The headline says it all – will we hear about a price increase on Disney World tickets sometime in the next few weeks? Let’s talk why we think this might happen, and what it means for you if you’re planning a visit in 2024.
January 2, 2024 update: here in the new year, the answer to whether ticket prices will increase in December is obviously no. But all the information below about how to protect yourself against price increases is still true; and since they didn’t happen in December, we expect to see them in February. Looking for a discount? Disney has already announced the release of discounts on January 3, including both a room discount for the general public and Free Dining for Disney+ subscribers.
Why It Might Be Coming
We’re not claiming any great insight based on “ins” in Disney World here. This is strictly on observation.
- Disney tends to raise the price of regular date-based tickets at least once a year.
- Disney last raised the prices of these tickets on December 8, 2022, after announcing it on November 15. There’s not much time left if they’re going to do it this year.
- The price of Annual Passes was raised on October 11, 2023 after also being raised on December 8 last year.
- A current Disney World discount has a sweetener if you book by December 15.
- I finally finished analyzing all the 2024 ticket price data and published an article on it this morning. A price increase right afterward would give me a headache.
That last bullet probably doesn’t figure into Disney’s calculations in any way, shape, or form.
In the past, a price increase for regular tickets (not Annual Passes) tended to be a February event. It could be that last year’s announcement was a one-time break with tradition because it was bundled with some other changes like the switch to park-based single-day tickets. But that February increase has only been the norm for about 10 years. It could be that Disney has decided to shake things up again.
OK, What Should You Do?
Let’s start with the obvious, if you’re not planning a trip in 2024, you don’t need to do anything. But what if you are? Here’s how to prepare so that you won’t be caught flat-footed.
What dates are you planning to travel?
It’s usually possible to get tickets at the old prices through resellers for a short while after an increase. Our Ticket Price Calculator can help you find an authorized reseller who can give you the best price. But you won’t want to dawdle; these resellers are simply offering stock they already have on hand. When it runs out, it’s gone, so if you haven’t chosen a date that you can act on quickly you could be out of luck.
I don’t know about you, but I am usually not prepared to book a Disney World vacation at the drop of a dime. Get your dates picked now.
What does your payment timeline look like?
Last year’s increase was unusual because Disney announced it almost three weeks in advance. That was because they made changes to how the tickets worked, and we don’t expect that to happen again. If you need to put tickets on a credit card in order to get them at the old price, interest fees could eat any savings you’d get on the ticket prices.
Although you can save money buying tickets separately through a reseller, your best option might be to book a vacation package through Disney that includes a room and tickets. A vacation package only needs a $200 deposit, which could be closer to something you’re able to swing with cash on hand. (An exception to that $200 is if it only includes 1-day tickets.)
If a vacation package is your best option, don’t sit on it.
We’ve already said that last year’s advance notice of the increase was the exception, not the rule. If you’re booking a vacation package, then usually by the time you hear about the increase it’s too late to get the old prices. The good news is that vacation packages are easy to cancel up to 30 days in advance. And if tickets haven’t increased, packages are easy to adjust too. (If tickets have increased, you may see the new price if you change some components of your package.)
As long as you have a handle on when you want to go, there’s very little downside to booking now and hedging your bets against a price increase. And if you’re holding back on booking because you’re waffling about whether or not to add a Dining Plan, it might help to know that you can add or remove one up to 48 hours before arrival. That’s one decision that you don’t need to make now.
Don’t fret about other increases
Rack rates for 2024 have already been published . Usually, the only changes to these are discounts, not increases. (And we expect to see more discounts since it looks like demand has been softening.) Resort-wide increases to menu prices tend to be a yearly thing and they’ve already happened in October this year. If you spec out the cost of a vacation today, the only big Disney increase that’s likely to whammy you is the tickets. And that’s exactly why we wanted you to know that maybe you should think about locking those in soon!
What To Take Away
Although Disney has increased ticket prices in February for most of the last decade, last year they sprung the increase in December. If you were thinking about a 2024 trip to Disney World, being prepared to act could save you some moola on tickets.
That could mean readying funds to buy pre-increase tickets from an authorized reseller if pricing changes are announced. Or it could mean booking a Disney World vacation package now to lock in pre-increase prices.
Are we going to see a price increase in December? Or you on team “not until February”? Let us know in the comments!