It looks like a day with Mickey Mouse is going to cost a bit more cheese. The news of a price hike for admission into the happiest place on earth is not making many people smile. Disneyland is announcing its plan to increase the price of their famous day pass ticket.
The price for a single day pass to Disneyland will now top off at $96, an increase of about 4.3 percent for park visitors aged 10 and up. Those who like to purchase the extra valued “park-hopper” tickets allowing for admission to both Disneyland and California Adventure theme parks can do so at the escalated 9.5 percent price of $150 dollars a pop. In a dig to Southern California residents, annual passes will no longer be made available by Disney saying the park was getting too many locals to their parks on weekends. Those current annual pass holders were told their passes will be honored but visitors must now pay the inflated rate of admission. According to reports, Disneyland admission has more than doubled since 2003.
Disneyland officials say the need to increase the price of admission to the park was necessary for a variety of reasons, the main being that the park had undergone extensive upgrades to its attractions in recent years. The Disney company’s Parks and Resorts unit is a robust 20 percent of the company’s stock and responsible for over 28 percent of Disney revenue. Disney Parks and Resorts is projected to rake in over 31 percent in revenue for the company. According to stock analysts, Disney Parks and Resorts is making significant gains and is expected to outdo the profits for 2014 of their ESPN unit which is expected to deliver 25 percent for the company.
While other theme parks had been scaling back on adding more upgrades and attractions, The Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO Bob Iger took a gamble on giving the parks a refresher during the economic downturn when many were not visiting the parks. With the economy doing better and visitors are coming back to the park, Iger believed that returning visitors should have something new and exciting to come back to. In recent years, Disneyland and California Adventure have added a number of new rides and upgraded attractions like the Star Tours ride and Radiator Springs Racers.
With a reported 126.5 million visitors on record for 2012, Disney theme parks are the most visited theme parks in the world. Disneyland is the second most visited park behind Orlando’s Disney’s Magic Kingdom. California Adventure is listed as the 11th most visited park with 11 million attendees.
With summer approaching, international tourists and local visitors will descend on Anaheim to attend the parks. Disneyland and California Adventure will be anticipating its usual summer season of families standing in the usual long lines to get on rides and eating theme park food. While the news of an admission price increase may be initially shocking at first, Disney cast members and Mickey Mouse himself will be doing their best to take away the pain of admission fees and replace that pain with the feeling of a magical time at the happiest place on earth.
By Hal Banfield