During “normal” times, you all but need a PhD to understand all the permutations of Disney World tickets. One strange result of pandemic-era changes to park practices is that buying park tickets is, at least for trips taking place in 2020, (a little) simpler to understand. Here’s what you need to know today.
I’m planning to visit Walt Disney World in 2020. Can I buy tickets now?
Yes. While there was a pause on ticket sales earlier this year, Disney World tickets are now being sold.
What kind of tickets are available right now?
Currently, the only type of ticket available for purchase for visits during 2020 is a Standard Theme Park Ticket.
What does that mean?
Standard theme park tickets entitle you to enter one of Disney World’s four main theme parks (Animal Kingdom, EPCOT, Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios) per day. That’s it.
How much do Standard Theme Park Tickets cost?
The price varies depending on two factors, date of ticket first use and number of days worth of tickets you’re buying. The lowest price ticket for an adult costs $109 (plus tax) for a one-day admission during the lowest demand season.
The highest price one day ticket for an adult costs $159 (plus tax) for admission during peak holiday season.
So I have to pay that much for every day of my trip?
No, not exactly. If you buy a ticket for more days of entry, the price per day goes down. For example, a 7-day theme park ticket in low season costs about $472 per adult, or about $67 per day. The longer you stay, the more your price per day goes down.
How many days of tickets can I buy at a time?
For trips during 2020, the largest ticket Disney sells is a 7-day ticket. In the “before” times, you could buy longer tickets (up to 10 days or annual passes).
How do I know how much my tickets will cost?
You’ll need to go to the Disney World website, go to the “Parks & Tickets” menu and select “theme park tickets.” From there you’ll be prompted to select your ticket start date and the number of ticket days you desire. Then you’ll be quoted a price. You can also do this via the My Disney Experience app on your smart device.
Are there lower prices for children?
Yes, kids ages 3-9 pay a slightly lower rate, a few dollars less per day. Note that children become “adults” for ticketing purposes at age 10.
Little ones under the age of three do not need an admission ticket. They get in free.
Are there discounts for senior citizens?
No, sorry. There are no discounts for seniors.
Are there ANY discounts on Disney theme park tickets?
There are a handful of reputable WDW ticket wholesalers offering modest discounts on park admission. Among them are: Official Ticket Center, Undercover Tourist, Tripster, Boardwalk Ticketing, Maple Leaf Tickets, and Park Savers.
TouringPlans has a tool that lets you search all of these at once. Go to our Ticket Price Comparison tool for more information.
I thought Disney World tickets cost the same amount no matter when you traveled.
That was once the case, but it has not been true in a while.
If you haven’t been to WDW in the past decade, you can pretty much forget everything you once knew about Disney ticketing. The old “no expiration” tickets were fully discontinued in 2015, with some steps toward discontinuation several years before that. From 2013-2015, one-day tickets to the Magic Kingdom cost more than one-day tickets to the other theme parks. In 2016, Disney moved to the tiered pricing model for one-day tickets, with different prices on different days. In 2018, started tiered pricing for multi-day tickets. It’s been a journey.
If I buy a three-day park ticket, do I have to use the ticket on consecutive days?
No. All tickets now start on the date of first purchase. They’re good for the number of days you’ve paid for, plus a small buffer. For example, you have up to five days to use your three park admissions. The buffer days allow you take breaks from the parks during your trip to, for example, spend the day hanging out at the pool or visiting other area attractions.
What happens if I end up skipping my trip and don’t start using my ticket?
Per the Disney website, “After expiration date, the price paid for a wholly unused ticket can be applied to the purchase of a new ticket with an equal or higher price.”
If I decide never to visit WDW, can I get a full refund on a ticket I’ve purchased?
No. You can make changes to a ticket, but they are non-refundable.
What kind of changes could I make to a WDW ticket? How do I make them?
You can change the start date of your ticket or the number of days of your ticket.
Make changes to your tickets prior to midnight (Eastern time) of the day before your ticket’s first valid use date. After your first valid ticket date, you can use the My Disney Experience app to add additional days to an eligible ticket or to add ticket options (most of which are not available for visits in 2020). There’s no change fee to modify, but an additional cost applies for dates with higher ticket prices.
Can I get a refund if I change to a visit date at a cheaper time of year?
Unfortunately not. No refund or credit is given for changes from dates with higher prices to dates with lower prices.
Is a theme park ticket all I need to enter the parks?
In pre-pandemic times, all you needed to enter the Disney theme parks was a valid admission ticket. That’s not true today. Currently, you need a theme park reservation in addition to your park ticket.
What’s a theme park reservation?
Pretty much what it sounds like. Much like making a reservation for a popular restaurant, you need to put yourself on the “list” of people with permission to enter the park.
Is there an additional charge to make a theme park reservation?
No. Having a park ticket gives you the right to make a park reservation (pending availability). There’s no additional fee associated with this step.
Are park reservations hard to get?
Not in general, not right now, but there are some days when some Disney theme parks are fully booked.
How can I tell if the park I want to visit is available?
Use the My Disney Experience app or Disney World website and and look for the Availability Calendar. This will show you which parks are open for reservations on which dates. For example, in the photo below all parks are available on September 14, but on September 13 Disney’s Hollywood Studios is not available for reservations. If you didn’t already have a reservation, you could not visit Hollywood Studios on that date. Also note that the availability is slightly different for guests staying onsite at Disney resort hotels and for guests staying elsewhere. There is somewhat more availability for resort guests.
How do I make a reservation for a theme park?
Use the My Disney Experience app or the Disney World website at https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/experience-updates/park-reservations/
If you want to make reservations for more than yourself, you’ll need to have your friends/family linked to your Disney World account.
Is it possible that I could buy a theme park ticket, but that there would be no reservations available for the park I want to visit, or for any parks at all?
Theoretically yes, this could happen. (Though again, there is currently broad availability for the remainder of 2020.) Before buying a ticket, you should absolutely check the Availability Calendar to assess whether the parks you want are available. Then, as soon as you have your ticket and linked it to your Disney account, you should make reservations for your preferred parks/dates. You can later tinker with your reservations (pending availability), but you want lock in your reservations as soon as possible.
Can I add park hopping to my DisneyWorld ticket?
Disney veterans know that “park hopping” is visiting more than one of Disney’s four main theme parks in one day. Pre-pandemic, guest wishing to park hop would need to buy the popular Park Hopper add-on for their standard theme park ticket. Park hopping is unavailable in 2020. There is no park hopper upgrade available for tickets purchased for 2020 visits. (You can buy Park Hoppers for 2021 visits, though it’s currently unclear how reservations for park hopping will be necessary and if so, how they might work.)
Can I buy the water park ticket supplement?
The WDW water parks (Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon) are currently closed. You cannot buy single or multi-day water park tickets for 2020, nor can you buy a water park supplement, which would allow you to visit the water parks in addition to the theme parks, for a standard ticket for visits in 2020.
Can I buy a ticket to an after hours party?
Not currently. Disney announced that there would be no Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party or Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party events in 2020, so obviously there are no tickets available this year.
Are there any supplements I can add to my standard theme park ticket?
There is still the Memory Maker option available. Memory Maker is a photo service that allows you to download pictures taken in the parks on some rides and by PhotoPass photographers stationed in the parks.
Is adding the Memory Maker option worth it?
“Worth it” is in the eye of the beholder. However, in general, the more people in your party and the longer your visit, the more likely you are to enjoy having the Memory Maker. However, there is one giant caveat in 2020 – you MUST be wearing a mask for all photos. If that will diminish your enjoyment of the pictures, then maybe you want to skip the Memory Maker this time.
Do I need a ticket to visit Disney Springs?
Nope. There is no form of admission required to visit the Disney Springs shopping/dining/entertainment area.
You might need a ticket or reservation for a particular activity or venue at Disney Springs (such as buying a ticket to a movie or making a reservation for a restaurant), but you don’t need to buy any ticket to walk around, shop, or eat at quick service venues.
Have you purchased a Walt Disney World theme park ticket for a visit in 2020? Do you want to? What other questions do you have?