I just read that Walt Disney World announced a price increase this weekend on their one-day park tickets. That brings the Magic Kingdom ticket to $99; Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, and Epcot are now $94 per day (before tax). I’ve been reading complaints non-stop this morning about the price increase and this is what I think about it…

I don’t really understand the big fuss over the price increase, these things happen all the time with everything we buy. In this case $4 on a one day ticket isn’t the end of the world. If someone makes it into a larger case – like Disney is the worst, they keep taking money and not giving back, etc, then really it’s not about the $4, it’s about how unhappy that person is with “Disney”. I’ve looked at the annual increases on Annual Passes over the last five years and we have been paying a total of $145 more now than in the past! In 2010, the increase was a modest $10, then in 2011 is jumped to $20, in 2012 the increase was pretty sizeable at $55, another large increase in 2013 of $35, now we get the 2014 increase of $25 – and we are only in Feb. If anyone should be complaining, it looks like Annual Passholders are paying a great deal more than in the past.

I’ve seen dozens of complaints about how Disney is too expensive for most families, well, that might be true – they really couldn’t accomodate everyone in the world at the parks. How about, be mad at the airlines or fuel prices! The cost of travel is ridiculous. But, I really don’t think $4 would break anyone, even a family of 6 (+$24/family). A person who knows how to save money can work it out. Don’t buy that Starbucks coffee today – bam $4. I don’t need a Coach bag, or iPhone, or iPad, or 3D TV. It’s amazing what people spend their money on and then complain about something else. I get by without those luxuries (latest gadgets or high-end goods), but I couldn’t get by without my Disney “luxuries” (annual pass, Table Service meals, DVC).

I wouldn’t ever buy a day ticket unless it was for a family member going just for the day. Otherwise there are other ticket options, I would recommend anyone coming all the way to WDW from wherever they live to budget a multiday ticket and hotel stay, otherwise why come here for one day – are you planning on vacationing in the most uneconomical way ever? If so, appoint someone else to do your planning.

I’m thankful we live in Florida, and I’m also thankful to have annual passes. We budget for them every year, and the prices have definitely gone up over the years (decades). I always look at it like, how in the world could I afford all this (thinking about all of WDW) and then for the price we pay for admission, it covers the whole cost of MY portion for the year, it’s a deal IMO. My last PAP was $399 plus tax (that special was a good deal), so for $399 how much does that pay for? 50 hours of work for 1 employee? And they have over 60,000 employees on payroll. I think about all the horticulturists, all the flowers, plants, work involved to make the park pretty. The special events like Food and Wine, Flower and Garden, Candlelight Processional, Osborne Lights… access included for the price of the ticket, plus cost of food of course.

I don’t know, supply and demand, maybe higher prices will help reduce a small fraction of theme park attendance, and it will be marginally more enjoyable for those who do attend the parks. We’ll see, I doubt it. I bet the parks will still be packed.

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