Local 6 Theme World: Disney- Mining fun & money

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By Ken Pilcher - Producer
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February 24, 2014

Disney: Mining Fun & More Money

Greetings and happy Monday from Theme World -- one day after Disney's latest price hike.
Perhaps to ease the sting, Disney just released a new video of the only ride under construction in all 28,000 acres of Florida swampland.
Yes, after years (and years) of planning and construction, the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train appears like it is finally almost ready to open.
 The Imagineers have started regular testing of the ride system.

And during a chat today on the official parks blog,  the lead imagineer on the project gave little new info, just that anyone 38" and taller can ride, and that the Mine Train is still on track for a "Spring" opening.  They did share a few pictures of the detail work which , like the rest of New Fantasyland, is extremely pretty.

That last picture is from the mine itself, a show scene featuring all 7 dwarfs. Here's a look comparing the near-final product (left) and concept art on the right.

Those are stills I grabbed from the video I've inserted below -- a partial ride-through of the Mine Train ride.


Today's other happy news from the mouse: we have an opening date for the Festival of Fantasy parade: March 9th.

Yes, Maleficent will breathe fire.  The parade looks more elaborate than any day parade in the Magic Kingdom since "America on Parade" from the Bicentennial.

Ah. That bit of nostalgia may make you yearn for those days. During the Bicentennial years, it cost $6 for an adult to enter the Magic Kingdom, plus an average of $8 in ticket books with the famous A-E tickets you used to hand in to ride each ride.So, $14 for a full day at the park. To be fair, adjust for inflation and that would be about $60 today.
With Sunday's price hike, it now costs  $99 (about $105.44 with tax) for a day at the Magic Kingdom, a $4 increase. The other 3 parks also went up $4 to $94.
That's about a 4% increase. Not that big a deal, on the surface, but in the past 5 years (Feb 2009 - Feb 2014)  one-day MK tickets are up more than 33%. (it was $75/day from Aug, 2008 - Aug 2009) Over 10 years, we've seen a 91% Disney 1-day ticket increase.
To be fair, Disney justifies the latest hike saying "Our pricing reflects the high quality and breadth of experiences we offer and our ongoing commitment to investing in our parks. We offer a variety of ticket options that provide a great value, and find that most guests select multi-day tickets that offer additional savings."
Disney correctly points out that it did not raise the price of the most popular multi-day Florida resident offer, however Walt Disney World Florida resident Annual Pass prices did go  up from $464 to $485. A Florida Resident Premium Annual Pass went from $584 to $605, and a Florida Resident Seasonal Pass went from $309 to $319.
Someone asked me if February is an unusual time to raise prices. Yes. It is. I consulted a handy ticket price history chart from Allears.net.  Most price hikes happen in June and August. The last time 3 times Disney raised prices this early in the year, a second price hike followed a few months later.  Doesn't mean Disney WILL raise rates again, just looking at history.  No response yet from Universal or SeaWorld on if they plan ticket hikes.

keep your emails, questions, tips and comments coming! I always appreciate the feedback. You can always find all of my blog entries at www.clickorlando.com/themeparks

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