With Disney’s new demand-based pricing, longer lines mean higher ticket prices

Doesn’t this look like the happiest place on earth?
Doesn’t this look like the happiest place on earth?
Image: Reuters/Mario Anzuoni
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The rumors are true. Effective this weekend, the Walt Disney Company is introducing demand-based pricing at its US parks, which means guests who show up on busy days will be asked to pay even more per ticket.

A single day ticket for Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif. is currently $99. Under the new plan, that price will vary daily based on the estimated number of guests—$95 on “value” days, $105 on regular days, and $119 on peak days. Peak and regular days make up 70% of the calendar.

Disney says this is a crowd control measure. Attendance at Disney’s US parks was up 10% in the last three months of the year, according to the LA Times. Crowds forced Disney to shut parks in southern California and Florida at peak points over the summer and Christmas holidays.

Demand-based pricing has long been the standard in the airline and hotel industries, and is employed (to users’ chagrin) at peak times by the taxi app Uber. It remains to be seen how the new pricing system will affect demand at the happiest place on earth.