The Disney theme parks are making guests visits more enjoyable and a little less expensive.
Disney World and Disneyland made a lot of changes in fall 2022 that disappointed a lot of fans of the theme parks, especially when they raised prices for admission, food and beverages.
Disney theme parks, under the direction of former CEO Bob Chapek, contributed to inflation beginning in August 2022 when the Disneyland Resort raised food and drink prices, which included an increase of 40 cents more for a bottle of Coke, 50 Cents more for a Dole Whip and a dollar more for a turkey leg at $12.99, according to wdwnt.com.
Disney World followed with food and beverage increases in October, including 20 cents more for Columbia Harbor House chicken strips, 30 cents more for a Casey’s Corner Walt’s chili all-beef foot-long hot dog, 50 cents more for a Pecos Bill cheeseburger and in certain cases, $1 more, such as for Crystal Palace house-made white sangria.
Later on Oct. 11, the Disneyland Resort compounded its price increases by raising the highest demand admission price by 9% from $164 to $179. But it kept its lowest demand day price at $104 ($5 lower than Disney World parks.)
Disney World followed with admission price increases a month later, as on Nov. 15 it raised its highest ticket price to $189, six days before the Mouse House announced the termination of Chapek.
New CEO Bob Iger, who had led Disney for 15 years before Chapek took over in February 2020, reportedly was upset with all of the price increases under Chapek’s direction, saying “He’s killing the soul of the company,” the Wall Street Journal reported.
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Disney Gives a Little Back to Its Guests
So, what will Iger do about all those price increases now that Chapek is gone? Disney has decided to make some concessions and give a little back to its guests.
The Mouse House on Jan. 10 unveiled a series of enhancements at both the Disneyland and Disney World resorts to make guests experiences more enjoyable and save them a little money.
“I’m excited about all of these changes and offers and want you to know that we are committed to listening, adapting, and staying relentlessly focused on making the guest experience at our Disney parks even better,” Josh D’Amaro, chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, said in a letter to Disney Cast Members.
Passholders Don’t Always Need a Reservation
At Disney World, annual passholders will soon be able to enter any of the parks after 2 p.m. without having a reservation, except for Saturdays and Sundays at Magic Kingdom, according to Disney Parks Blog. Currently, passholders need to have a reservation like every other guest if they want to visit one of the parks. Disney has not yet set a date for when the new passholder rule will begin.
Disney World Resort hotel guests get a big perk starting Jan. 10 when overnight self-parking will again be offered complimentary. Disney hotel guests also continue to receive complimentary standard parking at Disney World theme parks, daily early theme park entry with valid admission and a park reservation and complimentary on-site transportation options such as buses, monorails and Disney Skyliner.
Also, Disney World guests purchasing Disney Genie+ service will also receive digital downloads of their Disney PhotoPass attraction photos, taken in the park on the day of their purchase, at no additional charge. The start date has not been set yet.
At the Disneyland Resort, the 2023 reservation calendar will offer nearly two months worth of its lowest price $104 admission tickets throughout the year. Park hopper participants will get even more time at their favorite park as beginning Feb. 4, guests who enter with a Park Hopper or Magic Key can cross over between parks two hours earlier at 11 a.m. instead of the current 1 p.m. rule.
Also at Disneyland Resort, Disney PhotoPass digital photo downloads captured on any Disney PhotoPass available attraction during a park visit will be complimentary for all ticketed park guests on the Disneyland app starting Feb. 4, throughout the Disney100 celebration at the Disneyland Resort.