Disneyland tickets, parking prices leaping up

Hugo Martin
Los Angeles Times
In this handout image provided by Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland guests and Cast Members celebrate Mickey Mouses 90th birthday, November 18, 2018, during a festive cavalcade down Main Street U.S.A at Disneyland park in Anaheim, California.

Only months before the opening of its $1 billion Star Wars expansion, the Disneyland Resort announced price increases of up to 25 percent for daily tickets, annual passes and parking.

The increases, which took effect Sunday, come less than a year after the resort adopted price hikes of up to 18 percent. Under the latest increases, the cheapest daily ticket will be more than $100. Daily parking prices are rising to $25 from $20 — a 25 percent increase.

Disneyland’s annual ritual of charging more is partly aimed at crowd control, although price hikes in the last few years have not diminished the throngs at Disneyland and its neighboring California Adventure Park.

Disneyland expects visitor demand to hit new heights when it opens its newest area, dubbed Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, this summer. The 14-acre expansion will feature two attractions, including a ride that lets visitors pilot the Millennium Falcon, the spaceship flown by Han Solo in the “Star Wars” movies.

Park representatives declined to discuss how they plan to handle the expected surge of visitors.

“We continue to provide our guests with a variety of ticket offerings to meet their needs, while helping us to spread visitation, better manage demand and deliver a great experience,” Disneyland Resort spokeswoman Liz Jaeger said.

To help manage the crowds, the resort adopted “demand” pricing in 2016, with lower prices on days when demand is lower and higher prices on weekends and holidays. An analysis by the Los Angeles Times showed that the new prices didn’t shorten attraction wait times.

A one-day, one-park ticket for Disneyland or California Adventure park has now risen to $104 from $97 for low-demand days, such as weekdays in May. That is a 7.2 percent increase. Meanwhile, the consumer price index for the 12-month period ended in November rose 2.2 percent.

A ticket for regular-demand days has risen to $129 from $117, a 10.3 percent increase. The price of a ticket on peak-demand days has risen to $149 from $135, a 10.4 percent increase.

For annual passes, the least-expensive “Southern California Select Pass,” which blocks out all weekends, most of the summer months, as well as a big part of the fall and winter holidays, now costs $399, up from $369, or 8.1 percent more.

Disney representatives said more days would be blocked out for most annual passes in 2019 versus last year, but they declined to be more specific. Instead, they directed such queries to the online block-out calendar.

There are 211 days blocked out for the next 12 months for Southern California Select Pass holders, up from 202 days in the previous 12 months.

For the “Deluxe Pass,” which includes admission to both parks on select days, customers now pay $799, up from $729, a 9.6 percent increase. For the most expensive pass, the “Premier Pass,” which includes parking, access to both parks and no block-out days, the price rose to $1,949 from $1,579, a 23.4 percent increase.