In today’s episode of Disney Deciphered, we take a look at the different Walt Disney World ticket types. It can get pretty confusing with all the options out there, so we attempted to simplify things and help you out as you plan your Disney vacation. Listen to the podcast above or read on for the basics of Walt Disney World Ticket types!
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Expiration policies on Walt Disney World tickets
If you have tickets from before around 2014, you may have “no expiration” tickets. What that means is if you have unused days left on those tickets, you can still use them to get into the parks (like Leslie!). But if you’ve bought any tickets recently, they generally expire in December of the year after you purchase them. What that means is if you haven’t used the tickets at all before then, you will need to apply the value of the tickets you bought toward new tickets (but you won’t lose any value).
After the first time you use your Disney World ticket, your ticket expires within 14 days regardless of whether you have used all your days or not. So, if you have a 5 day ticket, you have 14 days after your first use to enter the park five times.
One day tickets and tiered dates
If you are purchasing a one day ticket, understand that is the worst value ticket offered by Disney. Disney divides the annual calendar into three different sections: value, regular, and peak. Value one day tickets are the cheapest while peak are the most expensive. Find peak/regular/value dates on the Disney site here. Note one day tickets to the Magic Kingdom cost a little bit more than one day tickets to the other parks.
Disney also just announced one day tickets with prebooked Fastpasses. The tickets are designed for people who are buying tickets for the next day. See this article to determine whether they are worth it for you. While we don’t think the Fastpass bookings offered are particularly compelling, the tickets don’t cost any more than regular one day tickets.
Base Magic Your Way tickets (multi day tickets)
The base Magic Your Way ticket entitles you to enter one park per day for as many days as you purchase, pending the 14 day expiration as noted above. So, a 5 day Magic Your Way base ticket would entitle you to visit the parks 5 times in 14 days. Days 5-10 are much cheaper than the first four days.
Park Hopper and Park Hopper Plus Options
If you add the park hopper option, you can visit more than one park per day. The park hopper option costs about $60 to add to a 1-day ticket, about $70 to add to 2 or 3 day tickets; and about $80 to add on to any 4 day or longer base ticket. The park hopper option can be great to visit a second park after your kids take a nap.
The Park Hopper Plus option grants one visit per day of your ticket to the following:
- Blizzard Beach
- Typhoon Lagoon
- ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex
- Fantasia Gardens mini-golf (one round)
- Winter Summerland mini-golf (one round)
- Oak Trail family golf course (one round, bring your own clubs, must make reservations)
What that means is, for a six day Park Hopper Plus ticket you will have six admissions to any combination of the above. You can do more than one of these in a day, and many people use the Park Hopper Plus option to effectively extend their vacation. The Park Hopper Plus option only costs $26.83 on top of the park hopper price of your ticket.
Is an annual pass worth it?
The annual pass option can be worth it for a lot of families. You get dining and hotel discounts, free parking at the theme parks, free memory maker (photos), and more. Our rule of thumb is if you have two trips of 4-5 days each within a calendar year, you might want to consider an annual pass. You can read this post to determine whether an annual pass is right for you.
Saving Money on Tickets
Avoid buying partially used tickets like the old school no expiration ones, it’s usually just too risky. You can get small discounts by booking through sites like Undercover Tourist, we like to use Touring Plans to determine the cheapest options. You can also pay for Disney World tickets with Chase points. (ed. note: Chase discontinued its sale of Disney tickets through its portal after this post was originally published.
Leslie and Joe discuss the basics of Walt Disney World ticket options, which can be pretty confusing! What is the Park Hopper Plus option and is it worth it? How can you save money on tickets? When do tickets expire? All this and more on this week’s episode of Disney Deciphered!
If you like what you hear, please share the podcast with others you think might enjoy it. Also, we’d appreciate if you subscribed on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, or Google Play, liked our Facebook page, or followed us on Twitter!
0:00 – Why Disney World ticket types can be overwhelming
1:48 – Rules on old tickets that haven’t expired (before 2014)
2:42 – One day tickets and the tiered pricing model
4:20 – Base Magic Your Way tickets
5:27 – Park Hopper option
7:12 – Park Hopper Plus option
9:00 – What else is included in Park Hopper Plus besides waterparks
12:10 – When do Disney ticket prices increase every year?
14:09 – How expiration dates work
15:21 – How to save money on Disney tickets
17:08 – Tickets we like to buy and whyConnect with Disney Deciphered!