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  1. #1

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    Price Increases at WDW

    I don't think my last post "took" because I forgot to add a "title." Apologies if this should happen to pop up twice.

    But I see WDW is raising prices again.

    In the middle of the biggest recession in modern history? With unemployment at unbelievable records?

    How is it Disney can have a product whose price keeps going up even while the quality declines? I don't get it. Yes, I know "Disney is a business," but this doesn't seem like the best qay to run a business, and Q3 results seem to support that.

    Anyone have any thoughts?

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    Smile Re: Price Increases at WDW

    From my understanding, prices usually go up this time of year...however...I hope that they don't go up to the point of pushing the average family out of a visit. It's true, Disney needs to make money, and most people will spend all kinds of money on a trip. I just hope that the "powers that be" understand that Disneyland should be in my opinion, what Walt intended it to be, a place where parents and kids can experience and have fun together. On a side note..I'm already saving up for the princess dresses that my daughters will want at something like $50 a dress...(sold at wal-mart for about $20) oh well!

  3. #3

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    Re: Price Increases at WDW

    It just seems like an average family pretty much IS priced out. Disney execs think that since they are highly compensated, everyone must make $150,000 a year plus bonuses. And the overall quality of the experience is suffering. But as long as people still keep paying more for less, I guess they will keep doing it. Though it flies in the face of all business models.

    Can I ask a dumb question? Why not just buy the dresses at Wal-Mart? Or tell your daughters "not this time"? It is OK to tell them no.

    I just worry (this is not directed at you!) that Disney actually contributes, in a small way, to this economic mess by convincing people they HAVE to buy, particularly for kids, and people spend more than they can afford at Disney. Walt was so pragmatic, he probably would have thought it ridiculous that people would go into debt to visit his parks. But Walt didn't have a fancy MBA. Even if he WAS one of the greatest, most underrated, business titans (not just creative) of the 20th century.

    It saddens and even scares me a little that Disney keeps raising prices just because they can, and that the reaction seems to be, "Oh, it's what they always do."

  4. #4

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    Re: Price Increases at WDW

    Quote Originally Posted by EC82 View Post
    It just seems like an average family pretty much IS priced out. Disney execs think that since they are highly compensated, everyone must make $150,000 a year plus bonuses. And the overall quality of the experience is suffering. But as long as people still keep paying more for less, I guess they will keep doing it. Though it flies in the face of all business models.

    Can I ask a dumb question? Why not just buy the dresses at Wal-Mart? Or tell your daughters "not this time"? It is OK to tell them no.

    I just worry (this is not directed at you!) that Disney actually contributes, in a small way, to this economic mess by convincing people they HAVE to buy, particularly for kids, and people spend more than they can afford at Disney. Walt was so pragmatic, he probably would have thought it ridiculous that people would go into debt to visit his parks. But Walt didn't have a fancy MBA. Even if he WAS one of the greatest, most underrated, business titans (not just creative) of the 20th century.

    It saddens and even scares me a little that Disney keeps raising prices just because they can, and that the reaction seems to be, "Oh, it's what they always do."
    You have several good points, and I think it's pretty amazing that they keep raising prices espescially in this economic climate...it's getting longer and longer to save for the fam and I to be able to go down to Disney, I'm pretty surprised that they can still do this and people still spend overexorberant amount on souvenirs...



    and on the dresses what I usually do with my family is give them a certain amount of cash (usually $70 for 5 days) for souvenirs, etc. and then watch and laugh as they learn the hard way if they get that dress on the first day they may not get that ice cream that they really wanted the 5th day...it's a good way to teach them to live on a budget and then I save money because they just spend what MY limit for them is to spend, and if they don't spend the total amount then it goes into a bank account for them for next time at Disney..
    The test of success is not what you do when you are on top. Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom.
    -George S. Patton


  5. #5

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    Re: Price Increases at WDW

    Quote Originally Posted by EC82 View Post
    I don't think my last post "took" because I forgot to add a "title." Apologies if this should happen to pop up twice.

    But I see WDW is raising prices again.

    In the middle of the biggest recession in modern history? With unemployment at unbelievable records?

    How is it Disney can have a product whose price keeps going up even while the quality declines? I don't get it. Yes, I know "Disney is a business," but this doesn't seem like the best qay to run a business, and Q3 results seem to support that.

    Anyone have any thoughts?
    It's called inflation. Ever hear of it?

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    Re: Price Increases at WDW

    Quote Originally Posted by disneyfann121 View Post
    It's called inflation. Ever hear of it?
    No, it's called the people who run the company have no idea how to run WDW. May I call to your attention a lovely little blog that focuses on just this subject. The Mournful Lamentations of the Singing Dog


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    Re: Price Increases at WDW

    Quote Originally Posted by disneyfann121 View Post
    It's called inflation. Ever hear of it?
    If Disney admission just kept pace with inflation, a one-day admission to one park at Walt Disney World should be about $42.

    But it hasn't.

    It has, however, kept up with the greed of executives who want to fatten their paychecks at the expense of the actual product they are charged with managing.

    Yes, I'm being harsh. But it's a sad commentary -- almost as sad as the studio side of Disney actually going into the red on revenues of more than $1 billion. They spent more than $1 BILLION to market movies and DVDs, but Disney can't "stay green" by spending a few hundred million dollars to expand the Monorail line ... or, for that matter, maintain the quality of the attractions and service at its U.S. parks?

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    Re: Price Increases at WDW

    I agree that there is room for improvement at WDW. On these boards, I've often pushed, prodded and begged them to launch some new projects in Orlando. According to recent reports, they are doing that, so there's no way they can pay for those expensive new attractions by simply maintaining admission prices.

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    Re: Price Increases at WDW

    Well, they just killed it for me, even though I'm a Florida resident and we get a 10% discount. It's just too expensive for me now.

    I would love to run into the WDW suits and say, "Really? REALLY?! Are you f[freaking] kidding me?!"

    I still have a Play 4 Days pass from last year I have one more day on. I got the no expiration option and I have a feeling it's going to be a looooong time before I use it. WDW has to really give me a damn good reason to go back now.

    I'm even forfeiting my free birthday admission next weekend so I can go to Universal instead.
    Last edited by NeverNeverland; 08-02-2009 at 10:32 AM. Reason: edited word - please don't try to get around the word filter

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    Re: Price Increases at WDW

    I have to admit, while this is a stupid time to raise prices...I do really love the press release for it. Specifically...one part:

    "We survey our guests regularly and, in our research, nearly nine out of 10 guests rate the value of our theme parks as good, very good or excellent," Prunty said. "Our pricing is based on the high-quality experience we deliver to our guests, and our guests continue to agree that a ticket to Walt Disney World represents a great entertainment value."
    I think this goes with "there were no deaths in Tienanmen Square" and "there are no American troops in Baghdad" and "Ours guests were upset that we were wasting so much Prime Rib" as one of the best absolute BS PR lines of all time.

    I'm sorry Disney, guests really told you your prices were too good and too much of a value?

    I think the pretty much the North Korean spin machine is the only one that could possibly beat the Walt Disney World spin machine for spitting total crap expecting people to believe it. But after the prime rib press release and now this one...I can't wait to see what 2010 holds for us for utter crap in the press room.

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    Re: Price Increases at WDW

    Quote Originally Posted by disneyfann121 View Post
    I agree that there is room for improvement at WDW. On these boards, I've often pushed, prodded and begged them to launch some new projects in Orlando. According to recent reports, they are doing that, so there's no way they can pay for those expensive new attractions by simply maintaining admission prices.
    Yes, but with hotel room rates far below occupancy (especially in the deluxe resorts and DVC, both of which are down according to this week's earnings report) and corners being cut and hours being cut and guest spending being way down, the way to turn around your product is not to weaken it more AND raise prices. They can pay for new attractions by maintaining admission prices BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT GETTING THEM. No one is paying full price anymore with the "get your 11th day for .95 cents" of the Magic Your Way passes, and with the BUY 4 GET 3 FREE deal, no one is paying the "$530 per night maximum rate" that they claim the Yacht Club is worth.

    So they could lower prices and actually get people to pay full price and be better off in the long run, especially with the damage they are doing to thier brand long term.

    At $75, or $79 dollars Disney could still expand their parks. But why waste time and money raising ticket prices and hotel rooms just so you can discount them further?

    Walt Disney World is in for some serious hurt and it hasn't hit bottom yet. What happens when the discounts stop? We get empty weekends like the 4th of July...the nicest (crowd wise) weekend WDW has had in 6 months. They really need to stop soon and put the value back in their prices and the quality in their service and goods damn quick. Hospitality Management 101.

  12. #12

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    Re: Price Increases at WDW

    I agree!
    I think if they cut the "free dining" program and did away with the "magic your way" tickets they could maybe start to make money.
    I really hate that tickets are about $75 for one to three days but then you could add seven more days for about $25 dollars more.
    I know why they do it-to keep people on the property. But is it really worth it if you have to offer free dining and hotel discounts to get them there.

    It is really killing the people that just want to come for the day. They just can't afford it anymore.

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    Smile Re: Price Increases at WDW

    Here is the press release I would LOVE to see....though I know we probably never will. NOTE: This is NOT a real press release!



    DISNEY THEME PARKS TO INSTITUTE ‘ONE-TIER PRICING’
    EFFECTIVE AUGUST 1, 2010

    Same-Cost Ticket Pricing Returns to Parks' Tradition and Will Improve Guest Satisfaction, Reduce Overall Guest Cost and Increase Revenue

    BURBANK, Calif. – The Walt Disney Company today announced that it will dramatically overhaul the pricing structure at all of its U.S. theme parks, lowering the cost of a day’s admission for the majority of guests while eliminating annual passes and steep discounts.

    “For decades, Disney theme parks offered a simple pricing structure – one admission cost for adults, one for children, one for senior citizens, and when looking at our country’s economic situation and what we can do to improve the overall experience for our park guests, we determined that re-instituting simpler, easier-to-understand pricing would make a huge impact,” said Jay Rasulo, President of Walt Disney Parks & Resorts.

    Effective August 1, 2010, all Disney theme parks in the U.S. will eliminate the “Annual Passholder” option, which while popular has also reduced per-capita spending and contributed to higher crowd levels combined with decreased revenue as Annual Passholders came to view theme-park visits as effectively “free,” reducing overall spending and negatively impacting guest satisfaction due to larger crowds.

    At Disneyland Resort in California, where one-, two- and three-day trips are standard, Disneyland will offer only two types of admission (each with adult, child and senior-citizen options): A one-day, two-park pass for $50 for adults, and a three-day, two-park pass for $80 adults.

    At Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, the single-day, single-park adult admission price will be reduced to $55 for adults. A “park-hopper” add-on will be available for ad additional $20 each day. Walt Disney World will also offer a “length-of-stay” pass for vacationing guests that will include park-hopper additional options (including access to water parks) for $45 a day for adults, with a minimum of three days. A limited number of vacation-package options will also be available.

    Full details on the new theme-park pricing structure will be available online at www.disneyparks.coms.

    At the same time, all Annual Passholder options will be eliminated, as will “resident” discounts and all other discounts except for members of D23: The Official Community for Disney Fans, AAA cardholders and special pricing for active members of the U.S. military and their families.

    “We fully recognize that in the short term, this new pricing structure may be viewed as a negative by longtime Annual Passholders,” said Thomas F. Staggs, chief financial officer of The Walt Disney Company. “But we feel the long-term gain is enormous, for the financial health of our company, for the enjoyment of our guests, and for our ability to invest in our theme parks, our cast members and the future of our resorts.”

    Rasulo added, “Our strategy is simple: Lower the basic admission price but require everyone who enters a theme park to pay for admission. It will help us create and preserve a magical experience, lead to long-term gains for our Parks & Resorts division, and bring our guests a greater sense that a visit to a Disney theme park is an experience to be enjoyed and treasured.”

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    Re: Price Increases at WDW

    Quote Originally Posted by tloolgb View Post
    I'm sorry Disney, guests really told you your prices were too good and too much of a value?
    Yeah I'd like to meet these "guests" that said this. They're probably the same "guests" that said they want more shopping and dining at Downtown Disney.

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    Re: Price Increases at WDW

    They seem bound and determined to keep all but the most wealthy of us out of the parks. In the middle of the deep economic hardship that most of us are feeling, they have raised ticket prices. Merchandise prices have gone up. And they want to begin charging for Fastpass.

    And they wonder why their revenues have fallen. Perhaps it is because their product is too expensive for their AVERAGE guest. By constantly catering to the wealthy segment, they are slowly pricing their bread and butter customers out of the parks all together.

    As a senior operations and marketing executive (at a major international company) myself, it has been a challenge to adapt to this particular recession and keep in mind the struggles that my customers are going through. Every little up-tick in price makes their lives even harder. Where possible, I've lowered my prices this past year and it has tremendously helped my business. Disney seems to be going the opposite direction.

    I'd love to see Sea World, Universal, and Busch all came out with price decreases and use Disney's own greed against them. However, they all seem to be sheep which follow Disney's every move. Yet, while Disney is an undisputed master of creativity, their business decisions are often quite wrong and cost them millions to correct. I believe this to be one of those wrong decisions, given the current economic conditions.
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