Find Disney World Ticket Discounts and Compare Prices

by Len Testa, November 19, 2018

Walt Disney World began selling date-specific tickets on October 16, 2018 (see our blog for details). During a transition time, not all vendors are included on our Ticket Calculator. Please let us know about any issues with the Ticket Calculator by using the "Help" button at the lower-right corner of the screen.

Every day we check the Disney World ticket prices at Disney and the most popular authorized Disney ticket discount wholesalers: Maple Leaf Tickets, Boardwalk Ticketing, Reserve Orlando, Park Savers, Undercover Tourist, and Official Ticket Center.

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 and want to hop among the theme parks, adding the Park Hopper Plus option is cheaper than buying a separate 1-day water park 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.

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NOTE: If you compare disneyworld.com ticket prices, they do not include tax except in the 'Current Selections' area at the bottom. With this calculator, we include it automatically!

Walt Disney World Tickets

Disney World offers more than seven thousand ticket options. These range from the humble 1-Day 1 Park Per Day Ticket, good for a single day’s entry into one Disney theme park, to the blinged-out Platinum Plus Pass, good for 365 days of admission into every Disney theme or water park, plus Disney’s Oak Trail Golf Course and other attractions.

Date-based Pricing and Other Surcharges

Disney introduced date-based pricing for multi-day tickets in Fall 2018, following its switch to date-based pricing of single-day tickets in 2016. Roughly similar to hotel room or airline ticket pricing, Disney’s ticket prices vary considerably based on the days of the year you’re visiting.

To avoid additional surcharges when buying tickets, you must tell Disney the first date on which you plan to visit a theme park or water park. Your ticket price will be based on that starting date, the number of days you plan to visit theme parks or water parks, and whether you plan to visit more than one theme park per day.

The highest-priced tickets are generally found on dates when most children are out of school: Christmas and other holidays, Spring Break, and summer vacation. Less expensive tickets are generally available during non-holiday periods when children are in school, and during months subject to inclement weather: January and February, for example, and peak hurricane season in September.

If you need to move your vacation dates from more expensive days to less expensive days, Disney will not refund the difference in ticket prices. But Disney will charge you the incremental cost if you need to move from less expensive to more expensive days.

One-day admission to a Walt Disney World theme park costs the same, no matter which park you choose to visit. This is different from in years past, when the cost to visit Magic Kingdom was higher than the cost to visit Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, or Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Note that Disney has not yet implemented date-based pricing for the Disneyland Resort's theme parks in California: Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure.

When Disney Tickets Expire

Along with the introduction of date-based pricing, Disney shortened the amount of time you have to use your tickets. Previously, all tickets expired at midnight 14 days after first use. Now, a ticket's use period begins on the "start date" chosen at the time of purchase, and the time until expiration varies based on how many days you’re visiting the theme parks and water parks, as shown below:

Ticket DaysLength of Use Period
1 Park Per Day or
Park Hopper Ticket
Park Hopper Plus Ticket
1-Day Only the start date 2 Days
(start date and the day after)
2-Day 4 Days 5 Days
3-Day 5 Days 6 Days
4-Day 7 Days 8 Days
5-Day 8 Days 9 Days
6-Day 9 Days 10 Days
7-Day 10 Days 11 Days
8-Day 12 Days 13 Days
9-Day 13 Days 14 Days
10-Day 14 Days 15 Days

For example, if you purchase a 4-Day 1 Park Per Day theme park ticket and specify you’ll start using it on June 15, 2019, you must complete your four days of theme park visits by the end of June 21, 2019. After that, the ticket is expired, even if you don’t use it.

Disney Ticket Add-Ons

Three add-on options are offered with each ticket, each at an additional cost:

Flexible Dates

This add-on allows you to visit Disney’s theme parks on any day you choose, without having to specify the exact date on which your vacation will start. This option costs about $33 to $89 per ticket, depending on how many days you’re visiting the theme parks. This option makes sense if you want to buy tickets now for a trip at some uncertain date in the future.

Park Hopper

This add-on lets you visit more than one theme park per day. The cost is about $80 (including tax) on top of the price of any 4-Day or longer ticket (it's a bit cheaper for shorter ticket lengths). The longer your stay, the more affordable it is: as an add-on to a 7-Day 1 Park Per Day Ticket, for example, the flat fee works out to $11.41 per day for park-hopping privileges. If you want to visit the Magic Kingdom in the morning and eat at Epcot in the evening, this is the feature to request.

Park Hopper Plus (PHP)

On top of the Park Hopper feature described above, the Park Hopper Plus (PHP) option gives you admission to a Disney water park (Blizzard Beach or Typhoon Lagoon), Oak Trail Golf Course, Fantasia Gardens or Winter Summerland minigolf, or the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. The PHP option costs $107 more than a 1 Park Per Day Ticket—about $27 per ticket more than the Park Hopper option by itself, including tax.

The number of admissions equals the number of days on your ticket. If you buy an 8-Day 1 Park Per Day Ticket ticket, for example, and add the PHP option, you get eight PHP admissions.

You can’t change how many PHP admissions you can buy with either option; the number is fixed, and unused days aren’t refundable. You can, however, skip PHP entirely and buy an individual admission to any of the venues above—that’s frequently the best deal if you’re not park-hopping and you’d like to visit just Typhoon Lagoon and/or Blizzard Beach once.

If you buy a ticket but then decide later that you want to add the PHP option, you can do so. Note, though, that Disney doesn’t prorate the cost: if you add PHP on the last day of your trip, you’ll pay the same price as if you’d bought it before you left home.

Annual Passes

An Annual Pass provides unlimited use of the major theme parks for one year. Two versions are available: the Disney Platinum Pass ($952 including tax; ages 3 and up) includes free use of Disney’s Memory Maker digital-photo service, in addition to park access. The Disney Platinum Plus Pass ($1,059 including tax; ages 3 and up) also provides unlimited use of the minor parks, ESPN Wide World of Sports, and Disney’s Oak Trail Golf Course. Holders of both types of Annual Passes also get perks, including free parking; hotel, dining, and merchandise discounts; and seasonal offers such a dedicated entrance line at the theme parks. These passes are not valid for special events, such as admission to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Finally, the Water Parks Annual Pass costs $138 for ages 3 and up, tax included. Check Disney's Annual Passholder Program webpage for the latest information.

How to Save Money on Disney World Tickets

Disney's date-based pricing scheme is the most complicated system it has ever used for ticket purchases. It’s so complicated, in fact, that we wrote a computer program to analyze all the options and to look for loopholes in the new pricing rules. Visit TouringPlans.com and try our Park Ticket Calculator. It aggregates ticket prices from Disney and a number of online ticket vendors. Answer a few questions relating to the size of your party and the parks you intend to visit, and the calculator will identify your four cheapest ticket options. It’ll also show you how much you’ll save versus buying at the gate.

The program will also make recommendations for considerations other than price. For example, Annual Passes might cost more, but Disney often offers substantial resort discounts and other deals to Annual Passholders. These resort discounts, especially during the off-season, can more than offset the price of the pass.

The Ticket Calculator will automatically use all of the tips below, and more. If you’re interested in doing this yourself, here’s what to consider:

Tip #1

Be realistic about what you want out of your vacation. A seven-day theme park ticket with seven PHP admissions might seem like a wonderful idea when you’re snowbound in February and planning your trip. But actually trying to visit all those parks in a week in July might end up feeling more like Navy SEAL training.

Tip #2

If you’re not park-hopping but going to visit just one water park or the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, you’re almost always better off purchasing that admission separately rather than in the PHP option. If you plan to visit two or more PHP venues, or you’re planning to park-hop, you’re better off buying the add-on.

Tip #3

Buy from a third-party wholesaler. Disney contracts with third-party ticket vendors to offer discounts to price-sensitive consumers who’d only visit if they get some kind of “deal.” By using other companies, Disney doesn’t have to offer those discounts directly to people who’d visit anyway. These vendors sign contracts with Disney and provide exactly the same tickets you’d purchase at Walt Disney World.

Tip #4

Choose a Start Date earlier than your arrival date. Let’s say you’re visiting Walt Disney World for a four-day weekend starting Thursday, April 11, 2019. If you select April 11 as your first day in the parks when buying a ticket, you’d pay $450 per adult with tax. However, if you chose Monday, April 8, 2019 as the first date, you’d pay $23 less per adult. And because both tickets are good for 7 days from the start date, both would be valid during your four-day weekend.

Tip #5

Consider the Park Hopper Plus add-on instead of the Flexible Dates add-on. This tip works if you’re going to park-hop and you need your tickets to be valid for one day longer than the default duration. (For example, you’re going to visit three parks over 6 days, but 1 Park Per Day Tickets expire after 5 days.) Instead of buying the lexible Dates add-on, which costs an additional $33 to $89, purchase the Park Hopper Plus option for a flat $27.

Disney Price Increases

Disney usually raises prices 1-2 times per year. Hikes were announced in: February and September of 2018; in February of 2014-2017; in June 2011-2013; and in August 2006-2010. We expect the next one in Spring 2019.

Prices on all tickets were up an average of almost 9% in 2018 and 7% in 2017. Year-over-year hikes averaged around 5% earlier in this decade. If you’re putting together a budget, assume an increase of around 10% per year to be safe.

Last updated by Len Testa on November 19, 2018

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