So, you’ve decided to take the family to Walt Disney World in Florida. How exciting! At some point during your planning, you will have to decide on purchasing tickets. Disney World ticket options are many and can be confusing, especially to first-time guests. To help you get started, here are the basics, along with a few tips to ensure you purchase the tickets you want and need, but not more.
7. Magic Your Way – Walt Disney World theme park ticket options are grouped into a program called Magic Your Way. As the name implies, you can purchase just what you want, within their guidelines. In addition to Disney’s four major theme parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom), there are also Disney’s minor venues (Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach waterparks, DisneyQuest indoor video theme park, mini-golf, etc). You will need to decide how much time you want to devote to the various options. Tip: Reserve some time for resting by your resort pool. Disney World can be an exhausting vacation! Don’t waste your hard-earned money by trudging through a theme park when you’re tired. You won’t enjoy it!
6. How Many Days? – Understand that Disney, through their ticket price structure, is encouraging you to stay longer than you might have planned. A One-Day Base ticket (good for only one of the major theme parks) is about $100 per person! However, the more days of admission you purchase, the lower the cost per day. For example, if you buy an adult 5-Day Base Ticket for $323.76 (taxes included), each day will cost $64.75, compared with $100 for just a single day. The more days you add on, the lower the cost per day, up to 10 days.
5. Park Hopping – Would you like to have the option to start your day at say the Magic Kingdom, then after lunch go back to your hotel for a relaxing swim and nap, and the enjoy Illuminations at Epcot in the evening? Adding the Park Hopper option to your base ticket will allow you to go from park to park on any given day. The cost is about $50 when added to a one day ticket, but only $9 when added to a 7-day ticket. The more you play, the less you pay (per day, that is).
4. Water Park Fun and More Option – Disney’s Water Park Fun and More (WPFAM) option lets you experience Disney’s water parks (Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon), DisneyQuest, Oak Trail Golf Course, Fantasia Gardens or Winter Summerland mini-golf, or the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. The cost is $48.90 to $63.90 (including tax), depending on the ticket purchased. Except for the single-day WPFAM ticket, which gives you two admissions, the number of admissions equals the number of days on your ticket. If you buy an 8-Day Base Ticket, for example, and add the WPFAM option, you get eight WPFAM admissions. Tip: You can skip the WPFAM option entirely and buy an individual admission to any of these minor parks—that’s almost always the best deal if you want to visit only one of the venues above.
3. Annual Pass – If you plan to visit the major theme parks more than 10 days in a calendar year, consider buying an Annual Pass or a Premium Annual Pass to include the minor venues. Annual Passes run $675.21 (including tax) for both adults and kids age 3 and up. A Premium Annual Pass is $803.01 (including tax) for adults and kids age 3 and up.
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2. Discounts – There are also discounts for Florida residents, United Kingdom residents, Disney Vacation Club members, AAA members, and members of the Armed Services. Ask your ticket agent.
1. Where to Purchase Tickets – I always encourage people to buy directly from Disney. It will give you peace of mind. However, there are other trusted third-party ticket brokers like Mickey Travels. Tip: Never purchase your tickets from Ebay, Craigslist, or even a well-meaning friend! You don’t want your family to be disappointed at the entrance to the Magic Kingdom!
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