Walt Disney is raising its cheapest one-day ticket to Disneyland -- now $104. Some other tickets, annual passes and parking fees will see hikes of up to 25%. This comes a year after price hikes for Disneyland/Disney California Adventure by 18%.
Why the current change? In particular, there is an elaborate expansion -- a new “Star Wars”-themed part of Disneyland, with Disney expecting huge crowds.
We keep paying more for all kinds of entertainment. Theatrical movie prices are higher -- averaging $9.14 in 2018 from $8.97 in 2017. Tickets for attending professional sports -- football, baseball and basketball -- are also up.
TV home entertainment, all kind of digital/traditional TV-related content, is also higher. Traditional pay TV providers -- cable, satellite and telco -- are recording monthly price climbs.
In response, many new ultra-low-priced digital video packages have launched -- from Sling TV, DirecTV Now and others. But now those prices are beginning to go up, too.
And Netflix? It is around $10 to $12 a month for many of its subscribers, which seems like a deal. But one would expect some hikes in the near future. For many, paying for TV isn’t a luxury; it’s a necessity.
In 2013, the average U.S. household spent $2,482 on entertainment, or 4.9% of total household spending, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In 2017, it rose to $3,203, which was up 10% over 2016. Average pay TV services cost consumers anywhere between $80 and $120 per month. So on an annual basis, TV makes up a good part of the entertainment budget.
Does this leave much left for Disney -- or other nontheatrical, non-sports, non-TV content entertainment? Consumers always seem to find a way.
Even with the current state of “cord-cutting,” TV providers will stay in the game, finding ways to offer and sell the idea of more “value” -- whatever that means. And that will be sold -- and advertised -- touting a “low” price. Whatever that is.