Orlando, FL — We are debuting a new series called “Opinion Hub” where we will discuss anything from things we would do differently if we ran the theme parks to controversial topics from the Orlando area.
This week, we’ll discuss Disney and Universal raising their 1-day ticket prices above the $100 mark. Once the news hit, the internet exploded with comments from people who are unhappy with the price increase.
We found comments ranging from “I can no longer afford a Disney vacation” to “Walt must be turning over in his grave.” Is it possible that this annual increase in ticket prices has excluded a group of potential Orlando vacationers?
Who actually pays $105?
How many people commenting actually fall into the scenario that would pay $105 to experience Disney? People who pay $105 are visiting Disney for only one day (in this case Magic Kingdom® Park) and aren’t staying at an onsite Disney resort.
Per-day ticket prices dramatically decrease as you increase the number of days you spend at Disney theme parks. For example, if you are purchasing a 4-day theme park ticket, you can expect to pay around $305 or $76.25 per day.
Plus, it only costs an additional $10 per day for 5-day to 10-day tickets. So a 10-day ticket would cost around $365 or $36.50 per day. Universal offers similar discounts including the 14-day Orlando FlexTicket for only $335.95 or just $24 per day.
Save on Vacation Packages
When booking your Disney or Universal vacation, consider purchasing a package that includes your resort stay as well as your theme park tickets. Packages can include additional savings over purchasing everything separately.
For example, we selected one night at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort and the website then suggested ticket options including the 4-day ticket for only $295.31 (saving almost $10 per ticket!).
Use an Authorized Ticket Reseller
We said purchasing your 10-day ticket directly through Disney would cost around $365 or $36.50 per day. But, if you purchase through Undercover Tourist, an authorized ticket reseller, you would pay around $343.12 or $34.31 per day (saving almost $2 per day!).
Universal tickets would have similar savings. A 4-day ticket purchased directly through Universal would cost around $169.99 or $42.50 per day. Through Undercover Tourist you would pay around $153.43 or $38.36 per day (saving almost $4 per day!).
Be aware that some sites include all applicable taxes while others do not. So be sure to take this into account when comparing prices.
How Much Did Prices Really Increase?
Ticket prices have more than doubled since 2001. A 1-day ticket to Disney would cost only $48 in 2001 while today the ticket would cost $105. However, when only comparing ticket prices to last year, the increase isn’t nearly as dramatic.
The 1-day ticket increase for Magic Kingdom® Park was $6 while the other three Disney parks increased their 1-day ticket by $3. When you look at a 10-day ticket, the increase from $354 to $365 is only $11 or just over $1 per day.
Taking all of this into consideration, are some people no longer able to afford a Disney vacation because ticket prices increased anywhere between $1 and $6 per day? It may just mean they will enjoy fewer snacks in the park or purchase less souvenirs.
We highly doubt Walt would be “rolling over in his grave” due to the ticket price increases; Walt’s vision was not to open a non-profit theme park. When Walt opened Disneyland, he charged people to experience his park, enjoy his food and take home his souvenirs. After all, Walt was an incredible businessman.
The crowds at the theme parks are continuously increasing with no end in sight. To me, the only comments that seem most valid are those stating prices shouldn’t increase at a time when the parks are undergoing so much construction.
There is no question Magic Kingdom® Park is worth the admission cost. The park is packed with attractions and shows plus there is very little construction going on right now.
However, I can’t say the same about Disney’s Hollywood Studios® which is currently undergoing a tremendous amount of construction. Several attractions have recently closed making way for multiple unannounced projects.
What do you think? Have ticket prices increased too much for the average family to enjoy a vacation to Disney or Universal? Let us know in the comments.