Disneyland increases ticket prices, visitors outraged

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(Joshua Sudock/Walt Disney World Resorts via Getty Images)

(NewsNation) — Inflation isn’t just hitting the cost of gas, groceries and the cost of living. A family vacation with Mickey Mouse now costs more than ever before.

At Disneyland in California, ticket prices are up 8% from 2021, and experts are blaming the fall in Walt Disney Co. stock for the rise in costs.

“I’ve been going to the Disney Parks since I was 5. My parents actually met at or had their first date at the Magic Kingdom. So, Disney is kind of in my blood,” said Disney vlogger Joshua Nelson.

When Nelson’s parents went on their first date to Disneyland in 1975, tickets were free. Now, 50 years later, costs are starting to add up.

“When you start multiplying $20 per day price increases for five people in a family, you start really adding up some huge increases there,” Nelson said.

For a family of four to visit a Disney theme park for three days with a park hopper pass, Nelson said tickets alone will cost nearly $2,400. That doesn’t include a hotel or airfare if you’re flying, food, or gas, if you’re driving.

“Disneyland Resort is always planning the next new idea, attraction, and story,” a Disneyland official said in a statement. “Our tiered ticketing structure offers guests different options to experience that magic throughout the year, including our lowest price point – which hasn’t changed since 2019.”

Disneyland also announced the price of Genie+ will increase effective on Oct.11. Genie+ replaced Disneyland’s FastPass program last year and allows guests to access the Lightning Lane and bypass the traditional line for select attractions.

From an increase in prices to reports of rides being broken, some visitors are unhappy with the “happiest place on Earth.”

The price hike “was entirely expected. That’s the second time I think Disney has raised prices like this year. With inflation the way it is you kind of expected that,” said Len Testa, co-author of “The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World” and “The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland.”

“So they’re really focused on that very top of American households by income, don’t care about the middle class at all,” Testa said.

Testa says the top ways to save money are buying tickets from an authorized third-party wholesaler, staying at a hotel outside a Disney theme park and — believe it or not — having shared meals with the family.

“The people I’m hearing from who are coming back now are saying, you know, ‘I’ve always loved the parks, but this was the last straw.’ Like the phrase ‘nickel and diming’ comes up a lot in the emails that I read,” Testa said.

According to Nelson, Disneyland isn’t the only park raising its rates. Disney World in Orland, Florida, announced earlier this year that it would also be increasing rates for 2023 bookings.

Nexstar Media Wire contributed to this report.

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