News Column

Disney raises park prices, suspends sales of new SoCal passes

May 18, 2014

By Sarah Tully, The Orange County Register



May 18--ANAHEIM -- Disneyland Resort raised its ticket prices on Sunday, with a one-day, one-park ticket for visitors 10 and older going to $96.

The $4 boost at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure is about the same as previous hikes, which usually happen about once a year. Single-day ticket prices have more than doubled since 2003.

The cost for annual passes went up, too.

"Like any business, we periodically evaluate our pricing and make adjustments based on a variety of factors," said Suzi Brown, a Disneyland Resort spokeswoman, in a statement.

"A ticket to our theme parks represents a great value, particularly when you look at the breadth and quality of attractions and entertainment we offer and the special moments guests experience with our cast."

The increase comes as the Disneyland Resort is experiencing strong growth. Since Cars Land opened as part of the Disney California Adventure makeover in June 2012, Disney has often reported record attendance during its quarterly reports.

Also, Disney suspended new sales of its popular Southern California annual passport because of the crowds. Those who already have them can renew them. And those who let Southern California passes expire in the last 90 days can renew them as well.

The parks have been particularly crowded on Sundays -- the only weekend day usually available for those with the Southern California passes, which now cost $379 on renewal. A cheaper pass -- the Southern California Select at $289 -- is blocked out on weekends and is available for new purchases.

Other annual passes -- the Deluxe, with Saturday and holiday blackouts, selling for $519, and the no-blackout Premium, selling for $699 -- may be suspended in the future.

"Due to the popularity of our annual pass program -- and to preserve the guest experience for our annual passholders and all guests -- future sales of all annual passes will be subject to availability," Brown said in the statement. "We continue to offer a variety of other annual passes so that our guests can choose a pass that's right for them."

The Southern California passes could be sold again when "renewal rates return to an appropriate level that preserves the guest experience," Brown said.

Disney rarely suspends annual pass sales, last doing so temporarily in 2001 when Disney California Adventure opened.

In 2012, Disney attempted to weed out annual passholders, which had grown to about 1 million, when it dramatically hiked annual pass prices, according to Miceage.com, a Disney watchdog blog.

Contact the writer: 714-704-3793 or stully@ocregister.com

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(c)2014 The Orange County Register (Santa Ana, Calif.)

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Source: Orange County Register (CA)


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