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Ticket Price Increase?

Brian Noble

Well-Known Member
The whole problem of the past few months has been guest spending. How the heck will higher ticket prices remedy that?
I was going to say what Len said, but he said it better than I would have. In short: it's precisely the right thing to do given the facts on the ground.

As for why not discount food/merchandise: they have been discounting merchandise, pretty heavily, since at least February. Food hasn't been, but that's probably more because of the captive audience effect than anything---if you are in one of Disney's theme parks, non-Disney food is a good 30 minutes away, minimum. (Then again, Disneyland's food prices seem generally worse, and there you can just stroll outside the gates for Mickey D's.)

Admission hasn't been significantly discounted for many years now---even the buy 4 get 7 deal was only realistically $10 off per $200+ ticket, because of the MYW structure. The theme parks are the reason people come to central FL. Without them, Orlando is basically still a farming community built on swampland (i.e.: a bad farming community). You don't discount the raison d'etre. You discount the ancillary stuff instead, and you ride admission as far as you possibly can.
 

Brian Noble

Well-Known Member
The other interesting question is whether there is a price at which Disney alienates its strong fan base. If Disney's looking at the short term, then they don't really care whether the 70 million people visiting WDW parks are made up of 20 million annual visitors and 50 million once-every-decade visitors, or 50 million annual and 20 million once-a-decade people.
I think this depends on people's "Disney lifecycle." I suspect many "frequent" visitors are only frequent until their kids start to get old enough to think Disney is for little kids. I'm not sure what fraction of attendance has ever been folks who aren't going for the kids.

Yes, folks here aren't going for the kids. But, I strongly suspect we are in no way representative of the overall crowd.

It would be interesting to know the numbers. Unforunately, this is probably one of those cases where those who know won't tell, and those who tell don't know.
 

figgyfan

New Member
I have been going to Disney for 30 years now...and I can remember back in the day getting a 3 month pass for Florida residents for 45 bucks a person.*sigh* It allowed us to enjoy the parks as much as we wanted during the off peak months of September, January and May.
I guess those days are LONG gone! :brick:
 

lightboy

Member
It's nice to try to find a sunny side to everything, but I believe that Disney has been raising ticket prices every year and the price change has no correlation to any new or updated attractions.

Correction...

Ticket price increases have given us many new shopping and merchandise opportunities!!!!!!!!!!!

:)

Oops, I mean...

:brick:
 

worldfanatic

Well-Known Member
Leave it to Disney to raise ticket prices during a recession.

It doesn't matter if prices are raised during a recession, or during a major economic expansion, people will complain anyway. (they do every year)

Disney's a business, not a charity.

If you're not in a position to afford a WDW trip, or don't feel it's a good value, don't go.
 

jakeman

Well-Known Member
How do you figure? Don't compare it to a REAL Destination like NYC or The Grand Canyon....Compare it to other Theme Parks.:shrug:
Why? A vacation is a vacation. If we start trying to sort the apples and oranges, then we have to worry about the different types of apples. :animwink:
 

Brian Noble

Well-Known Member
Compare it to other Theme Parks.

Well, but that's not necessarily an apples-to-apples comparison, because few other theme parks provide what a week at WDW provides. I think it makes more sense to compare it to the "entertainment cost" at other places for a week.

For example, we were just in the Smoky Mountains in June. We got season passes at the pre-season price to Dollywood and the affiliated water park, including parking, so that we could come and go as we please. We also visited MagiQuest a couple times (great fun!), and played a bit of minigolf. That pretty much kept us busy for the five days we were there. The total "entertainment bill" came to about $120 per day for the four of us.

When we go to Disney, we normally have about seven days in Florida. A 7-day hopper from UCT at MouseSavers prices (similar "advance purchase" deal to the Dollywood promotion) is about $155/day for the four of us. Base tickets would be $125/day, and can easily keep us occupied for the full seven days. So, not all that incomparable.

True, if I were only staying at Disney for five days, instead of seven, then it would be a lot more expensive per day. But still, it's in the ballpark for a "family vacation."
 

Oddysey

Well-Known Member
Interesting question. The answer is no. Based on past experience, Disney knows that people will still go to WDW regardless of ticket price (within certain ranges). And they know that because they've kept their prices high in a recession and attendance has not yet dropped. (Demand for WDW tickets, then, might be relatively inelastic.)

What Disney don't know is whether people will be more likely to buy food and merchandise at lower prices. It could be that in the current economy, people won't buy dinners and plush even if Disney discounted them 20%. (Or that they won't buy enough more of them to make up for the price cuts.)

Faced with one thing being more certain than the other, the less risky move is to go with the ticket price increase.

Again, YMMV.

This makes perfect sense, but I feel the elasticity of the ticket prices will be tested with a raise in prices. If people are already budgeting what they spend in the parks and downgrading to value resorts, than the ticket prices may become relativley elastic because people will simply be priced out of the market.

In 2005 the demand for housing was inelastic at virtually any price, but the market has since deflated as prices and irrational excuberence got completely out of control. Even though people need housing it has still deflated. People do not need tickets to Disney and if deflation continues to be the trend in many markets, and unemployment continues to rise, than Disney may have to revert to lowering their prices. You are correct in saying that raising prices may be less risky. However, I fear the market may end up proving otherwise.
 

EPCOT Explorer

New Member
Why? A vacation is a vacation. If we start trying to sort the apples and oranges, then we have to worry about the different types of apples. :animwink:

A couple from NYC that head to...let's say San Fransisco and California to go to a Resort and Spa are far different from a family from GA that piles into the minivan to go to WDW for a day and Uni for a day while staying offsite.

It's all Demographics, even Geographic.:shrug:
 
Probably not for a very long time. Disney is still a reasonably affordable vacation spot compared to other areas of the country.

Sorry man, but affordable by who's recollection? I can still swing it, but if I had a family along as well it would really hard to do.

Of course these days there are a number of incentives that help out a great deal, but what happens when those incentives run out? :shrug:
 

Monsterfan99

Active Member
How do you figure? Don't compare it to a REAL Destination like NYC or The Grand Canyon....Compare it to other Theme Parks.:shrug:
One thing to remember is by raising ticket prices, instead of lowering them, it gives an feeling of something special. A lot of theme parks, mainly Six Flags, are having a problem with this.

Over the years, Six Flags has tried to get people to come. A season pass comes with around 6-10 free or half price tickets, buy a pass from the next year in the fall get the rest of the year free and giving away tickets for various contest. They have also made it as cheap as $30.00 to get in for one day and as little as $45.00 for a season pass to all their parks (the $45.00 is the price at Kentucky Kingdom.) People no refuse to pay anything over $40 for a ticket at all their parks. People just don't value the ticket "rack" rate.

What that has done is it has lead to extremely high prices once inside and on parking. At Six Flags Great America, the back parking is $15.00, which is about a 5-10 minute walk from the gate. The front lot, which the people in the back lot walk through to get to the gate, is $25.00. That is right, half the lot cost $25.00 a day to park. A bottle of soda runs $3.50 out of a machine, you have to pay to use a locker for your stuff on every ride ($1.00 each ride or a day locker is only $17 for a "large" one) and a corn dog and cold fries runs around $11.00.

For a family of 4 (2 adults and 2 children) a day at SF Great America runs like this

Parking - $15
Tickets - $35 plus tax each (from the everyone pays kids prices promtion.)
2 meals in the park plus drink - $80 plus tax on the low end

That right there is $240 and does not include any shirts, toys, games, tube rental at the water park or up charge rides. Add to that if they want a rent a Flash Pass (think fast pass in electronic form.) The basic will run then around $100 and the Gold will run around $150. This is advised due to the hour plus lines on most rides on a day like this. This is for the same FREE service at the Disney parks.

And the parks "official" hotel is Key Lime Cove indoor water park hotel. Starting rates there run over $125 a night.

Be thankful Disney only raises ticket prices instead of everything else. I travel around the various theme parks around the country and Disney is still a great value. Even with the price of tickets and annual passes, the parks are an amazing value. Where else can you get world class service, great themed rides and be encouraged to believe in fantasy all over again.
 

EPCOT Explorer

New Member
One thing to remember is by raising ticket prices, instead of lowering them, it gives an feeling of something special. A lot of theme parks, mainly Six Flags, are having a problem with this.
That is completely elitist and materialistic.
:dazzle::rolleyes: (not bashing you, just bashing the thought)

I don't feel "special" because I pay more money to go to the theme park I love...In fact, it makes me feel kinda stupid to be doing so!:hammer::lol:
 

Monsterfan99

Active Member
That is completely elitist and materialistic.
:dazzle::rolleyes: (not bashing you, just bashing the thought)

I don't feel "special" because I pay more money to go to the theme park I love...In fact, it makes me feel kinda stupid to be doing so!:hammer::lol:
I agree 100% but it makes seance. No one comes back from a trip to a local theme park and show people pictures.

Disney, with their prices, gives people the elitist attitude of "we went to Disney this summer, try to top that" idea when it comes to theme parks.
 

SirGoofy

Member
It doesn't matter if prices are raised during a recession, or during a major economic expansion, people will complain anyway. (they do every year)

Disney's a business, not a charity.

If you're not in a position to afford a WDW trip, or don't feel it's a good value, don't go.

:rolleyes:

I get in for free. I work for the company. The ticket prices mean nothing to me. That doesn't mean I don't hear what everyone else says. People complain about this. It looks incredibly greedy/irresponsible to raise ticket prices at times like this.
 

CaptainJackNO

Well-Known Member
Great...and I'm surprised by???:shrug:

Wonder when Disney is going to price themselves out of a lot of people's range?
I am pretty sure Disney hasn't felt the recession in attendance because many many people are still charging their vacations on credit cards due to the number of discounted trips. As this recession deepens (and it will) and those minimum CC payments begin to effect the family budget, I think you will begin to see a tapering off in attendance. 2010 may be the year you begin to notice it. Lots of plastic flies around that resort.
 

EPCOT Explorer

New Member
I agree 100% but it makes seance. No one comes back from a trip to a local theme park and show people pictures.

Disney, with their prices, gives people the elitist attitude of "we went to Disney this summer, try to top that" idea when it comes to theme parks.

Might be my odd little moral opinion, but I think it's flat out wrong that Disney caters to that, and people think like that. Just me.


Makes a whole lot of sense...not that I think about it. D23....
 

Brian Noble

Well-Known Member
I feel the elasticity of the ticket prices will be tested with a raise in prices.
Every time a price goes up, people say this, whether it's bottled water, room rates, or ticket prices. When economic conditions warrant, they offer incentives to sell. Otherwise, guests have generally not balked at the increases.

This is not Disney's first trip to the rodeo. They have a pretty good idea what their guests will tolerate and what they won't.

Oh, and people do show pictures of their amusement park trips---I see 'em on my facebook circle all the time. Some are mine.
 

jakeman

Well-Known Member
A couple from NYC that head to...let's say San Fransisco and California to go to a Resort and Spa are far different from a family from GA that piles into the minivan to go to WDW for a day and Uni for a day while staying offsite.

It's all Demographics, even Geographic.:shrug:
Perhaps, but who's to say that some couples don't go to Disney or that some families don't go to an all inclusive resort in San Fransisco (not even sure if there is one there)?

As much as we casualize (not a word!) a trip to Disney here, to most families this is not a normal vacation, yet a vacation on the same scale as a cruise or Hawaii. At least that has been my experience in talking to people.

Sorry man, but affordable by who's recollection? I can still swing it, but if I had a family along as well it would really hard to do.

Of course these days there are a number of incentives that help out a great deal, but what happens when those incentives run out? :shrug:
I don't know. I don't think there will ever be a time when there is not some sort of deal. Even before the wife and I were DVC/Annual Passholders, we never paid rack rate.

I agree 100% but it makes seance. No one comes back from a trip to a local theme park and show people pictures.

Disney, with their prices, gives people the elitist attitude of "we went to Disney this summer, try to top that" idea when it comes to theme parks.
I understand your point, but I don't think elitist is the right word. Like I said above, a Disney vacation is an event. For some families it is years of savings and months of planning. It's like showing folks a new car or a new home. Your not proclaiming your elitness, but showing off an accomplishment.
 

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