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Theme Park News: Disneyland upped its prices — but it's not as dire as you think

Visiting Disneyland just got a little bit more expensive...

By Carlye Wisel
Main Street, USA at Disneyland

Welcome to Theme Park News, and if you thought Monday would be a slow news day, well, that makes two of us. Ticket price increases traditionally happen at Disneyland Resort around the top of the year, but with everything all kablooey due to the pandemic, Disneyland raised prices yesterday on both admission and parking.


Disneyland ticket prices increased an average of 6 percent, according to the Orange County Register, with select ticket types increasing by more than 8 percent. On the low end, a one-day single price ticket remains $104, but the most expensive single-day ticket will reportedly now cost you $164 — or $224 for a one-day park hopper per person. (A new tier of ticketing, Tier 6, was also added for the most in-demand dates.) To put it into context for anyone planning a visit: Nearly every Saturday or Sunday for the rest of 2021 will cost $159 a pop to visit a single Disneyland Resort park. Egads!

For those hoping to go on its busiest days, it might cost more than previously anticipated, particularly with two new premium paid products on the horizon. When they debut, Disney Genie+ ($20) and Lightning Lane individual attraction selections (full pricing to come) will allow guests to board rides with more ease — and, given that most ticket types cost more than ever before, it's a no-brainer for guests who want to do as much as possible to utilize their single-day admission to its fullest extent. (And, if the ease and helpfulness of MaxPass proves anything, once enough of the crowd opts in for a paid product, you'll almost need to in order to seamlessly get on more of the in-demand rides.)

Massive changes are underfoot for parking as well. According to the LA Times, daily theme park parking rates rose from $25 to $30, while hotel valet now costs $50 (from $35) and self-parking $40 (from $25.) Ticket admission increases are one thing, but charging upwards of $50 for hotel guests feels like a squeeze, particularly for anyone who's already committed to staying on property and spending their vacation money with Disney. Add, too, that the only Magic Key annual pass tier with free parking — Dream Key — is now no longer available, and most everyone attending the parks going forward will be ponying up more than before.

Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland Park

While one would never be thrilled to pay more to visit Disneyland, there is an argument to be made on the other side of that coin. Yes, select nighttime entertainment like Fantasmic! has not yet returned as prices increase and even the parking trams are not back online — but (hooray!) will be in 2022, according to the Orange County Register — these parks have proven time and time again that their biggest weakness in terms of crowd experience is demand. As a parkgoer, sure, I don't want to pony up even more money for the same experience I had weeks prior, but that's... kind of the point. Even coming out of the depths of a pandemic, Disneyland has been bustling and demand is high. People are, clearly, continuing to pay the prices, and crowd control could be helped by way of these slight increases. If the Annual Passholder program is bursting at the seams even after being rebooted, as guests forking over $1400 for Dream Key — a serious chunk of change — have found themselves unable to visit the park as easily as they thought they could, increasing prices to push guests towards less-busy dates could provide a small but sensible deterrent for more in-demand dates.

Something's gotta give when it comes to attendance, and given how people are still struggling to get in even after rebooting the annual pass program proves that Disneyland continues to have a product that people want and, more importantly, are clearly willing to pay for, making the price increases justifiable. My dreams of being a valet parking kind-of-gal may have now *officially* been dashed, but if the park can stave off some of that one-way traffic kind of crowd levels from the increase, then hey, it might be worth it in the long run.

All changes went into effect immediately, and are now reflected on Disneyland's site. For anyone hoping to visit this holiday season for the parks' many festivities, I recommend buying your tickets and making your reservations sooner than later, just to make sure your plans are set.


Disney Wish, the forthcoming Disney Cruise Line ship set to debut in 2022, released new information about its on-board dining experiences today and we have two words: Ant-Man. (Or is that one hyphenated word?)

Anyway, none of that is important because when you dine at Worlds of Marvel, the MCU-inspired restaurant aboard the ship, you will witness the familiar faces of Earth-616's finest within the Avengers: Quantum Encounter experience. Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Anthony Mackie, and Brie Larson are confirmed to reprise their roles as Ant-Man, The Wasp, Captain America, and Captain Marvel, respectively, and we can't wait to hear more details of what's in store.

Further details were also shared of Arendelle: A Frozen Dining Adventure, a Frozen-themed experience that will feature Olaf and Oaken greeting guests tableside while the film's famed characters perform in a theatre-in-the-round setup that will even channel the aurora borealis and Elsa's powers, while 1923's elegant stylings and elevated dining will provide a trip back in time to when Walt Disney first started his now-iconic company. All in all, this cruise is shaping up to be something special for fans across Disney's brands.