The Walt Disney Company announced a new ticket-pricing system Feb. 27 that now bases costs for the parks on supply and demand.
The announcement follows on the heels of October’s steep price hikes for annual pass holders and aims to better spread out visitation, according to a company statement.
New Disneyland Resort prices include a “value” one-day ticket for $95 and a “peak” one-day ticket for $119, in addition to a regular one-day ticket priced at $105.
“Value” tickets can be used Mondays through Thursdays when most schools are in session. “Peak” tickets are for peak seasons, including most of December, certain weekends in July and other holidays and notable weeks such as spring break and Easter. The regular ticket pricing is for weekends and weekdays in the summer.
“The peak pricing will deter those ‘marginal’ customers, for whom the price was already on the edge of what they were willing and able to pay,” said Wendy Keyes-Kimbirk, assistant professor of economics and quantitative methods. “It will be most effective for those customers who are more price-sensitive (also known as elastic demand). For those whose demand is more inelastic, and less sensitive to price, it won’t affect them much.”
While some park visitors may choose not to visit the parks during peak times because of the higher costs, Keyes-Kimbirk said some may also be willing to pay the higher price, which would help offset the loss of customers.
“Customers may complain, much like they do about gasoline prices, but they still keep visiting the parks, just like they keep filling up their gas tanks,” she said.
Jonathan Reed, sophomore history major, said the higher price will prevent him from purchasing the individual ticket, but he will most likely invest in an annual pass instead because the payoff is better.
“It’s horrible,” he said. “On one hand, I do understand it because they are ultimately a business, but they are more expensive already.”
Keyes-Kimbirk said it is possible the company could have benefited more had this decision been delayed.
“One thing that may have minimized the backlash, however, would have been to not introduce the premium pricing so shortly after a previous price increase and to frame the price change differently,” Keyes-Kimbirk said.