Just after announcing annual passholder previews for its version of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Disney World instituted a substantial price hike for passes for both Florida and non-Florida residents.

The largest hikes are reserved for two of the tiers that will be able to get a sneak peek at Galaxy’s Edge. The Platinum Plus pass will cost $999 for Florida residents (up from $849, a 17.6 percent hike) and $1,219 for out-of-state buyers (up from $994, a 22.6 percent jump). The Platinum pass price jumps to $899 for Florida residents (up from $749, a 20 percent hike) and $1,119 for out-of-state (up from $894, a 25% increase).

The Disney Premier Passport, which acts as an annual pass to both Disney World parks and the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, will see its price increase to $2,099 from $1,949.

The price jumps for the passes only available to Florida residents (and in some cases Disney Vacation Club members), were less severe:

  • Gold: $699 (up from $609)
  • Silver: $519 (up from $479)
  • Theme Park Select: $439 (no change)
  • Weekday Select: $349 (up from $319)
  • Epcot After 4: $309 (up from $289)
  • Water Parks: $139 (up from $130)
  • Water Parks After 2: $89 (up from $79)

Disney last increased the prices of its annual passes in October, along with rolling out a new date-specific pricing system for multi-day tickets.  

In the company’s last quarterly earnings call, Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger reiterated that the strategy behind the price hikes is to help control crowds, saying that adding new attractions to Disney parks “has created an even greater demand and more popularity, which gives us more flexibility on the pricing side.”

But Bill Zanetti, a founding member of the University of Central Florida’s Entertainment Management Advisory Board, told Orlando Rising in January that this crowd control strategy has yet to pan out.

“The only way to even out that demand on a daily basis is to raise prices to find out what the magic number is per day where people stop coming,” Zanetti said. “Once you do that, you can create a scale between a highest possible price and a lowest possible price and then move even more into a variable pricing model to entice people to come on what would traditionally less crowded days.”

Attendance increased at all four Disney World parks in 2018, according to an annual report released by the Themed Entertainment Association and AECOM, with Magic Kingdom being the most-visited theme park in the world with an estimated 20,859,000 visitors.

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