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Walt Disney World raising ticket price to $71

Orlando Sentinel

Original Article »

August 03, 2007

The price of magic goes up this weekend at Walt Disney World, where the basic adult ticket is climbing 6 percent to a record $71.

Disney on Friday announced a whole range of new ticket prices that take effect Sunday. The price changes also affect the discount packages that still can push the per-day cost below $23 for adults who want to commit to as much as a 10-day run at Disney's four theme parks.

But almost all the prices are going up. And for the second year in a row, Disney is raising its prices in August rather than in December or January, when theme parks historically announced price increases.

An adult, one-day, one-park pass that now costs $67 will go up to $71. Price increases of 3 percent to 6 percent were tacked onto most of Disney's "Magic Your Way" tickets and annual passes.

There was no word Friday out of either Universal Orlando or SeaWorld Orlando about whether they, too, expect to raise prices soon. But Central Florida's theme-park resorts have a history of raising ticket prices at about the same time to about the same amounts.

Disney's increase came just two days after Walt Disney Co. announced a $1.1 billion corporate profit and another good quarter at the company's theme parks, where profit margins were exceeding 20 percent.

Disney officials said the price timing had nothing to do with the corporate earnings; rather, it was tied to the annual planning cycles of travel wholesalers, tour organizers and commercial publications. They need their 2008 information soon.

And there was no indication Friday that anyone expects Disney's new price to start scaring away customers.

"We strongly believe that Walt Disney World represents a great entertainment value. Our guests agree," spokesman Rick Sylvain said. "In our guests surveys, nine out of 10 rate their theme park experience from good to excellent."

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