Disney Revises Pricing Policies at Its Parks

In an acknowledgment that it may have pushed too hard on its domestic theme parks for profit, angering some of its most loyal customers in the process, Disney revised policies related to ticketing, hotel parking, ride photos and annual passes on Tuesday.

Disney, for instance, will no longer charge $15 to $25 per vehicle, per night for guests registered at the 30 hotels and resorts it owns at Walt Disney World in Florida. The company started charging for hotel parking in 2018. At the time, Frommer’s called the move “a surprising money grab.”

Disney will also make Disneyland in California cheaper to visit by “significantly” expanding the number of days when adult tickets sell for $104, the lowest price, according to Josh D’Amaro, chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products. He said the number of $104 days would now represent about two months of the year at Disneyland, which charges $179 for adults on the most desirable dates.

“We want to make sure our fans are feeling the love,” Mr. D’Amaro said. “We’re listening to them, and we’re trying to adjust.”

Annual pass holders have also complained bitterly about a 2021 decision by Disney to require all domestic park visitors to have a reservation in addition to a ticket or pass. Pass holders were no longer able to drop by anytime they wanted, even if they paid $1,399 for the most expensive Disney World pass.

Disney began requiring reservations as a way to control crowds during the pandemic. But the reservation system also reflected a policy shift. To cheers from Wall Street — and boos from many Disney fans — Mr. Chapek pushed the company’s theme parks to focus less on maximizing attendance and more on increasing how much money visitors spend.

Mr. Chapek called this “yield management,” and it helped Disney recover financially from the pandemic. Increases in theme park profit also helped offset losses in Disney’s streaming division. For the 2022 fiscal year, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products had $28.7 billion in revenue and $7.9 billion in profit. To compare, the unit had $26.2 billion in revenue and $6.8 billion in profit in 2019.

The policy changes that Mr. D’Amaro unveiled on Tuesday will go into effect at varying times over the next couple of months.

In California, Disney will ease restrictions on guests with higher-priced “park-hopping” tickets, which gives them the ability to visit both Disneyland and the adjacent California Adventure theme park in a single day. (Park hopping was previously restricted to 1 p.m. or later. The privilege will now begin at 11 a.m.) Disneyland will also provide free downloads of ride photos to all ticketed guests; that offering currently starts at $15.

In Florida, Disney will allow annual pass holders to visit theme parks after 2 p.m. without a reservation, except on Saturdays and Sundays at the Magic Kingdom, the busiest Disney World property. In another change, guests who pay for the smartphone-based service called Genie+, which gives them speedier access to rides, will receive attraction photos for no additional charge.

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