Walt Disney World's theme parks are now open, but that doesn't mean that the massive resort is out of the woods of this pandemic quite yet. It's clear that the theme park industry is suffering, even in places where parks are open. Universal Orlando Resort has already gone through two rounds of layoffs since reopening in June, and Walt Disney World has slowed down the reopening of many of its hotels. Now, the theme park resort is offering an awesome deal to try and draw people into the parks, but it's only available for those who are in driving distance.
Tickets to Disney theme parks are never cheap and while there are almost always deals, or at the very least, discounts for multi-day trips, they're rarely as good as the new Florida Resident Disney Magic Flex Ticket. It's good for either a two, three, or four-day ticket, and the price runs between $65 per day for the two-day ticket to $49 per day for the four-day ticket. That drops the price to less than half of what a normal four-day ticket would cost. The catch, which is obvious by the name, is that the ticket is only available to residents of the state of Florida.
While the amount of the discount is somewhat surprising due to its size, the discount being offered to residents local to Walt Disney World is not. The Walt Disney Company has made it clear in the past that, while the parks are seeing visitors is reasonable numbers, those guests are coming much more from the local area than they have in the past. Walt Disney World is a destination vacation and the travel that most people would need to do to get there, involving airports and airplanes, is keeping most people still concerned with COVID-19 away.
Walt Disney World has also made more reservation dates available to Annual Passholders, who also tend to be locals, to help fill in the park attendance where the out of towners would have been. There clearly is no effort to try to entice people to make the long trip to Disney World right now. The hotels that are open are largely going for the same prices we would see during any busy summer season, which is not cheap. You'd expect to see significant hotel deals if Disney wanted to try and get vacationers to make the trip.
There are a number of reasons that may not be happening. It could simply be that Disney doesn't feel it would be successful. Of course, it's also possible that it could be very successful and that's why it isn't happening. Thus far there have been no major reports of outbreaks involving Walt Disney World but if the resort saw a large influx of guests from outside the area, the odds of that changing very quickly go up. Walt Disney World has delayed the scheduled reopening of a number of its hotels, which would seem to be for the simple reason that the resort doesn't expect to be able to fill the rooms, or, again, doesn't want to.
Still, with the safety procedures in place at Walt Disney World, the resort is probably one of the safest places to be under the circumstances. If I were already in Florida I would likely take advantage of a deal just like this, which is exactly what the park is hoping for.