It’s been fairly common practice to see the Disney Parks raise their prices about once a year. Unsurprisingly, it’s been a while since the last major increase. Between parks being closed and at limited capacity, a price increase would likely have had little impact and would have not gone over well, but now it looks like Disneyland Resort is making up for lost time. Because it has announced a major increase not only to ticket prices but parking as well.
Disneyland has previously had a five-tiered pricing structure, with tickets costing anywhere from $104 to $154 for a single-day, single-park ticket, and $159 to $209 for a single-day ticket that allowed guests to visit both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure on the same day. While the absolute lowest ticket price has not changed, the L.A. Times reports every other ticket price has increased slightly. DLR is also adding a sixth price tier, so its busiest days are now much more expensive. A single-day, single-park ticket now tops out at $164, a park hopper can be as expensive as $224. This is a price increase of as much as 8% when the inflation rate in the last year, while significantly higher than usual, was still less than 6%.
But ticket prices themselves aren’t the only increase that’s happening. Parking for the resorts is increasing significantly, from $25 a day to $30 a day, and in a surprising move, that is likely related, the most expensive Disneyland Resort Magic Key, the Dream Key that allows guests to visit year-round, with reservations, is no longer available for guests to purchase. The Dream Key was the one pass that included parking in its $1,399 price tag.
The other two Magic Key options have not changed in price, so technically they just became better deals. Having said that, the reservation calendar has been pretty full of late. Between blackout dates on those passes and other dates simply seeing all reservations taken, there isn’t much availability currently for the rest of 2021.
Parking options at Disneyland Resort hotels have also increased. Hotel parking was previously $25 for self-parking or $35 for valet parking. Those prices are now $40 and $50 respectively.
Parking has been its own problem at Disneyland Resort. The trams that transported guests from the Mickey and Friends and the Pixar Pals parking garages have not been running since the park reopened last spring. This has meant guests have needed to walk the entire distance, which is significant, especially for those with mobility issues. One piece of good news that arrived today is that the trans will be back in operation early next year, though an exact date has not been revealed.
The price increase itself is far from surprising, though its timing perhaps is. Disneyland Resort isn’t firing on all cylinders yet since reopening, some entertainment options, like the nighttime spectaculars Fantasmic and World of Color, are still not available to see so Disneyland now costs more than it did but guests are getting less than they once did for their money.
It will be interesting to see if this has any noticeable impact on attendance, but previously price increases haven’t really caused people to stay home, even though that is certainly part of the goal of such increases. The price increase helps account for some guests who choose not to go, and an emptier park with shorter lines tends to make for happier guests, who then spend more money on food and merchandise than they might have otherwise.
The price increase also comes on the eve of Disneyland Resort implementing the new Disney Genie system, which also includes new line skipping features that will also cost guests money.
There have been a lot of complaints from fans that Disneyland is just getting too expensive, that every little thing is being charged for now and the cost is harming the magic. Will this be the price increase that finally causes those guests to stop going? We'll have to wait and see.
CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.
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