Only months before the opening of its $1-billion Star Wars expansion, the Disneyland Resort announced price increases of up to 25% for daily tickets, annual passes and parking.
The increases, which took effect Sunday, come less than a year after the resort adopted price hikes of up to 18%. Under the latest increases, the cheapest daily ticket will be more than $100. Daily parking prices are rising to $25 from $20 — a 25% increase.
Disneyland’s annual ritual of charging more is partly aimed at crowd control, although price hikes in the last few years have not diminished the throngs at Disneyland and its neighboring California Adventure Park.
Disneyland expects visitor demand to hit new heights when it opens its newest area, dubbed Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, this summer. The 14-acre expansion will feature two attractions, including a ride that lets visitors pilot the Millennium Falcon, the spaceship flown by Han Solo in the “Star Wars” movies.
Park representatives declined to discuss how they planned to handle the expected surge of visitors.
“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,” Disneyland Resort spokeswoman Liz Jaeger said.
To help manage the crowds, the resort adopted “demand” pricing in 2016, with lower prices on days when demand is lower and higher prices on weekends and holidays. An analysis by The Times showed that the new prices did not shorten attraction wait times.
Starting Sunday, a one-day, one-park ticket for Disneyland or California Adventure park rises to $104 from $97 for low-demand days, such as weekdays in May. That is a 7.2% increase. Meanwhile, the consumer price index for the 12-month period ended in November rose 2.2%.
A ticket for regular-demand days will rise to $129 from $117, a 10.3% increase. The price of a ticket on peak-demand days will rise to $149 from $135, a 10.4% increase.
For annual passes, the least-expensive Southern California Select Pass, which blocks out all weekends, most of the summer months as well as a big part of the fall and winter holidays, will cost $399, up from $369, or 8.1% more.
Disney representatives said more days would be blocked out for most annual passes in 2019 versus last year but declined to be more specific. Instead, they directed such queries to the online block-out calendar.
Based on the latest calendar, 211 days are blocked out for the next 12 months for Southern California Select Pass holders, up from 202 days in the previous 12 months.
For the Deluxe Pass, which includes admission to both parks on select days, customers pay $799, up from $729, a 9.6% increase.
For the most expensive pass, the Premier Pass, which includes parking, access to both parks and no block-out days, the price rose to $1,949 from $1,579, a 23.4% increase.