Buying a ticket for Walt Disney World is not simple. There are numerous options that offer different benefits, plus they can significantly differ in price. Our Guide to Walt Disney World Tickets provides you with all the essential information and tips to get the best value for your money. We have updated our guide with all the latest information in August 2021, including the latest details on the new annual passes. However, you should note that things are subject to change during Walt Disney World’s reopening period.
Creating a Guide to Walt Disney World Tickets has been one of the biggest challenges when writing Modern Life is Good. There are just so many options! Also, guests will have to contend with the Disney Park Pass reservation system for the foreseeable future, which we will discuss later in this guide.
Starting in October 2018, Disney started seasonal pricing for multi-day tickets. While there were some slight reductions in price for off-peak tickets, peak tickets became considerably more expensive. Usually, Disney announces annual price increases in late February/Early March. It is always worth trying to purchase your tickets before this date.
Making sense of these changes is incredibly difficult unless you are lucky and live in Europe and can access the Ultimate Ticket. (More on the Ultimate Ticket later) . However, the Walt Disney World website does have an excellent guide to help you pick the correct ticket.
While the Walt Disney World website makes picking tickets easy, there are several ways to purchase slightly cheaper tickets. However, when looking for tickets, you should purchase from reputable retailers only. Search online to check reviews from previous guests before purchasing.
Disney Park Pass
There was a big change when Walt Disney World reopened in 2020; guests would have to prebook a reservation to access a park. Just having a ticket no longer meant you were guaranteed admission. A park reservation is required in addition to your ticket to access your first park on any day. Disney strongly recommends you check the availability of Park Passes before purchasing any tickets.
What Walt Disney World Tickets can you buy?
1 Park Per Day Tickets (Base Ticket)
This is the entry-level ticket to Walt Disney World. It is the cheapest level ticket but offers the least options. Guest can book tickets between 1-10 days in length and can visit 1 park a day.
Your ticket does not include entry to other attractions, e.g., water-parks. Guests must use tickets within 14 days of first use.
Single-day tickets were more expensive for the Magic Kingdom than the other parks, but now they are all the same price.
Disney Park Hopper
The Disney Park Hopper Ticket adds the ability to visit more than 1 park each day. In fact, you can actually hop to all 4 parks every day.
However, these tickets are quite a bit more expensive, and you should consider carefully whether hopping is essential. We do think for most guests; this is a necessary expense.
Park Hopping was excluded when Walt Disney World reopened in 2020. However, a limited option has been relaunched, allowing park hopping in the second part of the park opening hours. You still need to book a Park Pass for your first park each day. Visit our Guide to Park Hopping in 2021 for more information.
Base Ticket with Water Park and Sports Option
These ticket options do not include park hopping but include one “plus visit” for each day of admission to your choice of two water parks, the NBA Experience, or other select attractions.
Disney Park Hopper Plus
This ticket contains all the same options as the Park Hopper but with additional Plus Options. For each day ticket you purchase, you are also entitled to 1 admission a day to either:
- Disney’s Blizzard Beach
- Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon
NBA ExperienceNow permanently closed
- FootGolf at Disney’s Oak Trail Golf Course
- One round of golf at Disney’s Oak Trail Golf Course
- ESPN Wide World of Sports
- Disney’s Winter Summerland Miniature Golf Course
- Disney’s Fantasia Gardens Miniature Golf Course
These visits do not have to be used on the same day as your main theme park admission & can be used in any order.
Hopper Plus options allow you to visit Walt Disney World for a longer time, BUT you should carefully check expiry rules. There are various additional rules on using these Plus options, which you should check with your vendor.
Note during Walt Disney World’s Reopening period, not all these attractions are open.
Walt Disney World stopped selling new annual passes following the resort reopening period, but sales will restart on September 8th, 2021. However, like everything at Walt Disney World, they will not be returning as previously. The new passes are getting mixed reviews, but all current holders will need to renew to one of the new passes when their renewal date comes.
Purchasing a Walt Disney World annual pass is a large, expensive purchase. It is worth noting that passes include free parking and discounts on merchandise and dining. These discounts can quickly add up. Guests staying at Walt Disney World for an extended vacation or more than once a year might want to consider purchasing an annual pass.
This ticket is only available in the UK & Ireland but offers major benefits and a much lower price.
Tickets are valid for 7 or 14 days and includes park hopping to all parks and water parks. They even come with a free memory maker, plus there are regular discounts. There used to be 21-day Ultimate Tickets, but currently, they are not available.
Florida Resident Tickets
Special Florida Resident Tickets are available at certain times of the year. Check with local ticket vendors for information, and remember you will need identification when entering the park.
Walt Disney World will be soon introducing Disney Genie+ as the replacement to FastPass+. Disney Genie+ is an additional cost and is not included in the price of any tickets including annual passes.
What Walt Disney World ticket should I buy?
There is no right or wrong answer to what type of Walt Disney World ticket you should buy. The decision will vary by your plans, budget, and what you want to achieve on your vacation.
However, if you have a tight budget, the extra hopper & plus options do add up. Also, the Park Hopper and Plus options do not represent as much value in 2021. Create a preliminary plan and consider whether the additional cost is necessary.
Where to Purchase Walt Disney World Tickets
The most obvious place to buy Walt Disney World Tickets is on the Walt Disney World Website. However, it is often not the cheapest place to buy from. However, it would help if you always start your research by checking the Disney Website especially noting the value of any extra promotions.
Several reputable retailers offer small discounts on Walt Disney World Tickets and often a free day. Make sure your retailer provides genuine tickets and not vouchers. Vouchers have to be exchanged at the gate and can result in lengthy waits.
Retailers do differ by country, and you should carefully check online reviews before deciding to buy.
Where Not to Purchase Walt Disney World Ticket
Unfortunately, there are several mistakes guests can make if they are looking for a bargain. In our opinion, you should avoid purchasing the following:
- Never buy second-hand tickets. It is impossible to know whether the advertised unused days are correct, plus Disney scans a guest’s finger before admission. All tickets are untransferable & your tickets will likely be useless.
- Don’t buy off eBay or from other sites offering extremely cheap tickets. There is a good chance they will be a con.
- If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably isn’t genuine. Timeshare companies often offer cheap tickets, but be very careful before taking up any offers!
Don’t Make Our Mistake!
As soon as you get a ticket, please make a copy of it, including the serial number, and connect it to your My Disney Experience Account. If you should be unfortunate to lose your ticket, you will need the ticket’s serial number to get a replacement.
While we have never lost a Disney World ticket, we have at Universal. You can read all about our experience of getting a replacement on our vacation blog. It wasn’t straightforward!
Visit our guide Walt Disney World for Beginners for more essential tips.
This Guide is part of our “Road to 2021 at Walt Disney World” series. Check out the rest of the guides for the latest information.