Over the years, I’ve seen so many people post on message boards about their confusion when it comes to the types of Disney World tickets and how to use them. I thought I’d write a simple post to help people sort out the different types of tickets. I won’t post prices, as they increase every year. Go to Disney’s website to find current pricing.
Almost all tickets are considered “Magic Your Way” tickets. Which is honestly just a fancy name to explain tickets that allow you to add extra options (for extra money.) All tickets are non-transferable. Disney scans your finger print when you use your ticket and officially assigns that ticket to you so that no one else may use it. Magic Your Way Tickets top out at 10 days. If you want additional days after that I recommend getting an Annual Pass, or adding the Water Park Fun and More option so that you can get included visits to some of Disney’s additional parks and attractions.
-Allow you to visit ONE of the four theme parks per day.
-Once you enter a park, you cannot go to another park later that day
-Good at all four Disney World theme parks: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, Disney Hollywood Studios (please note that there are special prices for 1-Day tickets.)
-Expires 14 days after first use
Cheapest ticket option
Not able to hop between parks on the same day
You cannot try to use another day’s admission to get into a different park on the same day. You MUST add the Park Hopper option if you want to visit more than one park in one day.
Park Hopper Tickets:
-Allow you to “hop” between parks on the same day. (For example – can go to Magic Kingdom in morning, and Epcot in the evening.)
-Good at all four Disney World theme parks: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, Disney Hollywood Studios
-Expires 14 days after first use.
Flexibility to be able to visit more than one park on the same day. I personally have always used park hoppers (when I don’t have an annual pass) as we really do always visit more than one park per day.
Same set price to add the hopping option no matter how many days are on your ticket.
“Water Park Fun and More” add-on option
-This addition to your Base or Park Hopper pass gets you visits to Typhoon Lagoon water park, Blizzard Beach water park, DisneyQuest Indoor Interactive Theme Park, ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex or a round of golf at Disney’s Oak Trail Golf Course. Your amount of visits to these extras are based on the number of days on your ticket. For example, if you have a 6-Day ticket, you get 6 visits to these extra parks/activities. They do not take away admissions from your actual theme park visits.
-Adding this option could be a good option for guests taking longer trips. Let’s say you’re going to Disney for 12 days. You could get a 10 day ticket and get the Water Park Fun and More option. That way, you have the option to visit the water parks, Disney Quest and other fun options on non-park days. You can also go to a water park in the morning, and a park in the evening. This will open you up to lots of different options.
-Good to know: this add-on option is also one set price, no matter how many days are on your ticket.
No Expiration Option
-Tickets never expire (as opposed to regular tickets expiring after 14 days)
-This can be a good option for people who want to get two trips out of one ticket, but don’t want to get the Annual Pass. For example, you could get the No Expiration option added to a 10 day pass – use 5 days on one trip, then 5 days on another trip in the future.
-Good for one year from first use (not purchase date)
-Allows admission into all FOUR Disney theme parks.
-You can also get a Premium pass which will let you enter the water parks and other attractions
-Annual Passholders get frequent discounts on merchandise, hotel rooms, and other events
-Annual Passholders, DVC Members, and Florida residents are eligible for the Tables in Wonderland discount meal card
-Annual Passes are a good option if you go every year and can coordinate your dates to get both trips in under the same Annual Pass. Using this method lets you buy your Annual Pass every other year.
Other options – you may also buy individual tickets to the water parks, Disney Quest, special events, hard-ticket events, etc.
***Tickets for most folks are now stored on guests’ Magic Bands. There are still a few off-site guests who will be issued traditional “tickets” though.
What about discount tickets?
Disney is smart. There really aren’t that many discounts out there on Disney tickets. At most, you’ll save a couple dollars. Sometimes you can get discounted tickets through AAA, but you have to buy them at your AAA separate from a package. If your AAA makes you get them as part of a vacation package, then they won’t be any cheaper than a package you’ll get anywhere else – be it on your own or through a travel agent. Disney has created a level playing field and package deals/prices are the same no matter where you buy them. (But a good Disney Expert Travel Agent will know when deals come up and can get them for you when the timing is right, before they’re all grabbed up!) Also – sometimes Disney offers military discounts on tickets. There are also limited discounts for Florida residents and Disney Vacation Club members.
Why are park tickets so expensive?
Disney “front loads” their tickets. Basically that means that the per-day price is greatest on tickets for just a few days (3 or less). Once you have a 3 day pass, your per day price only goes up a few dollars a day. For example, the difference in price between a 7 day pass and an 8 day pass is a whopping $5 and change. Yup – just five bucks. Guests really get the best deal by staying longer – it drastically cuts down on the per day price.
What if I lose my ticket?
Just show your ID at any ticket window or guest relations and they can issue you a new one. If you have a Magic Band, just wear it – they are hard to lose that way! 😉
What if I don’t use all my days on my trip?
If you have a regular ticket, it expires after 14 days no matter what. If you want to use days on a later trip, add the No-Expiration option.
What if I only want to add the Park Hopper option on my last day?
Adding park hopper is always the same price – no matter how many days or when you add it.