Massive Theme Park Sets Focus On “Premium Guests” Who’ll “Pay More”

in Theme Parks

Six Flags Magic Mountain

Credit: Six Flags Magic Mountain

The theme park industry worldwide has experienced a tough period of time amidst the COVID pandemic.

With tourism just beginning to pick back up across the country, many theme parks have reported major losses over the last couple of years. That is not necessarily the case with Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort.

In the latest quarter report, the Walt Disney Co. reported more than $7 billion of revenue in Disney Parks & Experiences. This massive amount of revenue was attributed to the return of many Guests who had been waiting to get back inside a Disney Park and Disney’s new Disney Genie+ and Lightning Lane system. Disney CEO Bob Chapek shared that more than 50% of Guests used these new services.

genie disney phone mobile
Credit: Disney

For those who are unaware, Disney Genie+ can be purchased for an extra $15.00 at Walt Disney World Resort and an extra $20.00 at Disneyland Resort. The service lets Guests book times to arrive at attractions and use the Lightning Lane, which allows them to skip the regular standby queue.

Even with the massive revenue generation, Disney just increased prices on select tickets and could be announcing another price hike in the future.

It seems another theme park may have taken notice of the success Disney has had.

Credit: Disney
Six Flags Entertainment Co., which operates 27 theme parks around North America, has announced that it will be increasing cost of entry and shifting away from heavy discounts on admission in the near future, according to reports by the Dallas Morning News.

Six Flags already introduced THE FLASH Pass at its Parks– which is essentially its own version of Disney Genie– that allows Guests to pay more to have the reservation hold their spot in line and enjoy priority boarding opportunities when their reservation time comes.

And now, Six Flags CEO Selim Bassoul said during a call with investors that the theme parks will begin to focus on “premium Guests” who are “willing to pay more,” rather than focus on filling their theme parks to capacity.

“Consumers are accepting price increases,” Bassoul said.

A close up of an object
Credit; Six Flags

Six Flags said during the meeting that it is shifting revenue models that will include higher prices and lower attendance, which it hopes will “improve Guest experience.”

Six Flags saw 28 million visitors last year– down 5 million compared with 2019– but the total revenue increased $9 million over that same period to $1.5 billion. The company attributes the growth to higher spending per visitor.

Six Flags isn’t the first theme park in America to announce price increases.

six flags wonder woman
Credit: Six Flags

A recent report from Krem indicates that inflation has caused increases at many theme parks, some doubling their cost.

No. 1 on the list is Funland in Delaware. Its prices increased 100% from $15 to $30 since 2017.

Santa’s Village in New Hampshire jumped $16, a 50% increase. Fun Spot America in Florida experienced a 34% increase from $40.95 to $54.95. Children’s Fairyland in California is No. 4 with a 30% increase from $10 to $13. Sesame Place in Pennsylvania increased ticket prices by nearly 29%, from $70 to $89.99.

Trailing Silverwood are Nickelodeon Universe in Florida at 25%; Dollywood, Tennessee, at nearly 22%; Canobie Lake Park, New Hampshire, at roughly 21%; and Silver Dollar City in Missouri at more than 19%.

A large bridge in the background
Credit: Six Flags

Disney fans have noted that the new revenue models are “pricing out” many families, but it seems inflation and ticket prices are here to stay with many theme parks shifting their focus to drawing Guests who can afford to pay more, rather than discounting prices to increase attendance.

What do you think of the price increases at many theme parks across the country, including Disney and Six Flags? Let us know in the comments!

Let the expert team at Academy Travel help you plan your next magical vacation to Disneyland Resort, including Disneyland Park, Disney California Adventure, and the Downtown Disney District. Or what about Walt Disney World Resort’s four theme parks — Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios — and the Disney Springs shopping and dining district! Or, how about a trip to Universal Orlando to experience Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure?

in Theme Parks

View Comments (16)