April 5th, 2018 10:14 AM by Brent Ferry
As has been the case nearly every year, sometimes more than once per year, since the Magic Kingdom opened in 1971, Walt Disney World increased ticket prices on February 11, 2018.
Are you looking for tips on how you can save money on Walt Disney World tickets? Or are you baffled by the number and type of tickets available? Here is more information about Walt Disney World tickets and some useful things to know.
First, I suggest saving and printing my convenient one page ticket chart. I have taken the time to list out all possible Disney World ticket buying options with prices both before and after tax. This chart reflects the prices you would pay in person at the gate per adult (ages 10 and over). Use it as you read through my post and to compare to the prices you see later when you are shopping online. Got kids? You will save a small amount on tickets for ages 3 to 9. Newborns, 1, and 2 year olds are FREE.
When looking at the chart, you will immediately notice a few things. Among them, tickets can be purchased in any increment from 1 to 10 days. Tickets can be purchased with or without options.…And Neytiri. She is the Na’vi princess of the Omatikaya clan. You can find the bust in the Windtraders gift shop at the exit of Avatar Flight of Passage at Pandora - The World of Avatar now open at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park.
“Whoa, Brent, those 1-day tickets look confusing! What is this Value, Regular, and Peak stuff all about?”
In February 2016, Disney introduced seasonal pricing. In short, the price of admission for 1-day tickets varies by season and theme park. This is how it works. Each day on the calendar is assigned a season - Value, Regular, or Peak. If you are only visiting for one day, you will want to look up your exact date on the season calendar and buy the corresponding Value, Regular, or Peak season ticket. And you will need to pay extra if you want Magic Kingdom. But, if like most people you plan to visit for more than one day, then none of it matters! Skip it and move on. Seasonal pricing only appiles to 1-day tickets. It does not apply to multi-day tickets (…yet!).
When do you plan to visit?
It used to be that unused Disney World tickets never expired. You could buy them at any time for a future visit. That is no longer the case. Tickets sold this year must be used for the first time on or before December 31, 2019.
Traveling in 2018 or 2019? Great! How many days do you plan to visit?
As mentioned above, Disney World tickets can be purchased for any number of days between 1 and 10. The more days you buy, the better the price per day. That said, some of the best advice for saving money on theme park tickets is to buy only what you need. It can be easy to buy too much ticket. For example, if you look at the chart, you will see that once you have bought 5 days, each additional day is only $10 more. This can serve well if you have partial days on arrival or departure or due to another planned activity and you still want to go into a park, but if you don’t need them, don’t buy them! Figure out the number of days you actually need (taking into consideration any rest days, pool days, water park days, beach days, shopping days, days at other attractions, etc.) and only buy that number. It will save you money. And you can always upgrade by paying the difference at any ticket window or Guest Service location so long as your ticket has at least one unused admission left and you are still within 14 days of the ticket’s first use. Tickets expire 14 days after first use.
“What’s the deal with the options?”
A regular or base ticket allows admission to one park per day. That means that each day of your ticket you will need to choose Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, or Animal Kingdom. You may see this referred to as a Magic Your Way ticket. (And, yes, you can leave and re-enter that same park on that same day if you want.)
Want to go to more than one of the four parks in the same day? You have to have the Park Hopper option or a Park Hopper Plus ticket. Park Hopper allows same-day admission to all four theme parks. Park Hopper Plus likewise gives the option of same-day admission to all four theme parks and also the option to visit the water parks or do a selection of other fun activites. (The Park Hopper Plus option replaced the Water Park Fun & More option in February 2017.)
“Do I need Park Hopper or Park Hopper Plus?”
Each park has more than enough to do for a full day. If you are looking to save money, especially if you have never been before, then you may consider sticking with one park per day. For multi-day tickets, the cost to add Park Hopper or Park Hopper Plus ranges from $65 to $100 more per person. That’s as much as $400 plus tax extra for a family of 4.
If you like the idea of hopping, or if you have been before, then you might like to take the option for the flexibility of starting in one park and ending in another, to take advantage of different operating hours, to revisit favorite attractions, for dining, etc.
Will you visit the Water Parks?
Walt Disney World has two fabulous water parks, Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach. The price per day is $60-$65 plus tax. So, if you will visit one water park twice or both parks at least once then the extra $90-$100 plus tax to add the Park Hopper Plus option is a savings. The savings will be even greater if you had already intended to buy the Park Hopper option. In that case, even one visit to a water park makes the extra $25 plus tax for the Park Hopper Plus a savings of at least $35-$40 plus tax per person, and more if you visit the water parks multiple times.
An important note about Park Hopper Plus
With Park Hopper Plus, Disney says you get “a certain number of visits to a water park or other Walt Disney World fun”. Well, that’s vague! Know that “a certain number” equals the number of theme park days you have selected. For example, a 5-day ticket with Park Hopper Plus option will include five days for the theme parks with the ability to go to more than one of the four theme parks in the same day PLUS five separately counted water park/fun visits…separately counted!…Keep this in mind when you are buying tickets. This is another avenue to potential savings. That 5-day ticket with Park Hopper Plus…it could be used like a 10-day ticket! In example, your 5 theme park days plus 5 other water park days. Your water park and other fun activities can be used on the same day as a theme park, on a different day than a theme park, and even more than one in a day (see retrictions below). The Plus visits can be used at Typhoon Lagoon, Blizzard Beach, Disney’s Oak Trail Golf Course (tee time required), Winter Summerland or Fantasia Gardens miniature golf (before 4 pm; each location has two courses; restricted to one visit and one round per day), or admission to ESPN Wide World of Sports (some events require additional admission or are separately ticketed). The same expiration applies - all theme park days and all water park or Walt Disney World fun visits must be used within 14 days of first use.
“Should I buy now or wait?”
Now! History shows prices only go up. Keep in mind that Toy Story Land opens June 30, 2018 and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is scheduled for 2019. More price increases as well as the introduction of tiered pricing for multi-day tickets are anticipated.
“If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”
Disney tightly controls ticket pricing. Huge discounts don’t exist so don’t waste time searching and be wary of deals that sound too good to be true. Tickets are nontransferrable and expire 14 days after first use. Scams involving used or otherwise invalid tickets, “deals” requiring a timeshare presentation, etc. are out there.
As established, there are ways to legitimately save. Again, the more days you buy, the less you will pay per day. Buy only the number of days you need. Carefully consider options. Know that you can upgrade your ticket if needed. And, perhaps most importantly, BUY IN ADVANCE!
Look at the chart again. YOU WILL SAVE A MINIMUM OF $20 PER PERSON ON ALL 3+ DAY DISNEY TICKETS SIMPLY BY BUYING BEFORE YOU ARRIVE! That includes online purchases directly from Disney. You’ll want to buy in advance anyway due to the planning required for FastPass+ (can be booked 60 days ahead for Disney hotel guests and 30 days ahead for the general public) and any dining reservations (can be booked 180 days in advance).
And you can save even more per person on most multi-day tickets by purchasing through an Authorized Ticket Seller such as Kissimmee Guest Services. I am not talking the aforementioned scam or timeshare presentation. Disney contracts with, and authorizes the sale of their theme park tickets with, select 3rd party providers. Again, the pricing is strictly controlled, but every bit counts and there are additional savings to be had.Don't be fooledSome Authorized Ticket Sellers advertise offers such as "Buy x days, get x days FREE". Don't be fooled by gimmicky marketing. Remember, once you have bought several days, the cost to add additional days is extremely minimal. And again, extra days don't do you any good if you don't need them. Know what you are getting and know what you are saving by knowing what the official tickets and pricing are. Use my chart to help.
Unless you are staying onsite with a dining plan that requires the purchase of a package including tickets, then you should be buying your 3+ day ticket through an Authorized Ticket Seller. You should save another $5 or $10 or even more on top of the immediate $20 savings by not waiting to buy at the gate.
Step 1: Click here to print my ticket chart.
Step 2: Click here to access my special discount ticket buying link.
Step 3: Shop and compare to the official gate prices on my ticket chart.
Step 4: Buy and save on all 3+ day Disney World tickets.
Step 5: Enter Promo Code FER at checkout to get FREE Domestic shipping or $10 off International Delivery with minimum order.
Step 6: Arrive at the gates with your tickets in hand and extra money in your pocket!
Don’t need multi-day tickets?
I am sorry to say that if you plan to visit Walt Disney World for just one or two days you should expect to pay full price. The savings here is to avoid overpaying. Generally speaking, Authorized Ticket Sellers have to charge more for 1 or 2-day tickets and you are best to buy these direct from Disney. If only one day, remember to carefully examine the season calandar for the dates of your visit to see if a lower priced day or days are available.
Got a ticket question? Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will do my best to help.
Learn more about my preferred ticket provider and access my special discount ticket buying link here.