Disneyland tickets get even pricier as crowds return after the pandemic

October 26, 2021, 7:21 PM UTC

Visiting Disneyland is getting more expensive—again.

A single-day, single-park adult ticket during Disneyland’s busiest periods, like the three-day Labor Day weekend, will cost $164, under a new sixth-tier price level in the theme park’s demand-based tiered ticketing system. A ticket for visiting both Disneyland Park and adjacent Disney California Adventure Park will cost $224. 

Those prices will take effect in March 2022.

Additionally, tickets in most lower tiers will be pricier.

  • Tier 2: $119 (up $5)
  • Tier 3: $134 (up $10)
  • Tier 4: $149 (up $10)
  • Tier 5: $159 (up $3)

Adult tickets for Tier 1, for Disneyland’s slowest days, are the only ones to retain the same price, at $104.

For people on extended Disneyland holidays, five-day tickets for visiting both parks will rise to $440 from $415. Additionally, parking for the main Disney lots are rising to $30 from $25.

The price hikes come less than two years after Disney had previously raised its Disneyland ticket prices. Those hikes hit just before the pandemic in February 2020, when park-hopping tickets climbed above $200 for the first time.

So, what explains the most recent big price increases? 

In a public statement, Disney said the price hike reflects “pent-up demand after a 14-month closure.”

Disney is adding new attractions to its parks. Star Wars land and the Avengers Campus are set to open in 2023, and the famous trams, which did not reopen along with the rest of the park this past April, will be returning to service. 

Yet visitors are concerned that the latest price hikes will make it impossible to visit Disneyland. One Twitter user said: “When they make it impossible for the average family of four to go to Disneyland for a day…that’s when I stop thinking about going back to Disneyland. Ever.” Another tweeted: “It’s no longer about the experience. It’s about the merchandising.”

The hiked prices suggest that visits to Disneyland, in Anaheim, Calif., have increased significantly after the park had to shut down at the height of the pandemic. And hefty ticket prices aren’t exactly scaring customers away—the $1,399 Dream Key passes are currently sold out. The annual pass offers unlimited park visits, free parking, and merchandise discounts, and hold up to six reservations at once for both Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park.

At Disney World, in Orlando, the cheapest one-day day ticket is $109. Disney did not announce a price hike for that park this week.

In fiscal 2020, Disney parks lost $6.9 billion as a result of the pandemic. But on a call with analysts in May, Disney CEO Bob Chapek anticipated a comeback in attendance by this fall to something akin to pre-pandemic levels—especially since the Centers for Disease Control loosened its mask-wearing recommendation for vaccinated people outdoors, and multiple states, including California on June 15, lifted their mask mandates in response. And Disney’s most recent quarter ended in June reflects the rebound: Park revenue rose to $4.3 billion from just over $1 billion during the same period a year ago.

Unvaccinated people are more likely to plan theme park trips, with 70% of them saying they would be traveling to one within the year, versus only 50% of vaccinated people, according to a survey by the New York University School of Professional Studies and the Family Travel Association.

Leisure is not the only industry in which prices are soaring. The Labor Department reported that wholesale prices have risen 8.3% in the past year and that they are likely to continue climbing. Supply chain backups and a buying surge following the pandemic are largely to blame.

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