Feb. 12 (UPI) -- Walt Disney World and Disneyland increased increased the cost of admission over the weekend, as the parks try to shrink crowds and even out attendance this year.
Disney executives say the theme parks saw record-breaking attendance to end 2017, and generated $5.2 billion in total revenue.
Now, a one-day regular ticket to the Magic Kingdom near Orlando, Fla., has increased by $4 to $119. A "value" ticket now costs $109, while a "peak" ticket is up $5 to $129 per day. Tickets for Epcot Center, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom also increased.
In Anaheim, Calif., regular ticket prices jumped by $7 to $117, and $135 during peak attendance.
Parking is also more expensive -- $22 per day (up $2), while preferred parking increases to $45.
"We know how important making memories at Disney theme parks is to families and we will continue to evolve our pricing in a way that gives families a range of options to meet their budget and helps better spread attendance throughout the year so they can make the most of every visit," Disney spokeswoman Andrea Finger said in a statement.
"Given the small percentage of guests that purchase a one-day ticket at Walt Disney World, extending pre-published, date-specific pricing to multi-day tickets will further advance our efforts to spread attendance throughout the year and ensure all guests have a magical experience no matter when they visit."
The increased price structure means a family of four with two kids could pay $526 for one day at one of the Disney Parks on the most expensive day.
Dennis Speigel, president of the International Theme Park Services consulting firm, said the ticket hike comes as no surprise because visitors keep returning for new attractions.
"It's not a surprise. We've been anticipating this," Duncan Dickson, a former Disney executive who teaches at the University of Central Florida, said.
"Next week it will be Universal."