Though Walt Disney World went a little crazy with the upcharge experiences in 2016, it looks like this trend may be reversing itself in 2017. One of the most interesting upcharges Disney introduced last year was the new Express Transportation ticket add-on, which allowed guests to pay a little extra to have a special VIP bus pick them up inside the theme parks and use backstage roads to get guests to their destinations faster than regular bus service.
However, it looks like after less than a year, Disney is discontinuing this option at the end of the month. The final day for guests to purchase the Express Transportation add-on will be tomorrow, August 16th, with the multi-day ticket remaining available for guests to use through August 23rd.
Such an abrupt end for this service may seem a little strange, but if we look at some of the other things happening around the resort, this discontinuation actually makes a lot of sense. And here's why:
Price hike fatigue
Initially, this upcharge was fairly affordable, costing $15 per person for a single day of use, or $24 per person for multiple days. However, just two months after it was first introduced, Disney raised prices for this add-on to $19 per day or $29 for 7 days, which torpedoed the value in many guests' eyes. Disney tried to backpedal some of these price hikes, offering discounts for annual passholders and longer multi-day Express Transportation options for the length of the summer. However, it looks like the damage had already been done by the price hikes, as this service declines in popularity over the following months, with guests using the service over the summer reporting that vehicles were leaving their stops more than half empty.
Couple this with the fact that Disney has been offering historic deals and discounts around the resort to try and boost up attendance levels and encourage additional spending, and its easy to see how this add-on upcharge, which simply wasn't selling well anymore, was more trouble to run than it was worth.
Though its true price hikes are nothing new for Walt Disney World (and will never really go away) it looks like Disney found the upper ceiling for the price of this experience. However, the high cost and upcharge fatigue weren't the only contributing factors here...