Airline style pricing on theme park tickets?

Discussion in 'Disney Rumors and News' started by marius97, Dec 3, 2012.

  1. marius97

    marius97 DIS Veteran

    Mar 16, 2009

    What do you guys think about this idea? Personally I don't see logistically how theme parks (Disney at least) could implement this and still keep any sort of its current price discounts on tickets.

    December 3, 2012 at 1:00 am
    Theme parks considering airline-style entrance fees

    Industry envisions bump in profits with variable pricing

    By Sara K. Clarke
    Orlando Sentinel

    Disney is one of many theme parks considering charging varying entry prices at different times of the week. (Getty Images)

    If theme parks were airlines, the price of admission to the Magic Kingdom might vary depending on how far in advance you bought the ticket, whether you wanted to go on a Tuesday or a Saturday, and if your visit happened to fall during the high-demand season around Christmas.

    Though airfare-style pricing is catching on in other industries, many theme parks typically have offered it only for special events. But the idea of boosting revenue with such dynamic pricing and other types of variable-ticket systems has been getting some attention. This month, for example, the topic drew scores of park operators to a panel discussion in Orlando, Fla., during the annual meeting of the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions, the industry's largest trade group.

    "Day-of-the-week pricing, where you price cheaper during the week and more expensive on the weekends, is extremely uncommon. I think there's a gold mine right there," said Martin Lewison, an assistant professor at Farmingdale State College in New York who studies attraction pricing.

    "More parks are using seasonal pricing — high season, low season, shoulder-seasons pricing," Lewison said. "Remember, this is an industry that used to be, 'Set it and forget it.' The price was set for the season, and nobody thought about it again."

    Mark Danemann, founder of the pricing-software company Siriusware, said variable pricing is common in the ski industry, which uses multiday, midweek and low-season discounts to spread its customers more evenly throughout the season. He hasn't noticed it as much in the theme-park business.

    While not all theme parks use variable-pricing systems for everyday admission, the approach does pop up in conjunction with certain special events and add-on services.

    Walt Disney World, for example, uses a sliding scale for tickets to Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party, an after-hours event presented in the Magic Kingdom during the holiday season. Universal Orlando charges less on quieter evenings for admission to its annual Halloween Horror Nights.

    Theme-park consultant Dennis Speigel said he thinks the major parks are looking into airline-style pricing.

    "The theme-park arena and world is slow to grasp and pick up on things like this," he said. "But it's coming. It's going to happen."

    From The Detroit News:
  2. beer dave

    beer dave Master of the obvious

    Apr 30, 2011
    The current price discounts and free dining at certain times of the year are no different from offering lower ( or higher) entrance fees to the parks. Either way it is all a piece of the disney pie. They are only masking their high rate times by not offering discounts. I guess this doesn't apply to having daily rate changes. (I.E higher rates on weekends)
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  4. Chuck S

    Chuck S DVC Boards Co-Moderator Moderator

    Feb 6, 2000
    This sort of plan may work for locals, but for annual passholders it would not work at all.

    And the FL Residents already have this type of pricing...seasonal tickets that don;t allow admission during the highest peak periods, and the EPCOT After 4pm passes.

    I don't see this type of admission pricing working for the average traveler that goes to Disney 5 to 7 days in one shot, hops between parks, and so on. For those types of travelers, including DVC, the Disney hotel discounts, free dining and/or seasonal DVC points differential is about the same thing and is working well.
  5. Lewisc

    Lewisc <a href="

    May 23, 2000
    Airlines have a la carte pricing. You generally pay extra for better assigned seats, checked luggage, sometimes bin bags and generally a fee if you want to change your flight. I know not every airline charges every fee.

    Disney has charged extra for things like no expiry and park hopping for years. Same concept.

    During the slow season Disney sometimes offers packages which include discounted rooms and discounted tickets.

    A discount coupon to parks like 6 flags offer a lower discount on weekends then midweek.

    Universal charges more for paid express pass peak days.

    Airline style pricing is already in effect. The only question is how much further it will go.
  6. wiigirl

    wiigirl DIS Veteran

    Oct 29, 2012
    I got a shiver when I read this....
  7. jlewisinsyr

    jlewisinsyr DIS Veteran

    Mar 29, 2007
    Georgia Aquarium charges different rates based on the day of the week, it can work well on just tickets; the challenge is how do you create multi-day tickets like a 5 day pass, do you get an allotment of both weekends/weekdays, does it vary, etc.?

    Just from a ticket perspective, I see where it could work, but it's probably a ways off for Disney outside their current hotel/dining pricing structure and limited annual pass structures.
  8. marius97

    marius97 DIS Veteran

    Mar 16, 2009
    This is where I see the problem. In their current pricing structure, with multi-day tickets, there is no way to logistically do this. People are confused enough about the whole hopper ticket. Can you imagine someone being turned away on a Friday at rope drop because they only have left a Monday through Thursday ticket? That would be a mess.
  9. skier_pete

    skier_pete DIsney-holics Anon

    Aug 17, 2006
    I don't really get this. Disney already charges extra for their hotel rooms and at their restaurants during holiday seasons. We were at Pop Century in December 2009, and from December 18th (Friday) to December 19th (Saturday) all the prices in the food court went up by about 50 cents, just as all the Christmas guests showed up. The DDP prices go up as well during holidays. And forget about slow season discounts.

    The difficulty here is that they allow you to buy your ticket, and start using it whenever you want. As PP said, it would be difficult to mandate a different ticket for certain days/holidays...especially considering their multi-day ticket structure. I could see having a different 1-day price for holidays.

    What's interesting in this article is that there is no mention of Disney saying they are going to do this.

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