Walt Disney World Introduces Date-Based Ticket Pricing

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Disney announced today that they will be shifting towards date-based pricing for all tickets at Disney World in Orlando, Florida. This will begin October 16, 2018. Naturally, this means a price change on multi-day tickets although while some will increase, some dates will see a decrease in price. We don’t yet know what the prices will be, although that information should be coming very shortly since we are only about 3 weeks away from the launch date.

All of this will be available through a redesigned ticket system at DisneyWorld.com. This post on the Disney Parks blog explains everything that they have released so far. Disney has told us that there will be approximately 10,000 different ticket options; while that sounds overwhelming, keep in mind that there are 10 different length options (one-day through 10-day). Doing the math on that (10,000/10 = 1,000 / 365 days) means that there will be only a few, likely 3 or 4, different price options.

No More 14-day Expiration of Tickets

Obviously with this new system, guests will be required to specify the first day that they plan on using the tickets. In a change of policy, the tickets will no longer expire 14 days after their first use. The tickets will now have a much tighter expiration based on the length of the ticket. For 2 and 3-day tickets it would be the length of the ticket plus 2. So, for example, if you have a 3-day ticket, you will have only 5 days from your selected first day in which to use the tickets. For 4, 5, 6, and 7-day tickets the expiration is the number of days plus 3 and for 8, 9, and 10-day tickets it’s plus 4.

The date of first use can be modified after purchase, although there will be a price difference if the season changes. Any tickets purchased before October 16 will not follow these new rules but rather the rules in place for those tickets at time of purchase.

We will update you as soon as we know the price categories and are already working on updating our Ticket Calculator so it’s ready as soon as possible.



Brian McNichols

In addition to blogging, I also do some analyzin' here at Touring Plans. I am a travel nut, planning nut, Disney nut, wall nut. Husband of 1, father of 2. Hilariously funny in my own mind. Find me on Twitter @YesThatBrian if you like really dumb jokes.

33 thoughts on “Walt Disney World Introduces Date-Based Ticket Pricing

  • September 24, 2018 at 12:42 pm

    So if I understand this correctly: if I buy a 5-day ticket, I can choose a start date up to 3 days early if it enables me to lock in non-peak season pricing?

    • September 24, 2018 at 1:00 pm

      As far as we know that is technically true, although I wonder if there will be a provision that the real price will be dependent on the first day of use. We’ll know more soon.

    • September 24, 2018 at 1:18 pm

      I understood your start date has to be the actual day you visit your first park.

  • September 24, 2018 at 12:54 pm

    So do I roll the dice now on our upcoming vacation the 1st week of February and buy tickets now or wait till Oct 16th?

    • September 24, 2018 at 1:01 pm

      That’s the real question, isn’t it? There is a chance your ticket price will be lower after the change, but we just don’t know now. Hopefully we’ll get prices a few days in advance.

  • September 24, 2018 at 1:14 pm

    I’m in the same boat as Dan: buy tickets now for low-crowd early February vs. wait to see if prices might actually drop for low season. If we get a package, I think we’d be able to switch to the lower price later if it does drop. Other big question: what is this going to do to the crowd calendar? According to the Disney announcement, the whole point of doing this is to try to more evenly distribute attendance.

  • September 24, 2018 at 1:20 pm


  • September 24, 2018 at 1:27 pm

    I have a family trip planned for late Nov / early December. Predicted crowd levels are 1-2 for all days except two of them so I’m very tempted to wait for *likely* lower ticket cost since I haven’t bought my tickets yet. However… I’d be giving up early 60-day fastpass potential. Although… if crowds are 1-2, maybe fastpasses ~45 days early may still be available in enough supply?

    • September 24, 2018 at 3:13 pm

      Unfortunately, I believe the way it works is that it’s actually harder to get a FP on a low crowd day b/c there are fewer FPs to be gotten… Though if you’re going for a number of days and the parks with hard to get FPs are towards the end of your trip then…maybe?

    • September 24, 2018 at 4:07 pm

      Not for Slinky or FOP :/

    • September 25, 2018 at 7:40 am

      Giving up getting fast passes early isn’t worth it. Many of the main attractions and times go fast.

    • September 25, 2018 at 12:08 pm

      We were just there in September on low attendance days. I had to change our trip visit days because 60 days out I could not get FOP fast passes on the second day of our trip and could not get Slinky Dog fast passes on the 3rd day of our trip.

  • September 24, 2018 at 1:54 pm

    Does anyone really believe prices are going to go down? Wouldn’t it be more likely that low crowd days see prices hold and prices go up for the moderate and peak says?

    • September 24, 2018 at 2:37 pm

      Exactly my thought. Or a five percent discount on a small number of low CL dates and a 25 percent premium on a large number of high CL dates. The mouse house always wins.

    • September 24, 2018 at 3:41 pm

      I would agree with you – except the offiical Disney Parks Blog link says, “For example, prices may be lower during off-peak travel times.”

      Another person posting here is probably correct that overall prices will go up more during peak times than redutions during off-peak times. For the most part I think demand-based pricing makes sense for them (why charge someone the same regardless of whether they attend on July 4th as February 4th?). However, I keep wondering if they’ll ever hit a point where enough people say it’s too much now.

      From a business standpoint, I’ve always thought they should strive to keep tickets moderately priced so guests are more likely to be happier and spend more money in the parks on food and souvenirs (and more likely to return).

  • September 24, 2018 at 3:47 pm

    This has nothing to do with “distributing attendance” but rather Disney greed on display. People are going to go when they want to go so it is just ripping people off under the pseudonym of “congestion pricing.”

  • September 24, 2018 at 4:06 pm

    While I understand annual price increases, I do not like Disney’s continuous decreasing quality for those higher prices.

    This is why this new change is taking place:

    -It tells Disney how many guests will be in the park on a given day, thus allowing them to control staffing, thus to control their budget. A financial win for Disney.
    -It keeps guests on property. If you want to go off-property, you only have a limited number of days to do so before your tickets would expire. A financial win for Disney.
    -It hopes that more guests will attend on those “slower” days, thus driving attendance up, thus giving them an excuse to charge higher prices under the guise of higher attendance. A financial win for Disney.

    • September 25, 2018 at 7:17 pm

      It also makes the annual pass look more attractive. No locking in visit dates for that…yet.

  • September 24, 2018 at 4:55 pm

    Any word on the price for an annual pass changing ?

  • September 24, 2018 at 5:04 pm

    Disney is making a WDW vacation too complicated, inconvenient, and expensive. If the parks are chronically congested, how about opening that 5th gate we’ve been hoping for?

  • September 24, 2018 at 5:43 pm

    Wonder what affect this will have on Park Hopper pricing?

  • September 24, 2018 at 8:08 pm

    Does anyone have any idea how this will affect ticket calculator on this site, and the use of the ticket wholesalers?

    • September 24, 2018 at 9:02 pm

      Touring plans already stated they will work on updating the ticket price calculator. I’m sure they’ve already started, based on the information shared so far.

  • September 24, 2018 at 9:23 pm

    So how is this going to effect the businesses of authorized ticket sellers like Offical Ticket Center, Undercover Tourist, etc.?

  • September 24, 2018 at 9:25 pm

    And how is the length of use going to be effected on the parkhopper plus option?

  • September 24, 2018 at 10:19 pm


    I see this increasing gate ticket purchases. Maybe pushing people towards travel agents who (maybe) can sort this out.

    We were a 5-7 day trip family. Now we barely afford 2-3 days. On the plus side, we’ve increased our down days and spend more free time resort hopping or sight seeing around central FL.

    We already have our tickets for end of October so may not take another trip until after Star Wars land opens. WAY after!

  • September 25, 2018 at 8:07 am

    So if you go to WDW for say a week and you intend spending your first, third and seventh day in the WDW parks you will have to buy a separate ticket for your last day – which would cost more, I expect, then a three day ticket expiring in 14 days! What about the people who visit for 2 or 3 weeks as most people who visit from the U.K. do? We are fortunate as we can get 14 day and 21 day passes from the U.K. (although not sure how they will work under this new scheme) but there may be countries who can’t get these tickets – they will have to plan when they are going into the parks before they buy several different tickets and woe betide there be an issue where you need to change the day you were intending to visit while you were there. What if you have to change your holiday due to unforeseen circumstances? Do you just lose the use of your ticket? WDW is my favourite place in the world but, unless they keep the 14/21 day tickets for us, after we have been on the trips there that we have already booked we might just give up and go elsewhere on holiday – it’s just not worth all the stress and sorting out any more.

  • September 25, 2018 at 8:19 am

    Wringing the maximum dollar out of every visitor to pay for the park expansions. Increasing prices to “reduce congestion”. The breaking point is different for every WDW fan, but eventually you end up hitting the tipping point. Is WDW trying to be the Aspen of theme parks?

    I have an idea about reducing congestion: build another park. Even better, build a new park in the middle of the country.

  • September 25, 2018 at 1:14 pm

    The dilema of the day…how this is going to effect ticket sales from 3rd parties (Park Savers, Undercover Tourist, etc…), and do I buy tix now from a 3rd party for our late October 2019 trip? Or take the gamble that we might save with lower prices at that time of the year?

    I’m thinking I buy tix now, because my fear is that we will no longer be able to buy tix from 3rd parties with this new model. And therefore even if the Disney listed price is less for those days than current, that amount won’t be less than what I save by buying from a 3rd party now. Oh…and this plan was agreed upon by my hubby…which locks him into the trip, lol!

    • September 25, 2018 at 8:36 pm

      I purchased refundable tickets from undercover tourist yesterday for our Jan 2019 dates. They are refundable until they are linked to account and magic bands so I will hold off on linking until closer to our fast pass selection date in December. I figured if prices end up being lower after the October 16th rollout I can return and purchase thru Disney. I did have to chat with UCT to make sure they knew I needed 2019 tickets

  • September 29, 2018 at 5:11 pm

    So do we expect single day ticket prices to increase for 2019 with the Oct rollout? Or will WDW honor the advertised pricing for single day tix. We need a single day at AK during spring break. I’m concerned if it goes to date-based demand pricing that is a time they’d want to charge a higher price. Dunno whether to buy now.

  • September 30, 2018 at 10:33 pm

    I think this has the potential to “backfire” with the length of stay at WDW Resorts. Our family usually gets a 6-day (one park) ticket and stay on property for 11 days. We love to take off several days, enjoy days at the resort or Disney Springs, etc. If our future use is limited to 9 days instead of 14, we will just fly back home after day 9, not spending extra money on hotels, Disney Springs, etc. Plus, it will feel more rushed, the opposite of what I want on a vacation.

  • October 5, 2018 at 9:55 am

    Will the price of APs be increasing on Oct. 16?

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