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Choosing the Right Admission Ticket – 6 Things You Need to Know

Walt Disney World consists of many attractions requiring an admission ticket; 4 theme parks, 2 water parks, 2 miniature golf courses, the ESPN Wide World of Sports and Disney Quest.  How do you decide what type of ticket you need? What are the different options available? How can you pick the right ticket for you without purchasing too much? Here are the 6 things you need to know to help you choose the right admission ticket.


6 – Think about your needs

Walt Disney World tickets are non-refundable and non-transferable. They also expire shortly after the day of first use depending on how many days you have purchased. Therefore, it is essential that you purchase the least amount of days that you know you will use. If you know, you will visit the parks 4 days, but are not sure about maybe needing a 5-day ticket, purchase the 4-day ticket instead. You can upgrade your tickets to add more days once they have been used as long as there is still a day left on the ticket. So, you would have until the end of that 4th day to decide to upgrade to get that 5th day. Don’t worry, you will only pay the difference between the tickets would have been, not the single day price. You can also upgrade to add on the various options discussed below or to an Annual Pass. If you are unsure what options you need or what will work best for your visit, feel free to talk to any Cast Member who works at Ticketing, Concierge or Guest Relations. They will be able to guide you to what ticket combination will save you money because they do not earn commission on any tickets they sell. Additional ticket types are available to Florida residents.

5 – Base Ticket

The base ticket is sold for 1 through 10 days and allows guest to visit one theme park per day.  Guests can visit any one of the four theme parks for each day of their ticket. So, on a 4-day ticket, you can visit each park once, or spend all 4 days at the Magic Kingdom. The price varies based on the number of days and when you visit, but the more days you purchase, the cheaper it becomes per day. For example, as of 2018, if you have a 4-day ticket each additional day, you add costs around $26. These tickets expire roughly 14 days from first use and do not need to be used consecutively.  So, if you use the first day on Monday, you can skip Tuesday and use the second day on Wednesday.  As long as you use all the days during the specified window, you will be fine. These tickets then can be built upon by adding additional options.

4 – Park Hopper Option

If you want to visit more than one theme park each day, you will need to purchase the Park Hopper option. This option is one flat price for the length of the ticket. So, by purchasing this option, you will have the Park Hopper option on every day of your card. You cannot use another park day in replacement of the Park Hopper Option.  Many guests will attempt this, purchasing a 5-day ticket and then attempt to use that 5th day to enter a second park. The turnstiles will not allow this. If you want to visit a second park during the day, you will need the Park Hopper Option. As of 2018, the cost to add this option is around $80 plus tax regardless of the number of days on the ticket.

3 – Park Hopper Plus Option

This option allows you to pay one price and gives you the same number of “Fun” entitlements as the number of days you have on your tickets. So, a 4-day ticket with this option added will include 4 Fun visits. The fun visits can be used at either water park, Typhoon Lagoon or Blizzard Beach, Miniature Golf before 4 pm, 9 holes at Oak Trail Golf Course, or admission to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Fun options can be used on the same day as your theme park days, so if you spent the morning at Magic Kingdom and then head to a water park in the afternoon, that would require 1 theme park day and 1 fun visit. It is also possible to use more than 1 fun visit in a day, such as going to Typhoon Lagoon in the morning and then playing a round of mini golf. That scenario would require 2 fun visits. As of 2018, the approximate cost to add this option is around $26 plus tax regardless of the number of days on the ticket. The $26 is on top of the $80 charge for the park hopper option.


2 – Annual Passes

If you are going to be visiting Walt Disney World for more than 10 days during the year (less if you take advantage of the many discounts available to pass holders), you may want to consider one of their Annual Passes.  Any ticket can be upgraded to an Annual Pass, during the upgrade window described above, with the guest paying the difference in cost. There are two different types of Annual Passes available.  The Platinum Annual Pass includes access to all 4 theme parks, includes Park Hopper, no block out dates, free parking and discounts at select locations. But one of the best things that are included with this Annual Pass was added in 2015.

Guests with this Annual Pass receive the Memory Maker product for the entire year of their pass. This gives passholders unlimited digital downloads of every photo taken by a Photopass Photographer, ride attraction photos and select dining location photos.  This is a huge benefit for Passholders!  The Platinum Pass price for 2019 is $1,119 plus tax for ages 10 and up. The second type of Annual Pass is the Platinum Plus Annual Pass. This gives you everything included with the Platinum Pass but also allows admission to Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach Waterparks and the Oak Trail Golf Course, a 9 hole walking course.  The Platinum Plus Pass price for 2019 is $1,219 plus tax for ages 10 and up.

To put those prices in perspective, a 4 Day Park Hopper ticket would range from 480 to $640 plus tax depending on when you visit. If you are going to make multiple visits within a twelve month period, it makes sense to get an annual pass.

There are additional Annual Passes for Florida residents. For a complete review of the benefits of annual passes and why they are the right choice for many, read our article, 10 Reasons You, Yes You, Should Get an Annual Pass.

Summit Plummet at Blizzard Beach

1 – One Day Waterpark tickets

One additional ticket type you may consider purchasing is a 1-day waterpark ticket. Whether this is a good option for you depends on your specific situation and what kind of ticket you have already bought. This can often cause confusion for guests. A 1-day waterpark ticket is approximately $69 plus tax. If you already have a ticket with the Park Hopper Option, it will be cheaper for you to upgrade to add the Park Hopper Plus option onto your existing tickets instead of paying full price for a 1-day ticket. Additionally, adding this option will give you the same number of Fun visits as days you have on your ticket. In most cases, you can get more visits for less money! But, if you don’t have Park Hopper and you really only want to visit the waterpark for 1 day, purchasing a separate 1-day, waterpark ticket may be the best option for you.

There are many different ticket options for guests to choose from at Walt Disney World, this allows guest to purchase the ticket and options that best meet their needs. If you are unsure where to start, purchase a base ticket for the number of days you know you will definitely be using and then you can upgrade your ticket from there.  The Cast Members who work in Ticketing, Guest Relations, and Concierge are there to help you and want to save you money, so seek their guidance on the best ticket options for you if you have questions.

For a no obligation, FREE Quote on a Disney vacation package, please contact our travel partner Magical Vacation Planner at 407-442-0227 (407-442-0215 for Spanish). You can also request a FREE quote online by Clicking HERE.


About Jenn S

Jenn is a Pennsylvania native whose love of Disney caused her to move to the Sunshine State. As a child her family visited Walt Disney World every year on vacation and now that she calls Orlando home she frequents the Disney parks often. Jenn loves all the wonderful dining experiences on property and can't wait to try anything new. In her free time she loves spending time with friends, cooking and visiting other Orlando attractions and restaurants.