If you’ve been reading Your Mileage May Vary for any length of time, you’ll know that these five words are something of our mantra: Walt Disney World is expensive! Unfortunately, it’s probably about to become even more so. Here’s what we, and other people in the “hypothetical know” think might happen.
Why do we think prices may go up soon?
Looking at AllEars.net’s WDW Ticket Increase Guide, you can see that what had started as a roughly annual increase when WDW opened in October 1971, quickly turned into an increase in ticket prices two or, in 1986, three times per year (But there must have been some backlash in 1986 because they never did 3 price increases in the same year ever again).
WDW has had ticket price increases in every month of the year (except July), at one time or another. The most popular month to charge more for tickets is June (12 times), followed by February (11 times). However, the last time day tickets (as opposed to annual passes) were raised was March 2019.
So they’re due.
On top of that, except for last year, February has consistently been a month of ticket price increases since 2013. I think they only reason it went up in March of 2019, instead of February, was because there had just been an increase in October of 2018. Prices going up in March meant there would at least be 5 months between the increases, instead of just a third of a year.
With all that in mind, I would bet anything that tickets prices are going to go up soon. Probably before the end of the month, but if not, then definitely by March.
How much do we think they’ll go up?
WDW ticket prices can be confusing. They vary based on season, day of the week (weekends and holidays cost more) and which park you’re going to (the Magic Kingdom is the most popular, so it’s more expensive). You also pay less per day if you buy a multi-day ticket (allowing you to go into parks 2+ days), but more per day if you buy a park hopper ticket (a park hopper ticket allows you to enter more than one park in any given day. Otherwise you have to stay in the same park; you can’t “hop” to another park that day). Discounts are available if you buy your tickets ahead of time (as opposed to at the gate) or through some online discount entity, are a Florida resident or Disney Vacation Club member, if you’re going to a convention or other large gathering at WDW, etc. Residents of other countries get different (usually better) deals than U.S. citizens. WDW also has annual passes (and variations thereof, if you’re an FL resident or DVC member), which allows you go into the parks for a year. But to keep things simple, let’s just look at a 1-day, 1-park ticket for an adult, with no discounts. Current prices for that, before taxes, are:
- $109 Low season (read: days that are historically low attendance. Usually a few days in January, May and September)
- $117 Value season (read: the generally quiet times of the year, including some mid-week days)
- $125 Regular season (read: most of the spring & summer)
- $139 Peak season (read: 4th of July weekend, Thanksgiving Week, the days before Christmas, etc.)
- $159 Holiday season (read: the week between Christmas & the New Year)
There are still some variations in there to account for weekends, holidays, etc. But it gives you an idea.
Based on the past history of ticket price increases, I’m betting the prices will turn into:
- $112 Low season
- $119 Value season
- $129 Regular season
- $149 Peak season
- $169 Holiday season
I could be wrong – there have been some times that some prices didn’t go up. But without a price increase in nearly a year, I suspect they’ll all go up.
Now we’ll just wait and see how much.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary