Planning a Disney vacation in the next year or two? You might want to go now. A recovering economy means two things: Crowds at Disney World get thicker (inconvenient) and prices go up (budget-busting.)
In slow economic times, businesses offer discounts to attract tourists and eke out enough profit to pay their fixed costs. Disney – no exception to the rule – did the same, offering some mind-boggling perks such as free meal plans to guests who stayed at Disney resorts and bought packages. The company has huge fixed costs, and it would rather make a modest profit off big crowds than no profit off small ones.
The flip side to that equation is business, in good times, charges what the market will bear, making profit while the sun shines. Disney does that too.
The free meal plans are largely gone. Discounts on hotels and other incentives still exist, but they don’t have the pizzazz or money-saving appeal they once did. And one day soon, even those discounts will be gone. While Disney would like to nix the bargains as soon as possible, the recovering U.S. economy will dictate the speed. But, barring an unforeseen financial crisis, it won’t be long.
“We’re not fully back to where we might have been pre-downturn,” Disney Chief Financial Officer Jay Rasulo recently said at a conference. “But we’re on a trajectory to get back.”