I know you are all wondering what the next crucial question is in planning a budget for your Disney adventure! Well, today we’re back to discuss the question, “What kind of tickets should we buy (and where should we buy them?)” As you may or may not know, park tickets will be one of your biggest expenses, and trying to “get a deal” on the internet or elsewhere is going to consume hours of your time (oh, wait, that’s just me?) We will look at your options and help you decide what tickets fit in your budget and travel plans.
Types of Tickets:
- Base Tickets. So you want to visit one Disney park each day. Great! You will be buying a base ticket, which can be bought on its own or as part of a “Magic Your Way” vacation package (just a fancy name for a ticket and hotel package booked through Disney.) This is a good choice if you plan to stay at least 4 days or if it’s your first trip. Park-hopping can be daunting for a beginner! The important thing to know about tickets is the price per day drops significantly the more days you buy. A ticket for one day at the Magic Kingdom starts at $105 for adults. Stay 5 more days and the price per ticket drops to $59 per day (for a total of $378 with tax). So, this is one case where staying longer saves you money, in a sense.
- Park Hopper. You’ve done a few Disney trips and want to take advantage of rope drop at one park and evening Extra Magic Hours at another. You are going to need Park Hopper tickets. These allow you to travel between any of the 4 Disney parks to your heart’s desire. We have done 3 parks in a day, but it does take time to travel from park to park and stamina to withstand buses, monorails and extra walking. We love Park hopping, but if you have young children that need a slower pace, you might want to refrain. The cost for hopping is more, of course. For a one day Park Hopper you will pay about $160 for one adult. For 6 days per adult, you’re looking at $424, which isn’t bad when you consider how much more park time you’ll be getting.
- Water Park Fun and More. It’s summer. It’s Florida. Disney has two fantastic water parks. It only makes sense to include a visit to them, right? Add the Water Park Fun and More option to your tickets and enjoy even more of what Disney has to offer. This ticket upgrade includes one visit per day per ticket to Typhoon Lagoon or Blizzard Beach, as well as visits to ESPN Wide World of Sports, golfing, and mini-golf for the tykes. Again, you’ll be adding just under $50 to your one day base ticket, or $446 with tax for 6 days. Go crazy and add park hopper and Water Fun and you’ll spend $479 for one adult for a 6 day stay.
- Annual Passes. If you are planning to visit Walt Disney World Resort several times within a 12-13 month period, then annual passes might be a much better deal than tickets. Passes run about $750 and up.
Where to Buy:
My number one piece of advice on this question is to research your source to make sure it’s a trusted reliable site. There are many offers for cheap tickets on the internet, but the majority are scams, in my experience. We always buy our tickets from Disney. I know we will have no issues, and piece of mind is worth the few dollars we might save elsewhere. That being said, undercovertourist.com is an authorized Disney ticket dealer and offers slight discounts over buying through Disney. That 6 day base ticket would be $366 (for a savings of $12 per adult ticket.) Like I said, we have never bought tickets here and can’t personally vouch for them, but they are a generally trusted source of discounted tickets. Some other ticket discounts are available for members of the military, Canadian residents, and DVC members. Check this article on mousesavers.com to see if you might qualify.
You can easily see that park tickets will be a major part of your vacation budget. Yes, tickets are expensive, but if you plan a week or longer trip your per day ticket cost goes way down. You can also tailor your tickets to match your budget. Bare bones? Choose a base ticket. You can afford a splurge? Add the water park option. Just make sure you are buying from a reputable source, such as direct from Disney, or Undercover Tourist. It’s also important to note that certain special offer packages might require you to purchase a ticket upgrade (I’m thinking specifically of the free dining promotion which requires purchase of Park Hopper.) Each Disney park has enough magic to last from rope drop to closing. Whatever you decide, you can’t lose.