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Disney Raises California Park Prices 10% to Almost $150 Per Day

Bloomberg logoBloomberg 1/6/2019 Christopher Palmeri
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Video by CBS Los Angeles

Walt Disney Co. raised the cost of attending its California theme parks during peak times by more than 10 percent ahead of the opening of a new “Star Wars” land.

The cost for a one-day ticket during peak times, typically summers, weekends and holidays, rose 10.4 percent to $149 from $135. The least-expensive daily ticket rose 7.2 percent to $104. The prices apply to both the original Disneyland in Anaheim, California, and its sister park, California Adventure.

Discounts will be available for multi-day purchases, military personnel and Southern California residents.

Disney has been investing billions of dollars in its resort division over the past few years, taking characters from its Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm brands and turning them into attractions that have lured guests. Attendance at the company’s parks worldwide rose 4 percent last year, while spending per guest increased 6 percent.

Crowd control will be even more of a challenge with the introduction of the “Star Wars” lands this summer.

“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,” Disney said in a statement.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, an attraction based on the long-running science fiction series, is scheduled at both Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood Studios park in Orlando, Florida. The attractions, the largest single lands ever added to the resorts, will include a ride on the Millennium Falcon space ship, simulated intergalactic combat and a cantina where patrons can interact with staff pouring cocktails in creature costumes.

Disney took a big step toward controlling demand three years ago by launching a three-tier pricing system. The world’s largest theme-park operator has also increased prices and created options for guests to enter early, reserve rides in advance and even buy tickets for just evening events.

Disneyland annual passes now come in six varieties, with the one with the most days blacked-out costing $399 and the highest-level of access costing $1,949. Monthly payments for the season passes can run as high as $103, not including the down payment. Parking rates at Disneyland rose 25 percent to $25 a day. The cost of a MaxPass, which includes ride reservations and photos, rose 50 percent to $15.

Disneyland attracted 18.3 million guests in 2017, making it the second-most visited theme park in the world after the company’s Magic Kingdom in Orlando.

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