Disney World Ticket Changes
The Walt Disney World Resort is truly a must-see destination. With four major theme parks, two water parks, an expansive shopping, dining and entertainment district, and nearly 30 resort hotels, there is so much to see and do. Because there is so much to experience, just last week, we posted an article called Disney World Tickets 101. In the article, we covered the three main ticket types: Base, Park Hopper and Park Hopper Plus. We discussed what each includes and who they are good for. You can read the article in its entirety here: Disney World Tickets 101.
Now the good news is that much of what our Disney World Tickets 101 article covers is staying the same. You can still experience all that there is at the Walt Disney World Resort. The Disney World ticket changes that will be implemented may just slightly change the way you plan your time. With our breakdown, you'll know exactly how the Disney World ticket changes will affect you and your vacation. Because after all, nobody wants you to have a more magical vacation than we do!
Disney World Ticket Changes - What You Need to Know
First things first, the Disney World ticket changes will take affect for tickets purchased beginning on Tuesday, October 16, 2018. Tickets purchased prior to October 16, 2018 will not be affected by any of the changes listed below. You do not need to repurchase tickets or upgrade tickets if you bought your tickets before October 16th.
Beginning on October 16, 2018, the Disney World ticket changes will mostly affect ticket only purchases. If you are purchasing a Walt Disney World Resort package, everything is bundled together, so you likely won't notice any difference at all. But we'll get into that a little bit later.
Disney World Ticket Changes - What's the Same
First and foremost, there are still three main ticket types of Walt Disney World Resort tickets. They are; Base Tickets, Park Hopper Tickets and Park Hopper Plus Tickets. Each of those ticket types are available for purchase in 1 to 10-day increments.
Additionally, many of the general Disney World ticket rules still apply exactly as is. Child ages are still 3 - 9, and anyone over the age of 10 will require an adult ticket. If your kids are two years or younger, they still will not need a theme park ticket of any kind. Tickets still must be used by the same person for the entire length of stay. And finally, all Disney World tickets are still equipped with My Magic+, which allows you to make FastPass reservations anywhere from 30 - 60 days in advance.
That is where the similarities end. Keep reading to find out what's changed with Disney World tickets.
Disney World Ticket Changes - What's New
There are two major changes that are happening to Walt Disney World tickets beginning October 16, 2018. The first has to do with pricing. The second has to do with the redemption window for tickets. To make it simple, we'll break everything down for each of these categories.
Disney World Ticket Changes - Pricing
The biggest change with Walt Disney World Resort tickets is that they are now date specific and are based on dynamic pricing. While this idea is not new for 1-day Disney tickets, it is new for multi-day tickets. With the Disney World ticket changes, you'll need to enter the specific date that you plan on using the ticket, or as close to it as possible. For example, if you purchase a 1-day ticket, that is the only day that ticket is valid for admission. However, if you purchase a 2-day ticket, you may use the ticket within four days of your selected ticket start day. However, you must use both days within that four-day window.
The price you will pay for your tickets depends on a dynamic pricing Disney calendar. Basically, the busier Disney expects the parks to be, the more you'll pay for your ticket. The reverse is true as well. The less busy the parks, the less you'll pay for your park tickets. That sounds like a win-win to me!
If something comes up and you need to make a change to your dates, that will be possible. However, there are two things to keep in mind. If your new date is a higher price level than your previous date choice, you will need to pay the upgraded price. On the flip side, if your new dates are a lower price that your previously selected dates, you will not get a refund for the price difference. The main takeaway from the new pricing structure is to try to stay as close to your dates as possible.
Disney World Ticket Changes - Redemption Dates
The next big thing you need to understand about the new Disney World ticket changes is the redemption window. In the past, all tickets could be used within 14 days of the first day of use. However, with Disney now trying to get a better idea of when guests will be visiting the parks, those windows are being shortened.
Realistically, many guests won't notice this change. For example, if you purchased a 4-day ticket, it's unlikely that you'd be staying a full two weeks at Walt Disney World anyway. Instead, you'd likely be staying closer to a few days, or maybe even a week tops. With the new tickets, a 4-day ticket must be used within seven days of your selected start date, not necessarily the first day of use. That is one other thing to keep in mind and another reason why you'll want to select your start date to be as close to when you will actually be first using your park tickets.
The longer length of stay ticket you purchase, the longer your redemption window will be. For example, if you choose a 7-Day ticket, you may use that ticket within a 10-day window of your selected start date. Here is a quick at-a-glance look at the redemption window based on ticket length:
|Base Ticket Length||Redemption Window|
|2 - Day Ticket||4 Days|
|3 - Day Ticket||5 Days|
|4 - Day Ticket||7 Days|
|5 - Day Ticket||8 Days|
|6 - Day Ticket||9 Days|
|7 - Day Ticket||10 Days|
|8 - Day Ticket||12 Days|
|9 - Day Ticket||13 Days|
|10 - Day Ticket||14 Days|
The Park Hopper and Park Hopper Plus ticket options come with a slight extension than the above chart. You may have up to two additional days than what is listed above to use your tickets. If you're concerned about ticket length and corresponding redemption window, rest assured that the length of ticket and its redemption window will be clearly called out before purchasing your tickets.
Another way you could potentially extend your redemption window is by staying at a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel. If you choose to stay on-property, your tickets will be valid for your entire stay, regardless of how many days are on your tickets. For example, according to the chart, if you purchased a 6-day ticket, it would normally only be valid for nine days. However, if you booked a stay for 10 nights at a Disney property, you could use those six days anytime during your 10 night/11 day stay. That way you'll still have ultimate flexibility however you choose to spend your vacation time at the Walt Disney World Resort.
Disney World Ticket Changes - How Will This Affect My Vacation?
After reading through everything, I hope it's been made clear that it's likely that you'll notice few if any changes to your tickets. Although pricing hasn't been released yet, we do know that you'll be able to search multi-day tickets by price. Because price correlates to peak travel times at the Resort, it makes sense that the new ticket pricing calendar is going to be a new official version of a Disney Crowd Calendar. We imagine that many families will use the calendars to best fit their needs. You may find that the new Disney World ticket changes work to your benefit as well.
As a reminder, one thing we always say at Get Away Today is that whenever you can go to Disney World is the best time to go to Disney World. The Walt Disney World Resort has so many systems in place to make each vacation magical and memorable. Whether you're visiting during a festival, holiday season, or just want to go during a slower time of year, there are so many things you can to do make the most of your vacation. Be sure to make your FastPass reservations using the My Magic+ system as early as possible. That's 30 days prior to your vacation for anyone staying off-site, and 60 days prior to your vacation for anyone staying at a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel. You can also make dining reservations as early as 180 days prior to your vacation.
No matter when you are planning your Walt Disney World Resort vacation, we love being a part of it. You can plan your Disney World vacation or purchase Disney World tickets online. Or, for personalized service, you can call our agents at 855-GET-AWAY. Our agents love being a small part of your vacation memories and will walk you through every step of planning your dream Disney World vacation.