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Disney World tickets can be confusing! We created the ULTIMATE guide to Disney World tickets. We also share insider tips on how to save money on your tickets. This is a must read before any Disney vacation.
Table of Contents
Basics on Disney World Tickets
As a past Disney Cast Member, a true Floridian (born and raised in Orlando), and Disney visitor with over 1,000 visits under my belt; I get asked one question almost daily. What is that question? How do I get cheap tickets to Disney World?
There are so many ways to answer that question, so I finally sat down to write the epic guide to saving money on Disney World tickets. This guide includes simple ways to save money and even ways to get FREE tickets!
Plus, a bonus! I also share my secret to saving money on Disney World tickets, if I only have 5 minutes. We have really busy lives with kids, jobs, etc. and sometimes we only have a few minutes to make a decision. Be sure you check out my recommendation if you only have 5 minutes to book Disney World tickets.
Ticket Changes Due to COVID-19
Disney World is now open! We do know things have changed a bit at the Disney World Parks due to Coronavirus. Here are a few of the changes in regards to Disney World tickets for the reopening.
No Ticket Options: Disney has canceled all options added to Disney World tickets including the Park Hopper Option and Park Hopper Plus Option. Currently, you can no longer add these features to Disney World tickets in 2020. This may change for 2021.
Disney Park Reservation System: Before you purchase your Disney theme park tickets, you should check the Disney Park Pass System to make sure the parks are available for your vacation. Disney now requires a Park Reservation or theme park reservation, along with a theme park ticket to enter the Disney World Parks. You will want to make sure there is availability, before purchasing your ticket.
Once there is availability, purchase your ticket or book your Disney World package. Then immediately make your reservation in the Disney Park Reservation System. You can check availability and make a reservation on the My Disney Experience app online or on your smart phone. If you booked a Disney World Package, these options will all be added to your MagicBand.
What are Disney World Tickets?
Since ticket prices change every year, we are going to break down the ticket options. Let’s first start with the lingo. A basic ticket that allows you to visit one Disney Park on one day is called a 1 Park Per Day Ticket (or Base ticket). You can then add extra options like a Park Hopper or Park Hopper Plus.
The 1 Park Per Day Ticket allows you to visit one Disney Theme Park each day. You can visit Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, or Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park.
You can visit the same Disney Theme Park twice in one day, but you cannot visit other Disney Parks. For example, you can go to Magic Kingdom in the morning, take an afternoon break at your resort, and then head back to Magic Kingdom for the evening fireworks.
With the 1 Park Per Day Ticket, you can just purchase this ticket or you can start adding some fun extra features. These extra options help you plan the best possible trip for your family. Plus, you are paying for the options you really want to use.
Here are some details about the other options you can add to your tickets.
- Park Hopper Option: This theme park ticket option allows you to hop between Disney Theme Parks on the same day. For example, you can visit Magic Kingdom in the morning and then Epcot in the evening. This only counts as one day on your pass. This is the most popular option added to Disney Tickets.
- Park Hopper Plus Option: You can add this option if you want to visit more than just the Disney Theme Parks. With this option, you can add visits to Disney Water Parks (Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park or Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park), ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, Disney Mini Golf Courses (Disney’s Fantasia Gardens Miniature Golf Course or Disney’s Winter Summerland Miniature Golf Course), FootGolf, NBA Experience, or Disney’s Oak Trail Golf Course.
What Disney World Tickets Should I Pick?
We know the Walt Disney World tickets can be a little confusing. We share some suggestions on adding these extra features to your tickets. Budget should always be one of the first considerations when deciding to add other features to your tickets. If you are trying to stay on a strict budget, stick with the Base Ticket. Your family will have just as much fun visiting one park each day as visiting multiple parks on the same day.
These are some of the other reasons to add these additional options:
Why Should I Add the Park Hopper Option?
- If you are staying at a Disney World Resort and would like to take advantage of the Extra Magic Hours (in the morning and evening)
- If you are visiting for just a few days (3-4 days) and want to experience the best of Disney World Theme Parks
- If you are adults and want to experience the best restaurants at Disney World Theme Parks
- If you have children that really want to just hit the popular rides
- If you want to purchase a Disney World Package plus Dining Plan, you will want the flexibility to go to other park restaurants
Why Should I Add the Park Hopper Plus Option?
- If you want to take a few days off from the Disney Theme Parks
- If you are visiting Disney World for more than 5 days
- If you are visiting during the summer months, it is a good break from the heat of the Florida Sun
Save Money on Disney World Tickets
Walt Disney World theme park tickets is one of most expensive parts of any Disney vacation. We share some insider tips on how to save money on your Disney World tickets. You may be able to do one of these or a few of these tips. Take your time and read through them all. Some tips may save you more money based on your family.
For example, the active/retired military tickets are the best tickets for anyone in the US military. However, if you have a Disney Cast Member friend or family member, they may be able to get you into the park for free. Take your time and read through all of these various ways to save money on your tickets and then pick the best one (s) for your family.
How to Save Money on Disney World Tickets
The easiest way to save money on your tickets is flexibility. Disney’s least expensive ticket is the 1 Park Per Day Ticket. The tickets start to get more expensive when you add the extra features like the Park Hopper Option or the Park Hopper Plus Option. To save money, purchase the 1 Park Per Day Ticket.
Do you really need to visit Magic Kingdom and Epcot on the same day? This may be something that is very important to your family and are willing to pay the extra cost to upgrade to the Park Hopper Option. Remember, most kids are going to be so excited to go to Disney World. They will not even care if they visit Magic Kingdom and Epcot in the same day!
If you can also be flexible with your vacation dates. When purchasing your tickets, you select your start date. If you can plan the first day of park days during the weekday, you will pay less money than over the weekend.
Flexibility helps you save money during your Disney World vacation.
Booking a Disney World Package
Before booking your tickets, you may want to consider booking a Disney World Package instead of room and tickets separately. Disney offers discount packages throughout the year that saves you money on your entire vacation, including tickets. I remember one of the Disney World Package discounts that included a free day to play at the Disney Theme Parks.
With a Disney Package, you can save money on more than just your tickets. You can save money on different elements of your Disney vacation including hotel, food, and tickets.
Book a Disney Package with Destinations in Florida
If you are thinking about booking a Disney World package, we can help you! We own the top travel company called Destinations in Florida, located right down the road from Mickey Mouse. Our company has been selling family travel to Disney World for 20+ years.
We have booked royalty, actors, directors, NBL baseball players, famous photographers, Food Network Chefs, HGTV stars, and popular YouTubers. We would love to add your family to our elite list of happy guests visiting Disney World.
50% Off Savings on Tickets
Disney rewards guests for playing longer at the theme parks, so you can really save money on your tickets if you play at Disney World longer. The more days you add to your tickets, the less money you are paying per day.
The daily cost for a 10-Day Pass is significantly less expensive than a 1-Day Pass to Magic Kingdom. Multi-day tickets are a better daily value at Disney World.
Always Pre-Order Your Tickets
Disney World no longer offers pre-order discount prices, but pre-ordering your tickets will save you TIME! If you pre-order your tickets, you can also make your FastPass+ reservations before you arrive to the Disney Parks. This will save you time waiting in lines at the more popular rides and attractions.
Order Tickets with a Ticket Wholesalers
A great way to save some money on tickets is through a ticket wholesaler that are also called Authorized Disney Ticket Sellers that still offer discounts on tickets, if you pre-order them before you leave.
Some of these companies will deliver the tickets to your hotel for a small fee, ship them to you for a shipping fee, or you can pick them up at their offices when you arrive to Orlando.
One of the best companies in Orlando is called the Official Ticket Center. We have worked with this company for years and they are an honest and good company, located near Disney Springs.
Here is a link to the Official Ticket Center for more information on the tickets and prices:
Adding Park Hopper Plus Option
One of the best deals on tickets is the Park Hopper Plus. This option allows you extra visits to the other Disney Attractions including Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon, miniature golf, Oaks Trail golf, and Wide World of Sports. The number of extra visits depends on the number of days on your ticket.
The Park Hopper Plus Option is under $105 per person. This is a really great price. A regular 1-Day Pass to Blizzard Beach is around $70 (based on the season) per adult plus tax.
For $35 more you will get extra days to visit Typhoon Lagoon, ESPN Wide World of Sports, mini golf, and Oaks Trail. Or, you can just head back to Blizzard Beach for more fun.
If you purchase a 6-Day Pass with the Park Hopper Plus Option, you are really only paying $7 per day for these extra visits. That is a HUGE savings!
We have lots of guests that really need the very best price on tickets for Disney World. Sometimes purchasing a 4-Day Pass is just too much money. We suggest purchasing a lower number of days on your tickets and adding the Park Hopper Plus Option. The other Disney attractions like Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon are themed and just as much fun as the Theme Parks. Many kids actually prefer Disney Water Parks over Epcot or Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
If you are visiting Disney for four days, purchase a 2-Day Pass with the Park Hopper Plus Option. This will give you two days at the Disney Theme Parks and two days to enjoy one of the extra parks like Blizzard Beach or Typhoon Lagoon. You will have four days of play, but for less money than a 4-Day Pass.
Timeshare Discount Tickets
Once you arrive to Orlando, you will see “free tickets” or “discount tickets to Disney” all over the place from 7-11 convenience stores to inside the lobby of Orlando hotels. You can also see these promotions all over the Internet.
These are all owned by timeshare companies. If you are willing to take a 90-120 minute heavy sales pitch, than you can save additional money on a 1-Day or multi day pass to Disney World. Most people do not want to waste their vacation on a timeshare pitch, but this is another option to save money on your tickets.
Florida Resident Discounts
Disney World does offer extra discounts for Florida Residents. You can purchase these Florida Resident tickets online or at the ticket windows at Disney World. These tickets are really good savings, but only available for Florida Residents.
Each adult will have to show a valid Florida ID when the tickets are purchased. If you do not have a Florida ID, you cannot purchase these tickets. Since children do not have to have a Florida ID, family/friends who live in Florida can purchase Florida Resident tickets for kids.
Cast Member Discounts
If you have a friend or family member that works at Disney World, check with them about discounts. Cast Members can get some guests into the parks for free with their ID. If the Cast Member does not have this perk, they can still order tickets for friends/family members at great prices.
Active Military Discounts
Disney occasionally offers discounts on tickets for active military and their family members. Be sure to also book your Disney World Resort with special Military Room and Dining discounts.
Sometimes your favorite wholesale clubs like Sam’s, BJ or Costco offer discounts off tickets alone or included in a package with hotel accommodations. If you have a wholesale club membership, you may want to check to see if they have any ticket discounts during your Disney World vacation.
Just keep in mind that wholesale clubs are not experts in Disney Destinations. If you need help planning your Disney World vacation, this is not the best resource. However, if you are looking for just tickets this may be a good option for you.
Free Mini Golf Tickets
Most guests visit Disney World for the theme parks or water parks. However, you can get free tickets to play mini golf at Winter Summerland or Fantasia Gardens when you book a Disney World Package. This package includes free vouchers to play a round of mini golf. If you choose to play a 2nd round, you save 50% off that next round.
1-Day Passes to Disney Attractions
It may not always be a better deal to add the Park Hopper Plus Option to your tickets. If you are only planning to visit one of the Disney Water Parks, you should just purchase a 1-Day Pass instead of adding the Park Hopper Plus. This will save you just a few dollars, plus you can pre-order your tickets to save a little extra money.
If you are a Canadian Resident, check out your local Disney Store or CAA. Sometimes the Canadian Disney Stores and CAA will offer tickets at par. This will certainly save you more money then other promotions.
Orlando/Kissimmee Walmart Stores
We always hear guests talking about waiting until they arrive to Orlando to purchase tickets at the Walmart in Kissimmee. The Walmart in Kissimmee does sell Disney World tickets but the Official Ticket Center actually has better prices. Even Disney direct has better prices on the 1-Day and 2-Day Passes. Plus, you do not have to drive to Walmart and wait in lines to purchase the tickets.
If you do have a car and want to save some money on souvenirs then Walmart in Kissimmee or Walmart in Orlando (Turkey Lake Road) is an amazing option. The souvenirs are not as high quality as Disney souvenirs at Walt Disney World, but they are a fraction of the cost.
You can purchase tickets on ebay, but be very careful. With the ticket tag system, they have to be new and never used tickets or older Park Hopper Tickets. The old Park Hopper Tickets did not expire and were not attached to a particular person. These old tickets can still be used and purchased on Ebay.
Travel During Weekday or Value Season
With the new Disney World tickets, the price goes up over the weekends and busier seasons. If your vacation dates are flexible, travel during the time (when kids are in school). This will always be the lowest prices!
Volunteer for a Disney Sporting Event
If you volunteer for a sporting event at Disney World, you can get some fun goodies, including points that you can use to get complimentary park admission to Disney World. Visit runDisney for more details on volunteering for the next endurance event. Making a difference by volunteering and getting a free day to play is a win-win!
Check Your Human Resources Department
If you are an employee to a company that sponsors a ride or attraction at Disney World (for example: GE, Coke, Federal Express, etc.) contact your Human Resources Department. Throughout the year, these companies offer discounts on select tickets for their employees. The company and promotion varies from company to company. Be sure to check about these ticket discounts before booking your tickets.
Plan Your Trip around Your Favorite Hobby or Convention
If you are visiting Disney World for a convention at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resort or Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort; check with the Convention Planner or Company sponsoring the conference before booking your tickets.
Disney offers many discounts for convention visitors including an after 2 PM and after 4 PM discount for guests. They even have a free water park ticket when you purchase at least a 2-Day ticket. These discounts are usually only for registered convention guests. Be sure to check about these convention discounts, before booking your tickets.
Give Kids The World/Make A Wish Foundation
Disney gives thousands of dollars in tickets away every year to special children and their families through Give Kids The World Village and Make a Wish Foundation. If you have a special child who would like to meet Mickey Mouse or visit Disney World, contact your local chapter of the Make a Wish Foundation or Give Kids The World.
Magic Kingdom Special Event Tickets
If you are planning on visiting just Magic Kingdom, plan your visit around a Disney Special Event. Disney offers special events throughout the year including the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. These events run from 7 PM-midnight, but you are allowed entrance into the park as early as 4:00 PM.
These special events have fewer crowds, since admission is limited. Many of the regular attractions are open, including parades and fireworks. The parades and fireworks are usually focused around the special event. For example, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party has a Christmas Parade.
The cost of these special events are almost as expensive as a regular 1-Day Pass, but still a few dollars in savings per person. It is a great way to save money on a 1-Day visit, plus you will be beating the crowds, so you will be able to get through the park at a record speed.
Student Ticket Prices
If you are bringing 10 more kids to Disney World, contact your travel agent or Disney Leisure Groups directly to purchase your tickets. If you are having a family reunion or just bringing some foster kids or girl scouts to Disney, you can save money with a special student rate.
For the student rate, you do have to book a 4-Day Pass or more. The only requirements are having at least 10 kids and having more kids than adults. If you have 10 kids and 15 adults, you would not be able to apply for this savings. You do need more kids than adults.
If you are visiting Disney World for longer than 10 days, you may want to upgrade to an Annual Pass. An Annual Pass allows you to visit the Disney World Parks for 365 days.
If you are visiting for longer than 10 days, it is less expensive than purchasing a 10-Day Pass along with your additional days. Plus, Annual Passholders get extra discounts on room accommodations, meals, and souvenirs. They also get free parks at the Disney Parks.
If you are visiting Disney World yearly, you may want to also purchase an Annual Pass. You can visit Disney World during the last week in September. Then the following year, visit one week prior. That way you can use your Annual Pass for two years worth of visits. This can often be a less expensive option, based on your vacation plans.
Benefits of Ordering Disney World Tickets in Advance
No matter what type of tickets you order, you want to order them in advance! There are many reasons why you want to order your tickets ahead of time. Here are just a few benefits of ordering your Disney World tickets in advance:
Saving Time in Line
We call Orlando the “Disney line!” You will spend a majority of your Orlando vacation waiting in lines. Save a little time waiting in lines, by ordering your tickets before your vacation. That will save you up to an hour waiting in lines to purchase your tickets.
One of the newest benefits of pre-ordering your Disney World tickets is FastPass+. This is an advanced reservation system for rides at your favorite Disney Theme Parks. If you add your tickets into a package, you can reserve your ride reservations far in advance. If you purchase just your tickets alone, you can book your ride reservations a little closer to your vacation dates. Booking your tickets in a package allows you to get a jump start on getting those tough ride reservations like Seven Dwarfs Mine Train or Tower of Terror.
Save Money on Disney World Tickets in Less Than 5 Minutes
I know that planning a Disney World vacation is unlike planning any other vacation. It does take a lot of time to plan. However, we are all busy with jobs, kids, and life. If you only have 5 minutes to purchase your Disney World tickets, what should you do?
For me, I would purchase my tickets from a Disney World wholesale. I recommend the Official Ticket Center. I have known the owner for over 10 years.
They offer some of the best discount on Disney World tickets and some extra freebies, like a free day when you purchase a 4-Day Pass. It takes just a few minutes to order online and then print at home. You save money on your Disney World tickets and it takes less than 5 minutes.
The Walt Disney World Resort is an amazing family vacation! There are so many attractions and parks to see. We hope this guide helps you navigate through the Disney World tickets and start creating magical moments with your family.