On Tuesday, October 16th, Disney World will be changing the way they sell tickets. They will begin using “date based pricing” – meaning that more popular and crowded days will be more expensive than slower times. If you think about it, this is the same way resort pricing already is and the same way flight prices work.
Still, there is a bit of a learning curve when it comes to changes at Disney, so I wanted to create this post with as much information as possible and hopefully answer any questions you have! And of course if you need personal assistance I am always happy to offer my services as a travel agent free of charge – just send me an email at BeckyG@castledreamstravel.com and we’ll start planning your trip!
There are a few key terms with the new system that you should be aware of.
“start date.” This is the first date your tickets are valid. If you’ve booked as part of package the start date is your check in day. If you booked tickets only, you will have selected your start date at the time of purchase.
“Valid use period.” This is the date range when you can use your tickets. For tickets only it is the # of ticket days plus a couple of extra days (this varies based on how many days purchased – see chart below). For a package it’s the length of your stay or the valid use period – whichever is longer.
Let’s take a look at the FAQ for Disney’s new ticket prices:
Will this affect tickets I’ve already purchased? What if I have a package booked?
If you’ve already purchased your tickets, you are good! Nothing will change from what you currently have booked. If you booked tickets as part of a package the old rules will still apply unless you make any changes. If you choose to change the number of days in the park, or add the park hopper option it’s possible you will be subject to the new rules (we are waiting until the 16th to make certain this is the case).
Is it still going to be more expensive to go to Magic Kingdom than the other parks?
No. Under the new system it will not differentiate between the 4 parks. The price will vary based on the date, not the park. (Currently Magic Kingdom being more expensive was something that occurred only when buying a 1 day ticket).
What if I want to use my tickets further apart than they’ll let me? Do I need to buy a new ticket?
Disney will also offer the option for “Flexible date tickets.” This will be an extra fee (pricing has not been released yet), but they will work the way tickets currently do: you can use them on any dates you want and will expire 14 days after first use.
What if I’m staying at a Disney resort and want to have a lot of down time and resort days?
Guess what? If you’re booking a package (rather than tickets only) you’re in luck! As part of a package, tickets are good for the valid use period OR the length of stay – WHICHEVER IS LONGER. So if you’re at a Disney resort for 8 days but you only buy 3 day tickets, you can use them ANY of the days you’re there. On the flip side, if you’re at a Disney resort for 3 days but you buy 6 day tickets (maybe you’re traveling to an off-site resort after a few days in Disney), you tickets are good for 9 days from the day you check in. You’re going to be getting whatever is the better deal.
Will the prices vary throughout my trip?
No, the cost of your ticket will depend on your start day only.
What about park hopper plus? Will I have enough time to do the water parks too?
If you add on the park hopper plus option, which includes access to the water parks, you get an additional day to use your tickets. For example, if you bought a 6 day ticket you would normally have 9 days to use it. If you add on the park hopper plus, you have 10 days to use it.
Is it going to be even more expensive to go to Disney now?
Flexibility has always been key in saving money while traveling to Disney, and this is even more true now that the ticket system is changing. I suspect the simple answer to this is “yes,” it’s going to be more expensive now. There will be an interactive online calendar, which will help you to find the dates that are the most affordable. The calendar may even make it easier to save money. But especially for people who are tied to certain dates, like during the summer or holidays, you will probably see an increase in price.
If a date seems to be selling more than Disney anticipated will they raise the price even more?
No, Disney has stated “the date-based prices are established in advance; they do not fluctuate.” So if you’re thinking about buying tickets for November 2019 but you’re not sure yet if you’re going, you don’t have to rush. Those tickets will be the same price whether you buy them now or in October 2019.
If I was planning to buy tickets or a package soon, should I do it before October 16th?
We can’t know for sure, but my recommendation would be yes. I find it unlikely that prices will go down in any situation. What I expect to see is the more affordable times (think September, January) will cost the same as tickets right now, and the more expensive times will increase. I am encouraging everyone I know who needs to buy tickets to do so before Tuesday – if you’re one of those people email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can help you get those tickets!
What if I want to do a “split stay” (staying at two different Disney resorts)?
The flexible ticket option is probably going to be best for you. If you do a package and only have tickets as part of the first reservation (the second is booked as a room only), you’ll need to do some math to see if your tickets cover you for your entire stay or if you need to upgrade.
Is there any way to make this less confusing??
Yes, consider a travel agent! I’m happy to work with you and give you answers to any questions you might have and find what’s right for your specific situation. Just send me an email.
Do you have any additional questions about Disney’s new ticket prices?