Disney World Ticket Type Primer

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First time visitors to Walt Disney World are often overwhelmed by the number and variety of ticket options. Here’s a run-down of what’s available so that you can make the best choice for your family’s needs.

One Day Admission: Magic Kingdom Park

What is this?: A one-day pass into the Magic Kingdom park. You can enter and leave the MK as often as you like during that day.

Why would I need this?: You want to visit just the Magic Kingdom and you’re only in the area for one day.

One Day Admission: Epcot, Animal Kingdom or Disney’s Hollywood Studios

What is this?: A one-day pass into either Epcot, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, or Disney’s Hollywood Studios. You can enter and leave your one chosen park as often as you like during that day. This ticket is priced slightly lower than the Magic Kingdom one day admission.

Why would I need this?: You want to visit just one of Epcot, Animal Kingdom or Disney’s Hollywood Studios and you’re only in the area for one day.

Things to know: The pricing for a one day Epcot, Animal Kingdom, or DHS ticket is slightly lower than the pricing for a one day MK ticket.

Multi-Day “Magic Your Way” Base Ticket

What is this?: Multi-day admission to any of Disney’s four theme parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios). You can visit only one of these four parks each day, but can enter and leave that park as often as you like.

  • Multi-day tickets are available for durations ranging from 2-10 days.
  • You may use the ticket to visit any combination of parks. For example, you could go to just the Magic Kingdom for ten days in a row. You could visit Epcot and Hollywood Studios several times, but not the Magic Kingdom, whatever works for you.
  • You have 14-days from the first use of this ticket to consume all the park admissions. These do not have to be consecutive days.

Why would I need this?: You’re interesting in visiting the Disney parks for more than one day in a 14-day period. You don’t need or want to visit multiple parks per day. You’re a good planner or want to economize on vacation spending.

Things to know: You can add days to a multi-day ticket and be charged just the incremental cost of the upgrade. Do this at any WDW ticket window or guest relations office.

Park Hopper Add-On

What is this?: An extra feature you can purchase as an add-on to any single-day or multi-day Disney theme park ticket. The Park Hopper feature allows to you enter more than one of Disney’s theme parks per day. You can read more about Park Hopper features on our Park Hopper FAQ.

Why would I need this?: You want to have visit more than one of Disney’s theme parks in a single day or you’d like to have the flexibility to do so. Possible reasons for this might include the desire to visit all four parks during a three-day or shorter trip or the desire to revisit just a few favorite attractions at one park many times over the course of a longer trip.

Things to know: You can add the Park Hopper option at any point during your trip. However, this is a flat rate product regardless of whether you’re hopping for 2 days or 10. To get the maximum benefit, purchase early in your trip. Annual passes include park hopping as a standard feature. Depending on your circumstances, guests visiting Walt Disney World for more than 7 or 8 days may want to consider whether an annual pass is a better option than just adding the Park Hopper. Pricing varies depending on whether you also purchase the Water Park Fun & More add-on (below).

Water Park Single Day Admission

What is this?: A one-day admission to either Typhoon Lagoon or Blizzard Beach (but not both). You can leave and reenter the water park as often as you like during a single day.

Why would I need this?: You want to visit a water park during just one day. You are not going to also visit DisneyQuest during this vacation.

DisneyQuest Single Day Admission

What is this?: A one-day admission to the DisneyQuest indoor arcade at Downtown Disney. You can leave and reenter DisneyQuest as often as you like during a single day.

Why would I need this?: You want to visit DisneyQuest during just one day. You are not going to also visit a water park during this vacation.

Water Park Fun & More Add-On

What is this?: An extra feature you can purchase as an add-on to any single-day or multi-day Disney theme park ticket. The Water Park Fun & More option allows you to visit Typhoon Lagoon, Blizzard Beach, DisneyQuest, the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, the Winter Summerland or Fantasia Gardens mini-golf courses (during select hours) or the 9-hole Oak Trail golf course. Admissions are allotted based on the number of days in the base ticket to which the Water Park Fun & More option is added. Learn more from our WPF&M FAQ.

Why would I need this?: You want to visit a water park or DisneyQuest more than once during your visit. You want to extend your vacation without spending more time or money to visit the four main theme parks.

Things to know: You can add the WPF&M option at any point during your trip. If you have concerns about the weather impacting your water park visits, it may make sense to hold off on adding this option until you’re at WDW and see the most updated forecasts. Pricing varies depending on whether you also purchase the Water Park Fun & More add-on (above).

No Expiration Add-On

What is this?: An extra feature you can purchase as an add-on to any multi-day Disney theme park ticket. The no-expire option allows unused park admissions to remain valid indefinitely.

Why would I need this?: You’ve purchased a multi-day theme park ticket and cannot use all the admissions during a single trip. You’re trying to acquire theme park admissions in advance of an anticipated theme park price hike.

Things to know: Unused tickets are good until first use. This means that all single-day theme park tickets are effectively no-expire. All Disney World theme park tickets sold prior to 2005 had the no-expire option automatically included; after 2005 this feature was available only for an extra fee. Beginning in 2013, the no-expire option became available for purchase at the WDW parks and resorts or through authorized WDW ticket wholesalers; you cannot purchase this via the DisneyWorld.com website. You can purchase the no-expire add-on at any point during your trip at a park ticket window or guest relations office. The price is dependent on your original ticket length, not the number of days remaining on the ticket. Do the math to math sure that buying this option actually makes sense.

Event Ticket (Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, Night of Joy, Post RunDisney race party, etc.)

What is this?: A single admission to one of Disney’s evening special event parties.

Why would I need this?: You want to experience the special event.

Things to know: A regular single or multi-day Magic Your Way ticket will not get you into one of these “hard ticket” special events; they are completely independent of theme park purchases. If you have an event ticket, you do not also need to use a regular theme park admission to attend the event.

Annual Pass

What is this?: Admission to any of Disney’s four theme parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios) for 365 days. Park hopping is allowed. In addition to theme park admission, annual pass holders are entitled to an array of other benefits including free parking at the theme parks, FastPass+ reservation ability, and select room/restaurant/merchandise discounts.

Why would I need this?: You’ll be visiting the Disney theme parks many times over the course of a year. Utilizing the annual pass discounts will bring down the overall cost of your trip.

Premium Annual Pass

What is this?: Basically, it’s an annual pass with the Water Park Fun & More add-on.

Why would I need this?: You want to spend lots of time visiting the water parks and DisneyQuest as well as the theme parks during the course of a year.

Premier Passport

What is this?: It’s a Disney World Premium Annual Pass plus a Disneyland Annual Pass.

Why would I need this?: You’re spending time at the Disney theme parks on both coasts.

Things to know: The Premier Passport allows access to the Disneyland Annual Passholder discounts. These include many discounts unavailable at Disney World. Financially, a Premier Passport purchase may make sense for a Disney World passholder who is only spending a few days at Disneyland.

Disney Quest Annual Pass

What is this?: Admission to DisneyQuest for 365 days.

Why would I need this?: You’re a big fan of DisneyQuest, but don’t want to do anything else at Disney World.

Things to know: If you’re going to visit DisneyQuest more than twice in a year, but not the theme parks, then a DQ annual pass may make sense.

Water Park Annual Pass

What is this?: Admission to Typhoon Lagoon or Blizzard Beach for 365 days.

Why would I need this?: You’re a big fan of the WaterParks, but don’t want to do anything else at Disney World.

Things to know: If you’re going to visit a water park more than twice in a year, but not the theme parks, then a water park annual pass may make sense. The water park annual pass allows park hopping between Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon.

UK Resident Tickets

What is this?: UK residents have access to special ticket offers such as 14 and 21 day tickets that are unavailable to residents of other countries.

Why would I need this?: You’re a Brit interested in staying at Walt Disney World for an extended period of time.

Things to know: UK offers are only available for purchase by guests with UK identification.

Florida Resident Tickets

What is this?: Florida residents have access to special ticket offers such as pricing discounts or seasonal annual passes that are unavailable to residents of other states/countries.

Why would I need this?: You’re a local who enjoys visiting the parks and doesn’t want to spend a lot of money doing so.

Things to know?: Many versions of Florida resident tickets include blackout dates and times. Florida offers are only available for purchase by guests with Florida identification.

Military Tickets

What is this?: Active and retired US military personnel have access to special ticket offers such as reduced pricing that are unavailable to non-military guests.

Why would I need this?: You’re a military family and you’d like to take advantage of a discount offer.

Things to know?: Tickets may need to be purchased through a military base or other designed special location. Military ID is required and restrictions may apply.

Convention Tickets

What is this?: Guests visiting Walt Disney World as part of an on-site convention may be eligible for a reduced cost partial-day ticket for theme park entry.

Why would I need this?: You’re a conventioneer without much free time, but you do want to enjoy the parks for an evening or two.

Things to know?: Convention ID will be required for purchase. Convention tickets may only be purchased at the convention site or through the convention administrator.

Are you a first time Disney World visitor? Do you find ticket selection confusing? Do you think you made a ticket purchase mistake during a Disney visit? Let us know in the comments below.

Erin Foster

Erin Foster is an original member of the Walt Disney World Moms Panel at DisneyWorldMoms.com, a regular contributor to TouringPlans.com, and co-author of The Unofficial Guide to Disney Cruise Line. She's been to WDW, DL, DL Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland, Aulani, DVC Vero Beach, and DVC Hilton Head. She's a Platinum DCL cruiser and veteran of 10 Adventures by Disney trips. Erin lives near New York City, where she can often be found indulging in her other obsession - Broadway theater. Erin can be reached on Twitter @MsErinFoster.

6 thoughts on “Disney World Ticket Type Primer

  • March 27, 2014 at 11:02 am
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    I didn’t realize you can add days on to a multi-day base ticket after they have already been purchased. That’s awesome! So just to make sure i understand, if on my last FULL day of vacation (and the last day of my multi-day base ticket) I decide I want to go back to the park the NEXT day for a few hours in the morning (on my travel day back home) I can just walk up to a WDW ticket booth and I won’t have to pay for a $100 ticket? Can I do this at my disney hotel as well?

    Reply
    • March 27, 2014 at 11:10 am
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      That’s correct. As long as you’re within 14 days of the first use of the ticket, you can add days with just the incremental fee. You don’t have to start back at the $100 one-day ticket price. You can decide on day 9 that you want a 10 day ticket and they’ll just charge you the few dollars difference.

      You should be able to do this at your resort concierge desk, but in my personal experience the cast members there have varying abilities to actually make this happen. They’ll do it easy peasy at any park ticket window or Guest Relations office.

      Reply
      • March 27, 2014 at 11:18 am
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        One bit of clarification – To take advantage of this feature, you’ll need to upgrade the ticket before all the park admissions are used. For example, on day 9 you could upgrade to a 10 day ticket at the MK Guest Relations outside the park and pay just a few dollars. But if you were to enter the park on day 9 (using the last park admission) and try to do this at the Guest Relations office inside the park, then they could charge you the $100 one-day ticket rate because you’re basically starting over with a new ticket. You’d probably find a sympathetic cast member to waive this rule for you, but that’s the true letter of the law.

        Reply
  • March 27, 2014 at 11:31 am
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    A fantastic breakdown of the multitude of ticket types! The choices can make even a Disney Geek’s brain spin! So many nuances when it comes to upgrading, park hopping etc. Well done and thanks for sharing all this valuable information.

    Reply
  • March 28, 2014 at 12:32 pm
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    Just thought I would mention that the tickets referred to as “UK Resident Tickets” are known as Ultimate Tickets on this side of the Atlantic and are also available to residents of Republic of Ireland which isn’t part of the UK.

    Reply
  • April 1, 2014 at 6:16 pm
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    As noted above, the Premier annual pass is usually a great value if you’re already a WDW passholder who plans to spend a few days at Disneyland. The same holds true for us west coasters. If you’re already a Disneyland annual passholder (especially a Deluxe or Premium), upgrading to the Premier pass could be cheaper than buying WDW tickets.

    Reply

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