Walt Disney World tickets do not come cheap, and the company usually raises prices once or twice a year. Here are nine tips on how to save money on Walt Disney World tickets.
1. BUY PARK TICKETS BEFORE YOU GET TO THE PARKS. Disney adds a surcharge of $21.30 to park tickets with 3 or more days of admission.
2. BUY FROM A THIRD-PARTY WHOLESALER. Disney contracts with third-party ticket vendors to offer discounts to price-sensitive consumers who’ll only visit if they are able to get a “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.
3. MEMBERS OF THE US MILITARY AND FLORIDA RESIDENTS GET SPECIAL DISCOUNTS. Disney’s recent deal for US military personnel included a 4-Day Park Hopper for $257, substantially less than the $500 regular price. Florida resident discounts aren’t as substantial, but they’re better than anything the general public gets.
4. KNOW EXACTLY WHEN YOU WILL BE VISITING. If you’re buying tickets and don’t specify the dates of your trip, Disney will charge you as if you’re visiting at the most expensive time of the year (e.g., Christmas). If you’re not actually visiting during the most expensive time of the year, you can save up to $177 per ticket by simply telling Disney your travel dates.
5. SET YOUR TICKET’S START DATE EARLIER THAN YOUR ARRIVAL DATE. Suppose you’re visiting for a long weekend (Thursday–Sunday) and you’re buying 4-day tickets. You’d naturally pick Thursday as your ticket’s start date. But remember that 4-day park tickets are valid for 7 days. If you’re visiting at the start of a busy (i.e., expensive) season, setting your ticket start date to Monday or Tuesday can save around $20 per ticket.
6. CONSIDER THE PARK HOPPER PLUS OPTION INSTEAD OF THE FLEX- IBLE DATES ADD-ON IF YOU’RE ALREADY PARK-HOPPING. Disney adds one extra day to the life of a Park Hopper Plus ticket, to use all of its features. If you need an extra day to use your theme park admission and you’re already planning to park-hop, the Park Hopper Plus option is cheaper than buying the Flexible Dates option.
7. ADD EXTRA THEME PARK DAYS INSTEAD OF THE FLEXIBLE DATES OPTION. If you’re visiting Walt Disney World before and after another destination, such as a cruise, the Flexible Dates option sounds reasonable because it would give you 14 days to use your tickets. But it’s not always the cheapest option. Adding extra theme park days, which automatically extends the life of your ticket, is sometimes cheaper, especially on visits of
6 days or longer.
8. BUY A SEPARATE WATER PARK TICKET INSTEAD OF THE PARK HOPPER PLUS OPTION IF YOU’RE ONLY VISITING ONE WATER PARK. The break-even point on the Park Hopper Plus option is two water-park visits.
9. VISIT A WATER PARK ON YOUR FIRST OR LAST DAY. Let’s say your Walt Disney World trip starts at the end of a busy period and you’re already planning one water-park visit. If so, then visiting the water park on your first day allows you to set your theme park start date 1 day later, saving around $3 per ticket. The same advice works in reverse: Go to a water park on the last day of your trip if it ends at the beginning of a busy season.
For Walt Disney World ticket discounts available to certain groups and individuals, as well as special tickets for Canadian and UK residents, check out The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World by Bob Sehlinger and Len Testa.