Disney Theme Parks Will Revise Pricing in Response to Fan Frustration

Prices aren't getting lower, but Disney is removing some fees and restrictions at its parks.

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This week, Disney responded to the chorus of park-goer complaints about prices. It has announced a revision to pricing policies on items around its parks. Though, it's not exactly lowering prices on park entrances. 

The revision involves lowered prices on various services, more days with lower-tier admission prices, and the removal of some on-ride photo fees. One of the biggest changes is the announcement that the parks will stop charging a $15 to $25 overnight parking fee for guests registered at the 30 park-owned hotels and resorts at Disney World in Florida

These changes come just weeks after Disney made a surprise move by removing Bob Chapek as CEO and bringing former CEO Bob Iger out of retirement. Though, the park says that these changes are "not necessarily" the result of a leadership change, reports the New York Times.

Changes at Disney World

At the Florida park, guests will see the new parking rules implemented. Moreover, any guest who purchases Genie+, an app-based service that allows guests to skip standby lines, will get free downloads of on-ride photos for attractions that automatically snap a picture like Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind.

The reservation system has also been a point of contention for annual pass holders. In addition to a park pass, guests have to make a reservation to gain entrance. The policy was implemented to manage crowds due to the pandemic, but it has stuck around. The policy prevented annual pass holders from just dropping into the park anytime they wanted.

That will change in Florida. Annual pass holders will be allowed to visit without a reservation after 2 pm with the exception of Saturdays and Sundays at the Magic Kingdom, Disney World's busiest park.

Changes at Disneyland

At Disneyland, the changes include expanding the number of days where adults can purchase admission at its lowest cost, $104. Josh D'Amaro, chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products, tells the New York Times that there would be about two months' worth of days each year at that price tier. 

Additionally, thrill-seekers with a park hopper ticket--allowing the guest to visit both Disneyland and California Adventure--will have access between parks eased. Park hopping will be allowed starting at 11 am instead of the 1 pm or later time currently in effect. At Disney World, park hoppers will still have to wait until 2 pm, per The Points Guy.

Ticketed guests will also get free downloads of on-ride images as part of the Disney100 celebration.

D'Amaro tells the New York Times that the changes are the result of listening to fans and not a response to sales. In fact, the parks reported higher earnings in 2022 than they did in 2019.

All of the new pricing policies will go into effect at various times over the next couple of months, D'Amaro told the New York Times. So, frequent visitors can expect to see their told tab at each visit go down slightly in the not-too-distant future.

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Dustin Nelson is a Senior Staff Writer at Thrillist. Follow Dustin on Twitter.