Basic admission cost $82 last June and hit $89 a year later, which, according to one Orlando Sentinelcolumnist, means $100 entry could come in just two years. “The moment you get to three digits, it has an emotional impact,” says one consumer analyst. “It’s a barrier no one wants to cross, and Disney is going to have to be careful about crossing it.”
Why the price hikes, during desperate times? The competition, for one: Universal Studios Orlando just raised its basic entry to $88. Plus, as the LA Times reports, theme park attendance rose 3% last year—which gives park executives the unofficial green light to raise prices. What’s more, price hikes are considered a means of crowd control, notes Time: Scare off visitors who can’t afford it, and attract big spenders who consider the $100 gate fee just the beginning.