Like clockwork, Disney has raised the price of admission to its WDW parks: it’s now $94 per park, except the Magic Kingdom, which now costs $99/adult. The $100 mark will be breached the next time Disney raises ticket prices (most likely right after summer season 2014), so we’re looking at the LAST set of sub-$100 prices.


The announcement of the price hikes came on Saturday night, a mere handful of hours before the hikes went into effect on Sunday morning. I found it particularly clever that they released the news when they did, because there was a press event happening at Universal Orlando the same night. Disney must have figured (rightly) that they couldn’t lose. Either the price hike would be buried by the news cycle (in which case they “win” because no one accuses them of greed) or Disney *would* be the talk of the town due to the price hike if there was enough outrage (in which case Disney would “win” anyway, because now the Universal event is being ignored in favor of Disney, which makes Disney look relevant and Universal irrelevant).

Disney has every right to raise the prices. Indeed, it makes good business sense (and Disney is, primarily, a business with quarterly earnings to consider above all else). We know this to be true because, simply, the parks have never been busier, despite the annual (or biannual) price hikes. People keep coming and they keep paying, so it would make little sense as a business if Disney did not try to see what the market will bear.


Of course, not every business decision ought to be spreadsheet-driven. What I find particularly glaring is that the official statements about price hikes always invoke the “premium brand” and reflect the value of a Disney vacation.

To illustrate how such a statement is almost FUNNY, I thought I’d do a little experiment with you, the readers. Scan through this list below and see if you can figure out what I’m doing:

Magic Kingdom

  • Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor – Glamorous (Fergie)
  • Stitch’s Great Escape – My Boo (Usher)
  • PeopleMover – I Gotta Feelin’ (Black Eyed Peas)
  • Carousel of Progress – Can’t Help Falling in Love (UB40)
  • Astro-Orbiter – Bump ‘n Grind (R. Kelly)
  • Space Mountain – Love the Way You Lie (Eminem)
  • Buzz Lightyear – First Night (Monica)
  • Tomorrowland Speedway – Smooth (Santana)
  • Dumbo – Stronger (Kelly Clarkson)
  • Barnstormer – Stronger (Kelly Clarkson)
  • Mad Tea Party – End of the Road (Boyz II Men)
  • Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh – If You Had My Love (Jennifer Lopez)
  • Under the Sea – Diamonds (Rihanna)
  • Princess Fairytale Hall – Roar (Katy Perry)
  • Prince Charming Royal Carrousel – Maggie May (Rod Stewart)
  • Mickey’s Philharmagic – Baby Boy (Beyonce)
  • Peter Pan’s Flight – Maggie May (Rod Stewart)
  • It’s a Small World – Maggie May (Rod Stewart)
  • Haunted Mansion – Born This Way (Lady Gaga)
  • Hall of Presidents – Boom Boom Pow (Black Eyed Peas)
  • Country Bear Jamboree – Maggie May (Rod Stewart)
  • Enchanted Tiki Room – Maggie May (Rod Stewart)
  • Magic Carpets of Aladdin – All for You (Janet)
  • Jungle Cruise – Maggie May (Rod Stewart)
  • Swiss Family Treehouse – Maggie May (Rod Stewart)
  • Pirates of the Caribbean – One More Night (Maroon 5)
  • Big Thunder – Lady (Kenny Rogers)
  • Splash Mountain – End of the Road (Boyz II Men)
  • WDW Railroad – Maggie May (Rod Stewart)


  • Spaceship Earth – Low (Flo Rida)
  • Ellen’s Energy Adventure – Macarena (Los Del Rio)
  • Mission Space – Crazy in Love (Beyonce)
  • Test Track – Diamonds (Rihanna)
  • Seas with Nemo – Say it Right (Nelly Furtado)
  • Living with the Land – Jack & Diane (John Cougar)
  • Circle of Life – Creep (TLC)
  • Soarin – Candy Shop (50 Cent)
  • Journey into Imagination – Foolish (Ashanti)
  • Captain EO – Take My Breath Away (Berlin)
  • Gran Fiesta Tour – Don’t Matter (Akon)
  • Maelstrom – Dirty Diana (Michael Jackson)
  • Reflections of China – Get Busy (Sean Paul)
  • American Adventure – Umbrella (Rihanna)
  • Impressions de France – Jack & Diane (John Cougar)
  • O Canada – Beautiful Girls (Sean Kingston)

I would do the other two parks, but I think the point is made. Did you figure out the pattern and what’s going on? The song listed was the #1 song in the week when that attraction was last updated significantly (or simply when it first opened, if it hasn’t updated in a significant fashion. Also note: I didn’t include queue updates).

To me, anyway, this makes the staleness of WDW more visible (or more accurately, the staleness of PARTS of the resort). If you tried to use the songs above to DJ a wedding reception, you’d look hopelessly nostalgic. And yet, this is what passes for the best and newest the theme park world has to offer (or so they imply with the prices). Something to think about!


Ultimate Orlando Clicks

The moat as you know it will reportedly be changing soon at Magic Kingdom (new bridges and access), so we take a look around. Plus, we tour the revised Casey’s Corner dining room and examine the new King Triton statue outside the DVC in Fantasyland. We also notice the new thatched roof on Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.

Direct link:

Re-Launching Ultimate Orlando

I’ve maintained a “side blog” since 2006 and have finally decided to unify all my social networking around this one site and brand. That means I will soon stop posting about my Disney updates to my regular Facebook account, and will only use the “Ultimate Orlando” venues/accounts going forward. Also of note: I had to change the YouTube channel, so if you subscribe to the current one be sure you switch your subscription to the new one. If you follow me on any of these services, please update your bookmarks:


  • AaroniusPolonius

    The ticket prices going up is just insane, although that’s more the fault of the consumer rather than Disney. I think it must be hard to be a casual visitor to Orlando, where this family trip to Florida is not regular and to NOT go to Disney. Combined with the multi-day savings, it’s clear where Disney is banking wealth.

    I’m curious as to their regular, long-term visitors as well. I know they don’t break out these business numbers, but I’m wondering if DVC has hit critical mass, where they’ve sold enough vacation club memberships to ensure consistent visitation and dominance. Which is to say that no matter what the competition does, x-amount of people have purchased DVC memberships so that x-amount will always be greater, more profitable and more visited than y-competitor amount.

    I think I’m in the minority here, but I really like what they’ve done in New Fantasyland. I think the company has addressed many of the ongoing complaints about it’s ‘decline by degrees’ and cheapo ride installations (Dino-Land USA. Ugh.)

    But…it’s not enough. Sure, it’s enough to garner a new cycle and attention for the new land, rides and attractions. But it’s not enough for mindshare in the eyes of the theme park advocate and I suspect, in the minds of the young people visiting the theme parks.

    Remember, a lot of us have this fandom for Disney because from 1955ish through to say 1994, Disney really WAS the end all and be all. You really couldn’t find better stuff, more fully realized attractions and more dazzling applications of theme. I don’t know if today’s young visitors will have that same connection.

    I know they’re not going to do it, but I really think they should spend heavily on every WDW theme park and overlay new attractions over the nostalgia. To put this another way, I think New Fantasyland would be enough…if it was part of a larger project to add “New Tomorrowland,” “New Adventureland” and “New Frontierland” as well.

    • DuckyDelite

      I don’t think they have hit DVC critical mass yet. Since they keep raising single day prices and hotel prices, I’m sure this price increase is to help DVC look like a bargain in comparison.

      I think it will be interesting if (or when) DVC members continue to stay at the DVC hotels, but stop going to the park because it is priced too high.

  • wishyouwell

    For once in a life time type of tourist, I understand they would think Disney Parks are good value. But for myself, a frequent visitor and DVC member, I have seem enough and experienced enough of the same things over and over again for the past ten years. Until they open enough new attractions in each of their parks, I am not going to go back and pay that price tag to see those same attractions yet again. All the other theme parks in Orlando area have opened so many new and seems like high quality attractions, for the next few years I have decided that I will spend my vacation budget going to visit all other parks instead. It is funny in a way, years ago we would stay off site in cheap motel when we go to Florida to visits only Disney World, but now I prefer to stay on Disney’s deluxe DVC resorts but venture out property to seek entertainment elsewhere. I will still enjoy my Disney “magic” in their resorts, but I am not going to spend my money in their parks.

  • jcruise86

    Kevin, you wrote, “The song listed was the #1 song in the week when that attraction was last updated significantly . . . If you tried to use the songs above to DJ a wedding reception, you’d look hopelessly nostalgic.”

    If something is outstanding at first it will need only minor updating, like the ballroom scene in the Haunted Mansion, Disneyland’s Dumbo, and certain scenes in “It’s a Small World.”

    But THANK YOU for letting Disney know that many of us do have high expectations.

    There has been an ugly, transparently avaricious trend with Disney since the early 80s, especially after Michael Eisner elevated Paul Pressler, Jay Rasulo, etc. Frank Wells and Eisner almost doubled park admission prices over just a two year period with little damage to attendance numbers, but they did discover a bit of a price ceiling for a while.

    The opening of Diagon Alley (with Gringotts) and the Hogwart’s Express might inspire a few WDW vs Universal Orlando articles where Harry tops the mouse. I expect that 2014 will be another year of flat WDW attendance (though 17 mil. in the MK might still be the world’s most), but Universal will certainly have another increase. I expect that an increasing # families that would have spent 6 days at WDW will start spending 4 or 5 days at WDW and 2 at Universal Orlando.

    And given their recent behavior, I wouldn’t be surprised if Universal Orlando opens something cooler than Avatar about the time Avatar opens–something we haven’t even heard of yet. (Suggestion that I hereby put into the public domain: I’d like a history of film technology & artistry fun house ride.)

    • jcruise86

      ^ ^ P.S. I wouldn’t mind if Universal paid another studio or two (they might soon own Warner Bros. if the gov. keeps stupidly encouraging mergers), and then created a “Greater Movie Ride” that blows away the neglected one at WDW’s Studios park.

      • Malin

        Comcast would own Time Warner Cable which is separate company and nothing to do with Warner Brothers Studios. Besides building a Great Movie Ride would mean Universal would actually have to build some advance Animatronics.

      • jcruise86

        Thanks, Malin. As much as I dislike duopolies and oligopolies, I was intrigued by having the Harry Potter Studios–Warner Bros.–combined with the Potter parks–Universal. Have you been to the Potter soundstages/exhibits at the WB studios outside of London, and–if so–how did you like it?

      • CaptainAction

        Yes Malin,

        Those animatronic cowboys, gangsters, Tarzan, bobing Munchkins, Bogart’s turning head, etc are all state of the art animatronics with technology only matched at State Fair haunted houses of 1982.

        Can’t imagine anyone improving on these amazing examples of WDW animatronics.

      • Malin

        Yes jcruise85 I have been around the real sets on the Harry Potter Studio Tour. Certainly a fun and worthwhile attraction if anyone is ever visiting the UK. And it serves Butter Beer. You can stroll around at your leisure after leaving the Grand Hall Room. And plenty of props and sets to keep you entertained. Easily a 2 hour experience. Also felt the merchandise was a higher standard to what I’ve seen from Universal. Although it sells the same candy items like the beans and chocolate frogs.

        Captain Action please. Compare to the ET attraction or Cat in the Hat these figures are highly advance. Also don’t get your hopes on it being Universal because we have seen recent efforts from them and the Madagascar and Sesame Street rides are jokes.

      • DLFan1995

        As Disney no longer develops their own animatronics, and they are just provides by an outside company, ANYONE can also have the Disney level animatronics.

        All it takes if for Universal to decide they want to incorporate advanced animatronics in their next attraction for it to happen.

    • jcruise86

      The doubling of admission prices I mentioned in my post above barely hurt admission #s, so any free market fan would correctly point out that admission prices had been too low before the increases. Still, I do remember once seeing a family of four slowly walking away from the ticket booths years ago with their heads bowed, none of them talking to each other. I imagined they had just learned that they couldn’t afford to go to Disneyland that day.

    • CaptainAction


      I don’t think Universal or anyone could build something LESS cool or LESS exciting than Avatar.

      I think it’s interesting that former Disney fans who are fed up with WDW the last 10 years are about 4 to 5 times the amount of “WDW Can DSo No Wrong Folks” in the talkbacks.

      Funny how the WDW Can Do No Wrong Folks all say WDW doesn’t need to do anything new
      ever again and you should be kissing WDW execs feet.
      These folks say WDW numbers are so great they will never miss you – so go.
      What an attitude?!? Nothing at all like Walt at all.

      You guys realize you will be standing in Epcot 30 years from now w Ellen’s Energy Ride and Imagination? Even you will get tired of this theme park museum. Then you will realize, “Oh, this is what those guys were trying to tell me back in 2002.”

      • Malin

        We’ll see what Universal fans feel when those videos projected in front of its rides become stale in 3-5 years from now. Perhaps it can upgrade the technology and scenes and make a big deal out of it like it tried to do with Spider-Man. Also 2002 this is 2014 the last time I checked. If you don’t even know what year we are in why should anyone take you seriously? Unless you were referring to something else which isn’t clear.

      • jcruise86

        The purpose of Avatar is for Bob Iger to stay head of Disney earning $30 to 40 million a year for the next few years so his kids, grandkids and great grandkids will be set for life. Rasulo, Staggs and Iger are all Paul Pressler & (post Frank Wells) Michael Eisner now.

        Lasseter lost his potentially scary (to Iger) big brother and Disney’s biggest stockholder.
        Tony Baxter has left the building.
        Meg Crofton hasn’t.

        But maybe Avatar might be cool.
        And maybe 10-foot tall blue creatures riding dragons might fly out of my…

        I hope Avatar is incredible.
        And that all of WDW gets a makeover before its 50th that surpasses Disneyland.
        And that Universal’s Harry Potter efforts inspire more kids to read the books.

        Malin, thank you for the info about the WB London studios Harry Potter stuff!

      • CaptainAction

        We have been telling you since 2002 that those who love WDW the way it is and are happy if it never changes, will one day see the parks and will have lost the excitement. Then you guys will say, “Oh, this is what they were trying to save us from.”

        For some of us it was 2005. For others it was 2009. For some 2013.

        The numbers of Americans are growing who are tired of being taken for granted by a company living off it’s past. Some may realize it in 2019.

        Maybe Walt was wrong. WDW is finished because the current WDW execs have no creativity.

  • airick75

    To support your point about the world’s “leading” theme park: I watched the closing ceremonies with my family and we all thought Disney could learn a thing or two from the Russians. I hope Disney Wold’s theme song doesn’t become the theme song from “Once” – “Falling Slowly” (Though that song certainly won’t apply to the ticket prices!)

    That Triton bust is kind of scary – how it comes out of the wood and all.

  • TCadillac

    Wasn’t Country Bear Jamboree just updated less than two years ago?.. Albeit for the worse being the showtime was significantly cut. I guess it should ‘Call me maybe – Carly Rae Jepsen’ lol!!

    • TCadillac

      *should be

  • tooncity

    People STOP going. It’s Walt Dated World. You’re getting soaked.
    At $400 for a family of 4, is silly.

    • Concrete Enchilada

      And that’s just to get in. Don’t forgot in throw in parking, food and drinks, goofy hats and $45 t-shirts.

  • jjw69

    Hopefully the price increase will keep the vandals & the gang members out that come to the park & cause trouble!!

    • Tielo

      The people you refer to are Disney fans, they are not called gang members or vandals. 😉

      • jjw69

        Lol oh ok Disney fans. Any how Disney fans are always vandalizing the rides. I work in the 3rd shift ride maintenance department at Ca Disneyland Resort for 12 years. They graffiti on everything, they destroy our animatronics figures by throwing full water bottles at them. We have to remove them to repair them & if we don’t have a part then we have to reorder it. Just an example. I can go on & on. Not cheap to keep up the attractions. The good side of it is Disney fans keeps me in a job lol

      • danielz6

        Wow that is disgusting that people actually do that. Does Disney ever escort them out of the park or prosecute? People like that ruining the experience for everyone else certainly deserve it.

    • I’ve never noticed gang members or vandals at WDW. But I have noticed many families who seem to be a dollar short but still trying to show their families a good time. Sure, there is no shortage of folks with means to keep the parks full, but larger segments of the population are rapidly being priced out of the magic. It’s a shame, but as look as the parks stay packed, Disney will keep raising prices. Supply and demand.

      • Malin

        This is why other Parks like SeaWorld, Cedar and Six Flags need to step up and improve its offerings so that families can afford to visit other Parks which can match Disney’s standards at a cheaper price. The lack of real competition is what’s pushing up the prices.

    • danielz6

      I’d imagine that gang members have plenty of money to visit Disney parks. I’d wager that a good lot of them have more money than the average American worker earns, especially if they profit from the drug trade. Face it, these price increases are keeping out typical middleclass families that can no longer afford it, or at least not as often.

      • jjw69

        LOL true 🙂

  • FarFromHome

    I’m already having enough trouble saving up w/ Obamacare hitting my purse. This is the last thing I needed. Guess I’ll have to wait until next summer 🙁

    • danielz6

      You must be a vandal or a gang member if you can no longer afford WDW haha

      • jjw69

        No just an employee for Disney. I know I shouldn’t complain but it does get old after awhile repairing the broken things the” guest” i’ll call them, destroy Disney property that families would like to see working. Im sorry about complaining. Cheers!

  • fnord

    jjw, do you mean the vandals and gang members that were willing to pay the previous price of $95
    will refuse to pay $99? Please explain.

    • jjw69

      Nope I think you already did 🙂

  • Algernon

    It all boils down to “Where else are they gonna go?” Back in the 1990’s, when Las Vegas was rapidly becoming an adult Disneyland, there was a lot more competition for the family fun dollar. And it was cheap. Very cheap. All kinds of things to see and do. Cheap buffets. Giant hot dogs for 99 cents. Shrimp cocktails. Arcades, theme parks, roller coasters, outrageous architecture. The whole family could spend two nights in a hotel for less than one kid’s admission to Disneyland.

    But then they took a different path, going for the twenty somethings living off a credit card, with trendy nightclubs, $65 buffets, boutique shops. The new resorts looked like downtown anywhere, and the whole place became less interactive with the demise of the coin slots.

    Should Las Vegas ever get with it, and go back to the Family Fun Era (when it was growing like crazy, and making money like crazy) , Disney would have a real run for their money.

    • AaroniusPolonius

      Yeah, Vegas wasn’t really comfortable in the family friendly zone. It’s kind of hard to square family fun with avarice. What’s more, they’re making a lot more money catering to “adult Disneyland” people with higher, upscale incomes. I suspect that the trend is not going the other way any time soon.

    • jcruise86

      Try national parks.

  • DisWedWay

    Raising ticket prices once more still goes with what I was told back from WED Mineral King /Lake Independence Days, that they would be set just below an Adult regular season Mammoth Mountain One Day Ski Pass which is $99.00 on just looking. Of course if your over 80 you get a free pass at Mammoth. Seems if Disneyland would offer Seniors 65 and over free admission they would bring more of their paying family member’s, who also buy more of the merchandize.

    • DisWedWay

      I do have several WED Graduate friends who have made it to the free ski pass age of 80 at Mammoth and have gotten their free annual pass, but they are more worried about breaking bones now and don’t do any more flips or jumps unless its good powder.

  • llmeeko

    In January, I blogged about our disappointment in WDW. After 8 years, we were finally able to make a return visit in December. Little did we know it would be a goodbye trip. All the things we read here over the years proved to be true. Although the resort was wonderful, the parks left us cold. The decline was obvious in many different ways. We even came home with money in our pockets – there were no unique items to buy and I went with a list of things I hoped to get. Oh well. We are already planning our next FL trip…to Universal.

    • jcruise86

      Please write a Universal trip report with tips. 🙂

    • Malin

      I had the exact opposite experience and felt WDW which I had not visited in 5 years was a very enjoyable experience and much improve from our last visit. While my day trip to Universal except for Horror Nights was a disappointment. And I still haven’t made a decision if I’ll visit Universal on this trip. Possibly not because I find Potter underwhelming as a concept.

      • CaptainAction

        Nothing changed in 5 years at WDW. What could be better. It’s all the same.

      • jcruise86

        Just curious, Malin: Have you been to Knott’s Scary Farm? Or Universal Hollywood’s Horror Nights? if so, was Universal Orlando’s halloween even really that much better?

      • jcruise86

        Typo: ^ ^ “evenT”, not “even”>

    • Tielo

      My last WDW trip was 10 years ago. I was looking forward to Nemo (living seas), Soarin and the Mars centrifuge and the Yeti coaster at AK (all new to us). All of them left me extremely underwhelmed and disappointed. We had a lot of uninspired and bored staff who looked much younger then before and made it clear that they didn’t want to be there (or have us there).
      Two years ago I visited Universal Orlando resort (I use to visit them about every 5 years but it must have been longer this time) and was pleasantly surprised. The staff was great, the food better and the rides amazing.

      During my next visit (November this year) I’m looking forward to experience many new and exciting things like the Simpsons area/food, Despicable Me (I’m a huge fan of the movies), the parade, the nighttime show, Transformers (OMG) and Potter 2.0 and I’m looking forwards to see all the Christmas decorations at Sues and the Macy’s Parade who I love.

      I will return (if I’m still around, my health is quite bad and Disney is sloooow) to WDW when Avatar Land is ready. I hope they also installed Star Wars land in the mean time and I’m wondering how they executed it (not excited about Avatar but I’m curious what they go and offer). The current changes like updates of queues and New Fantasyland or the new parade just aren’t enough to make me visit them.

      • CaptainAction

        I’m sorry to read that your health isn’t good. Please hang in there and keep writing. I always enjoy your posts.
        By the way, since WDW execs have gone cheap, I don’t think any of us will ever see Star Wars Land.
        Three years for a kiddie coaster and talking about Avatar for a good share of a decade doesn’t bode well for any meaningful improvements.
        And, as the WDW Can Do No Wrong Folks always tell us, “WDW doesn’t have to build anything new so just go away”.

    • CaptainAction

      We are not alone llmeeko, growing numbers everyday leaving WDW and heading for Universal.

  • CoryJoel

    It is from the pre show to Honey I shrunk the Audience. Sponsored by Kodak.

  • Malin

    Kevin for a fair comparison can we list all the attractions the Magic Kingdom offers and then compare them to the attraction offerings at Universal. I think you’ll discover which one offers the true better value for your money. For me Disney will always offer a better deal depending on your length of stay. But I see that purposely writing about this topic in the manner it’s addressed will result in a lot of Disney bashing and much higher interest in your column then if you were reporting on a non controversial subject. Price hikes, FastPass + and no new investment will gain much more attention from the core group of WDW haters then writing about Disney’s exciting new Festival of Fantasy Parade because that puts WDW in a positive view. I’m not knocking you because I understand the reasons it’s just a shame you have to take this approach instead of some of your earlier work both here on MiceAge and the other site.

    • Dan Heaton

      I’m not sure what Universal has to do with Kevin’s point at all. He’s just showing how Disney is resting on its laurels and isn’t updating attractions. If that still works out, great. Still, it’s a far cry from even the way Disney did business even well into the Eisner years.

      A new parade doesn’t compare to offering new attractions frequently (not every three years) in all the parks. At a minimum, they should freshen up attractions that haven’t changed in nearly 20 years. It’s not like people are expecting Cars Land every year. Even a change to Energy or Imagination would be a welcome move, especially with prices and FP+ happening.

      • CaptainAction

        Hey Dan, you are right and did you hear that Universal is moving the construction folks from Diagon Alley as soon as they finish, straight to Jurassic Island to put in a King Kong ride and Island section together.
        Universal just keeps making WDW look bad and the WDW fans just keep hoping Universal stops trying.
        Why would they hope that?
        Why wouldn’t they want WDW to try harder?
        Defend lazyness?
        Not the American way.

    • CaptainAction

      Nobody counts Imagination, Ellen’s Energy, Mexico Boat Ride, The Land, Small World, Treehouse, Little Mermaid, Orbitron, Indiana Stunt Show, Movie Ride (not great), Catastrophe Canyon, Cap Eo, Spaceship Earth, AK Train, Dinoland, Broken (for years) Yeti, ETC, as anything but tired and in need of complete replacement.
      This is why you read 5-7 negative comments from former WDW fans for every Disney Doesn’t Need to Improve comment defending WDW actions the last 10 years.
      The only point to Universal is that they are making WDW look BAD because they are improving so much.
      Getting Universal to stop improving isn’t the answer.
      Getting WDW to start improving is the answer.

      • Malin

        5-7 comments from the same people or in this case person. The reason you don’t get Disney Fans defending the comments is because the fans don’t care what you have to say. I only do it myself for entertainment value.

      • Internitty

        If they would fix the broken things that would be a start and show some commitment to guest satisfaction. I wouldn’t expect much new until they complete the marvelous machine that turns you upside down and shakes the money out of your pockets. A couple of billion much better spent than on maintenance or new attractions.

      • jcruise86

        Captain Action and Malin, I wish we could all ride Small World together! 🙂
        Actually, I enjoy your spirited debate.
        Let’s remember that we all want magnificent and uplifting attractions
        in beautiful, unique lands.

        And peace, freedom and prosperity in the Ukraine, the Sudan & North Korea. 🙂

      • Concrete Enchilada

        Why has no one mentioned the New Fantasyland attractions? Certainly, it replaced 20k Under the Sea, but in return several new attractions have been added. Now we have Journey of the Little Mermaid, Dueling Dumbos, Gaston’s Tavern, Be Our Guest Restaurant, and some minor attractions. And soon, we’ll have a first-of-it’s-kind roller coaster. Now, the rides aren’t necessarily andrenaline pumping but something new and interesting to check out. I haven’t been to the park lately, but I gather the New Fantasyland doesn’t compare to the original Potterverse.

        Also, don’t forgot that Avatarland is forthcoming. Money and resources not well spent IMHO. But, it’s something new to check out.

        P.S. Didn’t the O’ Canada Film get updated?

  • Dan Heaton

    I like the clever way to show the dated nature of much of WDW. That bothers me a lot more than the price hikes. I’d understand them more and not be upset if they kept the parks up to date and even just rehabbed some laughably dated attractions like in Future World. Hopefully something will start changing. I’m really hoping that Universal blows everyone away with Diagon Alley. It’s going to take that type of fierce competition over a bunch of years to finally push Disney to do something.

    • jcruise86

      If Universal’s investments pay off with increasing attendance
      and if WDW’s attendance remains flat and guests specify their lack of enthusiasm over WDW’s leaders’ laziness and timidity,
      then the company might sink 2-3 billion more into making it out-sparkle the Disneyland Resort before WDW’s 50th in 2021. It might take the removal or retirements of Rasulo, Iger, Staggs and Crofton.

      Is it me, or has Lasseter the Imagineer been quiet (or quieted) since his boss and (by far) Disney’s biggest stockholder, the great Steve Jobs, died?

      Changes will probably be slow and (compared with the first 25 years at WDW) and unimpressive as long as the MK keeps attracting 17 million visits a year. The easily contented under 35-year-old adults with kids are blowing it for those of us
      who remember WDW in the 1970s and early 80s,
      or who have been to Tokyo Disneyland
      and can’t help but see WDW’s current and near future of unreached potential.

    • Internitty

      The original Harry Potter attraction didn’t phase them so I don’t think they will care. Disney have a definite too big to fail attitude, they forget they were almost broken up and sold off to Asian investors in the early 1980s, it could easily happen again when you take into account the complacency the Disney management currently has. Remember most of these problems are down to a hand full of suits who can con the board.

  • BrianFuchs

    Back in 2006 – when my kids were just a couple of years old – I read an article on a fansite that talked about rising WDW ticket prices. Living in California but knowing we would someday vacation in Florida, I purchased 10-day no-expiration tickets for the whole family. Park-hopper, water park option – the whole enchilada.

    Those cost me $375 each for the adult passes and $335 each for the kids passes (through Undercover Tourist).
    Adding the latest price increase, the same thing today would cost over $750 per ticket with the no-expiration option (assuming Disney continues to provide that add-on in the park).

    Since purchasing those tickets, we have used two days, and the kids got their child tickets upgraded to adult tickets for free (thanks, Disney). I figure by the time we use all of the days, one-day prices will be kissing $130 (hard to imagine that now).

    Kind of makes you wonder if it’s not worth it to buy those 10-day tickets at today’s prices and add the No Expiration option.
    My 10-day top of the line ticket price doubled in 8 years. That’s some mighty inflated mouse ears.
    Anyone thinking of doing this should know that if WDW adds a 4th gate, the tickets would not be good for that park. Plus who knows what FastPass+ will look like 5 years from now. Maybe my tickets will be good for admission but no FP perks.

    Anyone remember back when Universal sold non-expiring admissions? I bought a few 3-day multi-park tickets back in 2005 for a whopping $125 each. Those were the days…

    • ChrisNJ

      Glad to know I’m not the only person doing this. Bought the passes years ago and have been using them every few years for a WDW visit. Saved lots of $$$.

      • jcruise86

        Smart, ChrisNJ & Brian! Your investment (if you were certainly going to go to WDW) outperformed many other types of investments. You both bet on Disney dramatically increasing park prices and you won. Nice! (For you! :))

    • BrianFuchs

      He he…
      I didn’t even notice my big, glaring error in my original post.

      Anyone catch it?

      “Anyone thinking of doing this should know that if WDW adds a 4th gate, the tickets would not be good for that park.”

      I meant to say 5th gate. When I mentally counted four gates, I unintentionally omitted Animal Kingdom. Maybe the upcoming Avatar-land will make me remember it’s a real park. Yeah, right…..I still can’t remember the name of any character from that movie.

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  • TimmyTimmyTimmy

    Atleast now Disney will have enough money to fix the broken Yeti in AK…

    • jcruise86

      Or, more likely, increase the bonuses of the highest paid executives. The broken Yeti is their WDW mascot–a big middle finger to Walt himself and the suckers like me who will still go to WDW. (Though my WDW visits have gone from annual to VERY infrequent.)

      • jcruise86

        ^ ^ OK, I calmed down. Maybe the Everest mtn. really can’t support a giant wildly moving Yeti. But it would be nice if it were disassembled and reconstructed elsewhere. Or ship it to Disneyland and have it fight ASIMO.

      • Tielo

        @jcruise86 I read an imagineer replied to a question from a fan when they Yeti would be fixed that “it was meant to be this way”. In other words, they created something potentially very cool that costed millions of dollars and they leave it like a mannequin with a strobe light on it. Like the replacement of the people mover at DL and the tree at AK Disney created something and it didn’t work and they left it. Removing the Yeti would cost to much so it will never happen and stay there as a reminder that the execution of imaginering’s ideas are exceedingly failing if they try to do something else then the same thing they have done over and over again (like mermaid).
        Sure it’s disappointing but when it comes to Disney you should lower your expectations. They are not what they used to be.

  • GhostHostJeff

    Am I the only one who finds it weird that the Magic Kingdom is more money then the other parks.

    • jcruise86

      Doesn’t the MK have twice the attractions of the WDW studios or the AK?
      If people with kids (like my in-laws last week) just visit one WDW park,
      it’ll probably be the MK. (My in-laws went to Universal for one day too, and
      spent the rest of their Florida vacation at a beach.)

      With MyMagic+’s 3 attraction limit
      and with about 9 FPs I’d like at the MK,
      we’ll probably visit the MK the days we fly in and out
      so we can get 3 MK FPs on 3 different days.
      In the past I’d’ve probably wanted to spend more time at EPCOT.

    • Concrete Enchilada

      I don’t find it weird at all. I am surprised they haven’t charged more for the MK in the past. I have never stayed at DHS for a whole day. It’s improving on it’s “half day park” reputation, though.

  • richboi117

    Getting rid of the moat?!?! If this is true I think I am done with Disney. I know the park division was built off the philosophy of never being completed, but wrecking the aesthetic for an asphalt walkway is the ending point for me. Aiaiaiai!

  • thebear

    Does anyone know what percentage of the parks visitors purchase single day, single park tickets? Just curious.

    • Tielo

      I think 0%. Maybe a small percentage for MK but the rest of the parks would be without visitors if they weren’t part of a resort. NO one in his right mind would pay +100 dollars (after tax) for the Disney Hollywood Studios or Animal Kingdom.

      • TheBig2na

        I had friends who just did. They go once a year for one day and this year decided to hit the studios. They enjoyed it with their little kid who got to meet her favorite Toy Story Characters. I can’t say I would ever go for a day and pay that, but I understand why some people might. Although the number is probably pretty close to 0%.

  • stitchfanocala

    So you’re basically saying…..that the Tea Cups haven’t been updated since 1993?!?!?

    That of course is just one of the things you’re saying, but WOW!!! That is indeed truly sad.

    • jcruise86

      And no loops in the Haunted Mansion ballroom scene!

  • jcruise86

    Any other Disney shareholders who look at price increases and think, “Oh, no! Now I have to pay myself more money!”

    What did (Emma Thompson’s version of) P.L. Travers call Disneyland (to Tom Hanks’ Walt) as she was portrayed in “Saving Mr. Banks”?

    And see the old Mad magazine parody of Walt written and drawn while he was still alive.

    From what I read on Micechat, folks aren’t as upset about the rising prices as they are about the stagnating product. I trust that Universal’s recent bravery will pay off and Disney will get back in the game.

  • holierthanthoutx

    Here’s what I’m seeing:

    Pretty much everybody wants to whine about Disney. Certainly almost every comment here is whining about something.

    “It’s too expensive.” Guess what? If it were cheap, it would be packed to capacity every day of the year. You can’t have it both ways. If you want an enjoyable experience without 120-minute waits for every ride, you have to limit admission somehow. Disney does that through pricing.

    “They don’t update the rides constantly.” Again, guess what? When they touch one of the rides, everybody screams in horror because they’re messing with a “classic.” Just like with crowd levels and pricing, you can’t have it both ways. Why should the Magic Kingdom update everything every year? Just because YOU’VE become bored with “it’s a small world” doesn’t mean the family who has never seen it before won’t love it.

    Our family pays an average of $17 per person per day to visit WDW — annual passes. We pay an average of about $110 per night for a two-bedroom DVC villa (that’s our yearly assessments broken down into a per-night cost, because the cost of the DVC membership paid for itself several years ago).

    And our family enjoys every minute of our trips. True, we don’t spend all day every day in a theme park, but we always do the stuff we love and we always have a great time.

    So Disney has raised the prices again. Big deal. They’re a for-profit corporation. They’re entitled to earn a profit. I’m happy to have a shorter wait for Pirates and the ability to get a reservation at Le Cellier. Everyone who is complaining can stay home — I won’t mind, and Disney certainly won’t care.

    • Internitty

      Great idea, overprice it, don’t maintain it and they won’t come. There’s a film in that

    • CaptainAction

      Most folks, even big Disney fans wouldn’t spend 45 days a year at WDW?!?
      That’s how you get to $17 a day? That isn’t your average anyone.
      Even DVC has an additional cash outlay which is the opportunity cost of not investing $40,000 with compound interest over 25 years. There are also yearly taxes and fees with DVC. So, your $100 per night has some other costs which need to be considered as well.

    • HauntedPirate

      Disney raised single day ticket prices $4/day? So what! That’s nothin’! If you don’t like it, don’t go. It’s still affordable, skiing costs some $$$ per day, blah blah blah.

      Of course, when you take a step back and look at the bigger picture, that $4/day price increase is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Consider:

      1 day ticket: $75/adult in 2008; $94 or $99/adult in 2014 – a 25%/32% increase
      AP: $469/adult in 2008; $634/adult in 2014 – a 35% increase
      Parking: $11/day in 2008; $15/day in 2014 – a 36% increase
      Rack rate for a Deluxe resort room, standard view, regular season: $275/night in 2008 | $394/night in 2014 – a 43% increase

      At Cosmic Ray’s, in 2008 a Bacon Double Cheeseburger w/fries cost $7.39. Today, a 1/3lb Angus Bacon Cheeseburger w/fries is $10.19. – a 38% increase [Presuming 1/4lb patties, you’re also getting less burger for your money today.] A refillable mug was $12 in 2008, today the length-of-stay refillable mug is $18, a 50% increase.

      Following the inflation rate calculations at, $75 in 2008 would be worth $81.43 in 2013. Or, more simply, $1 in 2008 would be worth $1.09 in 2013.

      Average US household income in 2008 was $52,029/yr. In 2012 (the latest available), it was $51,371, a 1% DECREASE.

      Obviously, there’s no reason to “whine” about prices at WDW, is there? $4/day more for park admission is “no big deal”, right? *rolls eyes* We’re DVC owners, and even without needing to spend money on a hotel room, per se, it’s still no wonder that going to WDW has become more and more expensive for our family (of 6). We’re almost to the point where we aren’t going to be able to go once a year anymore because it’s going to take longer to save up the money to cover just food and park admission (AP’s or otherwise).

  • blowfishies

    I think that your list has a number of errors in it. You list MAggie May afford a number of attractions which I assume means opening day. But these attractions have all received major upgrades over time. I worked in fantasyland and tomorrow land in the 80s and remember the opening day setup up of the rides. For example, Small World received the fountains in the late 80, the clock tower just a few years ago and recently went through a major rehab. The carrousel (It’s Cinderella’s too as it was for many years) removed horses to create chariot for those disabled within the past 10ish years. The music track is completely redone. Peter Pan has a whole new ride system, and new animation from the days I worked there. Bear Band and Tiki room have had new shows come, and go, and return to their original based on customer request. Thunder just recently went through a major rehab, including new trains. The steam trains used to have live narration, now it’s pre-recorded with new stations in Birthdayland, a new station in Splash Mountain and a major redo of the town sq station.

    So while you complain about a price increase, don’t say the rides have been upgraded when they are.

    Regarding the price increase, have you tried skiing recently? It’s easily $75 just to get on the mountain. Or a movie. It’s $20 to watch it one in 3-D. When you look at other entertainment options, Disney is a good value. I was there in October and did all 4 parks in one day for $125ish, which I thought was very reasonable.

    • jcruise86

      ^ ^ You did all 4 parks in one day? That’s a lot of non-walking transportation for one day & reminds me of a Woody Allen quote: “I took a speed reading class and was able to read ‘War & Peace’ in 20 minutes. It’s about Russia.”

    • Kevin Yee

      I’m certainly open to the idea that I’ve missed a few major upgrades. But I’m not sure I agree that the items on your list qualify as “substantially updating” the attraction.

      Pan gets a new ride system… but it’s essentially the same experience.

      A new station for the WDWRR is closer to what I mean, but a truly new/upgraded experience would be something like adding the Primeval World – something with SHOW that is new and different, not just enhanced.

      • CaptainAction

        Yeah Kevin,
        I think you missed a few things that were just as noticeable as the ones Blowfish pointed out.
        The doors on many trashcans throughout fantasyland now have better hinges.
        The dustpans used by the cleaning crews throughout DS and AK have been upgraded. Will you miss when they upgrade the dustpans in MK too?
        The water in Small world has been upgraded with a bluer dye.
        Haunted Mansion new light system makes the ride 5% darker now.
        The wigs on several Pirates in Pirates of Caribbean have been upgraded to horse hair.
        Water in Maelstrom was recently upgraded with sprayers that make the mist 10% more fine when guests near the oil rig.
        Don’t mean to jump you but Blowfish and I are just pointing out all the AMAZING upgrades that current WDW leadership has approved in the last 6 years which you and all the other guests seemed to have ignored.
        How could you miss these?
        Where is the love and applause for these upgrades?
        These upgrades must be the reason park prices and everything else at WDW keep rising.