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Episode 760 of WDW Today is now available for download here. Join TouringPlans.com owner Len Testa as co-host for a podcast that features many Walt Disney World travel planning tips!
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3 Responses to “WDW Today Episode 760 – Ticket Price Increase”
I admit I thought it was interesting that they increased prices in the face of declining park attendance figures. Also, I thought it was interesting that attendance dropped in spite of Disney offering multiple discounts to prop up attendance figures.
Now look at what’s apparently coming with additional new discounts, including expanding free dining to 2011 after expanding it to the end of 2010. Remember when the Disney CFO said earlier in the year they wanted to wean guests off discounts? Now, apparently not so much.
I take a different view on this—I think of resort discounts and ticket prices as completely separate beasts. After all, the parks are what drives the entire business—that’s why people come to Orlando, and the resorts ride the parks’ coat-tails. A lot of people *do* visit WDW without staying in a Disney-owned resort, but you don’t hear about too many people staying in a Disney-owned resort without visiting the theme parks at all. So, it makes no sense to discount the tickets; people will pay, or they won’t come to Disney at all.
As far as I can recall, Disney has never given more than a token discount on admission. They may throw in options for free, or give you extra “days” on an already-multiday ticket (at a value of $3-$5/per). But, those first few days in the parks are going to set you back a couple hundred bucks no matter how you slice it. The big price break was probably switching from PH/PHP to MYW. But MYW’s purpose was in part to create more of a captive audience, and I think it’s succeeded admirably there. Attendance is down a little, but not too much, and per-capita spending is up, in part on those increased ticket prices. It seems pretty clear that Disney is willing to ride this out for now.
The resorts on the other hand have much more dynamic pricing, floating with demand. When demand slumps, they promote until they fill. When demand increases, prices float back up. And, I don’t consider this latest round of discounts all that big. Free dining “through September ’11” sounds great, but if you look at the actual dates, there’s Hurricane Season, and then there’s the other seven slowest weeks of 2011. They’ve also cut out regular DDP for the Values entirely. Not exactly last year’s buy-4 (or 5)-get-7 door buster. The gift card is nice, but if my notes are right, the amounts last year were higher as well.
Have resort discounts disappeared? Nope. But, they aren’t what they were last year, either.
I need help with an annual pass renewal questions and figured my Disney fanatic friends will actually be of more help than the Disney people who just transfer me from desk to desk. My annual pass renewal date is Oct 1st (this date is important). I got a promo on line that allowed me to renew my annual pass 60 days in advance rather than 30. I renewed early for 2 reasons. 1. The price was cheaper as I renewed before the ticket increase and 2. “Vera” the ticket person at WDW told me that if you renewed by the end of August my pass would be good for 15 months instead of 12. As we want to go to WDW in Dec 2011, I figured this was a great deal so we went ahead and spent the 1800 for the 4 renewal passes (2kids, 2 adults). I called today to see if I had to actually ACTIVATE the vouchers in August or only have them to qualify for the 15 months. The guy on the phone (who was sweet if clueless) told me I can’t get the 15 mos because my renewal date is October and not Sept/August. Does anyone know who is right or to whom I can address my question to get a valid answer? If Vera gave me misinformation, can one return annual pass vouchers? Thank you fellow Disney friends for any help!
I want TouringPlans.com to help me avoid wasting HOURS waiting in line!