Starting today, spending a day at "The Most Magical Place On Earth" will cost you—and may wreck your budget.
According to reports, one-day tickets to the Magic Kingdom will cost $105 plus tax, while ticket prices for entry to three other parks within Florida's Disney World Resort have risen to $97.
While ticket cost hikes have been gradual, this spike has been linked to recent increases in park attendance and the Orlando area's attraction of tourists and visitors with higher incomes. Area tourism authority Visit Orlando says that the average household income of overnight leisure visitors was $95,720 in 2013 compared to $88,349 in 2012, as reported by the Associated Press.
Considering the city's estimated 54 million domestic visitors in 2013 alone, the ticket price increase isn't expected to drive vacationing families away from the Disney attractions, especially when there are ways to save.
"A day at a Disney park is unlike any other in the world, and there is strong demand for our attractions and entertainment," spokesman Bryan Malenius said in a statement to The Orlando Sentinel. "We continually add new experiences, and many of our guests select multi-day tickets or annual passes which provide great value and additional savings."
In addition to multi-day park access packages and savings efforts that center around getting guests more for their money, Florida residents will still stand to save on park entry as they have in the past, despite the rise in ticket prices.
The Sentinel reports that basic Florida resident annual and seasonal passes will cost $529 and $329 before tax, respectively, up from $485 and $319 with pass renewals being discounted about 15 percent.
Given the increase in Disney prices, the influx of well-to-do tourists, and the spirit of competition, both Floridians and out-of-state visitors can expect to see this trend continue, encompassing nearby theme parks Universal Studios and Seaworld, who already charge park-goers ticket prices in the $90 range, and local resorts and hotels as well.
"The minute you stop keeping up with the Disney prices, you automatically tell the general public, `Hey, we're not as good as Disney,'" Scott Smith, an assistant professor of hospitality at the University of South Carolina, told The Sentinel.