ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Walt Disney World and Disneyland are increasing single-day tickets at certain times of the year and setting expiration dates on tickets in hopes of preventing overcrowding during the theme parks' busiest times, company officials said.
The single-day ticket prices are either staying the same or increased no more than $5 under the new price structure that went into effect Sunday. Last year, Disney rolled out a pricing plan that allows visitors to view a planning calendar from eight to 11 months out to determine which days are considered "value," ''regular" or "peak" times. Visitors pay more on "peak" days, which are the busiest times as forecast by park officials.
Disney is hiking its prices following a 5 percent decline in attendance at its U.S. theme parks during its most recent quarter that included the holiday season.
The goal of the varied price structure is to give park visitors an incentive to come during times that are not "peak" so that the experience can be better enjoyed by all, officials said. There have been times during holiday and spring break where the crowds have been so large that Disney has had to stop selling tickets.
"Our pricing provides guests a range of options that allow us to better manage demand to maximize the guest experience and is reflective of the distinctly Disney offerings at all of our parks," said Disney spokeswoman Jacquee Wahler.
Starting Sunday, "value" days for Magic Kingdom cost $107 for adults and $101 for children, a $2 increase. During "regular" time, park visitors pay $5 more with prices jumping from $115 for adults to $109 for children. The "peak" prices remain the same at $124 for adults and $118 for children.
At Disneyland, prices for single-day tickets also increased by $2 to $5. The regular price of admission at the Anaheim, California, park rose to $110, up from $105, beginning Sunday. A single-day ticket during peak periods climbed to $124 from $119. And the value ticket costs $97, up from $95.
At Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom, "value" one-day tickets are now $99 for adults and $93 for children, which is a $2 bump for both. "Regular" times for adults are $107 for adults and $101 for children, and "peak" tickets jumped to $119 and $113, respectively for adults and children. The new prices represent a $5 increase across the board during "regular" and "peak" seasons.
All tickets now have expiration dates. In the past, only one-day and Florida resident tickets had expiration dates. Also guests will be able to save $20 on multiday tickets when they purchase them in advance. Park visitors can purchase the multiday tickets online at any time prior to entering the park to receive the savings.
Contributed By TERRANCE HARRIS