Understanding Disney Tickets

Disney tickets can be very confusing, and are not as simple as a novice may think.  Disney calls their ticket program “Magic Your Way”.  I think a lot of people misunderstand the ticketing system, and either spend too much, or not enough. I will try to make it simple to understand and make the right decision for your family.

DizKrazKate's Tip in a Nutshell

Get a multiday pass, at least a 5 day, and take your time to enjoy the parks.  You don't save much money by only getting a 3 or 4 day pass.

If you are on a budget, or this is your first, or will be your only trip to WDW, skip the Park Hopper and the Water Park Fun and More options.

Buy your tickets from Disney if you are getting a deal on a package.  Otherwise sign up for the MouseSavers.com Newsletter  to get the secret link to Undercover Tourist. It is ALWAYS the best price.

  A one day adult Disney Ticket for one park for one Day as of June of 2011 including tax is $90.53.  A 6 day ticket is NOT  6 x $90.53.  Many families will see the one day ticket price, and make the assumption that the above statement is true. Then they try to save money by deciding , “we’ll just get 3 day tickets, and skip a park or two to save money”.  In fact, a 3 day Magic Your Way Base Ticket is actually $247.08, or only $82 a day.  It gets better.  A 6 day base ticket is, in comparison, is only $275.84. Yes, I use the word “only” rather generously.  So the admission price difference per adult between 3 park days and 6 park days is only $29!  You get more bang for your buck by staying longer, paying only $45.97 per day.    This is how Disney gets it’s line “The more you play, the less you pay per day”.  

The point I want you go get is that to get the most value for your vacation, stay longer, and take it easy.  Trying to cram 4 parks into 3 days will not make for a fun vacation.  It will make you exhausted, hot and crabby.  If you have 5,6, or even 7 days to spend in the parks, you can take it easy, have time for a mid-day rest, or even do half days in the park with time for swimming and relaxation.

Now let’s talk about the Park Hopper option.  Park hopper allows you to visit two or even more parks in a single day.  A Base Ticket allows you to only enter one park per day.  You can come and go from that park as much as you need, but your ticket will not allow you to enter a different park. This is where the Park Hopper come in.  I’ll admit I like the flexability of a Park Hopper.  We usually have annual passes which allow for park hopping.  If you have the money to spend on it, and want it, go for it! If however this is your first and maybe only trip to WDW, and/or you are really trying to go on a budget so your spouse doesn’t strangle The Mouse, the Park Hopper option, while nice, is not necessary.  It adds $58.58 per person to the ticket. For a family that really adds up! Will it makes some things easier? Sure. Can you still have a magical Disney vacation without it? Absolutely!

What about “Water Park, Fun and More” option? This also adds a flat rate of $58.58 to each ticket.  I’ll admit we have never purchased this option.  My kids at ages 8, 6, and 4, are small enough that I have not felt ready to take them to one of the water parks or to DisneyQuest.  The pools at Disney are great, and the Moderate category and up all have waterslides of their own, so you can still have awesome pool time without the water parks.  If you are on a tight budget, skip it. 

If your kids are older though and/or going to one of the water parks is a must, this may be a good option.  If you are just going to 1 water park on 1 day, skip this and buy that ticket separately.  If you will be making at least 2 trips to the water parks, Disney Quest or golf at Oak Trail, or are staying in the area for more than a week, this may be a good deal for you.  The Water Park Fun and More option will add one day of extra fun for EACH day of ticket you purchase. So if you purchase a 6 day Magic Your Way Ticket, with Water Park Fun and More Option, you get 6 park admissions  AND 6 water park/Disney Quest/Oak Trail Golf Course admissions to be used with-in 14 days.  If you are taking a 10 day trip, this would get you six days in the parks and the other four could be used to do other activities.  This is a good deal for the right family.

Where is the best deal on ticket prices?
If you are getting a promotion from Disney, it often requires you to purchase your tickets as part of the package.  As long as you are getting a discount on something else, this is fine.  If you have got a room only discount and can purchase your tickets separately, Undercover Tourist ticket broker is almost always the best deal around for the general public.  At MouseSavers.com ticket page, Mary keeps a very up to date list of all the current discounts on tickets, large and small. See below for a link to her newsletter deal.

The discounts through your work's human resource "Tickets at Work" or other websites are never as good. The exception to this is if your corporation is an official Disney sponsor, like Chase bank or Kellog's.

If you or a spouse is entitled to U.S. Military discounts, these are usually fantastic deals through your base. These Military Salute tickets can be purchased for family or friends, but either the service member or their spouse must be present at the park with ID.

Don't try to scam Disney by buying eBay tickets or the like.  Anyway you think you can pull one over on Disney, someone has already tried and lost.  They have got the system down, and they have thought of your idea first and have figured out a way to stop it. Don't waste your time.

To get the BEST DEAL for the general public, go to this page at MouseSavers.com and sign up for her newsletter. Once a month on or around the 15th, she will send you a newsletter on current deals. It will include a special link to Undercover Tourist that will get you the absolute best price on Disney Tickets.  You  may save $10-$20 per ticket and believe me that is a good deal. If you are short on time, email me and I can get you the link. There are no steep discounts on Disney tickets. If you find one, email me I've got a bridge in Brooklyn I can get you for a song!