Walt Disney Raises Ticket Prices at Theme Parks

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Disney Mickey MouseWalt Disney (DIS) theme parks, touted as the happiest places on earth, just got a little more expensive.

The entertainment and media conglomerate announced Thursday that it raised ticket prices at Disneyland and Disney World from 3.7% to 9.6%. The increase raises the price of a one-day adult ticket to Disney World in Orlando, Fla. from $79 to $82, and season pass prices rise between $10 and $18.

Disney reports earnings next week, and analysts are taking note of the price increase, and expecting stronger results.

"[The price increase] indicates that park revenues are holding up, despite building economic pressure and no discounting," said Analyst Tony Wible of Janney Montgomery Scott in a report.

Robert Niles, editor of Theme Park Insider magazine, said the increases of about 1% to 3% were no surprise and are "fairly modest" compared with the price hikes of about five or six years ago.

Prices for previously purchased tickets and passes will not be affected.

For next week's earnings report, Disney is expected to post a third-quarter profit of 59 cents per share, a figure that is up roughly 13% from last year's earnings of 52 cents per share for the same period. The company has beat analyst estimates over the past four quarters.

This year the company's film division released Iron Man 2, which grossed $334 million in global box office sales in its first two weeks. Disney's per share price was up slightly to close at $34.98.
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