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Has Date-Based Pricing Helped Flatten Crowd Levels?

disneyflush

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Disney introduced date-based ticket prices in 2016. Single-day tickets with the highest demand are now up 88.5% versus ticket prices a decade ago. That said, has it accomplished the stated goal of dispersing crowds throughout the year? Has the increased cost acted as a deterrent for your trips during peak seasons?
 

NelsonRD

Well-Known Member
Not for us, there are other more important factors such as schooling, working schedules, and finances, that contribute to our decision. When those line up, the price of Disney isn't a factor on what days we plan on attending.
 

UKDisney Dave

Well-Known Member
I’ve been in the parks the last 10 days and it’s felt very quiet. Timing and targeted use of genie plus have meant no waiting for any ride I’ve wanted.
 

Sirwalterraleigh

Premium Member
Seems like there is never a time that's not busy now. So, yes?
That’s is about 99% due to shifting travel habits and the overuse of festivals and events…not really a price thing. If people are budgeting to where $10 a day on a ticket matters…they’re prolly not going anyway.
I’ve been in the parks the last 10 days and it’s felt very quiet. Timing and targeted use of genie plus have meant no waiting for any ride I’ve wanted.
Have a good time. This is still the “slowest” of months.
 

JIMINYCR

Well-Known Member
It hasn’t kept us from planning trips back. It has made us have to budget and save more and scale back extras that we might do. We are considering more off property days, trips to Uni or the Orlando area things.
We’ve always tried to go during slower seasons and that has gotten much harder to find. I don’t see price increases having enough of an affect to make the parks more manageable. People who really want to go will go despite raising costs and find a way to make it work.
 

crazy4disney

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
No
Seems like this month has been on the slower side from what people are reporting…. I was there 8/26th for 11 days it was slowwwww and from when i was following the week prior was also. Looks like thats a solid 6 weeks of “slower” crowds. Can the mouse finally be cracking? 😉
 

MickeyLuv'r

Well-Known Member
I think somewhat. But park tickets are just part of the equation. A perhaps even bigger factor is the date-based hotel prices. While not everyone stays onsite, the hotel pricing fluctuations have gotten pretty extreme. And less visible than park and hotel prices are variable ILL and food prices.

Of course WDW can also balance things out with discounts -if not enough people are booking visits, so the shift is probably small.
 

drizgirl

Well-Known Member
Seems like this month has been on the slower side from what people are reporting…. I was there 8/26th for 11 days it was slowwwww and from when i was following the week prior was also. Looks like thats a solid 6 weeks of “slower” crowds. Can the mouse finally be cracking? 😉
This has always been a tough month for Disney. It's why free dining was rolled out all those years ago. Parents will take kids out of school for Disney, but most won't take them out right at the start of a new year. Plus, there's that hurricane thing.
 

crazy4disney

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
No
This has always been a tough month for Disney. It's why free dining was rolled out all those years ago. Parents will take kids out of school for Disney, but most won't take them out right at the start of a new year. Plus, there's that hurricane thing.
Yes in the past i totally agree but seems like recently there was no down time… as far as free dining goes they would offer it during the Thanksgiving time which to me still made zero sense
 

Raidermatt

Active Member
No. This is more about increasing margins during peak times than it is about dispersing crowds. Disney pays lip service to being concerned about crowd levels, but the reality is they do not care as long as revenues are growing faster than costs. If they really cared about dispersing crowds they would not be gradually cutting hours of operation, reducing extra magic hour benefits, etc. They would also be building more minor attractions which help disperse crowds.

There are still slow periods, its just not as easy to define as in the past due to "year round" schools and overall changing travel habits.
 

NelsonRD

Well-Known Member
The other thing to consider is the "slow" time has reduced staffing. I have gone during busier seasons (July), and waited less time than in September.
 

jloucks

Well-Known Member
This has always been a tough month for Disney. It's why free dining was rolled out all those years ago. Parents will take kids out of school for Disney, but most won't take them out right at the start of a new year. Plus, there's that hurricane thing.
That's very true, and almost what we did for our 2012 and 2013 trips. We pulled the kids out of school and used the Disney dining plan. Ate like kings and had a great, mostly cost effective, trip with very low crowds.

I say "almost" because pulling them out the first month of school is brutal so we chickened out. We did October and April so they had a month bumper on either side. It was still difficult for them, but their teachers were so understanding and accommodating. They deserve a bunch of the credit.
 

drizgirl

Well-Known Member
That's very true, and almost what we did for our 2012 and 2013 trips. We pulled the kids out of school and used the Disney dining plan. Ate like kings and had a great, mostly cost effective, trip with very low crowds.

I say "almost" because pulling them out the first month of school is brutal so we chickened out. We did October and April so they had a month bumper on either side. It was still difficult for them, but their teachers were so understanding and accommodating. They deserve a bunch of the credit.
Which is why October is so busy but September is still such a challenge for Disney.
 

Wilbret

Active Member
It doesn't impact our "planned" trips, which are based on school and work schedules for the group.

We are in Orlando about 1x per month, and this plus reservations has COMPLETELY killed any drop-in trips we might have made. We have 3 kids and quite often it's me with 1 kid or 2 kids visiting family and using our passes to other parks, and in years past we might just pop in for a day. When one day at a park costs more than a season pass to Sea World, I have to pass.
 

Weather_Lady

Well-Known Member
We're out of state and planning around our kids' school and sports schedules, so ticket prices are never a factor in our choice of dates. The addition of ILL/Genie+, an ancillary ticket consideration, HAS had an effect on our choices of dates, however. We refuse to pay more on top of the ticket prices for those things on principle, so that means we'll only consider visiting during, say, mid-late August, the only time of year when the kids are out of school and crowds are lower than average, and ILL/Genie+ aren't necessary to avoid long lines. Unless or until Genie+/ILL are changed or removed, school break visits (e.g., February break, Easter break) will no longer even be on the table. As a bonus, because August is hurricane season and the weather is not especially pleasant, hotels tend to be cheaper at that time, as well. We don't mind a bit of heat or rain -- or at least, we find the dip in crowd levels to be good compensation -- so it works for us.

The ticket price increases have also led us to shorten our ticket duration by a day, in order to stay within budget, but again, visiting during a lower-crowd time of year helps with that as well, as we can simply get more done in a shorter amount of time.

(*Full disclosure: We are in the midst of planning a trip for the third week in August 2023, to use up the nearly $4K in discounted Disney GC and rewards dollars we were refunded, when we downgraded our August 2021 WDW trip, and to make use of the 2-day complimentary parkhoppers we were issued to compensate for a bungled Boo Bash.)
 

cm1988

Active Member
Disney introduced date-based ticket prices in 2016. Single-day tickets with the highest demand are now up 88.5% versus ticket prices a decade ago. That said, has it accomplished the stated goal of dispersing crowds throughout the year? Has the increased cost acted as a deterrent for your trips during peak seasons?
Maybe… and it has definitely thickened some wallets.
 

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