Planning to visit the most famous mouse in Florida (or California)? Better budget for a few extra months of saving, because admission prices are about to rise.
It’s not like Disney vacations were affordable to begin with. In fact, the overrated yet overwhelmingly popular family trip could cost you thousands, especially when you factor in airfare, meal costs, and all those pesky extras. But now with ticket prices rising, it’s going to be even harder to achieve the “dream” for middle-class families.
Read on to see just how much extra you’ll pay to get into Disney parks from coast to coast.
You’ll pay more during peak periods
It’s nothing new that Disney is charging visitors using a three-tier structure in an effort to keep crowds to a minimum. You’ll save a bit of money by visiting the parks during off-peak times, which may be a negligible amount for single tickets, but can lead to significant savings if you’re purchasing for the entire extended family.
You can still get value-priced tickets during weekdays in May and October, which are less desirable months to visit.
Next: Not all parks had the same increase.
The percentage of rate hike varies from park to park
Disneyland in Anaheim, California, has the biggest rate increase, with one-day single park tickets during peak times jumping from $124 to $135. One-day tickets at Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom will increase anywhere from $2 to $7 each.
Next: Day passes aren’t the only thing changing.
Annual passes are changing, too
Single day tickets aren’t the only prices changing at Disney — the company said that price increases for multi-day passes and season passes will also happen in 2018. A Signature Plus pass at Disneyland will increase by $100 to $1,149 total.
A platinum pass, which offers unlimited access to the parks in Florida, is increasing by a whopping $70 for non-Florida residents. It now costs $849.
Next: This is the reason the company says prices are increasing.
It’s all about crowd control
The reason for the rate hikes isn’t necessarily corporate greed — company spokespeople claim that it’s all an effort to help with crowd control. This is partly in anticipation of the new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge attractions, which are expected to draw a large audience.
“We know how important making memories at Disney theme parks is to our guests, and we will continue to evolve our pricing in a way that gives them a range of options to meet their budget and helps better spread attendance throughout the year so they can make the most of every visit,” a Disneyland spokeswoman said in a statement.
Next: Here’s how much you’ll spend for a family of 4.
A family vacation to Disney is often cost prohibitive
Plenty of families save up for vacation every year — but if they’re saving for Disney, they’ll have to cut a few extra corners.
The estimated amount you’ll spend on a six-day, seven-night stay at Disney for a family of four is about $3,500, but that can vary wildly based on factors from what hotel you choose to whether you tack on every available extra along the way.
It’s possible to “do Disney” more cheaply, but no matter what, you’ll be spending a lot of money on the experience. And the one thing that everyone has to account for, whether they’re camping or staying in the most luxe hotel room, is the cost of admission.
Next: This is a cheaper alternative to Disney.
You may want to consider different theme parks
A family of four could visit a different amusement attraction, like Cedar Point or Knott’s Berry Farm, and spend as much on the entire trip as they’d spend on just one single day pass to Disney. And that’s not even counting pricey Disney upgrades like character encounters, souvenirs, and $12 hot dogs. (Pro tip: You’re allowed to bring your own food into the park, which can save you a lot of wasted dollars).
Next: If you must go to Disney, try this tip to save some money.
A travel agent could save you some money
You could spend weeks researching blog posts and compiling conflicting information about the best way to save money on your Disney trip. But unless you’re a veteran Disney traveler (or you have hours to devote to research), your best bet is to hire a professional.
A travel agent who specializes in Disney vacations can help you plan your trip so you enjoy the best experience for the least amount of money. Even if the admission is more expensive this year.
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