Disney hikes ticket prices in US, but what’s the future for Tokyo, Shanghai, Hong Kong?


In 1971, when the first Disney park opened in Florida, it cost only US$3.50 to enter. Source: Shutterstock.

THE PRIVILEGE of spending time at the happiest place on Earth just got marginally more expensive.

Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida and Disneyland in Anaheim, California are hiking up ticket prices to reflect the peak visiting hours.

Starting this weekend, visitors to the theme park will experience different tiers of ticket prices: value-priced tickets, regular tickets, and peak-priced tickets.

So, what are the new prices?

Disney World and Disneyland have increased ticket prices in an attempt to filter visitors into different sections of the park and attract visitors at different times of the year.

“We know how important making memories at Disney theme parks is to families and we will continue to evolve our pricing in a way that gives families a range of options to meet their budget and helps better spread attendance throughout the year so they can make the most of every visit,” said Disney spokeswoman Andrea Finger Orlando Sentinel in a statement.

Value tickets can be bought for off-peak visits, with prices for adults and children both increasing by US$2 to US$109 and US$103 respectively.

On regular days, adults will have to pay a US$4 increased price of US$119 and US$113 for children. However, and most predictably, the peak time tickets have risen the most at US$5. Families of four will have to fork out US$504 for entry to the park for one day.

Disneyland, California, soared its prices by US$11 to US$135 for peak tickets and US$117 for regular tickets, which is a US$7 increase. However, those buying a value day ticket won’t feel the pinch as prices for these remain the same.

Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom, as well as the Magical Kingdom, will also increase prices in accordance to the same tier structuring.

Parking at the theme park will rise to US$22 per day, with preferred parking increasing to US$45 per day.

How about annual passes?

Disney enthusiasts and thrill seekers who visit the magical kingdom on a regular basis will also have to fork out extra to purchase annual passes.

Disney has raised its Florida-resident annual passes to US$729, up from US$679 for Platinum members with no block out dates.

For those not concerned about missing out on the park’s magic during holiday seasons can pay US$589 for a Gold pass and US$439 for a Silver pass.

Will Disney in Asia be affected by price hikes?

Ticket prices for Shanghai Disney Resort are set to increase in June 2018, according to Wow News Today, a specialist in Disney Park news. The park will also be introducing peak holiday prices to the pricing structure.

These new prices are set to be introduced simultaneously with the opening of the new Toy Story Land.

Hong Kong Disneyland announced in December last year that its visitors will have to pay more for park entry effective as of Feb 15, which means kids’ tickets will rise to US$59 (HKD458) per day and adults can expect to pay US$80 (HKD619). The park is raising its prices in an attempt to stay profitable, reported South China Morning Post.

For two consecutive years, the park announced a loss in profits. However, a spokesperson for the park said there were other factors involved in increasing the prices.

Tokyo Disney Resort is the only Asian park that has not announced price hikes this year. This announcement breaks the park’s four-year price hike streak as it has seen visitor numbers level off.

Inflation has certainly taken its toll on those wanting to experience the magic of Disney parks. Back in 1971, when Florida’s Magic Kingdom first opened, a day ticket would set you back a mere US$3.50. But then again, the average house price was only US$25,000 back then, so everything is relative.