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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Disneyland announces another round of price hikes in time for the holiday season

Disneyland on Saturday, March 18, 2023, in Anaheim, California.    (Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
By Helen Li Los Angeles Times

Disneyland Resort announced Wednesday that it has increased single-day admission prices on its most popular days by nearly 9%, while parking fees have risen nearly 17% and the cost of using the Anaheim parks’ ride-jumping Genie+ service has gone up 20%.

The lowest-priced ticket for a single-day visit on low-demand days at Disneyland and California Adventure will remain at $104, the same price since 2019. The daily ticket for days when demand is highest, which was $179, has increased to $194, an 8.4% increase. Prices for other tiers have risen between 3.9% and 8.9%.

The two-day pass will now cost $310, up from $285, an 8.8% increase. Other multi-day passes also are increasing in price.

In addition, Disneyland Resort is increasing the prices of its Genie+ program, an expedited front-of-line access service that park-goers can purchase. The pre-arrival price has increased to $30 from $25.

To soften the price hike, the resort is adding Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway and the Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure access to the Genie+ service starting next month.

Disney also announced the introduction of “Magic Key Extras Unlocked” for its Magic Key holders. The resort’s Magic Key annual passes also rose in price — between about 3% and 21.5% depending on the tier — but sales of new passes are currently paused, according to the Disneyland website.

“We are constantly adding new, innovative attractions and entertainment to our parks and, with our broad array of pricing options, the value of a theme park visit is reflected in the unique experiences that only Disney can offer,” said Disney spokesperson Jessica Good.

Preferred parking in the Mickey & Friends parking structure, the Pixar Pals structure and the Toy Story lot increased to $55 a day from $50. The price for standard parking in those locations increased to $35 from $30.

In 2016, entertainment giant Walt Disney Co. began using pricing as a crowd-control strategy. Back then, a ticket on a “value” day in the three-tier system cost $95 and “peak” day admission topped out at $119. Now, single-day admission can fall into seven tiers based on projected demand.

In response to customer feedback, Walt Disney Co. last year announced “efforts to make the parks more accessible, such as adding more of the lowest-price day tickets at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim,” according to consulting firm Aecom’s most recent global theme park report.

The two Anaheim parks haven’t yet returned to pre-pandemic attendance levels, Aecom estimated. Disneyland drew 16.88 million visitors last year, down from 18.67 million in 2019, and California Adventure pulled in 9 million visitors in 2022 compared with 9.86 million in 2019, Aecom estimated. Walt Disney Co. doesn’t release attendance figures.

Next year, Disney expects to introduce the reimagined Pixar Place at California Adventure and Tiana’s Bayou Adventure at Disneyland as well as an expansion at the Downtown Disney shopping and restaurant area.

Disney is currently pushing for mixed-zone usage in its most urban theme park.

Last month, the city of Anaheim released a 17,000-page environmental impact report for DisneylandForward, which aims to squeeze more attractions, shops and restaurants into the resort’s existing 490-acre footprint. The report detailed how the multi-year construction project will affect the environment, with significant but unavoidable effects on noise pollution, air quality and greenhouse gas emissions in the surrounding community.