10 – Understand Disney Tickets

Quick take: Research and purchase your tickets before you arrive.

One of the larger expenses on a Disney World vacation is the purchase of admission tickets. While I believe that admission to Disney is a decent value since nearly all of your entertainment is included, that doesn’t mean that the tickets aren’t still expensive.

The overall approach Disney takes to pricing their tickets is that you pay less per day when you purchase more days. This makes sense for Disney. They want you to spend your entire vacation with them, not just a few days at Disney and then venture off to spend your other days at the beach or another theme park.

Let’s look at some numbers: If you plan to visit just two days, you would pay about $188, or $94 per day. However, if you plan to visit for seven days, you would pay $324, or just $46 per day. If you do the math, the per-day cost is about half when you purchase seven days vs. two days. That’s a big difference. (Note that prices are subject to change, usually going up, at any time.)

If you remember that Disney wants to encourage you to spend more days, it will help you make better decisions on purchasing your tickets.

Disney occasionally changes the way they sell tickets, but overall, you purchase a base ticket for the number of days you want to enter the theme parks. You can then add options.

The options include:

Park Hopper: The park hopper allows you to visit more than one park in a single day. Adding park hopper to a one day ticket costs $35, but adding it to eight day ticket costs $60. This is a nice option if you have been to Disney World before, and you want to jump to different parks in one day to check out what is new or visit your favorite attractions. However, if this is your fist visit, remember that there is plenty to do in each park to fill up the entire day. This is a place where you can save a few dollars by skipping this option.

Water Park & More Option: With this add-on, you can visit either of Disney’s water parks, Typhoon Lagoon or Blizzard Beach.  Plus, you get some other attractions including the Oak Trail Golf Course, DisneyQuest indoor theme park at Disney Springs, or the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. If you are planning a long vacation and want to venture beyond the parks, this may be a good deal. Otherwise this is also a place you can save a few dollars.

Finally, there are plenty of places to purchase tickets, but be careful. Make your purchase directly from Disney or from an authorized reseller like the American Automobile Club. Offers on used tickets that seem too good to be true usually are too good to be true. Thieves will try to rip you off, so be careful.  Please note that “used” tickets are often days that someone purchased and didn’t use. Unfortunately, these extra days are still linked to the person who purchased them, and Disney tickets are non-transferrable.

Finally, purchase your tickets before you arrive. You will save yourself the hassle of waiting in line.

Take away: Consider your vacation approach and the ticket options which make the most sense for you.  Buy your tickets in advance directly from Disney or an authorized reseller before you leave for your vacation.

Next: Consider a Travel Agent

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