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Disney World Tickets Guide (2023)

One of the most important steps in planning your trip to Walt Disney World is getting your theme park tickets!  And with the wide variety of them available, it is confusing when deciding which ones to buy.  That’s where our Disney World Ticket Buying Guide comes in!

Disney World Tickets Guide

In this post, we will explain everything you need to know about buying theme park tickets at Walt Disney World and which ones are the best ones for your family.

We’ll break down all the types of park tickets available (Base, Park Hopper, Water Park & Sports, and Park Hopper Plus), what’s included, and the pros and cons of each one.

We’ll also share the prices for each ticket type, options, ticket expiration, changes and upgrades, refunds, and anything else you need before making a decision.  

And once you are ready, we’ll show you where to buy your tickets, and where NOT to buy them.  Think of this as your Disney World Tickets Class 101.

Saving money at Disney World is always a top priority for us, and there are plenty of ways to do that when purchasing your park tickets.

Disney Vacation Planning Guide Tickets

If you are looking for tickets from an authorized reseller, we recommend Orlando Vacation.  You can get an exclusive discount for readers of this site by using the promo code: Ziggy2022 at checkout.  That will save you even more money which is always welcome!

Hopefully, when we are done, you’ll understand everything there is to know about Disney World tickets and be able to make an informed decision about which tickets are right for you and your family.

Things are always changing at Disney World, so we’ll keep this post updated with the latest info and any changes in 2023.  If you have any questions we didn’t cover here, drop them in the comments section and we’ll add the answers to the article as soon as we can.

If you haven’t already, we recommend reading our Discount Disney World Ticket Guide where we talk about all the cheapest tickets and how you can save as much money as possible.

We also recommend reading the following articles about WDW Tickets which go more in-depth:

If this all seems too intimidating and confusing, we recommend using an authorized Disney vacation planner to help figure out what’s best for you.  We use Show You The World Travel and they always help us get the best deals!

Before we start, don’t forget to sign up for our FREE Weekly E-Mail Newsletter. There we bring you the latest changes to Disney World tickets, prices, and other Disney vacation planning tips. You can sign up here: Join our E-Mail Newsletter!

How Disney World Tickets Work in 2023?

How Disney World Tickets work

When it comes to most things in regard to planning a Disney World trip, planning is almost always required. Buying tickets is certainly no exception. “So what type of tickets do you need to visit the Disney World theme parks?”

You can purchase Walt Disney World tickets as part of your Disney vacation package with your resort hotel, or you can buy them separately by themselves.

Both options are valid, but purchasing park tickets outside of a package allows guests to plan a trip that is catered to their individual and family needs. Throughout this article, we will help you in the simplest of terms understand which is the best option for YOU.

Disney World Tickets or Park Passes come with two main options: traditional base tickets or base tickets with a park hopper option.

Getting park tickets at Disney World

Base tickets only allow guests to visit one of the four Disney World parks daily. (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom) 

Purchasing the more expensive tickets with the Park Hopper option allows you to visit as many of the 4 Disney World parks as you’d like during each day of your trip. Keep in mind that at this point, park hopping is not allowed until after 2:00 pm in the afternoon. 

So when planning your trip, you’ll need to immediately figure out these (2) things:

  • Do I want the park hopping option? (Can be added at a later time if you choose to upgrade) 
  • How many park days should we purchase? (Can purchase up to a 10-day park ticket per guest) 

That’s what you’ll need to figure out first, but as you read this article, you’ll recognize you’ll have additional options as well that you may consider. 

Careful planning will allow your family to potentially save significant amounts of money and fully maximize your vacation!

What’s Included in Disney World Tickets?

Disney World 4 Theme Parks

With the purchase of any Disney World Tickets, guests can access each of the four WDW theme parks

1-Day, 1-Park tickets have a park-specific price structure and prices vary depending which park you are going to. For all other tickets, there is no difference in price between the 4 theme parks, they are all the same. (More on the park-specific pricing in a minute.)

If you purchase a 3-Day standard park ticket, and your trip begins on Friday and you leave on Monday, you can pick whichever park you want to visit on any of the three days: Friday, Saturday, Sunday, or Monday (but only three of the four days).

If you purchase the park hopper option, you can choose to start your day at Magic Kingdom on Friday and then ‘park hop’ later and go to Epcot after 2:00. This enables you to have more options for each day of your trip. 

With or without the park hopping option, you can still leave the park you visit in the morning and go back to the original park you visited that morning. 

Disney World Tickets also include access to Disney transportation including parking trams, ferry boats, buses, the Disney Skyliner, and more!

Best Resort for Disney Skyliner

Keep in mind that purchasing Disney World tickets does not give you access to everything. Special Disney events can often be referred to as ‘Hard-ticket Events’ and will require additional cost. 

There are also several others that cost additional admissions including:

  • Disney Water Parks (Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach) 
  • Disney’s Miniature Golf Courses
  • Disney’s Golf Courses 
  • And many, many more

The main thing to remember is Disney World Tickets allow you to get into each of the four main theme parks. (Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom.)

Date-Based Ticket Pricing

Date-based ticket pricing at Disney World

If you haven’t visited Disney since 2018, Disney changed their pricing structure for all tickets to a ‘Date-Based’ program. Basically what that means is that on certain days of the week and certain times of the year, the cost of tickets can vary. 

Before 2018, Disney Park Passes were a set price and didn’t fluctuate based on times of the year. 

Now when purchasing your tickets, you must tell Disney the very first day of your trip that you’ll be visiting one of the theme parks. Then the price of your tickets will be based on that starting date. 

So for instance, if you go from Friday – Monday, your tickets for the entire weekend will be based on Friday’s cost. (There is some flexibility with this that we’ll go into later.)

What Disney is essentially doing is saying that if you want to visit during a more popular time of the year: Holidays, School Vacations, or Weekends, it’s going to cost you more. If you enjoy visiting during slower times of the year (midweeks, non-holidays, when kids are in school), it’s going to be a little bit cheaper for you. 

Our family didn’t mind this change because we’ve typically visited the most during slower times of the year, making our trip even more affordable. However, if you’re the type of family that doesn’t have that option, your trip will likely be more expensive with this change. (READ: Cheapest Times of the Year to Visit Disney for more info.)

Date-Specific Pricing

guests scanning tickets at Hollywood Studios entrance

Starting December 8, 2022, a new addition in 2023 is the date-specific pricing structure for 1-Day, 1-Park tickets. What that means is 1-Day tickets are no longer the same price for each of the 4 theme parks, they have completely different price ranges.

Here are the new 1-Day Disney World park ticket prices:

  • Magic Kingdom: $124-$189 (plus tax)
  • EPCOT: $114-$179 (plus tax)
  • Hollywood Studios: $124-$179 (plus tax)
  • Animal Kingdom: $109-$159 (plus tax)

If you purchase a base 1-Day ticket, you need to choose if you want to go to the Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Animal Kingdom, or Hollywood Studios, and buy the appropriate ticket. The price will change according to the park and date you choose.

For example, on July 1, the Animal Kingdom may cost $149, meanwhile, the Magic Kingdom may cost $169. In the past, this was not the case and all 4 parks cost the same price on a given date.

For multi-day tickets, the price doesn’t change from park to park and each one cost exactly the same.

Park Pass Reservations

Disney Park Pass Reservations calendar

Upon the parks’ reopening following the closures in 2020, Disney created a park pass reservation system. What this means is that you NEED to make a theme park reservation for each day you visit the parks. This makes planning and advanced preparation even more necessary now! 

How this works is relatively simple. Let’s assume we are using the example mentioned above, and you are visiting the parks from Friday to Sunday and you have a 3-day park pass. 

Anytime after purchasing your park tickets, you simply have to ‘reserve’ which parks you want on which day.

Let’s say your family and you decide:

As long as there is availability, you simply reserve those parks on those specific dates via Disney’s reservation site or in the My Disney Experience app.

Availability can fill up more quickly on certain dates of the year, including the holiday seasons and spring break. If you’re going during peak travel times, ideally book several weeks or even a few months before so you can get your desired dates. 

If you’re not traveling during a holiday or busy travel time, you’ll likely find plenty of availability for the dates you select even weeks prior to your trip.

Changes This Year

Hollywood Studios Genie+ Guide

In addition to the park reservation system, in 2021, Disney also added their new paid FastPass service called Genie Plus

Before the pandemic, if you’ve visited Disney World, you likely remember the former FastPass+ system, which allowed you to book rides ahead of time, then get on them more quickly, waiting less time in line. 

Disney removed this free service in place of a paid service called Disney Genie+. Genie+ creates additional complications in the ticketing process because it gives you more options, and it can potentially add significant costs to your family’s trip. 

The good news about Genie+ is you don’t need to worry about it in advance of your trip, especially if you’re not the planning type. You simply decide the day of your trip if you’d like to use it and purchase Genie Plus that day. You can begin reserving your rides at 7:00 am on the morning of your park reservation. 

Buying Genie+ costs $15-$22 per person, per day, and allows you to use the My Disney Experience app to reserve your rides. I’ve written a lot about Genie+ in other articles and what my thoughts are on it and whether it’s worth the additional costs so you might want to check out If Genie Plus is Really Worth It? 

You’ll likely also see something called Individual Lightning Lanes, which is essentially an a la carte service that enables you to pay for some additional rides that aren’t included with Genie+. This is another added cost on top of your ticket price, but not a mandatory purchase.

What Future Dates Can You Buy Disney World Tickets Until?

At this moment, you can buy Disney World Tickets through December 31, 2023. Tickets for 2024 trips will likely be available in the spring of 2023, as was the case for the sale of 2023 tickets.

Disney World Ticket Types/Tiers

Disney World ticket types

There are many different options when it comes to the different types of Disney World Ticket Types and even tiers for these tickets. In the below options, we will give a basic overview of what these different ticket options are. 

It can make your head spin if you see all these different options without knowing what any of this lingo means. This section will enable you to see which of these options can be a suitable solution for your family. 

1. Base Tickets/1 Park Per Day

This is the most basic ticket type. This ticket enables you to visit one of the four theme parks on the day of your reservation (Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Epcot, and Animal Kingdom). Read our Guide to 1-Day Tickets at Disney World for more details.

2. Park Hopper Option

The park hopper allows you to make a reservation for one park in the morning and then after 2:00 you can visit any one of the other three theme parks. You can visit as many as you want after 2:00. Just keep in mind, that park hopping is subject to the park’s capacity. To see if the park has availability, call 407-560-5000. 

3. Park Hopper Plus

This is similar to the regular park hopper except that you get additional perks including visits to the Disney Water Parks, ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, Disney’s Oak Trail 9-hole golf course, and usage of the Disney Miniature Golf courses prior to 4:00. 

4. Water Park & Sports Option

All of the perks of the ‘Park Hopper Plus’ minus the ability to park hop at the four main parks. 

5. Florida Resident Tickets

Disney regularly offers special discounted tickets for Florida residents that enable you to save additional money on multi-day park passes. They are worth looking into before purchasing regular tickets if you live in Florida. 

6. Disney World Annual Pass

A Disney World Annual Pass is the best option if you are going to be taking multiple trips to Disney World in a 365-day period or if you live close by and like to visit often. There are different annual pass types with different blackout dates so look to see which one is right for you.

Walt Disney World Ticket Pricing

calendar of Disney World ticket prices

With Disney’s date-based ticketing structure, what prices can you expect to pay for the different ticket options? In this section, we will review each of the costs for each ticketing option depending on the type of year. 

This will enable you to see how reasonable each option is and whether it fits within your family’s budget. It might also help you to decide what time of year to visit Disney World and whether it’s advantageous to adjust your trip in order to save further money by changing the month of your visit. 

  • Keep in mind Disney often raises prices on their tickets, sometimes twice a year. These prices are of course subject to change, and they include the cost of tax. 
  • Once you decide on the date of your trip, purchase your tickets as soon as possible so you can be cemented into the earlier ticket pricing. Ticket prices will surely not drop in price and sometimes go up if new pricing is announced.
  • Tickets purchased at the gate and not in advance will cost $21.30 more than the prices shown below. Fluctuations in the range of pricing for the options below have everything to do with the time of year traveled. 
  • The cheapest prices will be in slower times of the year such as late January, February, and September so try to go then if you can. The more expensive options will be around holidays and weekends.

Base Ticket Prices

All prices listed below include tax:

1-Day Ticket 

  • Magic Kingdom
    • Adults (10+): $132.06 – $201.28
    • Children (3-9): $126.74 – $195.96
  • EPCOT
    • Adults (10+): $121.41 – $190.64
    • Children (3-9): $116.09 – $185.31
  • Hollywood Studios
    • Adults (10+): $132.06 – $190.64
    • Children (3-9): $116.09 – $185.31
  • Animal Kingdom
    • Adults (10+): $116.09 – $169.34
    • Children (3-9): $110.76 – $164.01

2-Day Ticket 

  • Adults (10+): $236.49 – $358.53
  • Children (3-9): $226.54 – $348.40

3-Day Ticket 

  • Adults (10+): $362.13 – $528.19
  • Children (3-9): $347.43 – $513.27

4-Day Ticket 

  • Adults (10+): $484.67 – $673.34
  • Children (3-9): $465.91 – $654.31

5-Day Ticket 

  • Adults (10+): $523.81 – $752.83
  • Children (3-9): $503.38 – $731.51

6-Day Ticket 

  • Adults (10+): $540.25 – $799.63
  • Children (3-9): $519.04 – $777.05

7-Day Ticket 

  • Adults (10+): $555.96 – $820.21
  • Children (3-9): $533.97 – $796.99

8-Day Ticket 

  • Adults (10+): $595.03 – $838.61
  • Children (3-9): $572.02 – $814.63

9-Day Ticket 

  • Adults (10+): $618.49 – $854.64
  • Children (3-9): $594.81 – $830.10

10-Day Ticket 

  • Adults (10+): $637.94 – $867.12
  • Children (3-9): $613.65 – $841.99

Park Hopper Ticket Prices

All prices listed below include tax:

1-Day Ticket 

  • Adults (10+): $194.90 – $268.38
  • Children (3-9): $189.57 – $263.06

2-Day Ticket 

  • Adults (10+): $316.37 – $449.06
  • Children (3-9): $306.41 – $438.93

3-Day Ticket 

  • Adults (10+): $442.01 – $618.71
  • Children (3-9): $427.31 – $603.79

4-Day Ticket

  • Adults (10+): $575.20 – $774.51
  • Children (3-9): $556.43 – $755.49

5-Day Ticket 

  • Adults (10+): $614.33 – $854.00
  • Children (3-9): $593.91 – $832.68

6-Day Ticket 

  • Adults (10+): $630.31 – $900.81
  • Children (3-9): $609.09 – $878.22

7-Day Ticket 

  • Adults (10+): $646.49 – $921.38
  • Children (3-9): $624.49 – $898.17

8-Day Ticket 

  • Adults (10+): $685.55 – $939.79
  • Children (3-9): $662.55 – $915.80

9-Day Ticket 

  • Adults (10+): $711.19 – $955.82
  • Children (3-9): $687.51 – $931.28

10-Day Ticket 

  • Adults (10+): $728.46 – $968.30
  • Children (3-9): $704.18 – $943.16

Park Hopper Plus Ticket Prices

All prices listed below include tax:

1-Day Ticket 

  • Adults (10+): $216.20 – $289.68
  • Children (3-9): $210.87 – $284.36

2-Day Ticket 

  • Adults (10+): $337.67 – $470.36
  • Children (3-9): $327.71 – $460.23

3-Day Ticket 

  • Adults (10+): $463.31 – $640.01
  • Children (3-9): $448.61 – $625.09

4-Day Ticket 

  • Adults (10+): $596.50 – $795.81
  • Children (3-9): $577.73 – $776.79

5-Day Ticket 

  • Adults (10+): $635.63 – $875.30
  • Children (3-9): $615.21 – $853.98

6-Day Ticket 

  • Adults (10+): $651.61 – $922.11
  • Children (3-9): $630.39 – $899.52

7-Day Ticket 

  • Adults (10+): $667.79 – $942.68
  • Children (3-9): $645.79 – $919.47

8-Day Ticket 

  • Adults (10+): $706.85 – $963.92
  • Children (3-9): $683.85 – $939.94

9-Day Ticket 

  • Adults (10+): $732.49 – $975.99
  • Children (3-9): $708.81 – $951.45

10-Day Ticket 

  • Adults (10+): $749.76 – $992.46
  • Children (3-9): $725.48 – $967.33

Water Park & Sport Option Ticket Prices

All prices listed below include tax:

1-Day Ticket 

  • Adults (10+): (Option Not Available for 1-Day Tickets)
  • Children (3-9): (Option Not Available for 1-Day Tickets)

2-Day Ticket 

  • Adults (10+): $311.04 – $433.08
  • Children (3-9): $301.09 – $422.95

3-Day Ticket 

  • Adults (10+): $436.68 – $602.74
  • Children (3-9): $421.98 – $587.82

4-Day Ticket 

  • Adults (10+): $559.22 – $747.89
  • Children (3-9): $540.46 – $728.86

5-Day Ticket 

  • Adults (10+): $598.36 – $827.38
  • Children (3-9): $577.93 – $806.06

6-Day Ticket 

  • Adults (10+): $614.33 – $874.18
  • Children (3-9): $593.12 – $851.60

7-Day Ticket 

  • Adults (10+): $630.51 – $894.76
  • Children (3-9): $608.52 – $871.54

8-Day Ticket 

  • Adults (10+): $669.58 – $913.16
  • Children (3-9): $646.57 – $889.18

9-Day Ticket 

  • Adults (10+): $695.21 – $929.19
  • Children (3-9): $671.54 – $904.65

10-Day Ticket 

  • Adults (10+): $720.11 – $943.48
  • Children (3-9): $695.83 – $918.35

How Much is it for a 1-Day Ticket?

The cost of a 1-Day ticket to Walt Disney World can range from $116.09 – $289.68 for adults and $110.76 – $284.36 for children between the ages of 3 and 9. 

This of course depends on the type of ticket you buy (whether you add a hopper or no hopper, time of year, etc..) Our 1-Day WDW Ticket Guide explains it in more detail.

Are Children’s Tickets Less Expensive than Adults?

Yes, there is a discounted price for children’s tickets at Walt Disney World. 

As seen above, children between the ages of 3 and 9 qualify for a child ticket. The tickets are slightly cheaper than adult tickets. 

What’s nice is that children under the age of 3 do NOT need a ticket for entry, another great reason to visit Disney World with a baby!

How Much Do 4 Tickets Cost?

Disney World ticket prices

For a family of four that wants to spend a week at Disney World, here’s what they can expect to spend on tickets in 2023:

Let’s assume they are visiting during one of the slowest times of the year such as September. Here is a basic understanding of how you’d figure out the costs. 

For THIS family, let’s say it’s (2) adults but one child that is above the age of 10, so they’d qualify as an adult for ticketing. And the 4th family member is a small child that is under 10. 

This family also chooses to get the park hopper option so they can choose to visit additional parks after 2:00 each day. Taking the above pricing structure, here’s how it would come out. 

  • $653.53 for each adult ticket. A 7-day park hopper during the slowest time of year for 3 adults = $1960.59
  • $631.53 for each child’s ticket. For 1 child that is under the age of 10 = $631.53

So for the four family members, it would come out to a total of $2,592.12 for 7 days worth of park hopper tickets. 

This is a general idea but can help you form a basic idea of how to figure out the costs of tickets. You of course can also go on Disney’s website or another one of the ticketing sites mentioned below to get the exact total for your specific dates.

How Much Does it Cost to Add an Extra Day?

Select the number of days WDW tickets

What if, after a few days of your vacation, you decide to extend your trip? This has happened to our family on several occasions. How much extra will it cost you to add an extra day? 

Adding additional days to a 1-day, 2-day or 3-day ticket is very costly, as the price for those first three days of tickets is very expensive. The cost per day is substantially less as you get past day 3 and is at the cheapest on the tenth day.

  • If you’re adding a day to one, two, or three-day tickets it’s going to be major $$$$. 
  • If you’re adding a day to four-day or five-day tickets, it’ll be a bit less. 
  • And if you’re adding a day to a six, seven, eight, or nine-day ticket it’ll be the most reasonable.

For instance, if you add to a day to a one, two, or three-day ticket for most times of the year it’ll still be at and around the $100 mark per day. 

Once you get to five-day tickets, you’re looking at around $50 extra per day. 

And once you get down to adding six through day ten-day tickets, you’ll spend somewhere between $10 and $30 per day. 

And remember, that with the date-based pricing system Disney has implemented, your additional days will also be dependent on the time of year you go and will be subject to the exact costs for better or worse.

Do Prices Include Tax?

The prices mentioned above all include tax. You’ll notice that some of the ticketing sites below might appear to be cheaper before checkout. But in reality, they have NOT included tax costs yet. 

Some of the sites include tax costs from the get-go and some of them won’t show you the additional costs of taxes until checkout. 

When you buy Disney World park tickets directly through Disney, your prices will NOT include tax.

When I experiment with a 10-day base ticket for a random ten-day window in July through the Disney site directly, it shows my price at $691.34. But when I go to checkout, with tax added, it comes out to $736.28. That’s a difference of more than $40.

When Are Tickets Cheapest?

January, February, late August, and September almost always have the cheapest prices for theme park tickets. However, sometimes Disney will release incentives and discounts for other times of the year as well so keep an eye out.

When Are Tickets Most Expensive?

In 2023, the most expensive tickets are:

  • November 19 to 26th (Thanksgiving Week) 
  • December 22nd to January 1st (Christmas Week and New Year’s) 

But other times of the year when costs will be near the peak of ticketing prices will be:

  • July 4th
  • Days around Halloween
  • Spring Break (Mid April to End of April) 
  • Other federal holidays 

These dates have historically been the most expensive since the implementation of the date-based ticketing system and can be expected to continue being the most expensive dates in future years as well.

Price Increases

Disney World Tickets booth

As park demand continues to rise so does the price of Disney World tickets, unfortunately. The ticket price increases occur in either February or October. Sometimes they are once a year, and sometimes on both occasions in a calendar year. 

Some ticket prices were raised in October of 2022 and others were increased in December 2022. Depending on how many days your ticket is and when you are visiting, prices for 2023 tickets have increased for the base tickets from about $3-$30 per guest.

In October 2022, we saw another big price increase for 2023 Single-Day Walt Disney World tickets.

One example is in November 2022 for 2023 1-Day, 1-Park tickets where the base price went from $109-$159 to $109-$189. On top of that, that $109 is only available for the Animal Kingdom, whereas EPCOT starts at $114, and Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom both start at $124.

Here are a couple of examples of the latest 1-Day price increases:

  • The cheapest 1-Day Base Ticket in May 2022 was $124 but now the cheapest ticket in May 2023 is $139. 
  • The cheapest 1-Day Base Ticket in November 2022 was $134, whereas the cheapest in November 2023 is now $144.

Multi-Day tickets for 2023 also were increased during this round of price increases even though they were already raised in February 2022. These include base tickets, Park Hopper, Park Hopper Plus, or the Water Park & Sports options. (anywhere from 3-10 days).

Multi-Day Disney World tickets went up in price all the way from $11 per day to $40 depending on the number of days chosen. That’s a HUGE deal and it can mean $100 or more extra per day for a family of 4!

It’s hard to say when the next ticket price increase will take place, but it could come as early as February 2023. This is all because according to recent Disney Shareholders’ meetings and corporate events, park demand continues to rise. Historically said, ticket costs typically rise with it. 

So my advice: book your tickets as soon as possible! They may increase again in February of 2023!

Our post on Disney World Ticket Prices and Increases will help you keep up-to-date with the latest.

Base Tickets – 1 Park Per Day

Disney World 1-Day Ticket Prices

Standard/Base tickets or “1 Park Per Day” Tickets give you admission to one of the four theme parks (Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, or Animal Kingdom).

You can come and go as many times as you want in the course of a day. Like with all tickets, reservations are required in advance of your visit. 

Basics

Standard tickets are the most economical type of Walt Disney World theme park tickets.

While a base ticket does NOT give you park hopping options, you can always add on park hopping at a later date. Base tickets are simple and easy and allow you to focus your entire day on one park without the idea of having to run around like crazy, park hopping all over Disney World

Having the option to go back to your resort or hotel and come back at a later time allows you to fully maximize your time in that one park. This is especially useful if you get exhausted running around the parks within a few hours.

Who Should Buy Them?

Base tickets could be ideal for those looking to save a little bit of money on their tickets. Families that are spending a full week in Disney have more than enough time to see all the parks and don’t feel the need to park hop or don’t want to spend the additional money should get 1-Day tickets.

They can also benefit families that prefer just spending a few hours a day in the parks and would enjoy spending the rest of their time at restaurants and/or the pool and other activities.

Who Should Not Buy Them

If you’re looking to fully maximize your time in the parks and you want to increase the chances of getting to do every possible thing, base tickets can be limiting. 

Perhaps, a ride you want to do has a really short ‘wait time’ in the afternoon hours at one of the other parks. Not having the ‘park hopper’ option prevents you from doing this. 

Also if you haven’t been to Disney World in many years and you only have a few days, getting a standard ticket will limit which parks you can visit. And having to choose only 1 or 2 parks can be frustrating when with a park hopper, you could have visited them all!

Other Things to Consider

If you’re staying at a Disney resort, not having a park hopping option can limit you substantially. Many Disney resorts are located conveniently to the theme parks and having the park hopping option allows you to go to one of the other parks for dinner or nighttime events in the evenings.

For instance, our family often stays at one of the EPCOT-area resorts, and we often will go to EPCOT in the evening for dinner or for fireworks. If we visited Hollywood Studios, Magic Kingdom, or Animal Kingdom earlier in the day, without the park hopping option this wouldn’t be possible.

Also, prices for 1-Day Base Disney World tickets now have park-specific pricing, so the cost will change depending on which park you are going to that day. Prices range from $109-$189 per guest.

Read Guide to Disney World 1-Day Tickets for a more detailed explanation.

Park Hopper Option

Park Hopping Transportation

The park hopper option is an additional cost ticket that allows you to visit additional parks after 2:00 pm. This allows you to visit as many parks in the course of a calendar day as you want! 

Basics

In order to park hop, you MUST still have a park reservation for a park in the morning. For instance, if you want to start your day in Magic Kingdom, make a park reservation for Magic Kingdom. Then after 2:00, you can visit any park you want to visit! 

Keep in mind, that this ticket add-on will cost more money. Generally speaking, to add the park hopping option it’s going to cost an additional $65 for 1-day tickets, $75 for 2 or 3-day tickets, and $85 for 4 to 10-day tickets. 

Park hopping is of course subject to the park’s capacity which you want to check out prior to leaving the park you are currently at. To find out, call 407-560-5000 or check on the My Disney Experience app.

Who Should Buy Them?

I always recommend park hopper tickets to those that have a minimal amount of time to visit the parks but want to get as much done as possible. For instance, if you only have a weekend to do everything, get the park hopper! 

While it will cost a little bit more, it will enable you to visit all four parks and maximize your time. If you tour the parks like this it can be worth it. 

Also, if you’re staying at a Disney resort, having the option to spend your mornings in one park and then return later in the evening to a different park is very enticing. You can have dinner or watch nighttime entertainment in a different park than where you spent the day.

Our family often will make a park reservation in the morning and spend a few hours at the parks. Then after lunch, we will go back to our resort and relax in the heat of the day. Later in the evening we will return to another one of the parks for either dinner or to enjoy some rides. Without the park hopper ticket, this would not be possible.

Who Should Not Buy Them

Disney vacations are not cheap and even just saving a little money for your trip can be invaluable. By simply getting the base tickets without the park hopping option, while you might not be able to see everything, you’ll certainly save some money. 

Also, if you have a longer trip and are going to be at Disney World for a week plus, then perhaps the park hopper option is not necessary since you’ll have plenty of time to get to all four of the parks at least once. 

In that case, you can always return to the park you were at if you need to leave and relax for a little while in the course of your day. 

Also, many families with small children may not need to get the park hopping option because, at most, they’ll only be able to do a half day in the parks per day and a park hopper would be a waste of money.

Can One Person Buy the Park Hopper and Have Other Guests Use It?

No, they can’t. Only the guest that purchases the park hopper option will be able to use that ticket and enter multiple parks per day.

Other Things to Consider

  • Disney does often run different ticketing promotions throughout the year for multi-day ticket packages, so pay close attention to that. You will likely save money if you can take advantage of these promotions. 
  • Another way to save money is by buying discounted Disney tickets from a reputable and authorized Disney Ticket Seller. You’ll see some of our favorites below. 
  • When comparing ticket prices, be mindful to know that the ticket prices for the companies below include Florida’s 6.5% tax while Disney’s tickets do NOT. 
  • Be careful though, places that offer ‘Significantly Discounted Disney Tickets’ are almost always scams. Disney tickets are non-transferable and they are tied to your fingerprints once used. If you attempt to use someone else’s partially used ticket in the parks, Disney will not allow you in the parks.

Water Park & Sports Option

Disney's Blizzard Beach Water Park

The water park & sports option added to a base ticket enables guests to add other smaller attractions to each day of your ticket. This option does NOT include park hopping but instead includes other smaller attractions. 

Basics

The water park and sports options allow you to use your park pass days for additional experiences. Each day of your park pass gives you (1) admission to any of the following:

  • Blizzard Beach or Typhoon Lagoon water park
  • Admission to ESPN Wide World of Sports (non-event ticket) 
  • (1) Round of Miniature Golf at Fantasia Gardens or Winter Summerland before 4:00 pm
  • Round of golf at Oak Trail Golf Course (9-Holes Club and Pull Cart NOT included) 

These additional experiences are on top of your park days. For instance, if you buy a 4-day park pass with the water park & sports option you can use your four days in the parks AND you have access to (4) special experiences as mentioned above. 

You can spread out the (4) additional experiences any way you want. You don’t need to use them on separate days, you can use them all in one day if you choose. They do NOT work like the park passes. 

  • REMEMBER: the water park & sports option does NOT include park hopping privileges. It is a base ticket package, meaning you only have access to one park per day plus the additional experiences, depending on how many park days you purchased.

Who Should Buy Them?

This option could be a good deal if you’re planning to use the more expensive additional experiences. Doing that means, you would center your additional experiences on either the Oak Trail Golf Course and/or the water parks. If you’re doing that, it could absolutely make financial sense. 

This could be a nice add-on experience for a partner who loves to play golf. Maybe they don’t enjoy being in the parks all day. Getting this option would allow them to split off early from the parks and play 9-holes of golf at Oak Trail. 

Or maybe if you’re tired of going to the four main parks, getting this option allows you to spend some time at the water parks. You can use an off-day that you’re not going to be in one of the other parks to spend at either Blizzard Beach or Typhoon Lagoon

You can also split up your day and spend a few hours at one of the water parks and then go to one of the four main parks in the evening. There are several different ways you can use it!

Who Should Not Buy Them

If you feel that you want this option just to play miniature golf or check out the ESPN Wide World of Sports, your money would be better spent paying for these experiences a la carte. 

Also, if you are planning on spending most of your time in either the parks or at your hotel, it can be very difficult to cram all of these extra experiences into a short trip. 

To fully understand, if you purchase a 4-day park ticket with the water park & sports option you would have a total of eight admissions. Four days for visiting the parks and four other admissions to the additional experiences, whenever you can squeeze them in. This could be a lot! 

And squandering these additional experiences would be a waste of value considering the more expensive cost of this option. And since the best value of these additional experiences is the Oak Trail Golf Course and the water parks, unless you love playing golf or visiting the water parks multiple times, I’d steer away from this option.

Other Things to Consider

The Water Parks & Sports option can also be added after you purchase your tickets

For instance, if you have a 7-day base ticket and you decide several days into your trip that you want to add it to your tickets, you absolutely can! You have until the ticket expires or before midnight on the day you use the last admission to upgrade. (Whichever comes first) 

If you choose to upgrade, it will add seven additional experiences for you to use before the end of your trip. Keep in mind you have to use all of the admissions within 11 days of starting your vacation. It does NOT matter on what day you upgrade your ticket. Why eleven days? We will explain that later.

Park Hopper Plus

Typhoon Lagoon Castaway Creek

This is the most complete ticketing plan and it includes both the park hopping option and the water parks & sports options all in one ticket! 

Basics

Combining all the perks of the park hopping options with the water park & sports options, the park hopper plus plan enables you to get the best of both worlds. It gives you the most possible options for families and individuals that want to completely maximize their time. 

Just like the park hopping option and the water park & sports plan, your base ticket plan can always be upgraded anywhere along your trip to the park hopper plus. When you add the park hopper plus option it extends the length of your ticket by one day. 

This doesn’t mean you have an additional day of park passes, but it allows you to have more days to use the additional experiences. For instance, a 7-day ticket normally is valid for ten days. But with the park hopper plus option, it is valid for eleven days!

Who Should Buy Them?

Similar to the water park & sports plan, if you plan on either playing golf at Oak Trail Golf Course or visiting the water parks on multiple days, plus park hopping to multiple parks per day, this could be a very good value!

Who Should Not Buy Them

If you’re not planning on playing golf at the Oak Trail Golf Course or have any desire or need to visit the water parks, steer away from the Plus plan. Just stick with the standard ticket with the park hopping add-on. 

Unless you have a specific plan on how you’re going to utilize all of the additional experiences, I recommend most people to stay away from this plan.

Other Things to Consider

This plan is a lot! If you have a 7-day ticket with the park hopper plus plan you have a total of 14 admissions. PLUS you likely will be jumping to multiple parks each day since you purchased the park hopping option. 

For most families, the Park Hopper Plus ticket is overkill and will be a waste of money.

Additional Options

PhotoPass with Tigger at 1900 Park Fare

When purchasing your tickets, you will likely see additional cost options to add to your tickets. What exactly are these options? Here is a list of them:

Flexible Start-Date Tickets

For an additional fee, Flexible Start-Date Tickets allow you not to be pinned down to an exact start date. With this option, you don’t need to have to pick your dates. *(These tickets are not currently for sale at this time.)

Older Flexible Start-Date tickets that were purchased previously will still be honored at the gate, assuming they haven’t been used. Used tickets expired 14 days after their first use.

Memory Maker

For a flat price of $169, the Memory Maker option allows you to download all of your photos from your trip. This includes ride photos, Disney photographer photos, character meet & greets, and MORE! 

You get access to these photos on Disney’s site for 45 days. If you love keeping plenty of pictures from your trip, this could be worth it. Especially if you don’t like taking photos. 

Disney has photographers all over the parks and on most of the larger attractions. You’ll be surprised by how many get taken in the course of your trip. At the end of your trip, you can just go to Disney’s site and download all these pictures to your device. 

Then when you get home, you can have them printed or stored somewhere in your house.

Florida Resident Tickets

Disney World Florida Resident Tickets

Each year, Disney offers discounted theme park tickets to Florida residents to make it more affordable for local families. These are called “Florida Resident Tickets.”

Basics

In 2022, Disney World released a new ticket deal that offers discounted 2, 3, and 4-day park passes for locals called the Disney Weekly Magic Florida Resident Tickets.  While it’s limited to weekdays only, it still can save substantial money for families over having to pay the full price. 

For 4-day tickets, the savings are in upwards of 40% for this year. And for 3-day tickets, the savings are around 30%. These prices are in comparison to non-resident base tickets. 

While they are subject to blackout dates, these prices are actually lower than the previous Florida resident tickets from last year. 

Keep in mind that proof of residency will need to be shown at the park entrance. Also, theme park reservations and valid park tickets for the same date are required for each person in your party.

Check Disney’s website for up-to-date incentives and conditions for Florida residents.

Who Should Buy Them?

Florida residents that do NOT currently have annual passes should absolutely take advantage of these discounted multi-day tickets until Annual Pass sales resume. They are by far the best option for saving money without the current availability of Annual Passes purchases.

For example, Florida Resident tickets are a nice option if you live in Florida but do not go to Disney World enough times to make an Annual Pass worth it (ex. If you only go to the parks a few times per year).

Who Should Not Buy Them

If you live in Florida and go to the Disney parks often, Florida Resident tickets are probably not for you.

If you currently have an annual pass right now, the need for buying multi-day Florida Resident tickets is non-existent. 

With the rumored return of annual passes coming any day now, I can understand why some Floridians would prefer to wait rather than shelling out additional money on tickets right now.

Read our full guide to Florida Resident Disney World Tickets for more info.

Annual Passes

Genie+ Disney World Annual Passes

Disney World Annual Passes allow guests that will spend a significant number of days in the parks to save the greatest amount of money. 

Whether you plan on coming down for multiple trips in the course of a 365-day window, or if you live in Florida and spend enough days in the parks, annual passes can be incredibly worthwhile. 

While the sale of new annual passes is on hold right now (other than the Florida Resident-only Disney Pixie Dust Pass), existing annual pass holders can continue to renew their passes each year. 

Basics

In short, annual passes allow guests to visit the parks in great quantity each year. While they are expensive, if you are visiting the parks frequently or even want unlimited use of the theme parks, annual passes can come in handy. 

They also come with other nice perks such as savings on dining and merchandise and unlimited theme park parking. 

There are four versions of annual passes, let’s talk about them.

Disney Incredi-Pass

This is the most inclusive annual pass. The Incredi-Pass allows guests unlimited use of the theme parks without ANY blackout dates. 

This is the only pass that is available for non-Florida residents or non-Disney Vacation Club members. You can make up to five park reservations at once. 

  • With tax included, the Incredi-Pass comes out to $1,489.93.

Disney Sorcerer Pass

The second-most inclusive annual pass, the Sorcerer pass is only available for Disney Vacation Club Members or Florida Residents. 

Thanksgiving and Christmas periods are blacked out, meaning you can’t visit the parks on those days. You can make up to five park reservations at once. 

  • With tax included, the Sorcerer Pass comes out to $1,031.98.

Disney Pirate Pass

The Disney Pirate Pass is for Florida Residents only and is not available to out-of-state guests.

All Holidays and busy weekends are blocked out so check the dates available to see if your schedule coincides. You can make up to four park reservations at once. 

  • Tax included, the cost of the Pirate Pass is $797.68.

Disney Pixie Dust Pass

The Disney Pixie Dust Pass is for Florida Residents only and it is the most restrictive Disney World annual pass.

Almost all weekends and all holiday periods are blocked out. You can have up to three park reservations at once.

  • Tax included, the Pixie Dust Past is $424.94. 

*(This is the only current annual pass that is still available for new customers.)

When is an Annual Pass Worth It?

walt disney worl annual passholder

Guests that are taking at least two separate trips to Disney World often find that it is a better deal to purchase an annual pass. Always do the math first and obviously, it can greatly differ depending on the time of year you go. 

Also keep in mind the cost of saving money from parking, dining, and merchandise savings, and some other additional perks of purchasing an annual pass. This can amount to hundreds of dollars in savings.

It’s tough to perfectly figure out whether it makes sense, especially now with tickets being date-based. Purchasing individual sets of tickets will be even more expensive if you travel during busier times of the year, making annual passes make even more sense. (Assuming those dates aren’t blacked out for an annual pass) 

However, if considering an annual pass, don’t FORCE yourself to visit Disney World multiple times just to save money, because in reality, you’re not saving money. 

I’ve had family members that have purchased annual passes thinking it was a great deal, but in reality, they forced themselves to go to Disney World an additional time just so they can use their annual passes. They ultimately didn’t “save money” because they still needed to purchase plane tickets, food, etc.

One good way to make it advantageous is to make full use of the 366 days of your annual pass. For instance, our family typically would get annual passes for our yearly September trip. If the first year we purchased the tickets the dates were September 10th – 17th, the following year we could go from September 3rd – 10th. 

This would enable you to use an annual pass and get (2) full trips of park usage and make it worth the money spent. We go over this and much more in our Full Guide to Disney World Annual Passes.

Discount Tickets

Outside EPCOT waiting in line for tickets

Since buying park tickets is one of the most expensive parts of a Disney World vacation, anytime you can save some money on them is certainly welcome!

Even though your options are limited for getting big savings, there are some ways to find cheaper Disney World tickets. That’s where Discount Disney World Tickets come in.

As mentioned above, Florida residents often get multi-day ticket discounts. Also, DVC (Disney Vacation Club) members, military personnel, and AAA members can save some money on ticketing packages.

Keep in mind that finding discounted 1-day tickets are incredibly rare and while you might save a few dollars from reputable discount brokers, it won’t be much. 

While most won’t save significantly on tickets, there are a few ways that are worth looking into. Here we will touch on a few of them.

Advanced Purchase Discount

Generally, tickets that are purchased in advance online or over the phone will save you money as opposed to buying in person at Disney World ticket booths. 

For tickets that are 3 days or longer, the advanced purchase discount will save $21.30 for each guest.

Independent Ticket Wholesalers

Discounted Disney World Tickets

There are several reliable ticket brokers that offer some discounts on Disney World tickets.

While it’s not life-changing money, a family of 4 can save more than $100 buying purchasing tickets from an authorized reseller instead of buying from Disney directly. 

We can’t vouch for every single one of them, however, in our experience resellers like Orlando Vacation are highly reputable companies that can save you some decent money. (Click here and use our promo code: Ziggy2022 at checkout for the best discount.)

Our other favorite resellers are Get Away Tickets and Undercover Tourist who have tickets for up to 10 days if you need ones that long.

It’s always best to compare and contrast and you’ll notice that in some instances they save money and in other instances, they’re almost identical to buying directly through Disney. 

Make sure when finding these companies that they are authorized Disney ticket resellers. You should feel confident that you are dealing with a reputable company, especially with the cost of Disney park tickets. Just remember if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

DVC Members

Occasionally Disney Vacation Club members (DVC) will get ticket discounts of around 10% or so. In most instances though, DVC members will save the most money by purchasing either the Incredi-Pass or the Sorcerer Annual Pass.

Military Discounts

Disney frequently offers huge savings to active military members, including their friends and family. 

As of right now, they are offering discounted 4 and 5-day Military Salute Tickets right on the Disney World website.

Here are the latest prices for Disney Military Salute Tickets:

  • 4-Day Disney Military Salute Ticket
    • With Park Hopper Option: $349 plus tax
    • With Park Hopper Plus Option: $379 plus tax
  • 5-Day Disney Military Salute Ticket
    • With Park Hopper Option: $369 plus tax
    • With Park Hopper Plus Option: $399 plus tax

To receive the above prices you must purchase your tickets from now through December 12, 2023.

To give you an example of the savings, 2023, 4-Day Disney Military Salute Tickets with the Park Hopper option cost $349 plus tax. Compare that with a regular 4-Day Park Hopper ticket which costs between $500 – $600.  In most situations that will save you $200+ per ticket!

Military Discount Blockout Dates include:

  • April 2, 2023, through April 15, 2023
  • November 19, 2023, through November 25, 2023

AAA Members

Previously, AAA Members would get very good discounts on purchasing tickets. But more recently, ticket savings from purchasing through your AAA membership have been minimal at best. 

Discounts also come from individual branches and aren’t nationwide anymore, and the best way to find out is to call your local AAA office and get a quote. Chances are, it won’t save you much.

Are there Discounts for Senior Citizens or Disabled Guests?

There are no special ticket savings for senior citizens or disabled guests.

Where to Buy Tickets

buying Disney World park tickets

Now that you’ve decided on the best ticket options for your family, the next question you need to ask yourself is, “Where should I buy my Disney World tickets?” 

This is where research is required. While it’s easy to assume buying through Disney is best, that is not always the case. 

I encourage you to price shop the different REPUTABLE authorized Disney resellers. Go to some of the authorized ticket resellers and write down each of the sites’ costs and compare them with Disney’s prices.

For instance, if you are purchasing a 7-day base ticket, go to Disney’s site and find out what the exact price is for the dates of your trip. Write it down. Then check out whatever other Authorized Disney Ticket Reseller’s site of your choosing. 

Here are a few places to buy Disney World tickets we wholeheartedly recommend:

Orlando Vacation

Orlando Vacation Disney World Tickets

Orlando Vacation is our preferred authorized Disney ticket reseller and they almost always have the best deals on multi-day Disney World tickets. They have been in business since 1993 and are one of the most respected resellers in Orlando.

Ticket savings here usually range from $20-$60 per ticket depending on the type you choose.

If you decide to purchase your tickets with them, they will email you the confirmation numbers that you simply connect to your My Disney Experience account. It’s very simple for most and if you have any questions, their customer care team will be glad to help.

Shop for Orlando Vacation’s best WDW ticket offers by Clicking Here. (Use our promo code: Ziggy2022 at checkout for an additional discount.)

Get Away Today

Get Away Today Disney World Tickets

Get Away Today is another excellent Disney World ticket reseller that will save you money over buying them directly through Disney. Their multi-day tickets are always lower than Disney’s price with savings as much as $50+ each.

Another reason we like Get Away Today for buying discounted tickets is they have multi-day tickets up to 10 days which isn’t always available at some of the other resellers.

Shop for Get Away Today’s best WDW ticket offers by Clicking Here.

Undercover Tourist

Undercover Tourist Disney World Tickets

Undercover Tourist is one of the best-known places to look for discounted Disney Park tickets. Not only is their reputation stellar, our family has had nothing but great experiences with them. You can trust them!

On average you can expect to save anywhere from $10 to $30 per ticket, sometimes even more.

Simply go to their website, input your dates and check out the prices. Keep in mind, unlike Disney, their prices shown include tax so they may seem more even though they are less.

Like the others, use the confirmation number on the tickets to connect them to your My Disney Experience account.

Other Third-Party Affiliates

Here are a few other reputable authorized Disney Ticket resellers that are worth looking into. While we haven’t used them personally, we’ve heard about others that have had good experiences:

  • Orlando Fun Tickets – Competitive prices, but prices do NOT include tax until check-out
  • Parksavers – They have a very good reputation amongst Disney fans
  • Official Ticket Center – Reputable and often mentioned on other Disney sites

Directly from Disney

Though it won’t save you money, buying directly from Disney is clearly the easiest method and most convenient since you can buy your tickets together with your resort hotel in a vacation package.

Your tickets will immediately and automatically sync to your My Disney Experience accounts. Another nice perk of buying directly through Disney is that you can use Disney Gift Cards to purchase your tickets. 

The other discounted ticket sites will likely save you a few dollars, so weigh the difference in savings over buying directly from Disney before deciding.

Disney Travel Planner

Monorail passing over water Journey Into Imagination

If all of this seems too chaotic and stressful for you to comprehend and figure out, we ALWAYS recommend booking with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner

The one we use and recommend is Show You the World Travel. They are extremely helpful and 100% FREE to use.

Why should I use a Disney Vacation Planner? They’ll help you navigate all the ticketing options and find you the very best ways to save money! Surprisingly, they don’t charge you any money and the money they make comes directly from Disney, not YOU. 

Even the most seasoned Disney travelers like ourselves often use Disney Vacation Planners to take away some of the time and hassle of planning a Disney vacation. Trust me, you won’t regret it! Click here for a free quote.

Other Places to Purchase Tickets

By purchasing vacation packages with companies like Costco Travel, you can often save significantly on multi-day ticketing packages. 

Another option if you are renting a car in Florida is you can purchase discounted tickets at local Disney Wal-Marts. Two Wal-Marts sell discounted park tickets within a few miles of the parks in Kissimmee.

Will Call Tickets

If you’ve purchased your tickets and will not have them on a Disney Magic Band, you can simply pick up your ‘Will Call Tickets’ at any ticket windows or guest relationship location anywhere in the Walt Disney Theme Parks or Disney Springs.

Where NOT to Buy Disney World Tickets

Buying Disney World Tickets on eBay

Considering the great popularity of visiting Disney World, not just for locals or even Americans, but for international travelers, many illegitimate ticket vendors will attempt to take advantage of unsuspecting travelers. 

Whether it’s eBay, Craigslist, unauthorized ticket sites online, or shady-looking stores nearby Disney, please be careful! These places take advantage of travelers looking to save money by offering “Highly Discounted Disney Tickets.” 

Saving money at Disney gets harder and harder these days and ticket prices are typically the most expensive part of your trip. These scammers understand that and they will do whatever they can to take advantage of it.

If Tickets Seem Too Good to Be True, They Are

REMEMBER: if the ticket prices seem significantly cheaper than Disney, they likely aren’t legitimate. 

While it is possible to save some money, typically $5 to maybe $50 on multi-day tickets, if they’re advertising half-price or even more than that they ARE NOT legitimate. Avoid them!

Partially Used Tickets

Occasionally you might see someone advertising partially used tickets. This could sound like a great deal! Perhaps the guest only used four days of their 6-day ticket. They will give you the last two days for a great price! Is this smart? NO!

You should NEVER buy partially used tickets to Disney World as you will end up losing your money.

This happens for two main reasons: Disney tickets are NEVER transferable. Disney uses a biometric finger scan system that will scan the fingerprint of guests the first time the ticket is used. If the fingerprints don’t match, you can’t use the remaining days of the ticket. 

If that isn’t good enough, the 2nd reason is that it’s illegal. And business owners have been arrested for selling partly-used admission tickets. 

The bottom line is it won’t work and it’ll ruin your trip if you even try. Disney will certainly not assist you if you show up at the gates with someone else’s partially used ticket and you will be out the money you paid to buy them.

eBay or Craigslist

These two sites are very popular for scam artists who want to take advantage of unsuspecting travelers. They can make them appear to look great and even ‘Brand New’ but oftentimes they are worthless. 

The sad thing is, you won’t find out until you arrive at the parks and the tickets don’t work. Then you will be forced to buy new tickets all over again. Talk about getting your trip off to a bad start!

How to Decide Which Tickets to Buy

deciding between Disney World Tickets types

Reviewing all of these ticket options can be overwhelming. It’s especially complicated if you’re traveling with a larger group with each guest having different needs and desires. And if you’re not using an authorized Disney Travel planner, like Show You the World Travel, you’ll need to bust out the calculator. 

Spend time talking to other travelers that you might be going with and figuring out your itinerary. 

  • How many days do you want to go to each park?
  • Do you want to visit the water parks?
  • Do you want to play golf?
  • Do you want to spend a few days just relaxing at the resort? 

How Many Days Are You Going?

First, figure out how many days you’re going to the parks. If you’re going to be staying at Disney World for a week, you don’t necessarily need a 7-Day ticket. You only need to buy a ticket for the number of days you will actually spend in the theme parks.

Remember, tickets don’t need to be used on consecutive days. A 5-Day base or park-hopper ticket is eligible to be used for eight days from the date of the first use. 

It’s possible for your family to do a few days consecutively in the parks and then take a day off in between to relax.

You can save a little bit of money by keeping that in mind and planning your days in the parks accordingly, and you might need fewer days than you originally thought.

Only Buy Days You Will Use

Don’t force yourself to go to the parks more than you intended to just because you bought more park days than you need. Plan first and buy the tickets afterward. 

Buying additional days before your trip could be a waste of money, and remember, you can always add additional days when you need them while you are on your trip. We recommend choosing fewer days initially and adding days as you see fit.

Make Sure Park Hopper or Water Parks Options are Really Worth It

Blizzard Beach Sunset

If you haven’t been to Disney World in a long time and have a week or less for your trip, the park hopper and water park options may not be worth it. That’s up to you and only you. 

Remember, park hopping can be fun but it often takes additional time and energy. If you’re not the type of guest that enjoys leaving the parks in the middle of the day, park hopping might be deemed as an unnecessary expense. With great planning, you might find that it’s best to make full use of your days in just one park. 

Our family has been to Disney more times than we can count, and we still have not seen everything. The water parks can be great fun on a really hot day, but if you’re staying at a Disney resort with a great pool area, that might be all your family needs. 

I’m not saying with certainty to avoid the park hopper or avoid the water park option, that’s for you to decide. Just make sure you will use them first rather than just saying “might as well get them.” That’s how you wind up spending additional money and your Disney World trip will cost more.

Best Tickets for First-Timers

Tap point at Disney World Tickets

The best tickets for first-timers will depend on how many days you’re visiting the Disney World parks. 

4 Days or Less- If you only have four days or less, I’d suggest getting a simple multi-day standard ticket without any additional options. One day for each day you can go to the theme parks.

You’ll save money and you’ll be able to do as much as possible in each of the parks you choose. Just figure out how many park days you’ll be able to do while factoring in travel time.

You also can consider a 1-Day Disney World Ticket if you only have time to visit for one day.

More than 4 Days – If you’re staying longer I’d recommend spending the additional money to get the park hopper option

The price is more affordable on larger multi-day tickets and it’ll allow you to have the freedom to come and go as you choose. It’ll also make planning easier as you’ll have more options for things such as dining.

Buying Tickets Separately vs with Vacation Package

EPCOT Fountain statue at night

Figuring out whether to buy tickets separately or with a vacation package can be challenging. It can be very hard to figure out the best value considering all of the different variables and costs that are added to a vacation package. 

Generally speaking, Disney doesn’t offer considerable discounts on guests that are only going to be in the parks for two days or less. However, they will offer some incentives to those that book vacation packages and will be visiting the parks for several days.

Overall, buying your park tickets through your Disney World vacation package is going to be the most convenient option if you don’t want to spend time shopping around.

If saving the most money possible is your number one priority, buying them separately is your best bet.

Keep in mind though, that if you purchase your tickets separately first, you likely won’t be able to take advantage of a discounted package if one comes up closer to your trip. 

If you can’t figure it out, use the services of an Authorized Disney Travel Planner and they will help you get the very best value for your Disney trip. Not only that, but if additional savings come out AFTER you book your trip, they can help you rebook and save you additional money.

When is the Best Time to Buy Park Tickets?

Disney World Tickets walking to Animal Kingdom

It’s always good to purchase your tickets in advance. Not only can you take advantage of the advanced ticket discount, but you can make sure you have your park reservations situated before you get there. 

Plus, it’s nice to have everything synced up before getting there rather than spending unnecessary time once you’re on vacation. 

Park reservations for busier times of the year can fill up several weeks or even months in advance, so I’d suggest if you’re traveling at a busier time of year, buy your park tickets and make your park reservations at least two months in advance. 

If you’re coming at a slower time of year you can likely be fine buying your tickets and making reservations only a few weeks before your trip.

Can You Buy Disney World Tickets at the Gate?

Yes, you can, but on multi-day tickets of 3-days or more, it’ll cost you more money! Not only that, but if you want to link your park passes to your My Disney Experience app and make Genie+ selections for rides, this becomes a harder and time-sensitive proposition. 

If you are just going to Disney World for a day or two and don’t plan on purchasing Genie+ for any of the days you’ll be in the parks, buying your tickets at the gate is fine. It’s sufficient as a last-second option for travelers, assuming there is still park availability for the parks you want to visit.

How to Buy Disney Tickets (Step-By-Step)

How to decide to buy Disney World park tickets

If your head isn’t spinning enough from all of these options and complications, we will walk you through the entire process of buying your tickets. 

This will make the steps easier and more manageable, while also potentially saving your family money.

STEP 1: When to Buy?

The very first thing you’ll need to figure out when buying Disney World tickets is ‘when’ you’ll be visiting. As we’ve shown you with Disney’s time-based ticketing structure, you’ll save money if you go during one of the cheaper times of the year. Try to be flexible if possible.

Once you have your dates, write them down.

STEP 2: How Many Days?

how many days Disney World tickets

Now that you have your dates, begin planning your trip! How many days do you want to do IN the parks? 

If you’re going for a week but only want to be in the parks for five days, then you’ll only need a 5-day park pass. You can use the five days in whatever sequence that you want during the week that you are there.

STEP 3: Select Dates

Buying Disney World Tickets in advance

With the date that you marked down as the start of your vacation, go to the calendar of the ticket vendor that you choose and select the date of your first visit. (The first day you’ll be in a park.) 

This will show you the cost of your ticket, depending on which ticket you select.

STEP 4: Check Park Pass Reservations

Making Disney Park Pass Reservations

You then can check park pass reservation availability, by going to the Disney website. This will allow you to make sure that there is park availability for the parks that you want to visit on the days that you will be there before booking. 

Once availability is confirmed, you can finalize your itinerary for your Disney World Vacation.

STEP 5: How Many People Are Going?

Figure out how many tickets you’ll need. If you’re traveling with any children under the age of 10, be sure to buy the children’s tickets (Ages 3-9) to save additional money. 

Remember, kids under the age of 3 will be free in the parks.

STEP 6: Select Tickets

Paying for Disney World Tickets

This is where you select the actual tickets you want. Are you going to get the park hopping option, the park hopper plus, or the water park & sports option? Will you choose the Memory maker add-on? 

If you figured these out BEFORE you go to purchase your tickets, it’ll be a much quicker process.

STEP 7: Finalize Purchase

Finally, purchase your tickets. Now, you can breathe a sigh of relief! While it cost you a small fortune, at least you have that done and taken care of. Now what?

What to Do AFTER Buying Tickets

Linking Disney World Tickets to My Disney Experience

While it’s nice to have your tickets purchased, there are additional steps to take before the start of your Disney Vacation. 

Linking to My Disney Experience

First, you need to link your park tickets to your My Disney Experience account.

My Disney Experience is Disney’s vacation planning tool you will use on your trip. You can either use the app on your smartphone or the website: MyDisneyExperience.com

If you already have an account, your park tickets should sync automatically if you purchased them directly through Disney. If you or others in your group do NOT have a My Disney Experience account, you’ll need to set one up for each member of your group. Don’t worry, this doesn’t take long. 

Once in My Disney Experience, you then link your park tickets (which you just purchased) to your individual My Disney Experience profiles. This will allow you to make park reservations and sync to your other family members or friends. 

Trust me, you are going to want to do this before arrival! It’ll make your trip much easier. 

Get comfortable with My Disney Experience. You’ll likely be using this a lot for your upcoming trip when making dining reservations, Genie+ selections, etc.

Take a Photo

This may sound like a stupid suggestion, but trust me, it may save you thousands of dollars in the long run.

If you’ve purchased your tickets through a separate 3rd party vendor, take a photo of the ticket with the confirmation number. You’ll need this if you lose your tickets or need to get them replaced

Also, be mindful to get familiar with the vendor’s replacement policy on the tickets before buying them.

If you’ve purchased directly through Disney, keep your ticket receipts as well. This will enable you to get your lost tickets replaced if you lose them. You’ll simply just need your ID and possibly the credit card with which you used to purchase the tickets.

Make Park Pass Reservations

Making Disney Park Pass Reservations

Remember, just because you purchased tickets doesn’t mean you have park reservations. You need to do both: buy tickets and make park reservations. 

Now that you have your My Disney Experience accounts all set up for your trip, log in to your accounts and make your park pass reservations for the days of your choosing. 

If you followed our advice and started building your itinerary, this should be easy! (Assuming all the parks are still available on the park calendar.) 

Simply make a park pass reservation at each park for each guest on all the days of your trip and you’re all set!

Ways to Keep & Use Your Tickets

MagicBand+ Styles, Designs & Discounts Story Poster Image

Once you buy your tickets, what do you do with them? Where do you store them?

While they still have physical (Plastic or Tyvek) tickets for some guests, with the use of additional technology, storing your tickets is a lot easier. 

 Now there are several different ways to store your Disney park tickets. Here are the different options:

Physical Ticket

Previously Disney visitors remember the old paper tickets to get into the parks. Those are no longer in use, but Disney does have plastic tickets or thinner Tyvek tickets available for people that prefer utilizing or carrying a physical ticket on them. 

These are the same size as a credit card and work in a similar manner. They are simple to use and simply get scanned upon entry to the parks.

MagicBand 2.0

You can also put your park tickets on a MagicBand 2.0 wristband. These are the MagicBands Disney has been using for years and you probably have seen or used them.

They are an all-in-one device that allows you to enter the parks, get into your hotel room, pay for things while in the parks, and MORE!

MagicBands are an additional cost expense for your trip. They are similar looking to watches and can be worn on either wrist which makes them easy to carry around the park all day without losing them.

MagicBand+

The new MagicBand+ is an upgraded version of the old MagicBand but it handles all the same functions, including using it as a ticket to enter the parks.

Not only that, but MagicBand+ also includes some additional interactive experiences for guests in the parks. Read our Full MagicBand+ Guide to see how it works!

MagicMobile

Another option is to use the Disney MagicMobile feature for your park tickets on your mobile device.

MagicMobile allows you to use your smartphone or Apple Watch to act as a MagicBand and get all the same benefits. This essentially turns your phone or watch into a ticket, eliminating the need for a physical one or a MagicBand.

Walt Disney World Hard Ticket Events

Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

Walt Disney World has a number of hard ticket events, requiring you to purchase a separate ticket on top of your existing park pass. These are typically seasonal events that are highly popular and sell out in most instances.

If you are an annual passholder or a DVC member, there are additional savings that will make these events more affordable. 

  • Hard ticket events at Walt Disney World are NOT included in the price of admission of a regular theme park ticket and are an added expense.

Here is a list of some of the most popular hard ticket events each year:

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is one of the most popular ticketed events of the year and allows guests to enjoy the Magic Kingdom with some of their favorite Disney Characters after hours. You can get dressed up, enjoy some Halloween candies and treats and enjoy some different activities and entertainment. 

This happens on selected nights starting from mid-August and extending to Halloween on October 31st. Tickets are an additional $119 for adults and $109 for kids between 3-9. These prices do NOT include tax. And as always, these prices are ON TOP of your existing park tickets.

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

This festive ticketed event allows you to see Disney characters in their festive attire. You can celebrate the holiday season with special character appearances, snow on Main Street, and other activities and food and snacks at Magic Kingdom. 

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party happens on selected nights starting in early November while extending to December 22nd. Tickets are an additional $149 for adults and $139 for kids between 3-9. These prices do NOT include tax.

Disney After Hours Events

guests visiting Disney After Hours Events

Disney will occasionally offer ticketed after-hours events that will allow you to enjoy the parks practically to yourself! In our experience, visitors have been able to get on rides with minimal wait times and minimal interference from other guests. 

They can also include some additional fun snacks and beverages that are included with the purchase. After-hours events typically start at around $129. These prices do NOT include tax.

For more info and dates read our Disney After Hours Guide.

Disney Villains After Dark Party

An after-hours ticketed event at Magic Kingdom that allows guests to take a walk on the vile side and party with Disney’s most famous villains! Here you’ll enjoy frightfully fun entertainment, fun photo opportunities, and interesting and unique cuisine. 

Prices for Disney Villains After Dark Party have previously been right around $145 per adult or child. These prices do NOT include tax.

Disney’s Early Morning Magic

Ever wonder what it’s like to be able to be amongst the first to walk on Main Street in Magic Kingdom? With this hard ticketing event, you can have unlimited access to seven of the most famous Fantasyland attractions. 

You’ll also receive a breakfast buffet at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe, which is also included. The price for this event is $89 per adult and $79 per child. These prices do NOT include tax. 

*(Early Morning Magic is not currently running at Walt Disney World and we are not sure if it will ever return)

Disney H20 Glow Nights

Typhoon Lagoon H2O Glow Nights

H20 Glow Nights is a 4-hour party at Typhoon Lagoon lets you enjoy this fun water park at night and practically all to yourself! Get on rides, go in the pool or have some fun adult beverages or snacks. 

These events have typically taken place between May and August. They are a ton of fun and allow you to enjoy nighttime entertainment, including a DJ to start this fun Glow party. You’ll also get glowing accessories to party! 

Tickets for adults are $75 and for children (3-9) they are $70. These prices do NOT include taxes.

Do Disney World Tickets Ever Expire?

Tree of Life Animal Kingdom

Under the new current-issue Disney World tickets, tickets expire either after every admission on the ticket has been used OR on the listed expiration date. (Whichever comes first.) 

Remember, current-issue Disney World tickets require you to input a date that you will be using them. Previously this was not the same and you could use them at any future date. 

If you’ve previously visited the parks in years past, you likely remember that Disney sold no-expiration tickets that allowed you to take advantage of cheaper current rates while using them in future years. 

While these tickets are no longer for sale, they are still able to be used from prior years if you still have them.

Here we will explain the two main types of current-issue Disney World tickets and when they expire, then we will touch on tickets that maybe you purchased years ago.

Ticket-Only Purchases

If you’ve purchased current-issue tickets either directly through Disney or through a Disney Authorized Reseller WITHOUT purchasing a package plan, your tickets are valid for the length indicated below. 

  • 1-Day tickets are valid on the date you indicated when purchased. You MUST use it on that day.
  • 2-Day tickets are valid for any two days within a four-day window that begins on the day you indicated when you purchased. (You get an additional day for Park Hopper Plus so you’ll receive 5 days in this instance)
     
  • 3-Day tickets are valid for any three days within a five-day window that begins on the day you indicated. (Six days for Park Hopper Plus)
  • 4-Day tickets are valid for any four days within a seven-day window that begins on the day you indicated. (Eight days for Park Hopper Plus)
  • 5-Day tickets are valid for any five days within an eight-day window that begins on the day you indicated. (Nine days for Park Hopper Plus)
  • 6-Day tickets are valid for any six days within a nine-day window that begins on the day you indicated. (Ten days for Park Hopper Plus)
  • 7-Day tickets are valid for any seven days within a ten-day window that begins on the day indicated when purchased. (Eleven days for Park Hopper Plus)
  • 8-Day tickets are valid for any eight days within a twelve-day window that begins on the day indicated when purchased. (Thirteen days for Park Hopper Plus)
  • 9-Day tickets are valid for any nine days within a thirteen-day window that begins on the day indicated when purchased. (Fourteen days for Park Hopper Plus)
  • 10-Day tickets are valid for any ten days within a fourteen-day window that begins on the day indicated when purchased. (Fifteen days for Park Hopper Plus)

Tickets in Vacation Package

Cinderella Castle spire at Magic Kingdom

When purchasing a Disney World Vacation Package, your park tickets are valid even longer. In this instance, your tickets stay valid for the LONGER of either:

  • Length as shown above OR
  • Length of your stay

What this means is that you can use your park days spread out much more! 

This can be highly beneficial if you purchase a smaller ticketing plan, let’s say a 2-day park hopper but a longer vacation stay. Rather than only being able to use them for a four-day window as would typically be the case, you can (with a Disney World Vacation Package) spread out your visits to the Disney World parks. 

If you book a vacation package for two weeks, you can use one of your park days on Day 1 of your trip and another one of your park days on Day 14 of your trip, if you so choose. 

This gives you even more options!

What Happened to the No Expiration Option?

Unfortunately, starting in 2013, Disney stopped selling the no-expire option tickets. Now tickets are all date-based making you use up your tickets before leaving your vacation.

Can I Use My Old Unused Tickets?

crowds in line to Animal Kingdom entrance

It depends! If the ticket has NEVER been used, it can be upgraded towards a new ticket or annual pass, even after the expiration date. 

If a ticket was used partially but expired and wasn’t upgraded before the expiration date, it is done and can’t be used to trade in or be upgraded. (If it wasn’t a no-expiration ticket) 

Typically speaking, Disney is excellent at honoring older tickets. Depending on how old the tickets are, they will let you upgrade the tickets and add additional perks or privileges. 

In most instances, “No Expiration” tickets or tickets purchased before 2004 cannot be upgraded by adding additional days. But they will honor the remaining days you have on the ticket. 

Tickets purchased between 2004 and 2014 did have an expiration date, but you had an option to pay an additional fee to add a no-expiration option to them. If you paid that fee, the unused days are still usable. If not, you lost the leftover days remaining on your ticket. 

It can be confusing due to the fact that there have been many different types of tickets over the years and the ticketing rules have routinely changed.

Checking How Many Days Left on a Used Ticket

Your best bet to find out if your existing unused tickets are usable is to check the My Disney Experience app. The app will allow you to see your old ticket by inputting the ticket information, and then you can see if it’s upgradeable.

If you can’t find out, call Disney World ticketing directly at 407-934-7639. Remember though, that Disney World tickets cannot be upgraded beyond 10 days total.

For more details on expiration dates and any other questions you may have, read our Disney World Ticket Expiration Guide.

Tips to Save Money on Disney World Tickets

Orlando Vacation discount tickets

In this next section, we will look at some additional tricks and tips to save money on your Disney World tickets to make your trip affordable! 

Buy Disney World Tickets Ahead of Time

As mentioned previously, Disney sometimes raises the prices of their tickets twice a year. Both in February and October. By purchasing your tickets ahead of time, you can reduce the risk of a price increase by cementing in the lower ticket price immediately.

Go During Least Busy Times

Probably the best way to save money on park tickets is to go during less busy times of the year.

Since Disney World’s tickets are date-based and the costs are higher and lower depending on the time of year you visit, plan to go during a slower time of year. This could save you significantly on tickets. 

Historically speaking, January, February, August, and September will typically be the cheapest times to buy tickets. If you can plan your trip during one of these times, you’ll save money on park tickets.

Buy Tickets with Vacation Package to Save Money

By purchasing tickets through a vacation package, you’ll get bundled savings which can include significant savings on park tickets, hotels, car rentals, and airfare. 

This could be a great idea if you’re going for a week or longer. If you’re only going to the parks for a day or two, it’s likely not going to save you significantly.

Buy From a Third-Party Vendor

Get Discount Disney World Tickets

You’ll likely save anywhere from $5 to $75 by purchasing your discounted Disney World park tickets through a third-party vendor, such as Orlando Vacation. (Use our promo code: Ziggy2022 at checkout for an even bigger discount.)

Other resellers such as Get Away Today or Undercover Tourist are also great options that can save you money almost 100% of the time.

Just make sure whoever you use is a reputable and authorized Disney travel reseller.  A great tool to help you find the site with the most amount of savings is here. It will allow you to calculate the costs on several reputable ticketing sites to get you the very best deal for whatever type of ticket you are looking for.

  • REMINDER: Discounted Disney World tickets from third party sellers often must be bought closer to the arrival date since they don’t get the full inventory from Disney until only a few months out.

Go for More Days for Maximum Savings

Disney maximizes the cost of tickets for Days 1-3, so the more days you go for, the more money you will save per day! 

For each day of your trip, the price per day drops substantially! For example, the cost of tickets for days 9 and 10 of a trip can be 50% cheaper than days 1-3.

Be Realistic

For almost all travelers, purchasing park passes is the most expensive part of your trip. While you can save a few dollars with good planning, there’s no beating around the bush: it will be expensive! 

However, to save money, make sure you don’t buy options on a ticket you don’t need. While it’s nice to have all the perks that come with a park hopper plus plan, chances are for most families, that’ll be overkill. It’ll end up running you ragged, especially if you’re visiting during a hot time of year.

Choose an Earlier Start Date

choosing start date for Disney World tickets

A helpful hint that could potentially save you additional money when purchasing your tickets is by choosing an earlier start date than your actual arrival date at Walt Disney World

For example, if you’re visiting for Christmas Week December 24th – January 1st, rather than inputting December 24th as your first day, try selecting an earlier date and compare the prices. Starting your tickets on December 21st or 22nd may be significantly cheaper.

Even though you likely won’t be there yet, it doesn’t matter since you have a ten-day window to use your tickets. 

Remember, the price for each day of your ticket is based on the first day you start it! 

And in this case, since December 21st and 22nd are cheaper days than Christmas Eve on the 24th, you’ll get nice savings for your family!

Make Sure to Compare the Same Ticket Types

When comparing the costs of different ticket sellers, make sure to keep in mind to review the exact same ticket types. 

Remember that some sites will show you the prices WITH taxes included and other sites will you show prices WITHOUT taxes included until checkout. 

Compare apples to apples. And then you’ll get the best comparison among different ticket companies.

Making Changes and Upgrading Tickets

Disney World Tickets booth Ticket and Transportation Center

There may be times when you want to change your tickets. Perhaps you decided after purchasing your ticket that you want the water parks & sports option now, or you want to add additional days to the amount of park passes you purchased. 

Here are the different ways you can change or upgrade your tickets: 

Upgrading Unused Tickets

When upgrading unused tickets, the amount that you spent on your ticket will be applied to an upgraded ticket. As long as your ticket is unused and the cost of the new ticket exceeds that of the old one, you can purchase any other Disney ticket of your choice. 

Simply go to any Guest Service window to complete the transaction. 

If you know your unused ticket is about to expire, change the dates to new dates far in the future. Keep doing this until you plan a new trip. 

It’s easier to do if you don’t let the ticket expire. If you do let it expire, it will no longer show up in your My Disney Experience account and it can become a bit more complicated to trade in for a new ticket. 

Just keep in mind that tickets purchased prior to January of 2005 that have not expired can still be used for park admission but will not be able to be upgraded.

Upgrading Used Tickets

If you choose to upgrade your partially used tickets that aren’t expired, you must have at least one unused day remaining on them. If you purchased a four-day park pass and you’ve used all four days, you can’t upgrade your ticket anymore. 

The entire value of the partially used ticket can be applied to a ticket upgrade. Keep in mind though that you MUST purchase the same type of ticket as your initial purchase. Meaning if you purchased a 4-day base ticket with park hopping privileges, your upgrade must also have the park hopper on it. 

Simply go to any Guest Service Window to have them help you do this. The price of the existing ticket will be applied to your new ticket. If you add additional days to your ticket, the ticket use dates will be increased to match.

Upgrading Discount Tickets

If you’ve spent less money on your discounted tickets and decide to upgrade your tickets, you might end up being credited back money! Imagine that, getting money back from Disney. 

How this works is when upgrading unused tickets the original purchase price is applied, which can be found on the front of the ticket. 

BUT if you used one or more of the days and then apply the upgrade, you might only be credited for the current gate price of the tickets (which should be less than you spent on the discounted tickets).

Other Info

There are a million different variables and possible situations when it comes to ticketing. If you still have additional questions, your absolute best bet is to call Disney ticketing at 407-934-7639. Call between 8:30 am and 4:30 eastern time to reach a more experienced ticket staff member.

Refunds and Cancellations

Disney World Tap Point scanner

Purchasing tickets so far in advance might save you some money from Disney, but it also increases the chances of there being an impediment to your Disney trip. Can you still get a refund? 

In short, it’s unlikely. Tickets to Disney World are non-refundable, no matter what ticket type you purchase. Disney World vacation packages are also non-refundable up until the final payment date (30 days prior to arrival).

While you’re unlikely to receive cash back from Disney, you can use unexpired theme park tickets for a future vacation. Simply change the dates of your park reservations and use the tickets in a future time. 

If you don’t have an exact date for your return, just continue rebooking your Disney tickets for the furthest time-out allowable. Then once you have official dates, make your park reservations at that time. The tickets will stay linked and connected to your My Disney Experience accounts. 

The only exception Disney gives to the ‘non-refundable rule’ is if there’s a Hurricane. If the National Hurricane Center issues a warning for the Orlando area or your hometown within 7 days of your scheduled arrival date, you’ll be able to change or cancel your tickets or vacation package without any fees. 

Disney is only responsible for theme park tickets and packages that are booked through them.

Read our Disney World Ticket Refunds Guide for more details, tips, and tricks for getting your money back.

FAQs

Walt Disney World Sign on highway

If you haven’t already found what you are looking for, here are a few more frequently asked questions about Disney World tickets.

How Much is a Ticket for Disney World?

A 1-day ticket for guests visiting the parks in 2023 will run between $109 and $189 for adults. It’s a few dollars cheaper for children between the ages of 3-9 and free for kids under 3. 

If you’d like additional perks, such as park hopping (visiting other Disney parks on the same day), figure on adding another $60 or so. 

Multi-day tickets are more expensive overall, but you pay less each day. Each additional day added will be a few dollars cheaper than the 1st day all the way up to 10 days.

Are There Different Prices for Each Theme Park?

Yes and no, it depends on what type of ticket you are buying. 1-Day, 1-Park Tickets have park-specific pricing and each park has a different price range. Animal Kingdom is the least expensive and Magic Kingdom is the most expensive. This is ONLY for 1-Day tickets though.

All other types of tickets to the Walt Disney World theme parks are the same price no matter which park you are visiting.

So no matter if you are visiting the Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, or Animal Kingdom, the price is the same.

Disney World prices its parks based on the date that guests intend to visit. Both single-day and multi-day ticket costs are dependent on the time of year or day of the week, based on the arrival date chosen on park tickets purchase.

Do I Need to Decide Which Park to Visit In Advance?

Yes, you do. Park Pass reservations are required for entry to all the theme parks which must be made in advance.

Picking a park to visit in advance is especially crucial if you are visiting during a busier time of the year. If traveling during busy holiday times or on weekends, reservations can fill up weeks or even months prior.

Can I Leave the Park and Come Back Later on the Same Day?

Disney World Crowds outside Magic Kingdom

Yes. All theme park guests can leave the park and then come back later on the same day if they choose.

Having the option to come and go and leave the parks as often as you’d like is a great option for budget-conscious travelers that want to make the most use of their tickets without needing to add a park hopper option.

Do I Have to Go to Parks on Consecutive Days? Can I Take a Day Off from the Parks?

There is no need to visit the parks on consecutive days if you do not want to.

When purchasing a multi-day ticket, you’ll be given additional days to use all your park days and you can pick and choose which days you want to go. So taking a day off from visiting the parks won’t harm your ticket at all.

Can You Buy a 10-Day Base Ticket and Use It as 5-Day Hopper?

No. You cannot buy a 10-day ticket and use it as a 5-day hopper. These are completely different ticket types and once the 10-day base ticket has been used in (1) park for the day, it will not allow entrance to another park later in the day. 

However, you can continue visiting the same park you visited as many times as you want during that day.

Can You Transfer Walt Disney World Tickets to Someone Else?

It depends. If you’ve used the ticket partially, it is NOT transferable. The person who initially used it must continue using it. If the ticket is completely unused, you can transfer it to someone else.

Can My Relatives Who Live in Florida Buy Me Tickets as a Present?

Yes. While Disney’s policies state that every adult ticket requires proof of Florida residency, for those under the age of 18 and not under the ‘adult’ tag, it is a great idea! 

Just keep in mind that YOU (as the Florida resident), would need to show proof of Florida Residency upon the first activation of the tickets.

Do I Need a Photo ID to Enter the Theme Parks?

The only time you would need a Photo ID to enter the theme parks is if you are picking up tickets at Guest Relations or the Will Call booth upon arrival. If you already have your tickets loaded onto your device or your magic band or a hard ticket, it is unnecessary.

Is a Fingerprint Scan Required?

tapping magicband and finger to tapstile

While Disney does ask you to take a fingerprint scan (Biometric Reading) to enter the parks, they do give alternative options to those that don’t feel comfortable. 

If you’re uncomfortable with the fingerprint scan, keep in mind the main purpose of it is to prevent ticket fraud. Disney does NOT store fingerprints. 

If you don’t want your finger scanned, bring your photo ID to match your ticket, and you’ll be good to go!

Can I Get Free Parking with My Park Ticket?

Unless you have an annual pass, you will have to pay for parking, despite whether you have park tickets or not. 

Parking at Disney World theme parks ranges from $25 (Standard) to $50 (Preferred) per day. However, if you are park hopping, you only have to pay to park once. However, no parking fees at the parks is one of the benefits of staying at a Disney World Resort hotel among others.

How Much Does It Cost to Go to Disney World in 2023?

Nova starship and Spaceship Earth outside Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

Simply put, purchasing tickets can be expensive, let alone the rest of your Disney World Vacation. With this article, I hope you can find ways to save considerable amounts of money when it comes to the ticketing process. And while that is only one small equation when it comes to an entire Disney trip, it does help.

For a family of (4) to visit for a week while purchasing 7-day park hopper passes, you’ll be looking at well over $2,500 just for park passes. And that’s factoring in a slow time of year, which means cheaper tickets. 

We have a full guide about Disney World costs here where we give you a really good breakdown of exactly what you can expect to spend factoring in all of the other costs of a Disney trip. 

Using my example in this article, you’ll see for a family of 4, the average Walt Disney World vacation in 2023 costs between $5,369.88 and $8,471.88 depending on which vacation category your family chooses (Value, Moderate or Expensive). 

This example is specifically focused on the summer season and a 5-night, 6-day stay. I invite you to read that article to get a more specific idea of exactly how much YOU can expect to spend.

Use an Authorized Disney Travel Planner

Disney World Tickets Magic Kingdom train station

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard readers of mine and other Disney blogs say how much they appreciated using an Authorized Disney Travel Planner. 

Whether you are a first-time Disney vacation guest or if you’ve been hundreds of times like myself, they always come in handy. There is zero downside and they’ll likely save you considerable amounts of time, hassle, and money! 

The one that I recommend more than any is Show You The World Travel and it is who I use when booking my personal trips. The ticketing process and the entire Disney process are so much more enjoyable! Simply ask for a free quote here and you won’t regret it. Do it and thank me later.

If you are thinking about going to Walt Disney World in the coming future, here are some other popular articles where you will find all the info and tips you need to plan your trip.

Your Thoughts

I want to know what you think about purchasing theme park tickets at Walt Disney World…

  • Which ticket do you normally get? Which provides the most value?
  • What changes would you like to see made to the Disney ticketing system?

Let us know in the comments section below!

If you enjoyed this article, as always I appreciate it if you’d share it with others via social media.  I work hard at making this website into a useful resource for you and your family to plan your visit to the Disney Parks and I hope it can help you! Thanks 🙂

Meet the Author of Ziggy Knows Disney!