Is Disney considering tiered ticketing prices based on season? Survey says yes

May 27, 2015 in "Ticket - Magic Your Way Ticket"

Posted: Wednesday May 27, 2015 10:34am EDT by WDWMAGIC Staff

Based on a recent survey sent out to guests via email, it appears that Disney is at least considering introducing a tiered ticket price based on season.

Using a Gold, Silver and Bronze tiering system, the calendar year is split into three tiers, each with their own price.

  • Gold tickets are valid any day of the year.
  • Silver tickets are valid most days of the year except for peak and holiday weeks.
  • Bronze tickets are valid only during off-peak weekdays.
  • Multi-day tickets crossing two or more seasons must be purchased at the highest season’s price.
  • Guests visiting on a day that is currently blocked out on their ticket can upgrade to a higher-season ticket.

As part of the survey, Disney included a pricing structure and calendar indicating when each tier applies.

The survey questions that followed asked how the recipient would have resounded to such a pricing structure and how it would have affected plans for the visit.

Is tiered pricing the next logical step for Disney's ever-increasing pricing structure? Join in the discussion on the forums.

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jencorJun 08, 2015

It has taken me days to get through this post (I only have so much free time a day), but I wanted to read the whole thing and I have found this very interesting. It appears Disney without question is going to roll this or something very similar out as money controls them and from what I saw from FP+, our feelings really do not matter. I have only been once since FP+ and really did not like all the planning I needed to do. It took away from some of the enjoyment. Another thing that crosses my mind is why is this survey going to annual pass holders as they already have their tickets and would love to see smaller crowds? A second question is (and brought up somewhat by others) is that I go at off peak times for different reasons, but I go knowing shorter hours an a chance of more rides being closed due to refurbishment. How will they compensate for that?

BrianVJun 07, 2015

I like the way you think. We could add other metal levels as well, for example the uranium and plutonium levels. (Enriched or non enriched depending on the crowds...)

Cosmic CommandoJun 07, 2015

24 karat gold - Christmas week, 4th of July, Easter week 18 karat gold - Spring Break 14 karat gold - Non-holiday summer 10 karat gold - MLK weekend Then we can have sterling silver level, Britannia silver, continental silver; you know, for simplicity. One of the things that's really striking about this is that when you pay a premium for a hotel room, you still get the same hotel room. With theme parks, people will be paying more to get a lesser experience! This is like paying a higher rack rate at a hotel during a busy time... only to be bunking up with strangers in your room.

drp4videoJun 07, 2015

This reminds me of when they changed the hotel rules. You used to get the same price for each day no matter when your trip started, so if you started you trip at a lower rate, it stated that rate for your whole stay even if the price of the room rose during your stay. Same thing if you started your trip when a room rate was higher then dropped during your stay, you paid the higher rate, no reduction. This is now in conformity with most hotels across the country, but I still liked the old way better. If I started my stay at a lower rate, it stayed that way. If I started my stay at a higher rate and it dropped in the middle of my stay, I did the old book two reservations. Start one at the higher rate, check out when the rate lowered, and checked back in at the lower rate (never really had to check out or leave the room, the price was just adjusted). As far as the difference in the gold, silver and bronze plans, if you have a large family, it can get pricey. I was just there two weeks ago and had to pay more to go to the Magic Kingdom. I love Disney, and I get that it is in business for profit, but so many of the changes are dollar driven and now there is so much planning that goes into a trip, that its become about the planning and has become more like work than a vacation.

startravelerJun 06, 2015

Okay. I 'll throw something else in. Not trying to start anything up. Since I am quadraplegic and a wheelchair user, the attractions I can do are limited - that always been fine with so much else to do. But those things are getting fewer over the years. Several parks I visit give half price for guest and attendant to compensate for fewer activities. I also know a lot of people who simply will not go on any thrill ride. Or people with little kids that don't do anything their little children can't do. What about a ticket choice that bars you from riding certain rides. "Under certain height" tickets. Night time only tickets. Everybody must scan there ban to get into anything. They always know who is doing what. I know I'm exaggerating to make a point. But once you start having different prices for predicted crowds, parks open fewer hours, if you want to add hop or add food, no telling where it will lead in their desire to control crowds without creating new attractions. However, they could make it impossible to figure out a ticket. Not sure that with their recent push to make everything easier for the guest, they would implement this scheme.

AEfxJun 06, 2015

I honestly think the number of AP's has been declining, not growing. There was a time when they were a really good deal, but since they have gone up so the past few years - not so much. A lot of us in the 1,000+ mile club have turned in our badges. I was out around 2011/12 - whenever they broke $500. Back when they were $400 they made a lot of sense - now that they are $700 (with tax) and unless you really have been snorting the pixie dust, there just isn't a reason to go multiple times a year if you actually have to take a trip vs. a day drive. And the locals market just isn't what you'd think - nothing like Disneyland, particularly since many locals get in for free anyway on comp passes since just about everyone who lives in Orlando knows or has someone in their family who works for Disney. That said, I do think AP prices will jump, and probably quite a bit. Since we now know there are multiple price charts, it will obviously depend on which one is used, but I doubt anyone is going to be able to get an AP for under $800. Based on the calculations I did on how much a week-long ticket is going to go up, I actually wouldn't be shocked if they end up brushing a grand. I also wouldn't be surprised if they ended up tiering those, as well - to one with blockout dates and one without. For anyone who's smart enough to not want to enter a park on a "gold" day anyway, that might keep the sticker shock from being quite so bad. The truth is, Disney doesn't want to sell WDW AP's, they'd be perfectly happy if no one bought one at all, so I think the sky really is the limit on what they'd be willing to charge.

AEfxJun 06, 2015

That's so unconventional that it just might work.

DznyGrlSDJun 06, 2015

BrianVJun 05, 2015

Maybe all tickets could be sold on eBay. Let the bidders and the market sort it out. Like beanie babies.

PhotoDave219Jun 05, 2015

.... Yeah..... make it even MORE complicated. How about this? One price. It costs "x" to get, regardless of crowd size, time of year, weather, or closing early?

BrianVJun 05, 2015

Agree. But if you are going to have gold, silver and bronze days, you could add another modifier. Gold1 would be usable on gold days where the park was open at least 14 hours. Gold2 12 hours, etc. Better yet, We could make the system even more complicated if that is humanly possible...maybe just make people buy tickets for actual days and every day of the year has a price depending on crowds, length of day. And the price could dynamically leading up to and during the day change based on weather, and crowds, and time of day. Show up at 4pm on a rainy day when the park is open until 7pm and you pay $40. Show up at 7am when the park is open until 2am on a beautiful spring day, that will cost you $250. A year in advance when whether is unknown some where in the middle.

PhotoDave219Jun 05, 2015

Especially hard ticket days. Operationally, this won't work. But that doesn't mean much to someone behind a desk who's never dealt with a guest.

asianwayJun 05, 2015

My over under is $200. That cheap for all the lifestylers running their businesses using then

punkabellaJun 05, 2015

And this from lentesta's post as well... a million times this (I mentioned something like this to some effect on a previous page): "But I don’t see anything in this proposal that charges less for shorter days. Why does only 10 hours in the Magic Kingdom cost as much as 16? Yes, the park is open longer on other days during weeks with special events, but that doesn’t mean anything to families who only visit for one day. If we’re willing to complicate the pricing structure, where’s the discount for those people?" I actually plan my days out by the hours available each day, not by the day of the week. I prefer going to the parks in the afternoon/evening. I'm going to choose a park to go to based on how late it is open. I love those 11pm-2am evenings (I'm looking at you MK and Epcot). I ended up going to WDW 3 times this past year, so an AP was worth it. I've been planning to take a few years off WDW trips to give it time to change a bit.. hopefully for the better. These prices make me cringe and make me think it may be worth going to WDW a shorter period of time and mixing it up with Universal Studios, which I haven't been to since 1998 whenever we do decide to go back.