ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- Walt Disney World Resort's Magic Kingdom and Universal Orlando Studios have recently raised ticket prices, and now it will cost at least $90 for an adult ticket.
Here on the First Coast, few attractions are following their lead. In fact, most local attractions are not changing their prices whatsoever.
The St. Augustine Pirate and Treasure Museum was voted best local attraction by readers of the St. Augustine Record in 2011 and 2012. An adult ticket is $12.99 and the price hasn't changed since the museum opened in 2010.
"There's no reason to raise prices," Owner Pat Croce said, "I think we're in a good place. People feel it's fair."
Most attractions surveyed in St. Augustine -- as well as Adventure Landing in Jacksonville Beach and Wild Adventures in Valdosta -- have chosen not to increase their prices.
However, a few have.
The St. Augustine Alligator Farm increased ticket prices by $1 at the beginning of the year, and admission at the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Museum went up 25 cents to $9.75.
Kathy Fleming is the Executive Director of the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Museum. She said, "If you have to go beyond that and reach for the extra bill, it starts to feel a little different. So I want to try to stay under that as much as we can."
The St. Augustine Lighthouse and Museum is a non-profit organization, so the money goes toward maintaining the lighthouse.
"We've had a lot of cost increases this year," Fleming explained. "Everything from insurance to paper products. Everything's gone up lately."
"Costs are going up," said Croce. "But we have to absorb that right now because we want feet off the street."
Croce said Disney is not a factor when he evaluates his pricing decisions.
"Disney and Universal, that's a totally different animal. I know they're public companies, and they might have to answer to shareholders. But I'm the ultimate shareholder [here] and I'm not raising prices," said Croce.
Here is a list of attractions that are free to everyone (donations welcome):
-Fort Matanzas National Monument,
-St. Photios Chapel
-The Pena-Peck House
-The Father Miguel O'Reilly Museum
These attractions are free to St. Johns County residents who can show a valid ID:
-The Lightner Museum
-The Fountain of Youth
-The Ximenez-Fatio House
-The Oldest Wooden Schoolhouse.
(Source: St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra & The Beaches Visitors & Convention Bureau)
First Coast News