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If you hate Uber’s surge pricing, you’ll probably hate Disney’s take on it

Disney theme park
AP Photo/Kathy Willens
Even in the 80s, the lines were an issue.
  • Mike Murphy
By Mike Murphy

Technology editor

Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

A variation on surge pricing—Uber’s model that raises the price of taxi rides when demand is high—could be coming to Disney’s theme parks. The Wall Street Journal reports (paywall) that the entertainment company is looking into the possibility of bringing “demand-based” pricing to its US theme parks, in an effort to cut back on congestion at the parks.

Currently, the base price for a one-day ticket for anyone over nine years old is $95 at Disneyland, and $105 at Walt Disney World. This means it costs the average four-person family over $400 after taxes for a single day at the “Happiest Place on Earth.”

Disney will start surveying past guests to see how they react to various different price points, the Journal reports. Theoretically, in the future, the company could charge more for peak holiday days—Memorial Day, the 4th of July—and conceivably less for less-desirable days, like a Tuesday in the middle of winter. The company could also potentially keep prices the same, but offer additional perks—like free parking, or free photos—during slower periods.

Changing fares based on demand has long been the standard in the airline and hotel industries, as the Journal points out, but has perhaps never been more clearly on display than with Uber. When requesting a taxi in the app, it will notify you if surge pricing is in effect—something the company recently paid economics professors to explain to the world—and just how much more your taxi will cost. Conceivably, Disney could price out its admission fares this way—it already has “low-season” prices for annual tickets at Disneyland Paris—but hasn’t detailed how it would plan to implement this sort of pricing yet. Quartz reached out to Disney for comment and will update this post when we hear back.

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