Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida has again raised prices but this year they add a new wrinkle to further consume families and visitors.
Walt Disney World Resort Released New Park Ticket Prices
Disney World ticket pricing has gone through a number of updates over the last few years with each increasing more than the last. However, for the first time, its variable pricing will adjust single-day tickets not only based on high-demand days and weeks (like the holidays) but also per park, a first.
Let’s take a look at the ticket price ranges announced for 2023:
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom: $109-$159.
- EPCOT: $114-$179.
- Disney’s Hollywood Studios: $124-$179.
- Magic Kingdom: $124-$189.
A two-day trip for a family of four to Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios or EPCOT during the holidays next year would run as much as $1,472 in park tickets alone. That staggering amount compares to less than $1,200 before the pandemic. Couple that with increased food, drink, and souvenir prices as well as elevated accommodation costs and it’s hard to imagine the average family enjoying a week in the parks.
In defense of Disney World, even during the pandemic, they continued to focus on enhancing attractions and offerings. Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railroad, and coming… eventually… Tron. Management has mentioned that by “growing our theme parks,” making a “memorable Disney experience” and improving “theme parks with incredible attractions” they believe they are making positive guest changes in a competitive market.
To its credit, Management has seen nearly inexhaustible demand despite pricing out the middle class almost entirely. Its latest nosebleed-level prices added features in Genie that used to be included, and stinging hotel prices have not stopped consumers from filling parks, so shareholders of Disney welcome changes while families struggle to keep pace.
Before this year, these pricing levels had never been seen before, but additionally, a per-park pricing range has not been used. Disney will continue to require theme park reservations but does allow Park Hopper tickets, stating only that the popular multi-park ticket will cost more, but hinting that it will be variable based on the same occupancy ranges and perhaps parks chosen as well.
How Does This Affect Annual Pass Prices
Walt Disney World annual passes have not been on sale since the pandemic outside of the Pixie Pass, a weekday-only pass ideal for flexible or retired Florida residents. We canceled our Disney World annual passes but have watched closely since. But Disney World price increases left us asking how much more could be absorbed. We switched to Universal and have been very happy with our choice.
Theme Park Tourist has said that Disney does not expect to put annual passes back on sale until 2023 at the earliest (though they may not put them on sale at all) at the following levels:
- Incredi-Pass $1399 (was $1299)
- Sorcerer $969 (was $899) and;
- Pirate Pass $749 (was $699)
- Pixie Pass is the same at $399 but remains Florida-resident only and is the only pass available at the moment.
Those who want to purchase annual passes can remain hopeful that annual passes will again be offered, solely because if Disney never intended to release them again, why increase the prices? That said, they did the same in 2022 and offered them onsale for just a few days and then shut them down again.
Disney has taken away so much from both annual passholders and visitors in terms of benefits, flexibility, and services adding them back at a higher cost, yet the public has responded with continued demand. With the launch of TRON, Cosmic Rewind, and Remy there’s no question that the parks will be home to incredible new attractions, and perhaps a price hike is justified, but I fear that the average family – even with years of savings – can no longer visit the Happiest Place on Earth, and that’s disheartening.
What do you think? Is Disney pricing out middle class families? Shouldn’t they increase prices due to demand?