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Aw shucks, Disney World price increase to impact more than tickets

It's called the most magical place on Earth, but could it be because a trip there now makes all of your money disappear?

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Going to Disney World will soon cost you more.

Two weeks ago, the theme park announced it will introduce park-specific pricing on its single-day, one-park base tickets — and they'll be more expensive. Magic Kingdom, the company said in a statement, will be priced at or above other parks "due to the incredible demand as it remains the most-visited theme park in the world."

Here's what the one-day ticket prices will range, starting Dec. 8:

    • Animal Kingdom: $109-$159 (same range as today, company says)
    • Hollywood Studios: $124-$179
    • EPCOT: $114-$179
    • Magic Kingdom: $124-$189

The higher, $189 ticket price at Magic Kingdom covers nine days around the week of Christmas to New Year's, Disney said. But its lower, $124 ticket price at Magic Kingdom is nearly a 14% increase from the current admission price of $109.

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In addition to more expensive tickets, pricing on the theme parks' add-on options — including Park Hopper and Park Hopper Plus — will vary by date with prices fluctuating based on demand. People who buy a ticket automatically receive a theme park reservation at the time of purchase.

"We continue to focus on providing guests with the best, most memorable Disney experience, and we’re doing that by growing our theme parks with incredible new attractions and offerings," the company said in a statement. 

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"We are also making planning easier with new 1-day tickets that automatically include a guest’s theme park reservation and continue to provide a wide range of options to visit throughout the year, including our lowest priced ticket of $109 which has not changed in more than four years."

Pricing for Disney World's annual passes will change, as well, by about $43-100:

  • Incredi-Pass: New Sales Paused
    • Current: $1,299 | New: $1,399   
  • Sorcerer: New Sales Paused
    • Current: $899 | New: $969   
  • Pirate:  New Sales Paused  
    • Current: $699 | New: $749   
  • Pixie: New Sales Available 
    • Current: $399 | New: $399

The company says it's "fortunate" its parks do not have a problem with demand, "even so, we are purposeful about creating more ticket/hotel price points than ever before to allow guests who want to visit our parks to have that opportunity."

California's Disneyland in October similarly raised its prices based on tier.

Food and drink prices throughout all four parks have also increased. For example, the fan-favorite DOLE Whip® Cup is now priced at $5.29 when it had previously cost $4.99, according to the Disney Food Blog. And if you wanted to splurge and build a custom lightsaber at Savi’s Workshop in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, it's going to set you back $249.99 instead of its previous $219.99 - an over 13% increase. Most bottled water sold has increased by 25 cents, and the prices for character encounters have gone up, too.

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Disney said guests can still book trips ahead of Dec. 8 with the current lower pricing.

Contact Carolyn Bruck at cbruck@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

WCNC Charlotte is always asking "where's the money?" If you need help, reach out to WCNC Charlotte by emailing money@wcnc.com.

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