price decreases but it will be interesting to see if the days of more aggressive discounts return. I wouldn't expect the discounts of 10 years ago but I think we'll see more offers like free dining, resort discounts, packages, etc as 2020 rolls out.
 
I've noticed the same. Similar trips year after year costs substantially more than regular inflation.

Comparing 2015/16 to 2019/20, it's between 33-40% more expensive. What used to cost $4-5k is now $6-7k.
 
I'm not a Disney apologist and do feel like some of the premium they offer has decreased as prices have risen and cuts to streetmosphere, CMs at rides and QS locations have decreased service, etc. But they are still tough to beat for a theme park experience.
That's exactly what my husband always points out... entertainment like baseball games, concerts, shows and the like are much more expensive than WDW when broken down to an hourly rate per person, and the variety at WDW is a class of it's own. WDW offers a value for the money in that comparison. Most families will decide as we have, to go less often and only book when a decent offer can be found.
 

stevenmilz

josh's date at akershus
I've noticed the same. Similar trips year after year costs substantially more than regular inflation.
Comparing 2015/16 to 2019/20, it's between 33-40% more expensive. What used to cost $4-5k is now $6-7k.
And it's not just WDW... the price jumps for Disney Cruise Line have jumped just as much. But people still go (us included)... so much to the point that there aren't even a lot of near-last-minute FL resident rates being offered, at least for the longer cruises.
 
Maybe I was wrong about people pulling back in response to hikes.

Maybe instead people are booking more trips, afraid that if they wait until next year the cost will be raised to One Billion Dollars, haha.
 
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