Today during a Q&A between J.P Morgan and The Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Chapek, we learned more about Disneyland’s complex ticketing system that is in place now that the Disneyland Resort theme parks have reopened.
As you likely know, it took Disneyland over a year to reopen after the parks faced a prolonged closure due to restrictions in place as a result of the ongoing pandemic.
Now that the park has reopened, there are a number of big changes that were made to the ticketing and admissions of the theme park. Bob Chapek explained why these changes are so beneficial to The Walt Disney Company as a whole, and how the company has taken the time to reevaluate theme park admission and turn it into something new.
Chapek reiterated to J.P Morgan after being asked the dynamic pricing model for tickets at Disneyland and other theme parks that,
Yes. It’s more important than ever, I think, not only from a demand management standpoint, but also from a guest experience standpoint. Our yield has been up double digits as I think I referenced in the earnings call. And there’s a lot of shifts between the constituencies of ticket types that we will be proactively managing again, tremendous disparity in yield or per caps per guest depending on what ticket type they kind of come in at, and this gives us the opportunity to really look at that. And of course, we’ve got a new reservation system at Disneyland not unlike the one that we’ve got at Walt Disney World, Disneyland of course, being our most constraint park in terms of demand being excessive supply. And that’s going to give us a chance to really strategically manage that attendance versus price balance that we’ve been working on as you referenced.
So I think it’s really going to be almost a paradigm shift. We’ve had essentially so many legacy systems that we’ve relied on that have somewhat constrained us from a technology standpoint in terms of fully going into yield management in a sophisticated way as we’d like, and this pause has given us the ability to do that. So we’re looking forward to re-emerging fully once we get full demand in employing a lot of these utilities.
For some time now, Disney has used a dynamic pricing model at Disneyland Resort as well as Walt Disney World Resort. That means that on days when there is more demand to visit Disneyland or Disney California Adventure, the price goes up. However, it also means that prices drop on days that are anticipated to be less busy. As Chapek stated, with so much demand for the theme parks at Disneyland, and so little capacity given the size of the theme parks, this dynamic pricing model makes sense.
As Chapek stated the dynamic pricing model is “more important than ever not only from a demand management standpoint but also from a Guest experience standpoint.” But the reservation system is not the only thing that changed when it comes to Disneyland admission — the Annual Passport program changed as well.
The Walt Disney Company decided to end its long-time Annual Passholder program at the Disneyland Resort. Currently, without an Annual Passport program in place, everyone who was once an Annual Passholder is now a Legacy Passholder. Previously, Disneyland Resort President Ken Potrock confirmed that a new offering will be coming by the end of this year to replace the Annual Pass program that has ended. And Disney CEO Chapek also reiterated that the theme park closure of over one whole year allowed the company to really rethink the AP program.
But for now, without any Annual Passes active, anyone who wants to go to Disneyland has to buy a ticket and make a theme park reservation.
Currently, Disneyland, Disney California Adventure, and open for Guests to enjoy. Disney is taking advanced health and safety precautions for Cast Members as well as Guests amid the ongoing pandemic. You can read more about the health and safety guidelines at the Disneyland Resort here.
If you cannot secure both a park ticket and an online reservation remember that Downtown Disney is currently open, offering shopping and dining without the need for an online reservation.
What do you think of Disneyland ever-evolving admission system? Let us know in the comments!