Ticket prices at Walt Disney World are perpetually on the rise. Every year, right around this time, we tend to get an announcement that ticket prices to the theme parks are increasing. The good news is that, perhaps unsurprisingly, we won't see ticket prices going up in 2021. Under current circumstances with the parks still only seeing about a third of maximum capacity, it would have been quite surprising to see Disney make the call to make tickets more expensive. However, today Walt Disney World released it's full price calendar for 2022 and, while prices are not technically increasing, the average Walt Disney World vacation will likely be more expensive next year.
A few years back Walt Disney World launched a new ticket structure where the cost of a park ticket on any given day varied slightly depending on the day you wanted to visit the parks. Times of year where tickets were in high demand, like the summer months or the Christmas holidays, tended to be more expensive than less demand days. Going in February, for example would be a less busy time. The range of ticket prices between the slowest and the busiest days currently, foe example $109 for a single day ticket at the slowest point, vs $154 for a single day ticket at the busiest time of year. What's happened between 2021 and 2022 is that there are simply fewer days on the calendar which will be available at the lowest prices.
If you wanted to visit Walt Disney World next week, for example, a ticket would cost you $128 or $129 for the day. Going the last week of February next year, the ticket will cost you $134 or more. There are still cheap(er) tickets, but your options for visiting on those cheaper days have simply been reduced. In the grand scheme of things, if you're planning a big Walt Disney World vacation the variation in ticket price probably won't be a deal breaker, but at the very least it's good to know what you're getting into.
And in the end, the fact that we're not seeing significant price increases for the next couple years is a good thing. It's understandable why Walt Disney World would increase prices basically every year in the past, but this is not the time to do that. Even if the market will bear the increase, it's just a much better look to keep pricing where it currently is overall. Increasing revenue is certainly important, but the way to do that, and Walt Disney World knows this, is to increase the amount of money spent by the guests who are visiting by enticing them to buy more food, merchandise, and other extras, not to simply make those things more expensive.
Disney's CEO Bob Chapek has said he expects social distancing and mask guidelines to be over inside the parks by early 2022, which would mean attendance will likely be back at normal or close to it. Waiting another year before a significant price increase is a good call to get people comfortable in the parks again. Though we can probably expect a price bump in 2023.