Why It Is No Big Deal That Disney Is Raising 1 Day Ticket Prices


If, like me, you spend any times surfing Disney blogs, forums, social handles, you've undoubtably have heard the news that (gasp!) Disney has increased the price of a 1 day park ticket to over $100 for the first time.  It is now set at $105 for a one day pass up from $99 just a few months ago.  (Let's be honest, here.  You're not like me and you don't lurk on Disney Forums, but...for the sake of this post, let's just pretend, ok??)

Here's the thing:  it doesn't really matter.  In fact, Disney raising their prices yesterday doesn't affect just about most people who are Disney World travelers.

I heard this discussed on TheDis Unplugged podcast last week (yes...shameful, I know.  But, I listen to some Disney podcasts.) and I think they had it right.  I'm going to riff off what they said because I think it is worth noting and something consider before you groan about Disney 'raising prices'.

Almost NOBODY buys a 1 day ticket for Disney World.  Everyone buys 'packages' that span multiple days and usually multiple parks.  Or....they're annual passholders and go a lot.

But, what Disney is doing here is all about the economics of making you think you're getting a 'good deal' on your multi-day package.  If, they artificially inflate the one day pass to $105, but you're buying 3 or 4 day passes, you get the warm fuzzy feeling when you compare what you are paying to the 'full price' of buying 3 or 4 one-day tickets.

Now, Disney World (I believe) has seen record crowds the past few years, so they're also testing the tolerance of the marketplace.  Can they inch up park prices and maintain record crowds?  Probably.

But, I don't think that's what at play here.  It is all about the optics of the 'deal' you are getting when they sell you a package.  The other dynamic at play is how Disney is working to keep you at their parks more and AWAY from their competition (Universal Studios).

Look at what it costs to go from a 3 day park pass to a 4 day park pass.

Right now, a 3 day ticket costs:  $292.88 including taxes.

A four day ticket?  Just $324.83.  Meaning for just $32 more bucks, you can get an extra day.

A five day ticket?  $335.48.  For 10 bucks, you get a fifth day at the park.

A six day ticket?  Add another ten bucks.

That four to five day ticket is the magic spot and the one that the Disney folks are working to protect.  Why?  Because they have four parks.  And...if someone was heading to Orlando they might be willing/interested in trying out the competition at Universal Studios.  Hell...the Harry Potter stuff looks awfully neat.  Why wouldn't you go there on the fifth day of your trip?

Well...it is because:  if you go to Universal for Harry Potter, you're going to plunk down $100 a head for they day.

If you opt to stay and head back to the Magic Kingdom or do more at Epcot, guess what?  It's only $10 a head.

So....back to my main point:  all this belly-aching about the prices going to $105 for a day at Disney is silly.  Nobody....for the most part...actually buys one day tickets in Orlando.

This move is all about optics.  It is about convincing you (and me) that we're getting a 'good deal'.

And, you know what?  It worked.  I'm ok with that.

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