3 Price Changes that Quietly Took Effect This Week at Walt Disney World

Though the cost of admission is always going up at Walt Disney World, it is not just ticket prices that are perpetually on the rise at the resort. In truth, Disney is constantly adjusting and modifying its prices on pretty much everything, from food to souvenirs and of course hotel room rates and everything in between. And while you might not notice when your $5.95 drink is rounded up to $5.99 or a formerly $11.49 pin suddenly costs $11.99, some more noticeable pricing changes happened this week that take effect immediately and could have an impact on your next trip, especially if you are staying at a Walt Disney World on-property hotel…

1. Walt Disney World hotels introduce a new package handling fee for hotel deliveries

If you’ve ever stayed at an on-property Walt Disney World Resort hotel, then you might have taken advantage of a free service that allows guests to ship packages to the front desk before or during a stay. This free service has been invaluable for those who would rather pay to ship luggage directly to their hotel rooms rather than suffer with the rising costs of checked bags, or are having something special delivered for a celebration (like flowers, a cake or a gift).

However, effective immediately, this service is no longer free, as Disney has begun charging a $5.00 handling fee for each package received via USPS (or any other delivery service) through the Front Desk or delivered to a hotel room. So, for instance, if you are expecting three packages during your stay, you can expect a $15 fee added on to your bill.

Though other hotels around the world charge a similar fee, this is a surprising move from Disney, as the lack of a fee seemed like a “Disney Difference” amenity that helped justify the high cost of staying on property. And unfortunately, this isn’t the only free service that got cut this week…

2. Reservation fees now required for covered patio areas at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort’s Oasis Pool

Image: Disney

Historically, the covered patio areas at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort’s Oasis Pool have been available for hotel guests to reserve on a first-come-first-serve basis after a quick call to the front desk. However, this past week, Disney officially discontinued this policy, and is now requiring guests who want to reserve one of these shady spots for their own private use at the pool to pay the following reservation fees:

$26.63 for a half day (either from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM or 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM)

$42.60 for a full day (from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM)

As was the case before, each patio continues to include a couch, three chairs and a coffee table. Interestingly, even though Disney is imposing these hefty reservation fees, no other amenities are being offered to make this new fee at least a little more tolerable for guests who have enjoyed this previously free service in the past.

Though these two price hikes affect guests at Disney’s on-property hotels, Disney also made a very interesting change to ticket prices this week as well…

3. Walt Disney World introduces a new limited-time 4-day 4-park ticket deal

Perhaps in an effort to shore up flagging attendance, Disney has announced a new ticket deal that will allow guests who are looking to check out all four Walt Disney World parks to pay a single low price to visit one park per day during selected dates. This new 4-Park “Magic Ticket” is good for a single day’s admission to the Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Epcot, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom on four separate days, with no park hopping. The price for this new ticket type is $279 for adults 10 and over, and $259 for guests between the ages of 3 and 9.

Interestingly, this new ticket can only be used at each park once (so if you’re hoping to skip Disney’s Hollywood Studios entirely and instead spend two days at the Magic Kingdom you’re out of luck), but if you want to see all four parks over four days, this new ticket could be a pretty good deal. However, there are some specifics to consider before you pull the trigger on this new “Magic” ticket:

First of all, this new ticket type is only valid for use on travel dates between now and May 26, 2017 with the exception of the upcoming holiday period between December 17, 2016 and January 2, 2017, during which these tickets (along with almost every annual pass) are completely blocked out. It is also important to note that all four Magic Ticket admissions must be used within 14 days of first use or by May 26, 2017, so if you are planning to spread out your visits, this new ticket type may not be the best option.

Though this new “Magic Ticket” is great for those who want to see all of Walt Disney World over the course of less than a week (and don’t mind not being able to park hop) it’s worth noting that even though the base price of this ticket puts it on par with a three-day Magic Your Way ticket, it is actually more expensive than the lowest annual pass tier (weekday select), which allows guests to have unlimited visits on weekdays during the spring and fall to all four Walt Disney World. And since this new ticket type is blocked out during the same holiday period as the weekday select pass, this lower-cost option might be a better value for those who don’t have to visit on a Saturday or Sunday and want to retain the ability to park hop and of course have more than four days’ admission.

Does this new ticket type sound like something you would like to take advantage of? Or will you be sticking to Magic Your Way and/or annual passes for your upcoming Walt Disney World visits? And thinking more broadly, how do you feel about all of the new fees that are being tacked on to a stay at a Walt Disney World hotel? Do these changes how you feel about staying on property? Sound off in the comments below!



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Don Korta
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