Disney Refuses Firework Viewing From Guests, Extra Payment Needed

in Disney Parks

Disneyland Halloween Screams

Credit: Disney Theme Park Audio

It feels that the price associated with visiting a Disney theme park is becoming equivalent to rent for nearly half the year, and now, guests are being turned away from fireworks viewing due to their inability to pay hundreds more for a specific “add-on”.

Crowds gathering around Cinderella Castle in Magic Kingdom at Disney World
Credit: Inside the Magic

Known as “The Most Magical Place on Earth,” Walt Disney World Resort is composed of four distinct theme parks: Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. At the “Happiest Place on Earth”, we have both Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure.

These parks offer an array of beloved attractions that cater to every age and interest. At Magic Kingdom, guests are welcomed into a world of fantasy with iconic attractions like Cinderella Castle, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Space Mountain. EPCOT invites exploration of both technology and world cultures through attractions like Spaceship Earth and the World Showcase pavilions, as well as the all-new Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios brings the magic of movies to life with attractions like Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and Toy Story Land, while Disney’s Animal Kingdom immerses guests in nature and adventure with the thrilling Expedition Everest and the magical Pandora – The World of Avatar.

From classic rides to cutting-edge experiences, Walt Disney World’s attractions continue to captivate visitors in a realm of imagination and wonder.

After the parks reopened from the pandemic shutdown, things changed when it came to Disney tickets.

Spaceship Earth at EPCOT inside Walt Disney World Resort
Credit: Disney

Disney’s Park Pass Reservation system is controversial, having originally started early after the park reopened following the pandemic closure. Its original intent was to control the number of guests in the park for safety reasons, but many guests now complain it’s unnecessary, annoying, and being used to keep cast member staffing at a minimum.

Previously, Disney announced that several measures would be taken to add more flexibility to guests’ trips. Free self-parking would return at Disney Resort hotels, those who purchase Genie+ would have their attraction photo downloads included, and finally, for Annual Passholders, park reservation requirements would be relaxed.

Then, as of April 18, Annual Passholders no longer need a reservation to visit a park after 2 p.m. The only exceptions to this rule are Saturdays and Sundays at Magic Kingdom Park, meaning it looks like Disney still anticipates those being the busiest days and park of the season.

Disney also noted that the reservation system “remains important to manage attendance in our parks, especially on busier days,” so it seems like Disney is making its best attempt to stay put in the reservation system for at least a little bit longer. However, eliminating the need for Annual Passholders to get a reservation could be a sign that Disney is testing the waters.

It was then announced that theme park reservations are required to enter a theme park through January 8, 2024. Beginning January 9, 2024, theme park reservations will no longer be required for date-based tickets. For other admission types, theme park reservations may be required.

Recently, more news was released, such as Disney World eliminating their 2:00 p.m. park hopping rule! 

Credit: @DrewDisneyDude

Although this is beneficial, we have seen massive price hikes across Disney World and Disneyland during this same announcement period.

Walt Disney World Annual Pass prices have increased $30-$50 depending on the pass type. Here’s a breakdown (all prices plus tax):

  • Incredi-Pass: $1449 (was $1399)
  • Sorcerer: $999 (was $969)
  • Pirate: $799 (was $749)
  • Pixie Dust: $439 (was $399)

On top of that, Memory Maker also went up in cost:

  • Advance purchase: $185 (was $169)
  • Regular price (during and post-vacation): $210 (was $199)
  • One day: $75 (was $69)

Disneyland is also seeing price hikes across the board.

Magic Key prices at the Disneyland Resort are increasing from $50 to $150 depending on the pass type. New sales remain paused, but renewals are ongoing. Here’s a breakdown:

  • Inspire: $1649 (was $1599)
  • Believe: $1249 (was $1099)
  • Enchant: $849 (was $699)
  • Imagine: $499 (was $449)
Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse accompanying the Disneyland Main Street Marching Band down Main Street, U.S.A, with Disneyland Park's Sleeping Beauty Castle in the background
Credit: Disney Parks Blog

On top of that, 1-day tickets and multi-day tickets at Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure have also gone up in cost. NEW: 1-day theme park ticket prices at Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure increased an average of 6-7% effective Wednesday. The cheapest 1-day ticket (Tier 0) remains $104 – but the most expensive (Tier 6) is now $194.

Multi-day tickets at Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure increased an average of 11-12% effective Wednesday. A 5-day ticket saw the biggest increase, jumping from $415 to $480. The Park Hopper add-on now ranges from $65-$75, depending on the length of the ticket.

Unfortunately, Park Hopper hours will remain in effect at Disneyland Resort. No changes to that policy were announced today, and guests will still have to wait until 11:00 a.m. to bounce around to their next park. It should also be noted that Genie+ at Disneyland Resort will now be priced at $30/day for pre-arrival. Day-of purchases will start at $30/day, but can vary.

Knowing all of this, would you be upset to hear that more areas at Disneyland are rejecting guests unless they are willing to shell out the “big bucks”.

Certain areas in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle are now being roped off. Only guests with Disney’s Happiest Haunts Guided Tour may use the vast area of space. The tour cost is $110.00.

According to Disneyland’s website, “Take a guided tour around Disneyland Park to enjoy chilling stories and thrilling experiences—and watch Halloween Screams, a nighttime spectacular, from a special viewing area!” The special viewing area is the forecourt of the castle.

Guests ride the Storybook Canal Boats (Le Pays des Contes de Fées) in Disneyland Paris
Credit: Disney

The tour takes two hours, and requires guests to purchase a ticket and make a Park Pass Reservation on top of the cost of the tour.

It is not new to see Disney block off areas for higher-paying guests regarding firework viewing, but now, this area is being added to the list, making the already cramped space even more difficult to navigate and enjoy. It seems that the cost of a single-day ticket to Disney is no longer enough to enjoy the theme park with the addition of added cost for decent firework viewing, as well as Disney Genie+ prices rising so that guests have to decide on spending hundreds more for their family to skip lines with the Lightning Lane, or wait in the longer regular queues.

Inside of Tiana's Palace at Disneyland Park in California
Credit: Disneyland

Even at Disneyland Paris, the Disneyland Paris app leads guests to believe that they need to pre-purchase seats to shows in order to get a spot in the theater; when waiting in the queue prior to the show will also get you a good spot without having to pay extra. On top of this, food and drink prices have also increased across the board. 

Do you think Disney should be reserving more firework spots for new tours? 



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