It’s that time of year again (though once again, a little earlier year-to-year than previous ticket price increase announcements). Disney announced price increases today, which are effective as of tomorrow. The biggest change comes with the introduction of variable ticket pricing for one-day tickets. A one-day admission to the Magic Kingdom carries a $5 premium over one-day admission to any other Walt Disney World theme park. The variable pricing does not apply to any ticket longer than one day. Here’s a chart tracking the rate of price increases for the last three years – more analysis after the jump:
So what can we learn from plotting the price increase trends? What we can see is a pattern that has been emerging over the last few years. First, we saw sharp increases in the price of longer tickets for both 2012 and 2013. Second, the rate of child ticket price increases outstripped the rate of adult ticket price increases last year, bringing child ticket prices closer to parity with adult pricing (and just as the Art of Animation Family Suites were being completed and New Fantasyland was set to open). Once the bar was raised overall, this most recent round of price increases appears designed to once again encourage the purchase of longer tickets. The largest rate of increase is in the 4 and 5-day long tickets. The rate of increase comes back down for longer tickets. The smallest rate of increase this year is on 2-day tickets (a/k/a the Weekend Getaway); but after that, the smallest multi-day ticket increase comes on a 10-day ticket. Of course, Disney continues moving to discourage the No Expiration option – adding the No Expiration option to a 10-day child ticket is now more expensive than the ticket itself.
Overall, these increases are the steepest that we’ve seen quite some time, and likely reflect an attempt to recoup the costs associated with building New Fantasyland. This motivation is made most clear by the paradigm shift that Walt Disney World has introduced in the way that 1-day tickets are being priced. For the first time, a one-day admission to the Magic Kingdom will carry a $5 price premium over a one-day admission to any other WDW them park. The variable pricing applies only to 1-day tickets (which is a good thing, because variable pricing for all tickets would be a nightmare to plan for and track).
What do you think of this latest round of price increases? Will these changes have any effect on your 2013-2014 WDW vacation plans?