MONEY & LIFE

All the Changes Coming to Disney Parks

By: Kaydee Ambas · January 12, 2023 · Reading Time: 4 minutes

What’s New?

Juggling COVID-19 restrictions and a few switchups between two CEOs named Bob, Disney (DIS) has had a volatile couple of years. But with Bob Iger back in the driver’s seat, changes are coming to Disney Parks.

In 2023, California’s Disneyland Resort will offer its lowest-priced ticket for a longer time period — almost two more months than before — making a Disney vacation more attainable for price-conscious fans. These $104 tickets only offer admission to a single park. But, starting February 4th, those who purchase the more expensive park hopper tickets will be able to hop parks two hours earlier than before. Disneyland also plans to expand availability of its Magic Key program, which offers different tiers of rewards. And all ticket holders will receive complimentary attraction photos.

As for Walt Disney World in Florida, annual passholders will be allowed to visit the park after 2:00pm without a reservation, onsite guests will get free parking, and Genie+ members will get free attraction photos.

Profitable Parks

If you’ve ever been to a Disney park, you may remember a day filled with fun, whimsy, and magic. (I, myself, am particularly a fan of the Main Street Electrical Parade.) But if you paid for it yourself, you also surely remember the exorbitant prices of everything from tickets and souvenirs to parking and water bottles.

Disney’s parks are incredibly profitable and typically account for some two-thirds of Disney’s operating revenue. This revenue is crucial for the House of Mouse to offset the losses that it suffers from other ventures, like Disney+, which has lost over $8 billion since its 2019 launch.

Just the Ticket

These updates to Disney’s parks may be just what the company needs after taking heat in recent years for raising prices. In particular, a survey last year found the vast majority of Americans felt priced out of the Disney experience. And it’s not just goodwill the company lost – Disney stock closed the year down by over 40% in 2022.

For a company as large and diversified as Disney, these updates are not likely to have a drastic impact on its bottom line. But the changes could play a major role in boosting visitor morale. Even the smaller benefits like free photos and complimentary parking could be all it takes to add a little more magic to fans’ Disney vacations – and a little more money to Disney’s pockets.

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