How Much is Too Much? The Rising Cost of Disney Parks


I’m sure many of you have heard about the new price hikes hitting Walt Disney World, from parking to dining and hotels to annual passes.

Lately, it seems that the price increases are coming with greater frequency. Sometimes they come with announcements and sometimes they just appear. Last year snack prices and merchandise started to creep up. They added the parking fees for overnight stays and they added the date based pricing to the tickets instead of the traditional seasonal pricing.

As a result, Disney parks fans and the media are starting to ask when will enough be enough?  Frankly, I don’t think the increases are going to change anytime soon. Park expansions, overprices acquisitions and streaming service content aren’t free. Like most businesses they are going to pass the costs along to the consumer.

How Could This Affect Park Goers?

I think people will always want to go to Disney parks, but they might either cut back on the number of trips or visit competitors instead.

Sea World and Universal Orlando are looking better and better as alternatives to Walt Disney World.

Alternative Options

From now until July 31st, if you buy two days of Universal Orlando tickets you get three days for free. Plus their annual pass choices are considerably less than Disney parks.

Sea World is even cheaper than Universal Orlando for both park tickets and annual passes.

Universal Orlando just got the new Hagrid’s Magical Creature Motorbike Adventure, they have a lot of amazing rides, Halloween Horror Nights (which my son loves,) and if the rumors are true, will be getting a third park with Nintendo. They are a fantastic alternative.

Their new “value” hotels are much less per night that the Disney value resorts and they are arguably nicer.

The Take-A-Way

I’m not telling you “don’t go to Disney Parks.”  Personally, I love Disney parks and I grew up going all the time. I get why it matters so much to people.

I’m just saying that for some people the constant price hikes are pricing them out and there are comparable and more affordable options.  If I were Disney I would reconsider upping prices as frequently as they have been. People do have limits and I think it’s creeping up to that line, and their handing their audience to the competition.

Even nominal price increases across the board add up for people. Individually it looks like a very small amount but totaled up it could be a deal breaker for some people.

Going forward keep an eye on prices. Always estimate high and save more than you think you will need for your Disney vacation. Look for deals and money saving park tips and you should be able to recoup some of the difference.

But, I do recommend that you price other parks in Orlando, you might have just as much fun for a lot less money.

Sources: Sea World, Universal Orlando,



Pirates & Princesses (PNP) is an independent, opinionated fan-powered news blog that covers Disney and Universal Theme Parks, Themed Entertainment and related Pop Culture from a consumer's point of view. Opinions expressed by our contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of PNP, its editors, affiliates, sponsors or advertisers. PNP is an unofficial news source and has no connection to The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal or any other company that we may cover.