Walt Disney World tickets can be really confusing. There are so many choices. Deciding which is right for you depends on a lot of things: Your budget, how long you are staying, are you going to multiple parks in a day.
Here is the good news that I’ll give right at the beginning. You can’t make the wrong choice. When you get to Walt Disney World, if you don’t have the right kind of ticket, you can change it!
But before we get into all of that, let’s talk about the different kinds of tickets, and what they are for. If you understand that, it’s half the battle! I’m going to try and make this as straight forward and painless as possible.
It’s a jungle out there folks, and you need a guide that knows the terrain. I am that guide. I may not be certified (well…maybe certifiable) but together we can get through this!
Single Day Park Tickets
So the first choice of tickets for Walt Disney World we are going to talk about is the single day park ticket. This is the simplest to understand, and ultimately the most expensive (I’ll explain later).
With this ticket you get into one park for one day. They start at $109.
Now, if you only have one day to be in Walt Disney World, and you decide to hit a park, this may be the only option you have. I completely get that! One day is better than no days! However, you should know that you will pay more for this day on this ticket than any other option. But I completely understand if you only have one day at the parks.
You have to choose one park to go to (if you have never been, may I suggest the Magic Kingdom), and you can get into that park for one day. Pretty cut and dry. These are the tickets that Disney just raised the price of for around the Christmas holiday, and Memorial Day and Easter. Check out those prices here. Make sure you’re not eating or drinking when you look at them!
The next choice of tickets for Walt Disney World to talk about is the multi-day ticket. We are upping the game when we start to talk about these tickets.
So now you have more than one day to spend at the parks, and you would like to save a little bit of money on your tickets. Then you want to get a multi-day ticket. If you got a package, they will automatically offer you these kinds of tickets. And when you look at the Disney World website for tickets, they show you a 4-day park ticket right at the top. One day for each park.
That’s right. You can go to one park for one day for 4 days. You can choose to do a different park every day, or you can choose to go to the same park every day. The only stipulation is that you can only go to that park for the day. You can leave and come back, but you can’t go to a different park. (Well, technically you can, but it will cost you another day ticket, so if you have 4 days, use part of a day at the Magic Kingdom and then go to Epcot, you’ve actually used 2 of your days. We talk about park hopping in a minute.)
The multi-day ticket is less expensive per day than the single park tickets. The more days you buy the less expensive each day becomes.
For example, let’s say you are going to Walt Disney World and you are going to be there for 5 days. You decide you will spend 4 of those days in the parks. If you bought a single day ticket each day it would cost you $436 + tax to go all 4 days. However, if you buy a multi-day ticket for 4 days, it will cost you $404 + tax. You have saved $32! Isn’t Disney nice!
Obviously the longer you stay, and more days you buy on your multi-day ticket, the more money you save. There is a point where you should just think about getting an annual pass if you are going to be at the parks multiple times in a 365 day period, but we will get to that later.
The real savings for this option comes when you go 5 day days or more. It goes from $101/day for 4 days to $83/day for 5 days. Now you are saving money! I would also suggest that if you are going for this long, you should look at the next option of the ticket we are going to discuss.
Park Hopper Tickets
I suppose now would be a good time to explain the park hopper tickets. This is where people begin to get a little confused when it comes to Walt Disney World tickets. The confusion is because these tickets sound an awful lot like the regular multi-day tickets, and they are except for one major difference.
With park hopper tickets, you can go to more than one park per day ON THE SAME TICKET!
So what does that actually mean? Here is an example. If you have a park hopper ticket for 5 days, and you start at the Magic Kingdom in the morning, but then decide you want to have dinner at one of Epcot’s amazing restaurants, you can do that without using another day of your tickets. So at the end of the day, you still have 4 days remaining, even though you went to two different parks today! YAHOO! How awesome is that! It does cost more money. But if that sounds like something you would like to do, then it is worth it!
Now you may be thinking “But I don’t know if I am going to want to go to multiple parks. I’m thinking I’ll just stay in one park.” One of the cool things is that you can add this option to your ticket ANY TIME! So if you have spent two days, and all of sudden are at Hollywood Studios, and you are done there for the day, and decide that you want to hop over to the Animal Kingdom, just go to guest services, and add the hopper option, and you are good to go!
Now the thing is, you have to pay for the option for all of the days of your ticket (even the days you have already used), but in the end, it may be worth it. I mean the Animal Kingdom has a lot better food options than Hollywood Studios in my opinion. So add the hopper, and you are on your way! Pretty cool, huh?
But I know what you are saying. “This is all great, but I also may want to hit the water parks while I’m there. I mean I’m gonna be there for 7 days. Can I get a ticket that will include the water parks?” Well, my friend, you are in luck! Read On!
Park Hopper Plus Tickets
There are so many things to do at Walt Disney World, and a lot of them are not in the parks! So now that you think you understand park hoppers, let me throw something new into the mix. How about a Walt Disney World tickets that include the water parks, ESPN Wide World Of Sport, the Oak Trail Golf Course, and a mini-golf course! YOWZA! That’s a lot of stuff!
If that sounds like your kind of vacation (running from one thing to another), then the Park Hopper Plus ticket is for you! It’s just like the park hopper ticket, but you get to do one of those other things for each day of your ticket! So if you have a five-day park hopper plus ticket, you can go to the parks for 5 days, and depending on how long you are staying, you can go to 5 of the things that I listed above also!
You heard that correctly! So if you stay for 10 days, you can park hop for 5, and for the other 5, you can do the other things! Crazy right!
Yes, it is again more money, but depending on how you like to vacation, it may just be the perfect answer. Some people also like to hit a park in the morning and go to a water park in the after noon. With this ticket, you can do that!
Now, as exciting as that sounds, let me warn you that if you are only going to do a water park for one day, and not any of the other things, then this may not be the ticket for you.
For me personally, it is not a money saving because I will never use all of the extra stuff. It is cheaper for me to just go to a water park for the day. That is the kind of thing you have to think about.
How do you vacation? Does this make sense to me and my family? Will we get the money out of this option? Some people do and some don’t. You just have to price it out.
All of this has lead us to the next type of ticket to consider. It feels like a big jump, but may not be as big as you think.
When it comes to Walt Disney World tickets, a lot people wonder “So when should I get an annual pass?”
That is a great question. There is a break-even point with the annual pass option. However, before we talk about that, let’s discuss what an annual pass is, just so we are on the same page.
An annual pass is a ticket that allows you to go the parks year round (some types do have blackout days, so be sure you check). It also allows you to park hop on any given day. So it is like having a park hopper ticket that is a 365-day ticket.
Phew! That is a lot of days! So when should you think about this kind of ticket?
My first suggestion is that if you are going to go to Walt Disney World more than once in a 365 day period, and you are going to go to the parks for 7 or more of those days, it might make sense to get an annual pass.
A Platinum annual pass (one with no blackout dates) costs $894. Now that may seem like a lot, but you also get a 20% discount select dining, 20% discount on merchandise, and PhotoPass downloads included! That is A LOT of extra!
Oh and did I forget to mention, standard theme park parking is included. You don’t have to pay for parking!! WOO HOO!
All of these things are why you may have to ask yourself “How many times am I going to be here in a 365 day period?”
Water Park Tickets
Walt Disney World water parks have their own single day tickets and annual passes. We also talked about the park hopper plus which includes the water parks.
A Single day water park ticket is $69. And an annual pass is $139. That gets you admission to Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach for a full year during normal operating hours.
As I mentioned in my parking article, there is no charge for parking at the water parks.
There is a lot to think about
When buying Walt Disney World tickets, there is a lot to think about! I know that it can seem really overwhelming. I’ve been to Walt Disney World more than a lot, and it is still sometimes confusing for me.
It used to be easy. You could buy a multi-day ticket, and whatever days you didn’t use, never expired! Disney caught on to that plan, and now the tickets expire 14 days after you use the first day (except for annual passes).
Here are some questions to answer that might help with this decision:
- When am I going and for how long?
- What is my budget? (Always important to keep in mind!)
- Am I going to want to park hop?
- Am I going to visit more than once in the next 365 days?
- Do I plan to hit the water parks?
- Again, what is my budget?
Once you have the answer to these 5 questions, then the choice of which Walt Disney World Tickets to get should become more clear.
You really can’t make a bad decision, because if you want to change it, you can at Walt Disney World. That being said, I would err on the side of not getting enough, then too much. Disney isn’t going to refund your money if you decide you got too much. They are happy to take more of your money, but not really willing to give any money back.
I hope I helped make this a little clearer than mud. Also, know that there are places that you can get discount tickets. But look out, some are not legit. And never buy tickets at a booth on the side of the road. I can almost 100% assure you that they are not legit!
Now go Forth! And buy tickets with confidence!
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