February 24, 2014 (USA TODAY) - Disney's Magic Kingdom has hiked prices for the second time in eight months, bringing the cost of single-day admission to the Orlando theme park to $99 for adults and children ages 10 and older.
Last June, daily admission rose $6 to $95, in what has become an annual rite at the major Orlando parks.
Disney also announced hikes for its other Walt Disney World parks, Epcot, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios, where admission is up $4 to $94 for single-day admissions.
When one central Florida theme park hikes entry fees, the others typically follow suit. Last year, Universal Orlando Resort became the first Orlando theme park to break the $90 threshold for a single-day, single-park ticket when it raised its prices to $92. Two weeks later, Disney announced a price jump from $89 to $95.
Industry observer Robert Niles of ThemeParkInsider.com isn't surprised by the increase, though its timing is a bit unusual.
"It almost seems as if Disney is daring Universal to go over the $100 barrier," he says. "We thought there'd be (an increase) this year, but more likely after Universal's price hike."
Universal will open another Harry Potter attraction, Diagon Alley, this summer in its Universal Studios Florida park. It joins the Wizarding World of Harry Potter -- Hogsmeade, which opened in 2010 in its sister park, Islands of Adventure.
"That should increase demand for multi-park tickets, and whenever there's an increase in demand, there's an increase in price," Niles says.