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Bob Iger: "We Don't Believe We Have A Pricing Issue At Our Domestic Parks"

When have you ever heard someone say Disney World is NOT expensive. Regardless of what year it is, Disney has never been reasonable on pricing. It's always a premium, no matter where you look within the company. Whether it's Disney On Ice, not being able to use coupons on the Disney area in JCP, ridiculously high free shipping thresholds on disneyshopping.com, to how they gouge cable operators for ESPN carriage. They view themselves as a premium brand. The always have and always will. The only area this doesn't apply to is movie ticket prices and that's because the theaters set the prices or, you know otherwise there would be $5 per ticket premium to see any Disney, Pixar or Marvel film.
 

dgm

New Member
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It’s always been expensive. Not saying it hasn’t been. I have been very fortunate and I’m grateful for all the times I’ve been able to go. However, this thread is full of comments from people about how much things have gone up (i.e. $25 parking for hotels now). If I can’t afford to go then do be it. That’s how life is, and I get it. It just aggravates me to no end for someone to say basically that they hope price increases drive people out (in other words, people can no longer afford to go) so that he/she can have a better time with less crowds. I interpret that as “sucks for them but I benefit and that’s what really matters!”
 

SKG

Member
I don't know the answer to this but how have WDW's prices risen compared to concerts? Sporting Events? Movies? Broadway? and other forms of entertainment? Seems like EVERYTHING is expensive today.
 

eliza61nyc

Well-Known Member
It’s always been expensive. Not saying it hasn’t been. I have been very fortunate and I’m grateful for all the times I’ve been able to go. However, this thread is full of comments from people about how much things have gone up (i.e. $25 parking for hotels now). If I can’t afford to go then do be it. That’s how life is, and I get it. It just aggravates me to no end for someone to say basically that they hope price increases drive people out (in other words, people can no longer afford to go) so that he/she can have a better time with less crowds. I interpret that as “sucks for them but I benefit and that’s what really matters!”

It really is a double edge sword. for a while now I've heard that Disney is trying to find a price point where they can thin out the crowds and That is the one thing folks can agree on, it's very very crowded.
I don't think anyone "hopes" for price increases as much as people want lower crowds and it seems the most expedient way to do that. EXCEPT it hasn't really worked.
Now I've never measured my family's vacation happiness by wdw. we love it but there have been many times where we could not afford to go (10K for a roof!!! are you serious. lol) and our summers were just as happy and I've never lost sight of the reality that the corporation is a business not a charity. their job is to increase profits, plain and simple.
I fully expect that at some point probably very soon, I'll get to the point where the value is not there and I'm fine with that. There really is a great big world out there and my family loves to explore it.
lastly never say never. I do think the recession will put the brakes on runaway price increases and when that comes you'll probably see discounts and packages.
 

SKG

Member
It really is a double edge sword. for a while now I've heard that Disney is trying to find a price point where they can thin out the crowds and That is the one thing folks can agree on, it's very very crowded.
I don't think anyone "hopes" for price increases as much as people want lower crowds and it seems the most expedient way to do that. EXCEPT it hasn't really worked.
Now I've never measured my family's vacation happiness by wdw. we love it but there have been many times where we could not afford to go (10K for a roof!!! are you serious. lol) and our summers were just as happy and I've never lost sight of the reality that the corporation is a business not a charity. their job is to increase profits, plain and simple.
I fully expect that at some point probably very soon, I'll get to the point where the value is not there and I'm fine with that. There really is a great big world out there and my family loves to explore it.
lastly never say never. I do think the recession will put the brakes on runaway price increases and when that comes you'll probably see discounts and packages.
Why would Disney ever want to thin crowds? They want it more crowded.
 

eliza61nyc

Well-Known Member
I don't know the answer to this but how have WDW's prices risen compared to concerts? Sporting Events? Movies? Broadway? and other forms of entertainment? Seems like EVERYTHING is expensive today.
Every thing is, some of the more serious posters have the answer but I think ticket prices alone have skyrocketed 20-30%
the problem is, there really is no way to compare Disney to most other entertainment venues. Broadway is my passion and it's insanely expensive but others argue that's more of a one and done type of thing.
 

eliza61nyc

Well-Known Member
Why would Disney ever want to thin crowds? They want it more crowded.
Ok let's say they want it crowded enough to make a crap load of profit but not so much that it begins to get a bad reputation. balancing act. I find people will be resilient to high prices IF they are having a great time. wall to wall people starts to make that impossible. or maybe more accurately would be they want more crowds during certain periods.

It's getting the reputation of expensive AND not worth the money. that's deadly.

edited: these are just my thoughts, I am in no way an insider
 

SKG

Member
Every thing is, some of the more serious posters have the answer but I think ticket prices alone have skyrocketed 20-30%
the problem is, there really is no way to compare Disney to most other entertainment venues. Broadway is my passion and it's insanely expensive but others argue that's more of a one and done type of thing.
I think WDW is way overpriced but the truth tells me otherwise. I think NFL games are way over-priced but attendence tells me otherwise. I wouldn't even let my wife tell me what she paid for Hamilton tickets. I just think Disney's prices aren't as over-bloated as we all might think.
 

RobWDW1971

Well-Known Member
I think WDW is way overpriced but the truth tells me otherwise. I think NFL games are way over-priced but attendence tells me otherwise. I wouldn't even let my wife tell me what she paid for Hamilton tickets. I just think Disney's prices aren't as over-bloated as we all might think.
Supply and demand will always set the pricing - your Hamilton and NFL comparisons are spot on. I paid to see Hamilton and the pricing was outrageous, but I didn't say that coming out of the theater. I've paid for incredible NFL games that felt like the deal of a lifetime and others where I wanted to leave by halftime and felt ripped off.

In other words, it's about the quality they deliver, not the exact price. I spend less energy on asking them to reduce prices and more about increasing the quality. If they continued to try to "wow" and surprise the guests in every aspect of their hotel stay and park visits, the price would be less controversial. The kick in the pants now is the prices are going up and the perceived quality/service is going down. THAT is a problem.
 

xdan0920

Think for yourselfer
Premium Member
I think WDW is way overpriced but the truth tells me otherwise. I think NFL games are way over-priced but attendence tells me otherwise. I wouldn't even let my wife tell me what she paid for Hamilton tickets. I just think Disney's prices aren't as over-bloated as we all might think.
This argument is so tired.
 

RobWDW1971

Well-Known Member
Disney World isn’t a Broadway show, it’s not an NFL game. It’s pointless to compare the two.
It's a broader conversation about consumers' relative value and perception so of course it is relative. Nobody is saying an NFL game costs $X so you divide X by Y and then times Z to get to WDW should equal $M. It's a more philosophical conversation about relative value, market demand, and equilibrium pricing.

In my opinion, trying to compare WDW to local amusement parks or county fairs is pointless as those aren't in the same targeted market or selection set. If you want to be hyper-literal and compare specific line by line pricing, then the only comparison (and a much more boring conversation) is just comparing WDW to Universal Orlando. Those are two relatively comparable theme park focused resorts with adjacent hotels in the Orlando market.
 

xdan0920

Think for yourselfer
Premium Member
It's a broader conversation about consumers' relative value and perception so of course it is relative. Nobody is saying an NFL game costs $X so you divide X by Y and then times Z to get to WDW should equal $M. It's a more philosophical conversation about relative value, market demand, and equilibrium pricing.

In my opinion, trying to compare WDW to local amusement parks or county fairs is pointless as those aren't in the same targeted market or selection set.
You’re right of course about the second part. Disney shouldn’t be compared to Sesame Place for example.

But it shouldn’t be compared to a broadway show either. If we are going to compare the costs of seeing a broadway show to the costs of a vacation in Disney World, then where do those comparisons stop? Anything you spend money on can be used to somehow prove Disney isn't that expensive? I don’t agree with that line of thought.
 

RobWDW1971

Well-Known Member
Anything you spend money on can be used to somehow prove Disney isn't that expensive? I don’t agree with that line of thought.
But that's how consumers spend their discretionary leisure dollars. I have a choice to fly my family on vacation to NYC, get a hotel in Times Square, take them to see 2-3 Broadway shows, eat out every day, etc. OR I can take them to WDW, get a hotel on site, buy theme park tickets, eat in the parks and Disney Springs, etc. All of those costs are comparable and contribute to a feeling of relative value.

Having done both of those many times, I personally don't find WDW more expensive than other vacation destinations that provide that level of entertainment (and depending on how I do at the blackjack table in Vegas over a few days, could be a bargain).

I just want to see them go back to pushing themselves to drive higher quality. As a consumers we make the choice accordingly, last two times I went I stayed offsite and it wasn't cheaper, it was just better service.
 

flynnibus

Well-Known Member
What did Chic Fil La do when it's lines got too big?

It added more staff and designed multi-lane drive throughs to handle the load.

It didn't keep raising prices and tell people it was to 'improve customer experience'

What did Disney do when it created MK and EPCOT after Disneyland? It improved capacity and designs to handle far greater capacities.

Disney isn't do this for customer experience.. they are doing it because the demand is there that people will still pay the price.

They could control crowds by controlling access and availability.. but they don't. They are trying to shape demand for efficiency - not guest experience.
 

Pooh.sHoneyHuntTDL

Well-Known Member
What did Chic Fil La do when it's lines got too big?

It added more staff and designed multi-lane drive throughs to handle the load.

It didn't keep raising prices and tell people it was to 'improve customer experience'

What did Disney do when it created MK and EPCOT after Disneyland? It improved capacity and designs to handle far greater capacities.

Disney isn't do this for customer experience.. they are doing it because the demand is there that people will still pay the price.

They could control crowds by controlling access and availability.. but they don't. They are trying to shape demand for efficiency - not guest experience.
The Disney Corp now = Chick Fil La raising prices and shutting down one of their drive through lanes and reducing staff.
 

jprieur

Active Member
I do think prices have reached levels that are pushing the boundaries of sanity, but as some others have alluded, I have yet to find a comparable vacation that provides similar levels of entertainment and escape for me. However (with a capital 'H'), my fault lies not with the price increases, but with the service and product declines that continue to accompany/precede these price increases.

I find fault and place blame on Disney when:
- Most major airports have monorails/people mover trains that are cleaner and in better shape than the monorails
- The only venue open past 9 pm on my trips is the commercialized mall that has become Disney Springs, yet those early closure have shown no improvement and often a decline in cleanliness and 3rd shift maintenance.
- I spend a week in disney and between the money grab parties and a private event in the middle of these parties, I can only spend 1 evening in MK without shelling out MORE money
- Hotel renovations have rendered once themed rooms into generic roadside motels devoid of any color and theming.

I like luxury cars, always have and likely always will, and it's my indulgence in life. Each redesign they push the limits of technology and efficiency, delivering a product that in nearly every way improved upon the last version - so when the price increases every so slightly, I am ok with the parting of my dollars as I feel I am getting (in return) a better product. Now, not the best analogy as capital investments and life cycles are very different for a durable good product like a car vs a theme park; but an analogy of how my dollars get spend nonetheless. My wife and I are *****, have plenty of disposable income and have been going less and less over the past few years. Each time it gets harder and harder to push that complete reservation button. Time will tell if their short term thinking will have lasting effects on their customer base and bottom line. . . .
 
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