In a seemingly desperate attempt to keep Guests happy and boost revenue, Disney World has announced a new ticket option at the Central Florida parks that will cost Guests a lot less. But there’s, of course, a bit of a catch.
Disney’s had a rough go of it over the last few years. In February 2020, just weeks before Disney’s U. S. parks announced their closures in response to the coronavirus pandemic, then-CEO Bob Iger abruptly stepped down, ushering in a new era at The Walt Disney Company with Bob Chapek at the helm. Shortly thereafter, it became apparent that the Chapek era would differ greatly from the Iger era at Disney–and not in a positive way.
Parks revenue took a massive hit as Disney World was closed for almost four months in 2020, and Disneyland was closed for more than 13 months and didn’t reopen until April 2021. In fact, all of Disney’s Parks around the globe were forced to cease operations for varying lengths of time in response to the rapidly spreading global pandemic.
When news of Disney World reopening in Summer 2020 was announced, fans were thrilled, only to be blindsided by a brand-new way of accessing and enjoying the parks that included the now extremely controversial Park Pass Reservation System, limited capacities, and a restriction on the number of days Guests could be in the parks–even those who held Platinum Annual Passes which had long offered the promise of “no blockout dates.”
Yeah, that last one afforded Disney a few legal woes.
Following a seemingly neverending cycle that included falling revenue, fan outcry, a mass exodus to Universal, ever-decreasing Disney World Guests satisfaction, and other issues to copious to name individually, Disney’s board had its fill and awarded Bob Chapek an all-expenses-paid exodus of his own–giving him the boot from his post as CEO and board member, choosing to reinstall the dashing and debonair (but aging) Bob Iger to his familiar role as CEO in November 2022.
Sometimes enough is enough. And sometimes enough is too much. Neither has been the case with the recent woes at The Walt Disney Company. Guest satisfaction in the parks remains low, and according to Bob Iger during Disney’s most recent quarterly earnings call, so does revenue. Iger announced the planned layoffs of 7,000 Disney workers and a massive restructuring in an effort to shave more than $5 billion in costs.
But while Disney is always on the lookout for cost-sparing, revenue-boosting opportunities, Iger, for one, seems to understand the value and the necessity of content consumers, and nowhere is this more important than at Disney’s theme park resorts.
As such, Disney World is reportedly offering a brand-new ticket option for Guests of the Central Florida parks. It’s called the DDS ticket, which stands for Dining, Drinking, and Shopping. The new ticket reportedly has several perks–but it’s not all Mickey bars and Dole Whips, so let’s dive into the pros and cons.
DDS Ticket Perks
The new DDS ticket at Disney World is for Guests who love it all–all the drinking, dining, and shopping available to Guests at the Resort. No misnomer here: the DDS ticket allows Guests access to the parks at Walt Disney World so they can enjoy all the food and drink options available, and once they’ve have their fill, they can walk it off by hitting the various merchandise shops, boutiques, and carts or kiosks open to Guests across the four parks and inside the Disney World Resort Hotels.
In addition to that, the DDS ticket allows Guests to park hop at will–no restrictions exist on the ticket when it comes to park hopping. Also, the DDS ticket is far less than a regular admission ticket into the parks, with prices beginning at $50 per Guest, per day, and going up to $100 per Guest, per day.
DDS Ticket Downfalls
As wonderful as the new DDS ticket sounds, there are some definite drawbacks, the first of which is this: there’s no “R” in the ticket name, meaning there is also zero access to Disney World rides for DDS ticketholders. The ticket grants access to Guests for the exclusive purpose of enjoying drinking, dining, and shopping only. And you better believe there’s a system in place whereby Cast Members can check the validity of Guests’ tickets if they’re boarding an attraction.
The second–and arguably the most definite–drawback to the DDS ticket is that it isn’t an actual installment at any Disney Park–not now, anyway. It’s simply a grand idea from a few fans who’ve probably grown weary of the continually rising prices of tickets (and everything else) at Disney World–and of the continually declining value of that which Guests are paying for in the parks.
Oh, but wouldn’t such a ticket be amazing–especially for Disney World fans who don’t care anything about the Tower of Terror attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios or Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind at EPCOT? What about those fans who never even think about Cinderella Castle or TRON Lightcycle Run at Magic Kingdom (RIP Splash Mountain)–and for those Disney World Guests who have never given one thought to Avatar: Flight of Passage or Expedition Everest at Disney’s Animal Kingdom?
While it’s not yet an offering at Disney World, the DDS ticket has incredible merit and could be the key to boosting Guest morale in the parks.
Disclaimer: This is a satirical article. As noted above, the “DDS Ticket” isn’t an actual installment but is instead a fun Disney fan idea.