Are Orlando Theme Parks Pricing Themselves Out of Business?

There seems to be a new king in town and it ain’t Disney! Sure you can say that all of Disney’s theme parks are full and their resorts are putting bodies in the beds, but ticket sales don’t lie! Recently we have seen a major shift in the tickets purchased and the days of the big Disney tickets are gone, at least for now. Universal Orlando Resort with their two theme parks, Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure are leading the way in most requested for tickets. Not to long ago Disney was the most sought after theme park, but as of late the Universal Studios tickets have taken that lead. It’s one of those things that you can’t really hang one hat on but it would seem that it is many things that have knocked a once giant icon down a few notches.

The most recent would have to be the big ticketing structure that Disney has majorly rearranged. Taking away their once popular non-expiration tickets from their lineup has had major ramifications in my opinion. Those tickets secured future travellers to return to Disney and spend money in their parks and resorts. Now that person has no reason to return and now seeks out new adventures at other competing parks. And this is just the beginning of an ever changing ticket structure Disney has come up with. Just the simple fact that Disney is changing their tickets again is proof that something is wrong in Mouse town.

The newest ticketing idea is going to be a Seasonal tickets. This is because Disney will not admit that they have priced themselves out of business. They will never drop their ticket prices but will create a new ticket at a discount price. The Peak, Non-Peak and Seasonal tickets are their newest idea to bring travelers back to their parks without showing that they got greedy with their admission ticket prices. Imagine being able to come to Disney in the off season when kids are in school and receiving a discount on your attraction tickets or during any time that is not a prime time to travel. This is the newest idea of Disney’s. Give a discount but travel when it’s not convenient. The next is pay full price and come during peak times like summer, Christmas etc. Get the picture yet?

I think that their mentality is keep throwing things against the wall and hopefully something sticks. Disney is not the only theme park to venture down this path. SeaWorld Orlando has had great success with their new ticketing structure and I feel Disney has been watching. SeaWorld has also had some very negative issues thrown against them, but they have offered their guests great discounts to visit their parks. For one person to go to SeaWorld and get all day dining would cost $103. Now the same person to travel to Disney and that person buying a one day Magic Kingdom ticket and them feeding themselves throughout the day comes to around $181. See the difference? This is a big hit on a typical family thinking about coming to Orlando.

One of the biggest Disney park ticket killer has to be the Universal 2 park with a 3rd day free ticket. This has stole the big ticket purchases from Disney and is why their Base and Hopper multi day passes are almost non-existent anymore. Don’t get me wrong, I love Disney and it pains me to see what was a once giant company, slowly be beaten down to the ground by their competitors. If only they would see that they have created a situation that puts most families out of enjoying their parks for the profit of their shareholders and see that the economy has not improved at the rate of their ticket prices. If only they could bring their ticket prices back down to a realistic price, then and only then would people come back in droves to enjoy what Walt himself wanted, a place for everyone to enjoy, and not just for the uber rich!

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