Disney and Universal Price Update. The Latest Buzz.

Flour, Eggs and Yeast

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Image of Epcot at nightCamillo Vitale

There may be a good chance that you are planning to head to Disney this weekend and possibly through President's week. We have been watching park availability in the reservations area and some parks are showing at capacity for the week. Historically, this week has been very busy for Disney and this year is no different, in some respects it may feel busier than it ever was. While we are basically two years into having to make a park reservation, needing to secure a ticket for the same park on that day, and reserving dining and rides in advance can be overwhelming for some. Even with reservations limiting capacity, the days of just showing up, getting on some rides and having a sit-down meal are definitely in the rear view.

A trip to a theme park is an opportunity to create lifelong memories, hopefully they are based on the experiences and not on the financial impact. The first part of a successful vacation of any kind is to set a budget and plan out everything you expect to see and do. A Disney vacation this is paramount and the fun per dollar ratio can vary substantially. For the first time visitor, vacationers with young kids or less experienced Disney vacationers, it is easy to overspend and underutilize your time. There are so many activities available for all ages and interests so having the must do list fill up quickly is the easy part. The real key to the kingdom is managing the cost. The park tickets can be a big part of the cost model but also hold all of the fun and excitement.

I think we are all familiar with variable pricing in some capacity. especially travel related with hotels, cruises and airlines. Airlines being the most confusing to understand. An airline knows the breakeven point of every flight with prices having the ability to go up or down in less than 24 hours, making planning and getting the best deal difficult.

Disney has adopted a similar yet simplified pricing model based on capacity and demand. The good news here is they have a much more stable and predictable price calendar on their website. Prices are set in advance, with weekends and holidays costing a premium price due to the anticipated demand. They are calling this surge pricing and more and more businesses are getting onboard. At the core, it is based on the age-old supply and demand model. The more folks who are expected to be attending the parks or buying merchandise, the more expensive it becomes. Disney has been doing this for years as they have pricing built in. They base it on historical attendance and have broken it down into seasons.

What they are tuning is the day-to-day surge pricing model which can also be confusing for everyone involved. Thankfully they are working on making this easier on folks who purchase at the gates and not in advance or by travel agent. The issue for Disney is compounded around limited capacity. Designing and planning for tickets being sold on a date also has to take into account that customers must also be able to get a park reservation to use that ticket.

Let's talk a bit more about pricing, as things tend to get lost in the shuffle of change. If you plan on visiting Disney multiple times per year, the best way financially is to invest in an Annual Pass. In this case, it is important to mention that Annual Passes are still unavailable for net new purchases, meaning they are at capacity for the moment. Remember Disney has to account for the number of reservations and tickets being sold not only today but through the end of the year. Now, if you have an Annual Pass that is expiring, you can still renew it. This has been a great source of angst for many with the change of the annual pass offerings on top of limited availability in general. Disney has not announced any new price hikes for Annual Passes after the initial offerings. With that out of the way, not all of the park tickets have gone up.

The following information was obtained by Walt Disney World website that we've linked below. Please be sure to check their website for the most up-to-date information in planning your upcoming trip.

All of the one and 2-day park tickets have remained exactly the same.

3-day tickets have been raised about $1-dollar total cost or .33 a day. This is only on the value or slower and lower capacity days.

4-day or longer tickets have also been raised slightly. As an example of the most popular ticket, a 5-day park hopper for February has increased by about $20 in total or $4 per day. The 10-day tickets have increased by approximately $3 per day.

Water Parks as ticket upgrades remain at the same prices.

Disney Genie+ will also remain at the same pricing as well.

While we know that prices have been increasing across the board on just about everything these days, we did not think theme parks would be any exception. Thankfully this price hike amounts to under $4 per day on average or about the cost of a bottle of soda at Disney or Universal. While we never enjoy paying more for anything, the only silver lining here is Disney as you are most likely aware is under major renovations for both physical and technology expansion. For us, this means the money is at a minimum going back into park experience, user experiences along with general research and development.

Meanwhile across the other side of town, Universal is building their own park expansions and is also refurbishing attractions. While there hasn't been any official announcement yet, it should come as no surprise a price increase is very likely. Historically these theme parks have played follow the leader on pricing and expansions. If you have a trip planned to Universal this year, either as part of a Disney trip or on its own, now would be a good time to get your tickets. You will feel a lot better saving a few dollars. As it stands today, a 1 day 1 park ticket at both Disney and Universal is going to run approximately $139 on most days in February and March with weekends costing slightly more for both park tickets.

We've linked the Universal Studios Park Tickets website below where we obtained this information. You should always check the official websites for actual prices on the days you wish to attend. If comparison shopping for tickets, please be aware some places will include taxes and others will not. Read carefully because in some cases, using a travel agent may be an advantage and shouldn't cost any additional to you. Shop around, research, plan and execute! Most importantly, make lasting memories and follow us on NewsBreak!

Walt Disney World Ticket information: https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/tickets-visit-guide/

Universal Studios Ticket information: https://www.universalorlando.com/web/en/us/tickets-packages/park-tickets

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We have deep rooted connections with food, travel and friends. Drawing on our experiences, follow us as we keep you up to date on local news, openings and events of all kinds. In addition we will share food, drink reviews and recipes you can enjoy out and about or at home. Look forward to cookies, cakes, seasonal treats including cocktails, and visiting theme parks like Disney, Universal, SeaWorld and Busch Gardens to share some of the best foods of their limited time events throughout the year. We are ready to share tips, tricks and the best places to visit when you're in Orlando! Kindly, Theresa and Cam

Orlando, FL
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