by Ray Keating
June 19, 2019
So, you’ve got a wildly popular theme park, and you have to manage demand to maximize profits for shareholders, and manage crowds so as to not diminish the experience for those in attendance. What to do? As Disney understands, the price of a ticket is key in all of this.
The Walt Disney Company, as widely reported, has just increased the costs of annual passes to Walt Disney World – just ahead of the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at the end of August.
For example, WESH reported:
Visitors from both in and out of state can see some significant increases on their annual passes, in some cases more than $150 a year.
The following passes have been affected (Florida resident prices):
-Epcot After 4 Annual Pass now $309 (was $289)
-Disney Silver Pass now $519 (was $479)
-Disney Gold Pass now $699 (was $609)
-Disney Platinum Pass now $899 (was $749)
-Disney Platinum Plus Pass now $999 (was $849)
Disney last increased the price for annual passes in October.
For good measure, overnight parking fees at resorts are increasing as well.
Obviously, lots of people are not pleased ... to say the least. However, one has to ask: If Disney can raise prices and not suffer for it in terms of lost revenue – indeed, likely gain revenue – why wouldn’t it do so?
Sure, raising prices can be risky for any business. The risk, or course, is that the price goes too high, and business suffers accordingly. But that’s hard to envision right now – barring a recession, that is – with Disney’s theme park popularity and attendance.
In the end, after all of the complaining dies down, people will, in fact, still pay the price to go to Walt Disney World. And even at the higher prices, annual passes to Walt Disney World for those who attend on a regular basis ranks as an entertainment bargain.
Ray Keating is the editor, publisher and economist for DisneyBizJournal.com, and author of the Pastor Stephen Grant novels. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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