Memorial Day Weekend: Lower Gas but Higher Ticket Prices

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — As Americans honor our fallen war heroes this Memorial Day weekend, we also seek to shed our collective cabin fever and celebrate the soon-to-be-summer season. And when it comes to this weekend's warm weather pastimes affecting your pocketbook, we've got some good news and bad news: lower gas but higher ticket prices.

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AAA is forecasting the second highest travel volume since 2000 with a post-recession high of more than 36 million Americans traveling during the holiday. Airfares are expected to be some 6% higher, with an average round-trip, discounted fare for the top 40 U.S. routes costing $227. Mid-range hotels will cost an average of $169 per night, a 2% increase. Car rentals will be incrementally higher as well, averaging $44 for a weekend daily rate – up just 1%. But road-trippers might get a break on gasoline prices due to rising supplies. Memorial Day weekend pump prices are expected to be equal to, or slightly less than, last year's national average of $3.63 per gallon.

However, in what will likely more than offset any travel savings, summer season recreational ticket prices are going into effect. Walt Disney Co. has hiked its single-day ticket price for visitors 10 or older to Disneyland and the Disney California Adventure Park to $96, a $4 increase. Parking also rose from $16 to $17.

Disney's Magic Kingdom in Orlando beat the summer rush and raised its ticket prices back in February to a starting rate of $99. Additional Disney World parks, including Epcot, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios, all saw price hikes to $94 for single-day admissions.