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We are just a couple of weeks away from our family spring vacation.  Part of it will be spent at Disney World.  We did a family vacation a few years ago at Disney World, and had a blast.  We wanted one more experience while the kids are still charged at lower rates.  With our vacation coming up, we've been following all things Disney related.  Last week a big announcement came in that Disney overnight parking will no longer be free.

The Old Policy

Previously, if you were staying at a Disney resort, overnight parking was free.  This was a nice perk, presumably to make their resorts more attractive than surrounding hotels.  But, they announced that soon, there will be a daily fee between $13-$24 depending on the resort.

Bummer.

What This Means For Us

Thankfully, we are not impacted for our upcoming trip.  Although we're driving, the fee only impacts bookings made after March 21st.  Any bookings made before then will not have this charge.  We made our booking a few months ago, so we're good.  For this trip.

Greed Or Smart Thinking?

Many people are outraged.  Reading some of the Facebook groups, people are upset.  This should come as no big surprise.  It is, after all, an extra cost to which customers get no added value.

So why is Disney doing it?

Greed?  Many people say that Disney is being greedy with this move.  They point out that this was a nice perk for people that made Disney resorts more attractive.  Many also point out the ever increasing cost, and figure it's just a money grab.

That could be.  Or maybe they're being….

Smart?  One of the things that we've seen with Disney World is that it's busy.  You'd expect this, but it's always busy.  When we went a few years ago, there were certain times of the year that you could book and expect to enjoy low or moderate crowds.  Now, there is really no such thing.  If you read the real time reports, crowd levels are either high or really high. That's pretty much it.

So you could say that Disney is making a smart business decision by increasing their revenue.  If demand is up, then you could argue that they have a responsibility to their shareholders to maximize their revenue based on that demand. Yes, I majored in Economics in college! After all, if park admissions (and presumably resort reservations) are running at robust levels, would an increase in costs put that at risk?

Probably not.  I'm sure the bean counters at Disney made sure of it.

What Do You Think?  Greed Or Smart?

I'm curious what you think.  Is Disney being greedy or smart by charging for something that was formerly free?

My answer: I think it's a bit of both.  If I were a Disney shareholder, I'd love the move.  As a Disney customer, not so much.

What do you think?  Leave your answer in the comments below.