Imagine, just for a moment, that Disney announced today that it was building a fifth "gate" or park. Let's not get caught up in what the park will be themed like or what rides or attractions it will have. Let's really think about how this sudden change will affect you, the Walt Disney World park guest. At first, it seems like this could be nothing but good news. After all, another park means another day of fun! But it's not that easy. Building another park could mean lots of headaches and confusion for the average guest who wants nothing more than a relaxing family vacation, although it could have some unexpected benefits. So let's take a look at what would happen if Disney did in fact decide to build a fifth gate.
1. A rise in ticket prices
This is perhaps the most obvious side effect of a fifth gate. Disney tickets have been steadily rising for the past few years, and it seems fairly certain that if Disney added another park it would boost up ticket prices again. And while Magic Kingdom tickets are always a little more money than the other park tickets, there is a good chance that Disney would charge more for people to visit its newest park, which would probably have a high attendance for the first few years.
On top of that, it wouldn't be surprising if Disney also started charging more for its Park Hopper addition. After all, guests would be dying to visit the new park. However, the Park Hopper fee would probably be fairly popular, because...
2. More stress (and decisions) for weekend or short trip visitors
While some guests come to Disney for a week or longer, there are many more, especially locals, who visit the parks for a long weekend or just a few days before returning back to school or work. Already, this is an issue. A group who may only be going to Walt Disney World for three days already has to decide if they want to just skip visiting one park or if they want to buy a Park Hopper and split one day between two or more parks. Adding a fifth park would only make these decisions more stressful for these short term visitors. There simply isn't enough time to spend a full day at each park over a weekend, so adding a fifth park means guests would need to stay a week or longer to get the "full" Disney World experience.
3. A more chaotic transportation situation
Anyone who has stayed at a Walt Disney World resort and used the free bus service has at least one story of a disastrous bus trip. Already, it is common for buses to come to stations infrequently, leaving guests waiting 15 minutes or so for their bus as they see half a dozen other buses come and go. Also, it's not out of the ordinary for the buses to be filled to capacity so that some guests are left standing, especially in the early mornings or late at night as the parks are opening and closing.
Another park would mean more connecting roads, more construction, and more traffic as thousands of vehicles crisscross Walt Disney World, coming and going from five parks, one shopping district, two water parks, and 20+ on-property hotels. While there are other transportation options like monorails and shuttle boats, there are limited to certain destinations. If the transportation situation is already fairly chaotic, it's very likely that a sixth gate would only increase this problem.