Recent price hikes in Disney’s theme parks have seen the company’s profits are rising despite a slump in visitors — leading many to accuse the parks of defrauding loyal customers to boost their profits.
Since reopening in April last year, the company has made a number of changes to its flagship parks in Florida and California, excluding free benefits and driving up prices. the cost of visiting a Disney resort skyrockets.
The number of visitors to the park has fallen 17 percent, but the profit Disney makes on each guest has increased 17 percent in a year, boosting the company’s profits.
The company’s stock price has fallen by more than a third in the past 12 months, largely due to controversies over Disney against Florida’s so-called Don’t Say Gay bill, waking up movies like Lightyear that have turned viewers off.
But revenues in the theme parks – traditionally the most profitable part of Disney’s business – remain in very poor health.
Disney earned a whopping $7.4 billion from its parks for the most recent quarter of fiscal 2022 — up 70 percent from a year earlier, when it was recovering from COVID shutdowns.
Earnings also rose to an impressive $2.2 billion for that quarter — a huge jump from $356 million recorded for the same quarter 12 months earlier, the Wall Street Journal reported.
One of the most profitable changes is the implementation of a $15-per-day Genie+ pass, which was previously free. It serves as an app on guests’ phones and lets them skip some lines during rides.
Genie+ also marks promotions for merchandise, shifting the parks’ famously expensive souvenirs. It’s used by half of all guests — 70 percent of people who downloaded it said they’d do the same on their next visit.
But the Genie+ pass won’t fulfill the rude wishes of all guests, with visitors having to pay an extra $10 to $17 to access some of the parks’ most popular attractions — despite already paying around $100 per ticket. .
The surcharge is applied to attractions in Disneyland and Disney World’s popular Star Wars Galaxy Kingdom Area and Guardians of the Galaxy attractions.
Disney’s $15-a-day Genie+ app has been credited with helping drive a rise in profits. It helps guests skip queues
The company’s Magic Bands – which serve as hotel keys and park entrance tickets – have changed from free to $34.99 each
Meanwhile, parking and magic wristbands, which serve as room keys and park passes and was free, now offers guests a whopping $35 — just one example of the company implementing a surcharge on previously complementary benefits.
Other perks that were once free that will now cost revelers a pretty penny include long-loved perks like parking, now $30.
There are free shuttles from airports to the parks for Disney canned hotel guests. Early access to parks for hotel guests has been reduced from one hour to 30 minutes.
And extra evening hours after the parks are closed to the general public are now only offered to guests staying in more expensive hotels.
Also influenced by the price increases – which have largely been implemented over the past year – park hotel rooms, food and merchandise, all of which have risen well above the record inflation rate of 9 percent.
At Disney World — by far the company’s most popular park, with 18 million annual visitors prior to the pandemic — a room at the park’s budget hotel, Pop Century, costs about $168 today — more than $70 from 2013, then a room at the resort would cost you $95. That is an increase of more than 77 percent.
Prices of the luxury Animal Kingdom Lodge have also risen, from $486 for a standard room in 2012 to $790 in 2022, a 63 percent increase in a decade.
Ticket prices in the park – now over $100 – have increased at about double inflation in the 2010s, with many arguing the walk is an attempt to compete with Universal Studios, which in 2016 will be Wizarding World of Harry Potter opened.
Staying at the Pop Century hotel has increased in price by 77 percent over the past nine years. The cheapest room cost $70 in 2013, but now comes in at $168
Disney’s luxury Animal Kingdom Lodge hotel has also seen a massive price hike — rooms that cost about $470 a decade ago are now coming in at an eye-watering $790 a night.
Snacks are also available in both parks, featuring Dole Whip, a pineapple-flavored dessert sold only at Disney locations, increased from $5.99 to $6.99 – a 16 percent increase in the span of a year.
The park’s iconic Mickey Mouse headbands for ears, meanwhile, are also not exempt from the widespread price hikes — which have increased by more than a third from 2021, from $29.99 to $39.99.
Disney has also scrapped some of its once-free benefits, including shuttle buses from the airport to the parks for people staying at its hotels, sparking anger.
The turmoil comes weeks after company executives explained that recent ticket price increases have been offset by an “unfavorable mix of visitor numbers” at Disneyland – a claim that has been interpreted by many as referring to annual pass holders who typically spend less per visit than typical ticket buyers.
The Genie+ Pass will not fulfill the rude wishes of all guests, requiring visitors to pay an additional $10 to $17 to access some of the parks’ most popular attractions, such as Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Walt Disney World Resort in Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando
The surcharge is also applied to the parks’ Guardians of the Galaxy attractions, such as this one at Disney World in Orlando
Disney has stopped selling almost all annual passes, but will still allow existing pass holders to renew.
Annual passes are up 14 percent in a year, from $1,399 to $1,599 per pass. Disney has also increased the number of days that pass holders are not allowed to use their subscription, leading to further claims that it is secretly trying to abolish the passes.
Since then, fans have started posting pictures of themselves at both Disneyland – dubbed “the happiest place on earth” by the company – and Disney World, donning T-shirts that read “Unfavorable” on social media in protest.
They believe Disney is trying to sideline them in favor of visitors who spend a lot of money on a great vacation, or those on a once-in-a-lifetime trip who are only too happy to blow thousands of people away with rides, food and souvenirs to buy the best possible time.
When asked about the reasoning behind the litany of price hikes, a representative said Disney theme park prices are determined by the current economic climate and “pure supply and demand… no different than airplanes, hotels, or cruise ships.”
Josh D’Amaro, the chairman of Disney’s parks, experiences and products division, testified that the changes have given visitors more choice about how to spend their time and money in the parks, while making the parks “extremely commercially successful.” .
A pair of mouse ears like this have gone up in price by a third, from $29.99 to $39.99 a pair
Disney’s iconic soft serve Dole Whip pineapple is up 16 percent per serving in a year, from $5.99 to $6.99
Josh D’Amaro, the chairman of Disney’s parks, experiences and products division, said the changes have given visitors more choice about how to spend their time and money in the parks, while also making the parks “extremely commercially successful.” created.