It's no surprise really. It happens twice a year, year after year. The theme park stampede to announce higher ticket prices. Less than two weeks after Universal announced they would be raising their admission to $92, Disney has announced that their own ticket increase will take effect tomorrow — Sunday, June 2. SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay will likely not be far behind.
Disney World's ticket price increase also includes some different twists to their ticketing process. Disney's Magic Kingdom is now $5.00 more expensive to visit for one day than any of their other parks. Visiting the Magic Kingdom for one day will now cost $95.00, plus tax for ages 10 and up; and, $89.00, plus tax for ages 3-9. Visiting either Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios or Disney's Animal Kingdom will set you back just $90.00, plus tax for ages 10 and up; and, $84.00, plus tax for ages 3-9. As always, children under the age of three are admitted free.
Although the "park hopper" and "water park fun & more" features jumped $2.00 each to $59.00, one of the biggest increases is in the "no expiration" feature -- they jumped $5-$50, depending on the number of days' tickets you purchase — annual passes which will take an additional $30-$35 out of your pocket each year. Most surprising (and upsetting for this Florida resident) is the hike in Florida Resident ticket options, including $10.00 for the Florida Resident Seasonal Pass to $39.00 for the Florida Resident Annual Pass.
Of course, there are three ways that help offset these high prices:
- Buy multi-day base tickets — the more days you buy, the cheaper the per day cost (7-day tickets are just $44.15 per day — 10-day tickets are just $33.90 per day).
- Save the daily $15 parking fee by staying at a Disney on-property hotel and use the free transportation system.
- Include the Disney Dining Plan in your vacation package and try these three ways to make Disney dining more affordable.
- Purchase a refillable mug at your Disney resort hotel for one low price of $15.49, plus tax. Refills are available at your resort during regular hours at participating dining locations.
- Bring your own stroller (saving $15 per day) and a refillable water bottle for theme park visits (saving $3-$9 per day)
Each year I ask, "When will Florida's visitors begin to say, 'That's too much!' and go elsewhere?" Although many are already priced out of visiting many theme parks, each year the parks continue to be crowded with visitors. If you've got an opinion about the rising cost of visiting theme parks, leave a comment below.