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Should Guests Expect Another Disney World Price Hike?

a young girl in a white shirt and yellow skirt with minnie ears on runs bast bubbles before cinderella castle

As the Walt Disney Company enters its 100th year, should Guests expect a higher price for their Walt Disney World vacation due to the increased popularity of the Disney Parks?

For every Disney fan, the opportunity to visit the Walt Disney World Resort is an unparalleled experience, one which offers the chance to step inside the Wonderful World of Disney and actually be part of the magic they see on screen. However, despite Disney’s commitment to Guest service and the Guest experience, raising prices for everything from admission to dining has made this experience just a little less accessible to all.

Disney Skyliner

Credit: Disney

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According to Motley Fool, new motivations such as the Disney100 Anniversary, with exclusive theme park options at the Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort, and the return of fan-favorite CEO Bob Iger are driving high Guest demand. In fact, even as Iger enacts Guest-friendly financial policies, the analyst predicts that prices will continue to rise, with per-capita spending at Disney theme parks already increasing by 40% since 2019.

Moreover, in order to keep operating costs low, Disney continues to limit Park capacity by retaining the Park reservation system that its competitors have all but abandoned since the early days of Covid-19. Even so, this limited access serves to further increase demand as it gets harder even to secure the ability to visit a Disney Park, even if you can afford it.

MagicBand Scanner

Credit: Disney

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For example, Disney recently raised the price of its Genie+ Lightning Lane from $15 to $29 during the President’s Day Weekend. Despite the nearly doubled cost, the premium platform sold out for the first time in history, not once, but twice. Furthermore, because consumer demand exponentially increases as Walt Disney World expands its offerings within a rising economy, typical Guest spending will remain constant.

As a result, this heavy desire forces Disney World to continue to limit the sale of the more economical Annual Pass for long-term visitors. Plus, it drives up the Disney World ticket prices for single or multi-day tickets through Disney Parks tier system, even without accounting for Park Hopper ticket price or park specific pricing. In addition, despite reporting record highs for Disney Parks profits in its last quarterly earnings call, Walt Disney World Cast Members have claimed they are in a state of “economic crisis” because they do not currently make a living wage.

guest wearing ears looking at fireworks

Credit: Disney

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Consequently, if Disney intends to agree to Cast Member union demands for an $18 per hour wage, Motley Fool foresees it addressing that new expense through a price increase rather than reevaluating its existing budgets. Unfortunately, all of these signs point to higher theme park costs moving forward rather than a return to the pricing of the past for Walt Disney World Guests.

 

About Spencer Johnette

Spencer is a lifelong lover of theme parks, princesses, and Disney history that recently relocated to Northern California. She completed her undergraduate studies at UCLA, where she was the founder and first president of the campus Disney Club. A former Cast Member still mourning the loss of the Disney Store, she now haunts the Walt Disney Family Museum halls and shares her opinions with anyone who will listen @gothelsflower.