ORLANDO - Walt
Disney World Resort unveiled Magic Your Way, a change in its
pricing strategy that provides significantly greater flexibility
for guests and could result in more affordable visits.
Positioned as a
"play more, pay less" initiative, the new policy, which goes into
effect Jan. 2, enables guests to buy a base ticket for a duration
of one to seven days, and then choose among three options to add on
The potential to
pay less is realized if a client or guest declines some of the
choices that are currently mandatory in multiday tickets. Should
all options that are currently bundled into available packages be
selected, however, the guests will actually pay more.
Walt Disney World
Resorts President Al Weiss said that the company expects the
changes will result in longer stays by guests and will open the
parks and resorts to a broader market that couldn't afford to visit
"With Magic Your
Way, a family of four will be able to spend a week at a value
property, complete with admission tickets, for less than $1,500,"
he said. "Today, it would be at least 25% to 30% more
Although the amount
a guest spends on lodging and admission fees per day may go down,
Weiss said he believed that both the company's operating margin and
profitability will be enhanced by "leveraging existing assets." He
emphasized, however, that the primary driver in making the change
was guest satisfaction.
executive vice president of sales and travel operations for Walt
Disney Parks and Resorts and president of Walt Disney Travel Co.,
added that the company has seen a correlation between length of
stay and repeat business.
Weiss added that
surveys show that the trend toward shorter vacations stabilized and
that, in recent months, "longer vacations are high on the wish
In the new plan,
guests build upon a base ticket price and pay to add-on Park
Hopper, no-expiry and Magic Plus Pack (for WDW attractions outside
the four theme parks) options.
As an example, if a
guest today buys an adult advance-purchase "seven-day Park Hopper
Plus" ticket, all of the options above would be included, and it
would cost $316 (pretax). Under the new pricing, the same ticket
with the same options would cost $334. But if the guests declined
the "no-expiry option," it would cost only $279, and if they
further declined the Magic Plus Pack, it would drop to
also allows guests to create options that are currently not for
sale. For example, the minimum duration for a Park Hopper ticket is
four days, but under the new plan, guests could purchase a one-day
base ticket and, for $35, turn it into a Park Hopper.
· Magic Your Way
Vacations - Lower-priced packages that include lodging at a Walt
Disney World Resort property.
· Extra Magic Hours
- In addition to being able to go into designated parks an hour
earlier than everyone else, WDW Resort guests will also be able to
stay three hours later in the evening.
· Dining Plan -
Guests can prepurchase meals for $35 a day.
Weiss said that the
new portfolio of products is "distributor neutral" and will be
available to retailers, wholesalers and Internet aggregators and
will be sold by Disney's own Web site and reservations office.
Products of three days or longer and that have at least one option
selected are commissionable to travel agents. Garfield said that
Disney is counting on agents to help put options together for their
This month, in
preparation for the peak selling months of January and February,
the sales force will be focused on explaining the new programs to
agents through sales calls and a series of "webinars" (online
seminars) as well as new collateral material. To enroll in a
webinar, visit www.Disneytravelagents.com. To contact Editor-in-Chief Arnie Weissmann,
send e-mail to[email protected].