For the last several years, you could buy a refillable mug that allows you virtually unlimited access to soft drinks within your resort. Unofficially, you could even carry your mug with you to another resort and refill it there, too. Mug colors changed over the years in an effort to police the indefinite reuse of the mugs (i.e.: you are supposed to buy a new one each visit).
Now, Disney is rolling out a new mug technology – RFID-enabled mugs that are programmable to allow for a certain number of days’ use, and they WILL be useable at every resort on property at Walt Disney World for the length of your program. No word yet on whether the RFID-enabled self-service soft drink machines will also be placed within the individual theme parks. It also sounds as if they’re going to include the mugs in the DDP.
Every year, Disney increases their ticket prices. Last year, it was approximately a 10% change. Tomorrow, their prices will increase again – by about 7% (average of 6.68% for adults and 6.77% for kids 3-9, but it varies based on the number of days you’re staying). At WDW, the Park Hopper Option is increasing by $2, as is Water Parks Fun & More Option. If you get them both, it’s increasing by $5 from $79 to $84. But the biggest change is in the No Expire Option – 12.38% on average, up by 15% for a 10-day NE ticket.
So, what can you do about it? Well, if you’re like me, you are at least thinking about whether you’ll be headed to Disney in the foreseeable future, and, if so, whether you’re willing to buy tickets for that trip today. Because any tickets you buy from Disney (via their website or a Disney Store) before midnight tonight will be at the 2012-2013 prices, not 2013-2014 prices.
“But wait!” you say. “Don’t I have to use them soon?”
As long as you don’t actually use the tickets to enter a theme park, they stay UNUSED forever (they’re limited only to the theme parks in existence today, though – not a huge limitation, but one nonetheless). If you use them once, however, the clock starts ticking on any ticket that doesn’t have a No Expire option and must be completely used within 14 days of first use. Thus, even if you plan to go to WDW or DL … but not until 2015 or 2016, no worries. And if Disney increases their prices again before you’re able to go, you’ll have saved even more money.
To start your own comparison, visit Allears.net to see the current ticket prices. Then head over to WDW or DL’s websites (links to each are in the Disney Blog post above) and run a comparison. Then add another percentage jump for each subsequent year that you think will pass between now and your trip. Disney’s price increases outstrip most financial investment returns (your checking account is probably getting less than 1% return) – as a result, it’s actually better to INVEST in Disney tickets than it is to keep money in the bank.