Right now, a 1-day ticket to one theme park at Disney World starts at $109. Prices vary if you choose to visit more than one park on the same day (Park Hopper upgrade option), visit a water park or golf course (Water Park and Sports upgrade option) or choose both upgrades (Park Hopper Plus).
Prices will also change based on when you go; tickets may be more expensive the closer you get to Christmas, or less expensive in early September when summer vacation ends and the kids are back in school. If you’re a Disney park newbie, you might find playing around with ticket prices frustrating. How do you know if you’re getting the most bang for your buck?
As a business owner though, keep in mind that Disney’s ticket prices fluctuate on purpose. During quiet periods, Disney wants to incentivize people to come visit. And during busy times of the year like spring break and summer, tickets can get pretty dang expensive in order to manage the number of people in the park, but also make operational decisions.
You can learn from and apply Disney’s pricing strategy to your own small business. For tips on forecasting revenue, creating discounts, raising your prices, and more, read on.
Use your pricing strategy to plan business operations
Using a pricing strategy doesn’t just help you forecast your revenue. It can also help you make important business operation decisions. Like hiring more employees or contractors when you need more hands during your busy seasons. Or picking the best time to give out special promotions so you can increase your revenue.
Disney does this during their quiet periods when the parks aren’t at their max capacity. To bring in more revenue, they may offer discounts to get people in the doors. Or, if people just aren’t flying in for extended vacations, they’ll create special offers to annual pass holders or Florida residents to get them to stay at their hotels. There are other promotions Disney offers too, like special dining plans or food credits that can be used during their Food and Wine Festival.
If there’s one thing we’ve learned, consistent Disney ticket prices would lead to miserable guest experiences. If Disney tickets were always in high demand, every park and hotel and event would be crowded year-round. Imagine the same happening for your business. You’d spend 12 to 14 hours a day hustling, and the quality of your work will probably suffer. Not to mention your energy and mental health!
How to raise your prices in your business
Remember that it’s okay to play around with your pricing if the demand is there. You don’t necessarily have to make huge pricing changes since that may scare off your audience, but you should increase your prices to keep up with demand.
Let’s talk about a few different ways you can raise your prices:
- Increase your prices annually. Your existing clients are not only paying for your time, but your experience and skills. If they’ve been with you for a year, they’re getting a lot of value out of working with you. Don’t be afraid to increase your prices to reflect that! Just be sure to give them plenty of notice. We like to give a minimum of 60 days notice.
- Set up a waitlist if you’re at capacity. Demand is high and you’re totally booked. It’s perfectly fine to ask prospective clients to join a waitlist and let them know when you’re accepting new clients. Adjust your prices to meet that demand.
- Offer discounts to different clients. This may seem a little weird, but if you have strong relationships with certain clients, why not reward them with a discount? It shows them that you value them.
If you’re not used to raising your prices or asking for more money, don’t be discouraged. It takes practice and confidence. Keep in mind that, if you’re working with a team, you need to make enough to cover those hidden costs, like managing, training, or onboarding them.
What if you run a program or are getting ready to launch one? We strongly recommend determining a starting price point while beta testing. That way when you launch, you can price your program at its true value. Listen to the feedback you get from your customers.
“We’re going to Disney World!” …in 40 years
Fun fact: if you (or your parents, or your grandparents) bought a Disney World ticket way back in the day and it was never used, Disney will still honor that ticket today, as long as you bought it with the No Expiration Option.
Before they got rid of the No Expiration option, people could pre-buy their park tickets years in advance of their trip. Of course, if you buy tickets in the dead of winter for your summer vacation, they’re going to be much cheaper. You just have to pay the difference in ticket prices if your travel plans change.
Why does Disney do this? Theme park tickets are nonrefundable and nontransferable, but Disney still wants to provide excellent customer service to their guests. You can do something similar in your business. This is an example of offering special promotions or discounts to your clients, rewarding them for choosing you…and choosing to stick with you.
Maximize your capacity and your profits
One of the most important skills you’ll hone as a business owner is managing your time and resources. Your time is not infinite. And you yourself are a resource to your own business, thanks to your skills and experience and training.
Your pricing strategy will help you make the most out of your resources. And it’ll ensure a good customer experience for your clients, a manageable workload for you, and more insight into the revenue you’ll bring in and business decisions you’ll need to make in the future.
Another great way to map out your pricing strategy? Creating a Customer Ascension Model. This shows you how clients/customers move through your business — from awareness to your top-tier product or service. It can also show you gaps in your offerings that could help with your pricing strategies. You never know: maybe your customer or client wants a mid-range offer you hadn’t thought of before!
Map out your Customer Ascension Model using our FREE template, inside our Biz Bundle!