Disney has moved to a date based ticket pricing system for all of its ticket offerings. You now need to specify what dates you plan to use your tickets – but what exactly does that mean? Find out everything you need to know about Disney’s date based ticketing and more in this episode.
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Disney’s date based ticketing details
While Walt Disney World has been charging seasonal prices on one-day tickets for awhile now, their latest ticketing update now functionally makes all of their tickets seasonal. From here on out, when you buy Disney tickets, you will be asked to choose the first date you plan to use the tickets. Your cost will vary depending on these dates.
For off peak dates like September or February (not President’s week), you may save a few dollars per day over old prices. For peak dates (like holidays and spring break), expect to pay more. Here are five important things to know about the changes Disney has made.
1. You can change ticket dates but will not receive a refund for cheaper tickets
Probably the most important thing to know is that when you choose the “first date” for your tickets, you’re not locked into that date. You can pretty much change that date at any time. If you change to a more expensive time of year, you’ll apply the value of the tickets you already bought and pay the difference.
However, if you change to a cheaper time, you will not receive a refund. This new system does require you plan somewhat in advance, so bear that in mind as you plan your Disney vacations.
2. Fastpass+ reservations still work the same way
Despite your tickets being locked to a certain date, your Fastpass+ reservations still work the same. Meaning, you can always book Fastpass+ reservations 30 days out from today as long as you have an active ticket in your account. You can also continue to book Fastpass+ reservations 60 days out from your Disney hotel reservation.
That means you don’t need to feel “locked in” to your ticket dates, at least as Fastpass+ reservations are concerned.
3. Tickets have shorter expiration dates
One big change is that tickets have shorter expiration dates. Under the old system, you could use a multi-day ticket at anytime over the course of two weeks. Under the new system, expiration dates are much shorter.
For example, a four day ticket must be completely used within a week. The only tickets that give you a full 14 days to use them are the ten day tickets. This means you’ll probably not have time to squeeze in Universal into the middle of the trip, so if you plan on hitting both Universal and Disney you might want to plan accordingly.
4. Annual pass and parking prices have increased
Prices have increased for the most part on multi day tickets (though they’ve decreased for off peak seasons). Hidden amongst all the changes are annual pass and parking price increases. The cost of an annual pass has gone up about $50 and parking has increased from $22 to $25/day at the parks. Something to bear in mind so you don’t get caught unaware.
5. Prices are locked for now but might change more often
Disney’s new ticket pricing isn’t technically dynamic. If I buy a bunch of tickets on off peak dates they aren’t going to get more expensive for other users. Still, under the new system, Disney is likely to change overall ticket prices more often (read: ticket price increases).
Instead of the once (or twice) annual price increases, we expect prices will be adjusted every couple months or so. If demand is low, Disney will probably drop their prices a tad, but our guess is that we will just see the prices continue to steadily grow as they try to pay for Star Wars Land and the 50th anniversary celebrations.
So if you know you’re going to go, it’s probably better to buy tickets sooner rather than later. You can always apply the value to future tickets if your plans change.
Disney has changed its multi day ticket pricing structure! Find out what this means for you and your tickets and how to buy tickets under the new date based ticket pricing system. We analyze the changes, look for value, and discuss the new refund policy. Plus, we chat about where you can find old ticket types for a limited time.
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, TuneIn, PlayerFM, or Google Play (please leave a positive review if you’re enjoying the show), liked our Facebook page, or followed us on Twitter!
You can also e-mail us at disneydeciphered AT gmail DOT com. Connect with Leslie @TripswithTykes on social media and Joe @asthejoeflies.
2:09 – Basics of the new date based ticketing system and how to book in the new system
4:53 – Expiration dates
9:17 – Refund policy
12:50 – Suggestions for how to deal with the refund policy
13:28 – How prices changed
17:17 – Other price increases
17:39 – How to save money on your tickets
20:55 – Disney dos and don’ts
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