Sunday, October 04, 2015

Higher and Higher

Disney Parks prices and attendance.  The Orange County Register reports that Disneyland annual passes will now cost $1049 for the no blackout date pass, and $849 for the 350 day pass.  The current "Premium" pass is being discontinued, but current passholders can use theirs until expiration and it will be non-renewable. 
Disney on its website Sunday morning also overhauled prices for annual passes at Walt Disney World. The Disney Signature Platinum Plus pass for visits to all four Disney World theme parks and water parks with no blackout dates is $829.
The latest price increase specifically targets Disneyland’s annual passholders, a core base that many unofficial Disney blog sites estimate at 1 million. Some have speculated the recent ticket increases are a much-needed way to reduce the large crowds that occurs at Disneyland during some weekends and high-demand seasons.
Disney is clearly struggling with ways to manage the increased attendance at the California and Florida parks.  One option on the table is tiered pricing , where ticket prices will be reduced for off-peak days.  But this could actually aggravate the problem if the lower prices attract even higher crowds.   Disney seems to be aware of the growing problem with massive crowds, but whether this can be managed successfully remains to be seen.  We don't see reports of one obvious solution, namely close the gates sooner before the crowds become unmanageable.   Disney seems to be trying to walk a tightrope by attracting huge crowds without letting them get out of hand.  Meanwhile, the parks are increasingly in danger of becoming expensive, overcrowded, unpleasant and unsafe.  Anyone with a medical emergency in the middle of a totally gridlocked crowd is in a bad situation. 
“We have to look at ways to spread out our attendance throughout the year so we can accommodate demand and avoid bursting at the seams,” Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Bob Chapek told The Wall Street Journal.
We'll see if that can actually be done.  

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