By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2020, the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever.

Available on Amazon here.

(As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.)





Category — e. What to Budget for Walt Disney World

Analysis of Disney World’s 2020 Ticket Price Increase

Earlier in February, Walt Disney World increased its ticket prices for 2020. Since then, I’ve spent most of my time on ticket prices getting my Disney World Tickets page and my color-coded Disney World ticket price calendar right.

In this post, I will be commenting on the level of increases, and also how they flow in the year.

2020 prices were first released in June 2019, and I always expected at least one more increase in 2020 prices—for two reasons.

  • First, for years now, Disney World has increased prices for the current year in the late winter, typically February, and
  • Second, the 2020 prices released in June of last year went up on average only about 2% compared to 2019 prices. Given recent patterns in price increases, there’s now way Disney World would have left this stand

2020 DISNEY WORLD TICKET PRICE INCREASES BY TICKET LENGTH

Base Disney World tickets can be bought for between one and ten days in the theme parks. With the February 2020 price increase, prices for longer tickets in 2020 increased substantially more than prices for shorter tickets. Shorter tickets went up on average less than 2%, while tickets seven days and longer went up 8.4% to 10.6%.

It’s easy to over-interpret this. For example, you could say that people wandering in for a quick sample of the new offerings in Galaxy’s Edge aren’t much penalized, but folks on a longer vacation trying to see all of Disney World bear an extra burden. This is absolutely true, but that does not mean it was Disney’s intent.

It was widely reported after the February ticket price increase that both the least and most expensive one day tickets did not change.

This is simultaneously true, trivial, and simple-minded. Hardly anyone buys one day tickets. What these tickets represent is the price anchor of longer tickets, whose prices are calculated as a proportion of the sum of the one day tickets covered by the usage period of the longer tickets.

What Disney essentially did for longer tickets was change the proportions used to calculate their prices. That let it get some positive PR from the simple-minded for not increasing the lowest and highest one day tickets–at which point the analytic savvy of most observers stopped–while also extracting substantially more value from folks committed to longer visits.

Two things remain generally true: because you are not penalized for adding days to a ticket (so long as you add such days before your last day of use) it never pays to overbuy your tickets. Buy the minimum ticket you think you night need, and only add more to it after you are in the parks and know you need your extra days.

Second, it remains true that the per day cost of longer tickets is almost always lower than that for shorter ones. So one longer visit is still largely much less expensive than two shorter visits.

Now let’s turn to how these price increases vary over the remainder of 2020.

2020 DISNEY WORLD TICKET PRICE INCREASES BY TICKET LENGTH AND DATE

This section includes two charts. The first one shows price increases by first day of eligible use for every ticket length—so it plots more than 3,000 percentage changes:

For many of you, there’s too much data plotted on the chart to see much information.

I tried to make up for this in the second chart, above, by grouping the average price increases of three sets of ticket lengths—one to four day tickets, which all saw less than 2% average increases; seven through ten day tickets, which all saw average increases of over 8%, and five and six day tickets, about in the middle of these other two.

One thing that distinctively stands out is that there is less variability in price changes after mid-July.  Visually, this means that the ups and down of the price increases cover less of the vertical space of the chart. Analytically, the standard deviation of price increases as a percentage of the mean during the same period is twice as high before July 15 than it is after July 15.

There’s at least two possible explanation for why we see lower variance after July 15.  One is that Disney–in its judgement–got relative prices among the dates closer to correct.  The other is that Disney does not have enough information now to make fine grained adjustments later in 2020 the way it has done earlier in the year–you can see example of these finer grained adjustments in May, for example.

Since–despite the advice of folks like me–most Disney World trips are planned three months out or closer, my vote is for the second explanation.  Note that this increases the odds of a second price increase, affecting these dates, perhaps in the summer when 2021 ticket prices are announced.

Remember that Disney’s date based ticket price model has two purposes.

  • First, it intends to use prices to incent people towards dates less in demand, and away from dates higher in demand
  • Second, it seeks to extract the extra value from high demand dates that’s on the table from those who go during high-demand periods anyway

Unless fine-grained visitation patterns are highly stable, these purposes present a strong case for multiple price changes over the course of the year, not the one (or rarely two) that we are used to at Walt Disney World.

Note that once you have bought your tickets, so long as you don’t make any later changes, you are free from the consequences of future price increases that would otherwise affect your dates.

The long-time travel agent partner of this site, Kelly, can set up your Disney World vacation for you, locking down your prices, including those of your park tickets.  Contact her using the form below!

  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY
  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY

 

Analytic note. My percentage changes are based on comparing rounded per-day prices rather than complete-to-the-cents actual total prices—I do it this way because with more than 3,000 new prices to enter into my spreadsheet, it cuts data entry time by about 75%. This can add noise to the data at the level of 0.5% to 2% on any given data point, but the rounding errors it creates average out over the number of days I am looking at.

 

Follow yourfirstvisit.net on Facebook or Twitter or Pinterest!!

February 23, 2020   No Comments

Disney World Ticket Prices Increase

Disney World ticket prices increased yesterday, February 11. If you’ve already bought your tickets, you are fine, but those who have not yet bought their tickets will pay the new prices.

I’ll gather, enter, and analyze the 3,000 or so new prices as soon as I can. When I’m done, you’ll find the results here and here—hopefully by March.

 

Follow yourfirstvisit.net on Facebook or Twitter or Pinterest!!

February 12, 2020   No Comments

Disney World Room Rate Deal for April to Mid-September 2020 Is Out

This morning Walt Disney World released a room rate deal that covers stays April 1 through September 12, 2020.  It needs to be booked by February 26.  Saving range from 10% to 25% off standard rates per night, varying by both hotel and time period.

Also this morning Disney World released a free dining for kids three to nine years old offer that covers some–but not all–of the same resorts, for a shorter time frame–May 25 through August 28.

And a few days ago Disney World released a very limited free dining deal.

With some dates seeing as many as three different offers, your best bet is to work with a travel agent to see which of these deals–if any–is best for you. A contact form for my travel agent partner, Kelly, is at the bottom of this page.

DISNEY WORLD ROOM RATE DEAL FOR APRIL 1 THROUGH SEPTEMBER 12

The room rate offer needs to be booked February 26th (note that Disney’s website has some confusion on this point, so it may change*), and includes in rates for three different periods:

  • April 1 through April 25, 2020
  • April 26th through July 9, 2020
  • July 10th through September 12th, 2020

2020 ROOM RATE DEAL AT THE DISNEY WORLD VALUE RESORTS

At Disney’s value resorts all room types are in the deal–including Little Mermaid rooms at Art of Animation, which is quite unusual. Savings are low, but better after late April.

2020 ROOM RATE DEAL AT THE DISNEY WORLD MODERATE RESORTS

At Disney’s moderate resorts all resorts are in the deal, but the Port Orleans options–especially French Quarter–see the lowest savings.

2020 ROOM RATE DEAL AT THE DISNEY WORLD DELUXE RESORTS

At Disney’s deluxe resorts, all are in the deal, but savings are quite varied.

 

2020 ROOM RATE DEAL AT THE DISNEY VACATION CLUB RESORTS

At Disney’s DVC resorts all the options except the Villas at the Grand Floridian are in the deal, at substantially varying savings.

Kelly, the long term travel agent partner of this site, can book you into this or another 2020 deal after figuring out which is best for your circumstance.

Contact her using the form below!

  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY
  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY

 

*Disney’s “offer details” page says book by February 26th, but as you can see in the screenshots above, there is lingo that says, for example, that a room you stay in April 20th can be booked at deal rates through July 9…

 

Follow yourfirstvisit.net on Facebook or Twitter or Pinterest!!

January 6, 2020   No Comments

Free Dining Released for Sixteen 2020 Arrival Dates

Update: Disney WOrld has also released a room rate deal that covers April 1 through September 12.

This morning Walt Disney World released a free dining offer for 2020 that covers certain arrival dates in late June, early July, and late August through early September.

In some ways similar to last year’s initial free dining offer (more November, and December dates were released in mid-July of last year), it is much more restrictive in terms of both “book by” dates and eligible arrival dates.

The 2020 offer needs to be booked by January 16th, and includes the following sixteen arrival dates:

  • June 27 and June 28
  • July 5th through July 7
  • August 29th through September 8th.

(In 2019, the January 2, 2019 offer had a book-by date of 2/10—almost a month longer– and had eligible arrival dates of July 5th through September 30—almost 6 times as many eligible arrival dates. Note that Disney can always extend the “book-by” dates, and also both re-open and add additional eligible arrival dates.)

A room rate deal that covers all these dated (and many, many more!!!) was released January 6. See this for the details of the room rate deal. Typically, a room rate deal will be better for many smaller families in more expensive rooms, and free dining will be better for many larger families in less expensive rooms who had already planned to purchase park hoppers—although you or your travel agent need to do the math.

(For more on the dining plans, see this.)

2020 FREE DINING AT THE VALUE RESORTS

The 2020 Free Dining deal at Disney’s value resorts entitles you to the Disney Quick Service Dining Plan for free, which otherwise would cost you $55/night for those ten and older, and $26/night for those three to nine.

Absolutely excluded from the deal in the value resorts are All-Star Movies and the Little Mermaid rooms at Art of Animation. Otherwise, expect limited availability of the lowest priced room options.

2020 FREE DINING AT THE MODERATE RESORTS

The 2020 Free Dining deal at Disney’s moderate resorts entitles you to the Disney Quick Service Dining Plan for free, which otherwise would cost you $55/night for those ten and older, and $26/night for those three to nine.

All of the moderates are included in the deal, but expect limited availability of the lowest priced room options.

2020 FREE DINING AT THE DELUXE RESORTS

The 2020 Free Dining deal at Disney’s deluxe resorts entitles you to the Disney Dining plan for free, which otherwise would cost you $78.01/night for those ten and older, and $30.50/night for those three to nine.

All of the deluxes are included in the deal, but expect limited availability of the lowest priced room options.

2020 FREE DINING AT THE DISNEY VACATION CLUB RESORTS

The 2020 Free Dining deal at Disney’s DVC resorts entitles you to the Disney Dining plan for free, which otherwise would cost you $78.01/night for those ten and older, and $30.50/night for those three to nine.

All of the DVC resorts except the Villas at the Grand Floridian are included in the deal, but expect limited availability of the lowest priced room options.

 

Kelly, the long term travel agent partner of this site, can book you into this 2020 free dining deal—and  help you figure out which of the various deals out now would be best for your circumstances.

Contact her using the form below!

  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY
  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY

 

Follow yourfirstvisit.net on Facebook or Twitter or Pinterest!!

January 2, 2020   No Comments

New Disney World “Kids Dine Free” Deal for 2020

Yesterday, while I was tied up all day at a board retreat for the day job, Disney World released several new deals for 2020.

One is a room rate deal where you can save from 10% through 25% for stays January 1, 2020 through April 25, 2020, depending on dates, resort type, and when you book. Details on this deal are here.

The other deal is a “kids dine free” offer with a shorter term and a tighter booking window. It covers arrival dates from January 1, 2020 through March 7, 2020, and needs to be booked by January 1, 2020.

If you were going to buy the Disney Dining Plan anyway, have multiple kids between 3 and 9, and are staying in one of the less expensive Disney World resorts, it may well be the better choice for you. Disney’s page on this offer is here.

As always, the best way to sort through these is to work with a travel agent, who can test all the possibilities for you and put you into the best option among what’s available.

Kelly, the long-time travel agent partner of this site, can help your sort through all this. Use the contact form below to reach out to her.

  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY
  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY

 

Follow yourfirstvisit.net on Facebook or Twitter or Pinterest!!

October 5, 2019   No Comments

New Disney World Room Rate Deal for 2020

Yesterday, while I was tied up all day at a board retreat for the day job, Disney World released several new deals for 2020.

One is a room rate deal where you can save from 10% through 25% for stays January 1, 2020 through April 25, 2020, depending on dates, resort type, and when you book.

Despite much online confusion, the savings are more or less identical to what was offered during the equivalent period last year, with a couple of apparent exceptions:  at the values and moderates, more nights of the week are available, and there are fewer identified resort restrictions.

These last two points may not matter much, as the real issue is always how many of what room types Disney offers to be booked in the deal. That is, availability can be quite limited–and apparently was yesterday, although this may have been a systems issue.

Disney World also released other deals yesterday, including a “Kids Dine Free” deal. As always, the best way to sort through these is to work with a travel agent, who can test all the possibilities for you and put you into the best option among what’s available.

Kelly, the long-time travel agent partner of this site, can help your sort through all this. Use the contact form below to reach out to her.

  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY
  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY

Here’s some more specifics by resort type, taken from Disney’s page on this offer.

DISNEY WORLD VALUE RESORT DEALS FOR EARLY 2020

DISNEY WORLD MODERATE RESORT DEALS FOR EARLY 2020

DISNEY WORLD DELUXE RESORT DEALS FOR EARLY 2020

DISNEY WORLD DVC RESORT DEALS FOR EARLY 2020

 

Follow yourfirstvisit.net on Facebook or Twitter or Pinterest!!

October 5, 2019   No Comments