Unplanned attraction stoppages have skyrocketed at Disneyland and Walt Disney World as ticket prices are set to rise at nearly all Disney theme parks, according to recently released figures.
On Tuesday, the company announced that there would be a 12 percent increase in tickets to Disney’s flagship park in Orlando, Magic Kingdom.
Prices will go from $166 to $189 for the most expensive tickets at peak times starting December 8.
Customers will have to pay more as new figures show unplanned stops at attractions increased 59 percent between 2018 and 2022 at Disneyland in California and 42 percent at Walt Disney World in Orlando.
The popular ride, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, has been down for an average of nearly two hours every day in 2022, according to the Wall Street Journal who extracted data from wdwstats.coma website that monitors park prices, wait times, and ride statuses.
On top of that, the wait time for the ride increased from 61 minutes to 71 minutes during that time period.
The ride takes around 20 minutes and has intricate displays and stories. It cost Disney almost a billion dollars to build the two versions of the attraction in California and Florida.
In the past five years, single-day ticket prices have increased by 44 percent.
In statements to the Wall Street Journal, a Disney spokesperson denied, without providing data, that there has been an increase in waiting times.
In 2022, the Indiana Jones-themed ride was the most disrupted ride at Disney’s California park, while in Florida that honor went to the Prince Charming Regal Carrousel.
The graph showing the number of travel stops per year
In addition to stoppages and price increases, wait times have also increased at the parks.
The entertainment giant has said that in the last 10 years it has invested $31 billion in its parks.
Overall, across the park, average wait times increased from 39 minutes to 49 minutes in 2022.
Two other popular attractions, Web Slingers: A Spiderman Adventure and the Indiana Jones ride, have also experienced above-average unplanned shutdowns.
The most common reasons for shutdowns are maintenance, health issues involving visitors, and weather.
The new ticket prices mean a family of four would spend more than $750 on tickets, instead of $665, not including meals, hotels, travel and souvenirs.
On Tuesday, the company announced the new increase at its Orlando parks. In October, Disney revealed similar price increases at its California parks.
Disney introduced a new ‘Tier 0’ ticket, which is valid during the park’s least-visited days, in October at the company’s California parks.
Walt Disney World’s Star Wars attraction is closed for an average of two hours per day due to various issues
In a statement, the company said: “Magic Kingdom Park will be priced at or above our other theme parks due to incredible demand as it remains the most visited theme park in the world.”
Fees have not changed at Animal Kingdom, but will increase at Magic Kingdom, as well as Hollywood Studios, where prices will range from $109 to $159, and Epcot, where tickets will be $124 to $179. The increase only affects Disney parks in Florida.
The cheapest single-day options, including day tickets, a single meal and drink, and cheapest parking availability, rank: 1. Six Flags, $103.98; 2. Disney World, $148; 3. SeaWorld, $174.98 and; 4. Universal Studios, $208.99
A former Disney theme park designer, Jim Shull, told the Journal that “a hundred things” could go wrong on the Star Wars ride. He said: ‘Is it a power shortage? A software update? They didn’t put enough lubricant in the actuator? Some problems are easy, you flip a switch and it’s fixed, but others are important solutions.’
Across town, Disney’s main competitor Universal Studios also saw above-average stop times on one of its most popular attractions, the Jurassic World VelociCoaster. That ride is also down for almost two hours per day.
In statements to the Wall Street Journal, a Disney spokesman denied, without providing data, that there has been an increase in waiting times.
The spokesperson said: “Our source data shows that the reliability of Disney rides remains strong and is consistent with prior years.”
The founder of consultancy International Theme Park Services, Dennis Speigel, told the Journal that most visitors want to experience 1.5 attractions per hour, which is difficult if people have to queue for more than an hour.
Three of the four Disney parks in Florida will increase their ticket prices starting December 8 for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic.
A company spokesperson told CNN: “We continue to focus on giving guests the best and most memorable Disney experience, and we’re doing that by growing our theme parks with exciting new attractions and offerings.”
“We’re also making planning easier with new one-day tickets that automatically include a visitor’s theme park reservation and continue to provide a wide range of options to visit year-round, including our lowest-priced ticket of $109, which It hasn’t changed in over four years.’
A company spokesperson told CNN of the increase: “We continue to focus on giving guests the best and most memorable Disney experience, and we’re doing that by growing our theme parks with exciting new attractions and offerings.”
Disney’s $15-a-day Genie+ app is credited with helping fuel a surge in profits. Help guests skip the lines
In 2017, when the park’s ‘Tier 5’ ticket was priced at $124, the most expensive single-day ticket, representing a new ‘Tier 6’, has since risen by 44 percent to $179 .
Despite the price increase, a new $104 ‘Tier 0’ ticket was introduced that is valid during the least crowded days of the year at the park.
“The Disneyland Resort is always planning the next new idea, attraction and story,” a Disneyland official said in a statement.
“Our tiered ticketing structure gives guests different options to experience that magic throughout the year, including our lowest price point, which hasn’t changed since 2019.”
Since reopening in April last year, Disney has made a series of changes to its major parks, removing free benefits and raising prices, causing the cost of a visit to a Disney resort to rise dramatically.
The number of visitors to the park has plummeted 17 percent, but the profit Disney earns from each visitor has risen 17 percent in a year, helping boost the company’s profits.
The company’s stock price has plunged by more than a third in the past 12 months, due in large part to controversy over Disney’s opposition to Florida’s so-called Don’t Say Gay bill, and sparked movies. like Lightyear who have turned off viewers.
But profits at its theme parks, traditionally the most profitable part of Disney’s business, remain in very poor health.
Disney raked in a whopping $7.4 billion from its parks during the last quarter of fiscal 2022.
Disney raked in a whopping $7.4 billion from its parks during the most recent quarter of fiscal 2022, up 70 percent from the year before, when it was recovering from COVID shutdowns.
Profit also rose to an impressive $2.2 billion in that quarter, a huge jump from the $356 million recorded in the same quarter 12 months earlier.
One of the most profitable changes is the implementation of a $15 a day Genie+ pass, which was previously free. It serves as an app on guests’ phones and allows them to skip a few lines on rides.
Genie+ also features promotions on merchandise, helping to shake up the famously expensive park souvenirs. It is used by half of all guests, and 70 percent of those who downloaded it said they would do the same on a future visit.
But the Genie+ pass doesn’t quite fulfill all guests’ wishes, with guests having to shell out an extra $10 to $17 to access some of the parks’ most popular attractions, despite paying around $100 per ticket.