Photo via disneyworld.disney.go.com
If you’ve been in Orlando for any amount of time you know there are certain times of the year that you just don’t visit Magic Kingdom (like between Christmas and New Years). There are plenty of other times around the year that a visit can feel as though you’re one of the only people in the park (like in mid-September). A new survey
sent out to annual pass holders gives hints of how Disney may help to spread out these numbers. The problem is even with the new expansion Magic Kingdom, the most visited theme park in the world, still hits capacity during the busiest days. The survey asked if a new tiered style pricing system would affect when guests plan their trip.
The new ticket system is closer to the pricing matrix used by airlines. The Disney World version would feature three levels (Gold, Silver and Bronze) with each increasing around $10. Bronze would be $105 with Gold at $125. Multi-day tickets would get a per day discount that averages around 5% per day. Also the new ticket prices means an increase to the multi-day ticket prices; a nine day Gold level ticket would increase by 90% (it’s currently $378, it would jump to $718). All but Bronze level one and two day tickets would see at least a double digit price increase. The prices, while shocking, are believed to be more of a placeholder and may be even higher than what the survey shows. Annual passes would also likely see dramatic increases; something that has already happened at Disneyland
The big kicker in the new pricing scheme is that guests would be forced to pay the highest level prices for their entire trip, even if other days of their tickets were at a lower level. If you visit for 6 days and one of those days is Gold and the rest are Bronze you would be forced to pay the Gold level pricing for your entire trip.
Gold level prices are featured on the most popular days including the entire month of July. While many would expect these to be the most popular days TouringPlans,
an independent crowd level monitoring service, notes that many of the Gold level days are typically not as crowded. Also outside of a few exceptions in May and September it would be impossible to plan a 7 day trip to Walt Disney World falling within the Bronze level. Almost every weekend and many Fridays are Silver or above.
The online Disney fan community had its usual rage when the news of possible change was first announced; the biggest complaint being the level of planning the new pricing forces upon guests. The new system would require dates to be attached to each ticket, something that is currently not the case. It would also require guests to look at the calendar to decide when the best value for their vacation would be, with most major school holidays Gold level forcing families to pay higher costs or take their children out of school to visit Walt Disney World.
Tiered ticketing on top of dining reservations that quickly fill up for the most popular restaurants sometimes within hours of their opening 180 days out, attraction reservations that fill up within minutes to their 60 day window opening and a Magicband system that includes a DVD mailed to guests months before their visit to help them plan their trip online seems to make a trip to Walt Disney World more of a chore than the once relaxing vacation that many people recall it being.
So would a tiered based pricing structure cause you to change your Disney plans? Would it force you to visit mid-week instead of weekends? Do you think this will ultimately make a Disney World trip too confusing for most guests?