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Disney World Raises Entrance Price For Magic Kingdom

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Some of the magic at Disney was always that you could pick a theme park - any theme park - and the price for a day pass would be the same. Well, no more. This month for the first time, Disney began charging more for a day in Magic Kingdom in Orlando than for its other parks.

Matthew Peddie, from member station WMFE, explains why.

MATTHEW PEDDIE, BYLINE: A one-day pass to the Magic Kingdom now costs $95 - compared to $90 for entrance to its other parks: Epcot, Animal Kingdom or Hollywood Studios.

That price differential makes sense, says Duncan Dickson of the University of Central Florida's Rosen School for Hospitality Management.

DUNCAN DICKSON: We tend to forget that the Magic Kingdom here in Orlando is the most visited park in the world.

PEDDIE: The Themed Entertainment Association estimates 17-and-a-half million people visited Magic Kingdom last year - well ahead of Disney's other locations and its rivals in Orlando.

Dickson says Disney is finally acting like a market leader. And he says it's actually still a good value.

DICKSON: And whether it's Seaworld, whether it's Universal, whether it's Disney, in any of their parks you have 12 to 14 hours worth of entertainment. You know, I think it's probably still a pretty good deal.

PEDDIE: Dickson says the higher price tag on the Magic Kingdom is justified by investments in the park.

Disney officials don't talk about their pricing plans, but this latest move is the first time the company has valued one of its parks higher than the others.

For NPR News, I'm Matthew Peddie in Orlando. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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