Some recent Guests to the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla., and the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Calif., have received surveys from Disney surrounding possible future theme park ticketing options.
Ticketing varieties and special experiences Disney is considering for both resorts include:
Alternative theme park ticket options
- Partial Day Ticket – Access to theme parks from opening until 3:00 pm or 3:30 pm until closing (between $29 and $49 per Guest, per day);
- Touring Only / No Rides Ticket – Access to theme parks to enjoy everything except the rides and shows with a queue (between $29 and $49 per Guest, per day);
- Disney Theme Park Club, Walt Disney World – Receive a Walt Disney World 7-Day Park Hopper ticket with water park access once per year for 10 years ($2,000 per person, or $200 per year – a savings of more than 50% at current prices.);
- Disney Theme Park Club, Disneyland – Walt Disney World 5-Day Park Hopper ticket and free parking once per year for 10 years ($1,500 per person, or $150 per year.);
- Disney California Adventure Discount Ticket – $59 per person, per day if purchased in advance.
- Convenience Add-On – Pre-planned itinerary, valet parking, dining reservations, private park entrance ($100 per group, up to 6.);
- VIP Attraction Add-On – Unlimited use of Fastpass“>Fastpass ($150 per person on top of regular park admission, subject to availability.);
- Be Part of the Magic Add-On – Four to six-hour experience “side-by-side” with select Disney characters including a “makeover,” private meet ‘n’ greet with ride experience, photo session, themed meal, and private transportation (Examples: Princess or Buzz Lightyear. $1,500 per group, up to 6.);
- Character Nights – Nighttime visit to the Magic Kingdom or Disneyland park with all attraction wait times at 10 minutes or less, special fireworks, unlimited snacks, and more character experiences ($125 per person, per day);
- Premium Holiday Ticket – Entrance to the Magic Kingdom or Disneyland on popular holidays with a limit on the number of Guests allowed in the park, allowing more time with characters and shorter lines for attractions ($99 per person, per day – $17 more than the current one-day ticket);
Outside the theme parks
- All-Inclusive Disney Resort (Walt Disney World) – Unlimited food and non-alcoholic beverages, resort recreation (boat rentals, parasailing, etc.), amenities (Internet access, gym, etc.) ($40 – $80 per person, per night. Does not include room rate.);
The idea of Disney having VIP experiences for an extra cost has often been debated among Disney theme park regulars. Those with money to burn would surely enjoy the benefits of unlimited Fastpass or pre-planned schedules with little-to-no waiting in line for popular attractions. However, Guests who can only afford Disney theme park vacations every once worries that their experience will be cheapened by those who can skip lines and reserve seating simply by giving the Mouse a few hundred extra bucks.
Universal Orlando, Disney’s primary theme park competitor in Florida, already offers an Express pass for an extra cost (and far less than $150 per person), allowing those who are willing to pay more to skip lines ahead of those who only purchase admission tickets. Disney’s existing Fastpass system is free but has limitations, and available Fastpass tickets often run out early in the day for the most popular attractions.
The logistics of enforcing the partial day and no-ride tickets are unknown. How would certain Guests be asked to leave at 3 p.m. or be turned away from attractions? Would all Guests be required to show a valid ticket before entering an attraction? It’s not unheard of. In Disneyland’s early years, the system required Guests to purchase tickets for each ride they wanted to enjoy.
Families who travel to Disney theme parks regularly year after year would certainly enjoy savings in the “Theme Park Club” offerings above. Even at current ticket prices, when broken down per year, the up-front cost of $1,500 or $2,000 is at least a 50% discount, and Disney tickets rise in price nearly every year.
But remember, none of these tickets or experiences are currently available. These are options Disney is only considering, as described in recent online surveys. Depending on the reaction from those taking the survey, we may or may not see any of them actually come to the parks in the future.
What are your thoughts on these possible new tickets and experiences? Would you buy any of them? Or do you think paying more for VIP experiences is unnecessary, and everyone should have the same access with park admission? Comment below!