In an acknowledgment that it may have pushed too hard on its domestic theme parks for profit, angering some of its most loyal customers in the process, Disney revised policies related to ticketing, hotel parking, ride photos and annual passes on Tuesday.
Disney, for instance, will no longer charge $15 to $25 per vehicle, per night for guests registered at the 30 hotels and resorts it owns at Walt Disney World in Florida. The company started charging for hotel parking in 2018. At the time, Frommer’s called the move “a surprising money grab.”
Disney will also make Disneyland in California cheaper to visit by “significantly” expanding the number of days when adult tickets sell for $104, the lowest price, according to Josh D’Amaro, chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products. He said the number of $104 days would now represent about two months of the year at Disneyland, which charges $179 for adults on the most desirable dates.
“We want to make sure our fans are feeling the love,” Mr. D’Amaro said. “We’re listening to them, and we’re trying to adjust.”
Disney is not reducing ticket prices — at least, not exactly — in part because demand has remained surprisingly resilient despite a slowing economy and recession fears. Disneyland, for instance, is sold out on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of this week. Disney also maintains that its ticket prices and varied hotel offerings are flexible enough to accommodate budget-minded visitors.
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“None of these changes are about demand,” Mr. D’Amaro said.
He also said that the “enhancements” announced on Tuesday were not directly tied to a management shake-up at Disney late last year, when Bob Chapek was fired as chief executive and Robert A. Iger came out of retirement to retake the reins.
“This is not necessarily about a change in leadership,” Mr. D’Amaro said. “I have a lot of face-to-face conversations with guests when I’m walking the parks, and I read a lot of their comments online.
“If you move a tree, if you change a procedure, if you start asking for reservations — that’s a big deal to our guests,” he added. “They care. They really, really care. And if people care that much, then I have an obligation to listen and, when appropriate, to make some changes and modifications.”
Over the past year, some of Disney’s most dedicated theme park customers have grown indignant over price increases, some of which have been viewed as…