This past week, Disney fans were stunned when more closures were announced for Walt Disney World, including next year's planned shuttering of DisneyQuest as well as more attractions at Disney’s Hollywood Studios closing in the immediate future. However, the loss of these attractions is nothing new, as the past 18 months have seen over a dozen closures at Walt Disney World, and more could be coming soon thanks to the total reboot of Disney's Hollywood Studios.

With so much being lost at Walt Disney World, many have wondered how Disney can continue to hike prices year over year, when it seems each year brings less and less for guests to do at the parks. However, despite this distressing development, price hikes are going to continue for the foreseeable future at Walt Disney World, and here's why:

1. Guests are spending more than ever 

In a report released by the Orlando Sentinel earlier this week it was revealed that per-visitor spending at Disney's domestic parks (which include Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort) has increased 7 percent to 8 percent annually over the course of the past four years. What's interesting here is that all this spending is taking place alongside annual price hikes, which means higher ticket prices are not deterring guests from spending more money on food, souvenirs or various other items around the parks.

Though this year Walt Disney World hit a milestone by breaking the $100 mark for a one day ticket (only for the Magic Kingdom though, as Walt Disney World’s other parks are holding steady at $99) guest spending is projected to grow yet again in 2015, in spite of the higher cost of admission. 

So what factors are responsible for this phenomena? While no meaningful research has been done on why guests are spending more in the park after paying more at the gate, it could be that Disney is shifting its focus to catering towards a higher class of demographic and is attempting to leave the penny-pinching middle class behind (who would be less likely to spend money in the park after dropping a huge chunk of change on admission). 

Walt Disney World’s recent refurbishment of the Polynesian Village Resort (and planned refurbishment of Disney’s Wilderness Lodge) would seem to bear this idea out, as expensive bungalows that cost thousands of dollars per night have been prioritized over budget-friendly rooms, which had previously been instrumental in making an on-property Walt Disney World vacation affordable for those on a middle class budget. However, because middle class guests aren't driving profits with increased spending inside the parks, Walt Disney World is no longer looking to them to boost their balance sheets. 

Which leads us to our next point... 



Long time Disney World vacationer. Disney has priced us out. We used to go for a week every year. Now it's one day every three or four years. Obviously this has not affected Disney in the least. Disappointing for us, but I don't blame them. I cant say I don't wish people would just stop going so prices would come down!

I've said this to many friends and relatives, Disney is the most perfect "rip-off" in the world, economically speaking. Don't hate me because I also am caught in that "mouse trap"! They deliver to me what they said they would...MEMORIES. The resort grounds, the "imagineers", the "cast members", and the parks have ALL contributed to my Disney experience. Just to look back and see my kids and grand kids all wide-eyed as we walk through the gates is priceless! Even to see the famous "blue walls" up somewhere..."oh, anew attraction going in, we'll have to come back and see it when it's done." Now, think about it, you get off a ride, exit to a photo shop to order pix of your group, to buy or not? Next is the gift/souvenir shop, buy or not? This process after every ride. Mom and dad thinking, "lets get it, who knows if we'll be able to come back." Perfect business. That's just 1 little example. I've found that you either LOVE or HATE Disney World. It's a business 1st, but try explaining that to your kids or grand kids when they see Mickey, Mini or the princesses. Shoot....try telling ME that when I'm on the Magic bus from the airport TO the hotel!

It's Economics 101, folks. No company is going to lower prices when demand for their product can not be met. They have an over-crowding problem, and the only way to combat that in the short term is to raise prices, still looking for the supply/demand crossover point. Long term, building another park may help, but the MK is so unique and clearly the biggest draw at WDW, that I'm not really sure you are going to diminish crowds at MK this way, especially on holidays. Though the rash of ride/show closures may be painful right now, I am hopeful that the longer term improvements in HS and AK will draw more guests to those parks and help the overall guest balance at the four parks. Time will tell...

Ever child's dream, rich or poor is to go to Disney World what a shame Disney is not realizing the more they raise prices the harder it is for that poor child/family to make this a reality. Shame on you, Disney World! It's nothing but greed.

Last night I thought about the price hikes when I was responding to another comment about it and if things were cheaper at WDW just imagine how much worse congestion would be at the parks! They are already OVER-crowded at current prices just think about how bad the wait times would be if it was $60 for admission to the parks.

There is a solution but Disney wont do anything about it. Build a COASTERS ONLY park and at that park DUPLICATE the thrill rides at the other Disney parks. So have another tower of terror or a larger version, have a rock n rollercoster. This will remove the coaster people from the other parks which will reduce lines and congestion there and allow Disney to keep prices where they are which would then increase attendance at WDW overall since the coaster people wouldnt be going to MK any longer. You need to replace those people and would be replaced with lower ticket prices.

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