Disney Considers Surge Pricing — Should You Too?

The Magic Kingdom. Photo by Kent Phillips, courtesy of Disney.

The Magic Kingdom. Photo by Kent Phillips, courtesy of Disney

The Wall Street Journal and Skift.com are reporting that Disney is considering charging different pricing for different days of the week and times of year that guests visit. The goal is to thin crowds on normally busy days.

They’ve already done something similar with their price increase and new system for annual passes, but this move would take things a step further. And while some might grumble at the increased prices on certain days, Skift reporter Jason Clampet points out, “Theme parks are one of the few remaining sectors in the travel industry that have not instituted variable pricing based upon demand. Hotels, transport, and vacation rentals already engage in this, while Uber is the acknowledged master (if grudgingly) of surge pricing.”

And while Disney may make more money as a result, as Jim pointed out in his post about Disneyland’s recent price increase, it can also be a positive thing for customers:

“Theoretically, they maximize their “revenue per seat” by selling up to the legal capacity limit every single day, but unlike in live entertainment (theater, music, sports, etc.), the quality of the experience plummets when more people are there. …

In a sense, it’s the same reason a theater would improve the seats or remove a row. You slightly reduce revenue potential in the short term, but you improve the experience enough to compensate in the medium and long term.

I don’t know the inner-workings of Disney, but I do know they think about customers and their experience, and I do know they understand how to manage park capacities.

Don’t dismiss the possibility of this as a customer service move.”

Would your live event benefit from surge pricing? Tell us about it on Twitter or Facebook.

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