The Wall Street Journal: Disneyland offers sneak peek for a price: $50 an hour
LOS ANGELES — After raising some ticket prices for its theme parks by more than 20% over the past five years, Walt Disney Co. will set a new benchmark this week when it offers die-hard fans the chance to attend a six-hour preview of a new attraction at Disneyland — for $ 299.
Even for fans used to high prices, the $ 50-an-hour sneak peek at Pixar Pier on Friday, a day before the attraction officially opens, breaks new ground. “Being able to go into the stores a day early is a main draw,” said Chandler Churchill, an 18-year-old recent high-school graduate from nearby Irvine, Calif., who plans to attend the preview.
The steep price stems in part from a perennial tension Disney DIS, -1.64% faces at its theme parks, where public demand is so strong that its two domestic locations, in particular, can fill to capacity during certain times of year. In response, Disney is considering new approaches to pricing amid upgrades at Disneyland in Southern California and Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., that are expected to attract even more people.
Raising prices — currently around $ 100 on average days and more than $ 120 during “peak” times around holidays — could mitigate tourist appetite and increase Disney’s profits. The company, however, is wary of appearing to gouge customers, according to theme-park executives and analysts, and going against founder Walt Disney’s vision of affordable family entertainment.
An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.
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