The “Happiest Place on Earth” (or at least the happiest place in southern California) is testing out new, higher-priced premium tickets.
On Friday, Disneyland will test out dynamic pricing when the gates open for the first day at the hotly anticipated Pixar Pier, in California Adventure, according to the Wall Street Journal. Guests will be able to enter the park for $299 for six hours, or about $50 an hour. Typically, prices for Disneyland range from $97 to $135 for a 1-day ticket.
As the Wall Street Journal explained, the park’s new pricing structure could look a lot like airline pricing, which involves selling tickets at different price points to ensure every seat on an airplane is purchased, while also ensuring the airline makes as much money as it can. So, just as a daytime flight from Los Angeles to New York City is more expensive than a redeye, so too could more popular hours at Disneyland.
Walt Disney World News Today put it this way: “1000 people at $299 will generate the same revenue as 3000 people at $100, but because the $299 event will be much less crowded, guests will enjoy it much more. From a financial perspective, Disney doesn’t care either way because they are bringing in $300k in both scenarios. But guests will have higher praise for the less crowded event, which reflects well on the event, and on Disney.”
Would-be visitors who don’t want to pay the premium prices can wait until the excitement dies down a bit, and visit later in the year for the regular park price.
In 2019, Disneyland and Disney World are expected to open the doors to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. No word yet on if they will host another dynamic pricing preview, but if the Pixar event goes well, fans can likely expect to pay a little more to get in early and without the lines.