Find Disney World Ticket Discounts and Compare Pricesby Len Testa May 30, 2016
Every day we check the Disney World ticket prices at Disney and the most popular authorized Disney ticket discount wholesalers: Undercover Tourist, The Official Ticket Center, Kissimmee Guest Services, Maple Leaf Tickets, Orlando Fun Tickets, and ParkSavers.com.
We use those prices here, the Disney Ticket Discounts and Deals search engine for Disney World tickets. This search engine will find you the cheapest Disney admission for whatever you want to do.
The search engine can find hidden discounts and special prices. It knows all kinds of tips and tricks to save money on Disney tickets, too. For example, it knows that if you only want to visit a Disney water park once, a 1-day water park ticket is usually cheaper than adding the Water Parks Fun & More option to your Magic Your Way ticket.
All of the prices shown here include sales tax and shipping. Note that some vendors don't show these fees until the last step in the checkout process.
How Walt Disney World Tickets Work
Walt Disney World offers an array of theme park ticket options, grouped into a program called Magic Your Way. The simplest option, visiting one theme park for one day, is called a 1-Day Base Ticket. Other features, such as the ability to visit more than one park per day (“park-hopping”), or the inclusion of admission to Disney's minor venues (Typhoon Lagoon, Blizzard Beach, DisneyQuest, mini-golf, and the like), are available as individual add-ons to the Base Ticket.
In 2016 Disney implemented price tiers for single-day Walt Disney World tickets, where tickets cost more on busier days. The tiers are Value, Regular, and Peak. Value days are mostly weekdays during the off season, while regular days include most weekends throughout the year, as well as weekdays when the parks have moderate crowds. Peak season tickets are sold during the busy holiday seasons like Spring Break, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Our Crowd Calendar shows what price tier Disney has set for each day of the year.
A single day's admission to Magic Kingdom costs more than admission to Disney's other theme parks. A 1-Day Base Ticket for an adult visiting only Magic Kingdom costs $111.83 on Value dates, $117.15 on Regular dates, and $132.06 on Peak dates. A single-day admission to any other Disney World theme park costs $103.31 on Value dates, $108.63 on Regular dates, and $121.41 on Peak dates. If your plans change at the last minute, you may use your 1-Day Magic Kingdom ticket to enter the other parks. Multi-day pricing is still uniform across the parks.
The more days of admission you buy, the lower the cost per day. For example, if you buy an adult 5-Day Base Ticket for $362.10 (taxes included), each day will cost $72.42, compared with $132.06 (Peak) for a single-day ticket to Magic Kingdom.
Tickets can be purchased with between 1 and 10 days of admission and admit you to exactly one theme park per day; you can re-enter your chosen park as many times as you like on that day.
Disney says its tickets expire within 14 days of the first day of use. In practice, they really mean 13 days after the first day of use. If you purchase a 4-Day Base Ticket on June 1 and use it that day for admission to Magic Kingdom, you'll be able to visit a single Disney theme park on any of your three remaining days from June 2 through June 14. After that, the ticket expires and any unused days will be lost.
Disney's Magic Your Way Ticket Options
Navigating the Magic Your Way program is like ordering dinner à la carte at an upscale restaurant: many choices, mostly expensive, virtually all of which require some thought. Two add-on options are offered with the Magic Your Way Ticket, each at an additional cost:
Disney's Park Hopper Ticket Option
Adding the Park Hopper feature to your Disney World ticket allows you to visit more than one theme park per day. Adult 1-day Park Hopper tickets cost between $165.08 (Value) and $174.66 (Peak), depending on the "season." This represents a premium of between $53.25 and $61.77 over a base 1-day ticket for Epcot, Hollywood Studios, or Animal Kingdom. This is exorbitant for one day, but it gets more affordable the longer your stay.
For 2- and 3-day tickets, Park Hopper adds $58.58 to the base ticket price (per ticket, not per day), and for 4- to 10-day tickets, it adds $73.48. As an example, if you add Park Hopper to a 7-day Base Ticket, the flat fee works out to $10.50 per day for park-hopping privileges. If you want to visit Magic Kingdom in the morning and eat at Epcot in the evening, this is the feature to request.
Water Parks Fun & More Option
Disney's Water Parks Fun & More (WPFAM) option gives you a single admission to one of Disney's water parks (Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon), DisneyQuest, Oak Trail Golf Course, Fantasia Gardens or Winter Summerland mini-golf (before 4:00 pm only), or the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Depending on the ticket purchased, it costs an extra $68.16 to $78.81 (including tax) on top of a base ticket.
Except for the single-day WPFAM ticket, which gives you two admissions, the number of admissions equals the number of days on your ticket. If you buy an 8-Day Base Ticket, for example, and add the WPFAM option, you get eight WPFAM admissions.
What you can't do is, say, buy a 10-day Base Ticket with only three WPFAM admissions or a 3-day Base Ticket with 4 WPFAM admissions. Here's a tip: You can skip WPFAM entirely and buy an individual admission to any of these minor parks—that's almost always the best deal if you want to visit only one of the venues above.
Disney also offers a Park Hopper–WPFAM combo add-on for $101.17 to $111.83 (including tax), depending on the ticket purchased. If you plan to spend a lot of time at the water parks and other WPFAM venues, the combo will save you $20.23 to $43.76, depending on the number of days, over buying the two options separately.
No Expiration Ticket Option (No Longer Available)
Effective February 22, 2015, Disney no longer offers a No Expiration option on its tickets. This option made ticket admissions good forever, rather than only for 14 days from first use.
Disney World Annual Passes
A Disney Platinum Pass provides unlimited use of the major theme parks for one year; a Disney Platinum Pass also provides unlimited use of the minor parks. Annual Pass holders also get perks, including free parking and seasonal offers such as room-rate discounts at Disney World resorts. Platinum Annual Passes cost $797.69 (including tax) for both adults and kids age 3 and up.
A Disney Platinum Plus Pass, at $882.89 (including tax) for adults and kids age 3 and up, provides unlimited admission to Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon, DisneyQuest, and Oak Trail Golf Course, in addition to the four major theme parks, plus mini-golf discounts.
An Annual Pass is not valid for special events, such as admission to Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party.
Disney World Ticket Specials for Florida Residents
Disney offers several discounted and/or special admission options to Florida residents.
Discounted for Floridians, the Platinum Pass ($691.19 for adults and kids age 3 and up) and the Platinum Plus Pass ($776.39 for adults and kids age 3 and up) both offer unlimited admission and park-hopping privileges to the four major theme parks. The Platinum Pass also provides unlimited admission to Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon, DisneyQuest, and Oak Trail Golf Course, in addition to the four major theme parks, plus mini-golf discounts.
Available only to Florida residents, the Disney Gold Pass ($584.69) and Disney Silver Pass ($414.28) provide unlimited admission and park-hopping privileges to the four major theme parks but exclude specific blockout dates (the Silver Pass has more blockout days than the Gold Pass). A Disney Weekday Select Pass ($275.84), Epcot After 4 Annual Pass ($265.19), and water park-only passes are also available.
In addition to Annual Passes, Florida residents are eligible for discounts on one-day theme park tickets (about 10%), as well as on various add-on options. Note that Florida AAA offices may offer nice discounts on Florida resident tickets and passes.
Disney World Ticket Specials for United Kingdom Residents
In the United Kingdom, Disney offers advance-purchase tickets not available in the U.S. For 2016 Ultimate Tickets are priced at £299 for adults and £279 for kids for 7-day passes, £299 for adults and £279 for kids for 14-day passes, and £325 and £305 for 21-day passes. The Ultimate Tickets provide unlimited admission to both major and minor parks along with park-hopping privileges to the major parks. The 7- and 14-day Ultimate Tickets expire 14 days after first use, and the 21-day Ultimate Ticket expires 21 days after first use. For additional information call 0800-169-0730 U.K. or 407-566-4985 U.S., or see http://wdtc.disneyinternational.com/tickets or the Disney Information Bulletin Board at thedibb.co.uk.
More Discounts on Disney World Tickets
Here's a list of Disney World admission discounts available to certain groups and individuals:
AAA / CAA
Members can buy passes for a discount of 3-5%. Each AAA/CAA club sets its own prices for Disney World tickets. Buying from AAA/CAA is usually cheaper than buying from Disney, but more expensive than buying from one of the ticket wholesalers in our search engine above.
Disney Vacation Club
Members get a discount on Annual Passes.
Disney World, Universal, SeaWorld, and other parks sometimes set up a link cited in convention materials to purchase discounted afternoon and evening admissions. See DisneyConventionTickets.com and SeaWorldGroupEvents.com.
Disney Corporate Sponsors
If you work for a Disney World corporate sponsor, you might be eligible for discounted admissions or preferential treatment at the parks. Ask your employee-benefits office.
Get substantial savings on virtually all tickets. You'll need proof of residency, such as a state-issued photo ID, to purchase these tickets. See our Florida Resident Specials section above.
Military, Department of Defense, Civil Service
Active-duty and retired military, Department of Defense (DOD) civilian employees, some civil-service employees, and dependents of these groups can buy Disney multiday admissions at a 9-10% discount. At most military and DOD installations, the passes are available from the Morale, Welfare, and Recreation office. Civil-service employees should contact their personnel office to see if they're eligible. Military personnel can buy a discounted admission for nonmilitary guests as long as the military member accompanies the nonmilitary member. If a group seeks the discount, at least half must be eligible for the military discount.
Disney Youth Education Series
Disney runs programs for K–12 students to learn how the parks incorporate everything from performing arts to physics. The program runs every day and offers substantial ticket discounts (with substantial restrictions). Disney usually requires a 10-person minimum to attend these events, but waives the minimum on occasion. See disneyyouth.com for more information.
Walt Disney World offers a number of special and situational passes that are not known to the general public and are not sold at any Disney World ticket booth. The best information we've found on these passes is at MouseSavers.com.
Where to Buy Disney World Tickets Cheap
You can buy your admission passes on arrival at Walt Disney World or purchase them in advance. Admission passes are available at Walt Disney World resorts and theme parks. Passes are also available at some non-Disney hotels and shopping centers, as well as through independent ticket brokers. Because Disney admission prices are only marginally discounted in the Walt Disney World–Orlando area, the chief reason for you to purchase from an independent broker is convenience and because they're cheaper. Offers of free or heavily discounted tickets abound, but they generally require you to attend a time-share sales presentation.
If you’re trying to keep costs to an absolute minimum, consider using an online ticket wholesaler, such as the Official Ticket Center, Kissimmee Guest Services, Maple Leaf Tickets, or Undercover Tourist, especially for trips with five or more days in the theme parks. All tickets sold are brand-new, and the savings can range from $3 to more than $80, depending on the ticket and options chosen. We’ve spoken with representatives from each company, and they’re well versed in the pros and cons of the various tickets and options. If an option doesn't make sense for your specific vacation plans, the reps will tell you so.
All four companies offer discounts on tickets for almost all Central Florida attractions, including Disney, Universal, SeaWorld, and Cirque du Soleil. Discounts for the major theme parks range from about 7% to 10%. Tickets for other attractions are more deeply discounted.
The Official Ticket Center (3148 Vineland Rd., Kissimmee; daily, 8 a.m.–8:30 p.m. Eastern time; (407) 396-9020 or (877) 406-4836; fax (407) 396-9323) has had some of biggest discounts available on Disney World tickets recently, even more than Undercover Tourist. The Official Ticket Center offers USPS certified mail for free or U.S. Priority Mail for $8. For $10 they’ll also deliver to Orlando-area hotels; it’s of course free if you pick up at their office.
Kissimmee Guest Services (950 Celebration Blvd., Suite H, Celebration; (321) 939-2057; Monday–Saturday, 8 a.m.–5 p.m., Sunday, 8 a.m.–noon, all Eastern time; U.K.: 0208 432 4024) offers free ticket delivery to Orlando-area hotels for tickets ordered over the phone, but tickets ordered online are cheaper.
Maple Leaf Tickets (4647 W. Irlo Bronson Memorial Hwy. [US 192], Kissimmee; daily, 8 a.m.–6 p.m. Eastern time; (407) 396-0300 or 800-841-2837; fax 407-396-4127; mapleleaftickets .com) offers the same deal on pickup at their store and for $6.95 delivery to Orlando-area hotels; U.S. Priority Mail service is a flat $6.95 per order.
Undercover Tourist (U.S.: (800) 846-1302; Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. Eastern time; U.K.: 0800 081 1702; Monday–Friday, 2 p.m.–9 p.m. Greenwich mean time; worldwide: +1 386-239-8624; fax +1 386-252-3469) offers free delivery and has a sweetheart relationship with MouseSavers. Unlike the other companies listed here, Undercover Tourist doesn't have an office near Walt Disney World. That means you'll need to have your tickets delivered to your house, or pick them up at a UPS office in Orlando. (You'll call Undercover Tourist's toll-free number if something is wrong with your tickets). You can also subscribe to the MouseSavers e-newsletter and access Undercover Tourist's website through a special "secret" link that provides additional savings on top of the normal discount.
Upgrading Third-Party Tickets After A Disney Price Hike
In March 2014, Disney changed its policy for upgrading third-party tickets purchased prior to a Disney price increase. If, after Disney raises its ticket prices, you want to upgrade a ticket purchased before the increase, you must first pay the difference between what you paid for your ticket and Disney's current price for that same ticket. Once you do that, you'll pay the current price for whatever upgrade you want.
Example: You buy a 5-day base ticket from the Official Ticket Center for $290, saving around $30 off Disney's gate price of $320. After you buy it, Disney raises its price for that ticket another $20, to $340. If you later want to upgrade your 5-day ticket to a 7-day ticket, you'll first pay $50 - the difference between what you paid Official Ticket Center for the ticket ($290) and Disney's current price for the ticket ($340). Then on top of that you'll also pay whatever is the current incremental difference between the 5- and 7-day tickets at Disney's gate prices.
It's unclear whether Disney will apply this logic to their own tickets. So far we've only heard it applies to third-party tickets purchased before a price increase.
Where Not to Buy Disney World Tickets
In addition to the many authorized sellers of Disney admissions, a number of bricks-and-mortar sellers exist. They buy unused days on legitimately purchased passes, then resell them as if they were newly issued.
These resellers are easy to identify: They insist that you specify exactly which dates you plan to use the ticket. They know, of course, how many days are left on the pass and when it expires. If you tell them you plan to use it tomorrow and the next two days, they'll sell you a ticket that has three days remaining and expires in three days.
Naturally, because they don't tell you this, you assume the usual 14-day expiration period from the date of first use. In the case of your tickets, however, the original purchaser triggered the 14-day expiration period. If you decide to skip a day instead of using the pass on the next three consecutive days, you'll discover to your chagrin that it has expired.
Getting the Most from Your Disney World Tickets
First, have a realistic idea of what you want out of your vacation. As with anything, it doesn't make sense to pay for options you won't use. A seven-day Disney World theme park ticket with seven Water Parks Fun & More admissions might seem like a wonderful idea when you're snowbound and planning your trip in February. But actually trying to visit all those parks in a week in July might end up feeling more like Navy SEAL training. If you're going to make only one visit to a water park or DisneyQuest, you're almost always better off purchasing that admission separately rather than in the WPFAM option. If you plan to visit two or more WPFAM venues, you're better off buying the add-on.
Disney World Ticket Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Can I Use 2 "Days" of My Ticket to Visit 2 Parks on the Same Day Without the Park Hopper Option?
No, and we've tried. Disney's computer systems won't allow it.
Can I Use a Third-Party Ticket with MagicBands and My Disney Experience (MDX)?
Yes. Once you've received the tickets, you can manually add them to your MagicBand via the My Disney Experience website. This works for almost all tickets purchased through third party vendors such as Undercover Tourist and The Official Ticket Center. On the MDX site, go to “My Reservations,” scroll down until you see “Link Tickets,” and follow the steps from there.
Last updated by Len Testa on May 30, 2016