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Disney in a Minute: What is an Adult?

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We’re here with a series of quick posts, “Disney in a Minute,” bite-sized nuggets of information that can better help you understand a Disney term or planning topic. Enjoy!

What is an Adult?

The girl on the left may still have missing teeth, but Disney considers her an adult.

For many purposes, if you’re at Walt Disney World, Disneyland, or on a Disney Cruise Line ship, you become an adult at age ten. Yep, Disney considers people ages ten and older to be adults for pricing on tickets, the Disney Dining Plan (currently on hiatus), fixed-priced restaurants, tours, and several other situations. If you’re choosing a date to visit, be aware that you may be able to save significant money if you visit when your child is age nine rather than waiting until she turns ten.

While Disney will begin charging adult prices for tickets and food when your child turns ten, there are some exceptions to this rule. Guests must be at least 14 years old to go into the theme parks on their own. And for legal purposes, sometimes a Disney adult is a real adult. You must be at least 18 to be the lead guest on a hotel reservation. And, of course, you must be at least 21 to purchase or consume alcohol.

Let us know what Disney topics you think merit a minute of explanation!

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Erin Foster

Erin Foster is an original member of the Walt Disney World Moms Panel (now PlanDisney), 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.

2 thoughts on “Disney in a Minute: What is an Adult?

  • @Mike: in the past, folks from Disney management have explained that the “adult at 10 years” thing was based on attraction height requirements. The thinking was that “child” tickets would be for those who couldn’t experience everything, while “adult” tickets were for those who could. Because the vast majority of 10-year-olds are tall enough to go on every Disney ride, that’s the age at which you are expected to pay full price.

    While nearly all 10-year-olds are tall enough to go on every ride, I’m glad they can’t do so without the company of someone a bit older :-).

  • I’d like to see some consistency on the age discrepancies. If they have to be 14 to enter on their own, then their ticket price should increase at 14, especially since some attractions require an additional rider of a certain age.


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