How to Decide What Type of Ticket to Buy for Disney
Many ticket options exist when you purchase tickets for Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. Staying in a resort hotel will provide you different options with extended hours in the parks while other options will allow you to save money or visit more than one park during the same day. The following will provide a brief explanation for each ticket type and provide a few recommendations for when the best time to purchase a particular ticket.
Magic Your Way Base Ticket
The Magic Your Way Base Ticket is the least expensive option Disney offers without any type of discounts or promotions. This type of ticket provides access to one park for the entire day. Guest can come and go from one park, for example Epcot, but cannot gain access to other parks such as Magic Kingdom until the next day without forfeiting a day on the ticket. To encourage patrons to stay longer at the resort, the company discounts the ticket prices according to the length of the stay. The max number of days you can purchase per ticket is 10.
Advantages of Magic Your Way Base Ticket
The ticket prices for the Magic Your Way Base Ticket are the cheapest the park offers. This reduced price can help guest afford to visit the resort without breaking a vacation budget. During a first visit it may be adequate to focus on one park each day of the trip rather than trying to visit more than one park each day. Each park offers a wide variety of food choices, rides, and shows to fill an entire day with fun.
Disadvantage of Magic Your Way Base Ticket
Shows such as Fantasmic! Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage, and The Lion King only show on specific days of the week or at specific times of the day. The Magic Your Way Base Ticket will force a specific itinerary to ensure guest are at the correct parks on certain days to catch shows, special events, parades, or dining options. This may limit the opportunity to dine or watch shows during the visit. A certain degree of flexibility is lost with the Magic Your Way Base Ticket.
Magic Your Way with Park Hopper® Option
Adding the Park Hopper Option® allows guest to visit multiple parks in one day. Guest can come and go as they please for the entire length of the ticket. For example, the Park Hopper® option on the ticket would give the guest an opportunity to visit Disney’s Magic Kingdom to take advantage of the Extended Hours early in the morning, take a mid-day break at the resort hotel, then finish the evening at Disney’s Hollywood Studios to see Fantasmic! Without this option the guest would only be allowed to visit one of the parks or forfeit a whole day in a park.
Advantages of the Park Hopper® Option
The advantages are clear with this option because guest can visit multiple parks in the same day and the option provides a great deal of flexibility to visit and revisit. This option also allows guest to move from one park to another if the park is extremely packed. If one park is really crowded on a particular day other parks may have fewer guest making the move a convenient addition. Guest can use the parks many transportation options such as the Monorail, ferries, or ground transportation to change parks.
Disadvantage of the Park Hopper® Option
The cost is the major factor of disadvantages for this addition to the basic Magic Your Way Ticket. For a one day ticket the price is about 66% more than a ticket without the Park Hopper® addition. However, for a ten day ticket the price is about 17% more than a ticket without the Park Hopper® addition. The reason for this difference is the cost of adding the Park Hopper® option is $54 regardless of how many days are on the ticket. The current price of a one day pass is $82 and the price of a 10 day ticket is $262. If guest add the Park Hopper® to either ticket the price increase is $54. The longer the stay the more advantageous it is to add on the Park Hopper® option.
Magic Your Way with Water Park Fun & More Option
Adding the Water Park Fun & More option allows guest to visit the two themed water parks at Disney, DisneyQuest® Indoor Interactive Theme Park, ESPN Wide World of Sport Complex or a round of golf at Disney’s Oak Trail Golf Course. This option increases the number of venues guest can participate in during their stay at Disney. During a two-week vacation on a 10-day theme park pass plenty of opportunity exist to take in a few extras outside the theme parks.
Advantages of Adding the Water Park Fun & More Option
The Water Park Fun & More option is a great addition for a longer stay at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. Often the stress and vigor it takes to attend a theme park (even though it is Walt Disney World) can be over whelming for just about anyone. Adding the Water Park Fun & More option allows guest to step back from the theme parks and enjoy more relaxing activities. Spending a day at Blizzard Beach or Typhoon Lagoon can increase your child’s excitement, provide some relaxing time in the sun, and rejuvenate the whole family for the rest of the vacation. DisneyQuest® is an indoor activity that can help to fill the day if it is raining or simply too hot to enjoy a theme park. Adding this increases the activities available for longer vacations and provides options different from a theme park every day.
Disadvantages of Adding the Water Park Fun & More Option
This option is the same additional cost as the Park Hopper® option ($54 per ticket) so it is more cost effective if you are staying at Walt Disney World for a longer vacation. Guest would be hard pressed to use the pass to their advantage if they are staying less than five days. A one day pass to Blizzard Beach or Typhoon Lagoon is cheaper than the Water Park Fun & More option, so if your family wants to go to the water parks, but you won’t have time for any of the other options on the Water Park Fun & More it would be less expensive to simply purchase a one day water park pass. The same is true for a one day pass to DisneyQuest®. Unless you plan on spending more than one day at a water park and/or going to DisneyQuest® then adding this option is not the way to go.
No Expiration Option
The no expiration option is just that…your ticket will never expire. This is a great option if you are planning a trip and are not sure when you will be going or if it is an open ended stay with friends or relatives. The added cost increases from a two-day ticket up to a 9 day ticket and then slightly decreases for a 10 day ticket. The additional cost varies from an additional $9.33 per day up to and additional $23.11 per day depending on how many days are on the ticket.
Advantages of the No Expiration Option
If you have remaining days on your ticket at the end of your vacation you can add the no expiration policy prior to your ticket expiration. This can be an advantage if something comes up during your trip and you are not carrying travel insurance. If you get sick and cannot use the entire ticket, purchased more days than what was needed on your trip, or have a child that will be considered an adult on your next vacation. This can also be added if you are purchasing the tickets as a gift for someone.
Disadvantages of the No Expiration Option
Once you purchase the tickets there are no refunds. This option is more costly than the other options and will raise the overall expense for your vacation. If you are buying a 10 day ticket then the ticket price will nearly double to purchase the no expiration. If you have a two or three day ticket then the cost is less than $12 per day to purchase the no expiration option.
Another disadvantage of the No Expiration Option is the individual’s responsibility to keep the ticket safe from harm. If the ticket is destroyed or lost then the owner will lose out on the total cost of the ticket since it is not refundable.
Determining what type of ticket to buy can be confusing and may simply come down to how much guest can afford to spend. Adding in options or a combination of options will provide flexibility to a longer vacation, but may not be necessary for a shorter stay. Plan accordingly by setting an itinerary, determining how much time you have to spend at each theme park, and how much you can afford to spend on vacation. Reviewing all of these factors can help to make the decision on what ticket to buy and how many options to add.
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