Theme park experts: Rise in ticket prices are to cover costs, control crowds

The Walt Disney Company announced they will be raising ticket prices at Walt Disney World for the first time in three years. Tickets for one day at one park can range anywhere from $109 to $189 dollars. Experts say this rise wasn’t unexpected and is affecting the entire industry. 

Over at the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) Expo, the world’s latest and greatest theme park rides were on display. Many will end up in Florida theme parks, but will people pay the rising admission prices to ride them? 

"Everyone is looking at it. Everyone is trying to hold back as much as they can," said Founder and CEO of International Theme Park Services Dennis Speigel. 

The constant battle over ticket pricing is not one theme parks take lightly. 


"Keeping pricing friendly for the families is what we want to do, but on the other hand, in these inflationary times we have to cover our costs," said Speigel.

Disney’s price hike came as a shock to visitors with whom we spoke. Although, there are deals to be found. 

"We searched, ‘Googled’ and found the deals," said Andy Roberts. "We managed to get what was a great deal."

Roberts and his wife said they purchased 14 days at Disney for the same price as the new day rates. They also bought well in advance. Speigel confirms that the best deals come when you stay longer. 

"If you take the length of stay that family is at a theme park and divide by the cost per ticket it’s much cheaper than a concert. It’s much cheaper than a sporting event. It’s cheaper than the movies," said Speigel. 

Even though prices everywhere are up, Speigel said the demand has not slowed. Instead, the new upped pricing is helping to control crowds. 

"There’s always a group of people willing to pay a little bit more and when that happens that flatens out the attendance curve," said Speigel.

Speigel says inflation is impacting how much people spend at the parks but not how many attend. He believes Florida will hit record high theme park attendance numbers over the holiday season.