Currently to spend a day at Disney, you buy a ticket, enter the park, and all the rides are free. However, there is a paid option with Lightning Lane, where guests can pay anywhere from $10 to $20 to skip the lines on select attractions. Now, Disney is actively exploring a new pay per ride model where every ride will cost money.
If this pay per ride model sounds familiar, it is. When Disneyland and Disney World originally opened, they both had individual tickets per ride. The ride tickets ranged in price from 10 cents to 90 cents each. This was on top of the cost to enter the park, which was $3.75 in 1971. AllEars.net has a great article on this if you want to read more about it.
We just learned from an internal source that Disney World is actively considering returning to a pay per ride model. While the details are far from final, here is where things currently stand with this exploration.
Gusts would still need a ticket to enter the park, however this cost would be much less than it is now, likely a reduction to around $50 per park ticket. Then each attraction you ride would cost money as well, anywhere from $2 to $10. If you are comparing those costs to Lightning Lane, it isn’t too bad, however, this is not the Fastpass line, this is what you would be paying to be in the Stand-By line.
Back in the day, the attractions were broken into ticket levels from “A” to “E” and each level would have a different cost based on how popular the ride is. For example, Guardians of The Galaxy Cosmic Rewind would be an A Ticket and cost around $10. However, it isn’t that simple.
With My Disney Experience, Disney can fluctuate the price per level based on how busy the parks are and the demand for each attraction, following a surge pricing model like Uber. This would likely be a fluctuation of +/- $2. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but it adds up.
If Disney implements this new pay per ride system, everything would be linked to your My Disney Experience App. When you enter the Stand-By line, you scan your MagicBand. You would scan your MagicBand again once you get to the front of the line. That way if you bail from the line, you aren’t charged for that attraction. Guests would be able to check the cost of each attraction on their My Disney Experience app. Disney Would also post the cost per attraction next to the standby queue entrance so you know the cost before getting in line as seen in the concept art above.
For those guests who don’t ride a lot of attractions in a day, this likely will save them money. However, if you ride 15-20 rides a day, it will probably cost you more than it does with the system in place now. This of course all depends on the level of attractions you would ride.
While it isn’t clear why Disney would implement this new system, we are guessing it has to do with crowd control and money. We have seen this with the park reservation system. It limits where parks guests can go and when, but it helps Disney manage crowd levels and staffing. What do you think of a pay per ride system at Disney World? Do you like this approach or do you prefer the current system?
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