Disney will eventually reopen. That much is certain. What is uncertain is the version of Disney that will be available to us. Obviously, they’ve taken a bit hit financially being closed, and they’ll need to make up their losses as quickly as they can. So where does that leave us, the guests, once the parks and hotels resume business? There will be those guests whose plans were cancelled or postponed due to the closing that will scramble to rebook their vacations. There will also be those guests who can no longer afford an already exorbitantly priced vacation due to being out of work during this time. What is Disney to do? Keep the status quo knowing that people will come no matter what? Raise prices to make up for their losses knowing people will come? Drop prices to bring in as many people as possible?
Hard to know. But I can make a guess.
I don’t think Disney will raise prices. In fact, they may offer some discounts for time periods to get people to come. I think a good percentage of people will reschedule, and ultimately drive up crowds in some of the busier times.
But due to the amount of loss, I expect Disney to put on hold a lot of projects that were coming (such as Spaceship Earth), while still finishing up those already in progress and nearing completion. I also think that slower times will see a reduction of some things. Meet and Greets, Jedi Training, etc…those kind of things that involve direct contact will likely be reduced. I could see fewer snack carts or QS locations open…basically, the kind of things they would reduce during time periods such as early September might become the normal during busier times as well.
This is all purely conjecture, though.
Before this all hit, I was planning a trip with DS7 to go in September. I had begun pricing hotels, and things looked a little steep versus what I paid this past September around the same time. MVT didn’t have any great deals, so I didn’t pull the trigger yet. I decided to look yesterday, just out of curiosity, to see if prices had changed at all. They haven’t!
I’m guessing they are waiting to see how things shake out, how long they are closed, and how many guests cancel. If I had a reservation for September, I wouldn’t be thinking of cancelling yet, but if this drags on into July or early August, I could see prices dropping if people do start cancelling. The bigger question is when will they reopen, or even be allowed to reopen.
I’m thinking it will be June 1 at the earliest.
This summer is going to be crazy. We were on a DCL cruise leaving April 11 that got cancelled. We ended up taking the refund versus the future credit (I regret that decision, but the wife wasn’t sure about going on a cruise within 12-15 months). Will my son’s 2-week summer camp get cancelled? We also have trips planned to Hilton Head and Branson in July and August, respectively. This could be the summer that puts a major dent in the travel industry.
Yes! Delay spaceship earth! I want to ride again in case they ruin it.
I think a lot of people will reschedule for fall but a lot of people won’t be able to afford it when the time comes. I foresee a lot of cancellations.
That’s the thing I think a lot of people (including myself) who are lucky enough to still be employed during this situation, many people have to save for a considerable amount of time a trip to DW and if they are out of work for any time during this period, there might not be a huge amount of reschedules, and even cancellations in the fall for the same reason.
I’m sure Disney will see how bookings are going. If they are soft, they will offer incentives and discounts to get more bodies in the parks.
I think they might have deals to come and stay and even ticket deals. But they will have a lot more add-on things to make up the prices. No, the pretzel cart will not be closed - it will be open. All possible ways to get your impulse money will be on the table. Personalized memory maker will be pushed, more dessert parties will happen. More before and after events. All these will be needed to keep things going.
As for right now, the mouse will be looking for money every way it can. I think they’ll be pushing the gift cards for sure.
There were lots of resort discounts post-2008 for a few years. My guess is that we will see the same thing in the situation. I don’t think there will be ticket price discounts.
I am wondering if we will see a similar situation to what we saw after 911.
I was there in October after 911. No one wanted to fly so the planes were mostly empty. It was the quietest I have ever seen the parks. And we must have gotten a good deal because we stayed at the Poly (as two young newlyweds with not a lot of cash built up).
My sister is a flight attendant and she has been sending me pics of the empty planes she has been flying on. She said it hasn’t been this bad since 9/11.
It always makes me smile to remember the poor flight attendant who saw DH and I sprawled out on that flight home, each with our own row (sitting across from each other) and me curled up with a book and my baseball cap covering most of my face. She walked down the aisle and asked him if his little girl would like wings. She was a little embarrassed when he replied ‘that’s my wife’.
It’s gotta be eerie working those flights. I remember how freaky it felt back then too.
It wasn’t a mistake, though. Disney transforms everyone into little kids.
Personally I think it will be a stupid and wrong decision if Disney were to do any rate hikes before the traditional times to do so
I don’t think ticket prices will go up right away. Probably a slow process. I do expect there to be a lot of ‘discount packages’ to get people to book.
When all of this is done, I don’t think people there will be doing a lot of travel as millions now have no money and no work. They will want to save up (again) to go with Disney. Too bad, but that is the reality. Most Americans are struggling to pay mortgages, rent and buy food at the moment.
Let’s talk about pricing! Disney is already extremely good at it.
If when a ticket costs $100, 30000 people go, but when a ticket costs $200 only 10000 people go, they make more money by selling tickets for $100 .
One thing that always impressed me about Disney is how they manage to keep parks full while generally feeling expensive. They are also quite good at price differentiation, by having tons of ticket options and add ons, that end up making each customer spend as much money as they are willing to spend, and as @Ariadne mentioned, just having a bunch of stuff for sale to extract more money from people who can pay more.
Disney was not leaving money on the table by having prices too low, they had a pretty optimized pricing model.
Prices post corona will depend on the economic impact of the pandemic, and also on how much people will be scared of crowds, flights and diseases. My guess would be sales and price reductions, but it is too soon to tell.
 Of course, you need to account for the marginal cost of a ticket for Disney. But a lot of the costs for park operation are fixed costs and they probably profit more out of a person buying stuff inside the park then what they spend with them.
This is particularly true at the moment…if people already bought tickets, if people delay their trips, then Disney isn’t out anything, but they aren’t gaining anything either. What matters, then, is once people show up, how much additional money can they get someone to spend in the parks.
Coronavirus is limiting the supply of Disney vacations. That is a situation that would lead to higher prices.
The real question is the demand side. How interested will Disney fans be in travelling between the time the parks reopen and science has a vaccine or cure that turns this pandemic into a bit of a nuisance?There are a lot of people who are deferring Disney plans, and if you add those to the people who were already planning to go to Disney later this year or next, you’ve got higher demand.
There’s a wide swath of opinions; there are the people who’ll rush the park in full PPE (hey, let’s do Splash Mountain!) and then there the “no way, no how” group who don’t want to take the risk. The more people in the first group, the higher prices will be. The more people in the second, the more deals you’ll see.
Disney prints money at the parks, so I don’t see them trying to recoup all of their losses, because they also know that the market won’t support doubling their prices.
I think the other question is though how many people are going to cancel due to unfortunate financial loss from unemployment.