Chalk this one up in the category of “I saw this coming a mile away.”
Whenever times are good, Walt Disney World ignores the locals and hikes prices for annual passes. Park upgrades are few and far between because most international guests are only visiting once in a lifetime or maybe every few years. If it’s your first time to the parks, 10-year-old attractions are brand new.
That is, until times get bad.
I remember post 9/11 or during the Great Recession when Disney depended on locals to keep the parks going. However, Disney needs to offer admission at a significant discount to get Floridians, who are not going to pay over $100 a person for a single day, to visit the parks. Would the discounts on tickets come back again this time?
These are unprecedented times, and Walt Disney World management didn’t know what to expect when the parks reopened. Would there be a massive amount of pent up demand that would keep the parks full, albeit at reduced capacity? That’s what they hoped but just as the opening date approached, COVID-19 cases in Florida and around the country started to spike. So much for people traveling the newly opened parks.
Time to entice the locals.
Disney still requires reservations to get into the parks but the only one that’s hitting capacity limits is Disney Hollywood Studios. (Here’s our experience of visiting that park for the day) If you want to visit the Magic Kingdom, Epcot or Animal Kingdom you can pick your day.
Walt Disney World is offering discounted tickets to Florida Residents. You can buy a two, three, or four-day ticket.
The two-day ticket needs to be used before September 30th but the three and four-day tickets are good until just before Christmas. There’s no park-hopping at the present time, so a single park ticket is the only thing you can get. Buying four single-day tickets to Disney World for less than $50 a day is less than 1/2 the usual price.
I can understand why people can’t fathom how Floridians could possibly want to visit Disney World right now. However, I can honestly say that a visit to the parks where mask use is mandated (and, for the most part, followed) and social distancing is clearly marked when on lines is a joy compared to everyday life. Disney (and Universal) feels more comfortable than a trip to the supermarket or home improvement store where many people aren’t even masked up or if they are, they’re wearing them under their noses or around their chins.
Once again, Walt Disney World depends on Floridians to help them in their time of need and I’d guess that we’re going to do precisely what they expect us to.
#stayhealthy #staysafe #washyourhands #wearamask
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary