As the warmer months are settling in and the summer school break is on its way, there is always a spike in the crowds at the Walt Disney World theme parks. Unfortunately, along with that often comes a high point in any of the variable pricing associated with seasonal increases in cost. For example, Disney Genie+, which allows you to make a Lightning Lane return time for certain attractions, can vary in price based on the day.
The recent peak at the beginning of April saw the rate for Genie+ reach $35 per person per day, which, if you are traveling with a larger family, can add significant pressure to your budget. For a family of four, over the span of a week, this could add over $1000 to your vacation spend after tax.
As demand for the product increases, Disney will increase the pricing to help control the number of people purchasing the pass system. Now, we could all say that if Disney simply capped the pricing and the number of passes, there would be no reason to increase the cost at all. On the one hand, that is true; on the other side of things, A; Disney is a business that thrives making money, and B; Disney needs to curb the demand in a more organic way that thins out the market without creating a mess.
There is a benefit for Disney in the guest choosing whether or not to purchase, rather than being forced out in a selling frenzy in the first 10 minutes of opening each morning. Being priced out rather than timed out leaves each guest with a decision, not forced out through lack of availability. Before everyone grabs a pitchfork, this is a common business practice based on supply and demand.
It has me wondering where the limit will be for the average Disney guest and at what point each of us will decide the pass isn’t worth the additional money. Standard 1-day tickets range from $109 – $189 USD. This means that on the cheapest ticket price day, Genie+ can easily be an additional 25% on your ticket price. This leads me to my question.
Realistically, without any of the complaining about the process as a whole, what would be your limit to spend on this pass during a peak time, keeping in mind that this is often when the pass becomes most valuable as well? Let me know what you think. When the price is high, it will attract fewer participants than when it is cheaper, so where is the happy medium for you and your family?
Zoë Wood is a travel writer from Sydney, Australia. Since her first visit to Disneyland at the age of 6, she has spent her years frequently visiting Disney Parks and traveling around the world.
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