If you’re headed to Disney, you need to hold on to all the money you can. Discount Disney tickets are a great way to save on an essential part of your vacation.
There’s a handy tool you can use to find your discount Disney tickets, but first you need to figure out what type of ticket you need.
Types of Disney Park Tickets
Disney World offers three standard ticket options. While each one has its merits, you may not need to pay top dollar to get what you want out of your Disney experience.
Here are the standard ticket options for Disney World:
The Park Hopper Plus Ticket allows for the number of extra attraction admissions equal to the number of days you purchased on your ticket. So, if you buy a 4-Day Park Hopper Plus Ticket you receive four visits to any of the listed amenities.
Disney World also has special ticket offers available on their website and through third-party sellers. Wherever you buy your Disney ticket, there will be various conditions that affect the price you'll pay.
What Affects Disney Ticket Prices?
Disney ticket prices vary based on a few factors:
- Your Vacation Dates
- Age of the Ticket Holder
- Number of Days You Purchase
- If You Want the Park Hopper Option
- If You Qualify for Membership Discounts
Your Vacation Dates
Disney uses dynamic pricing, which means that ticket prices are different depending on the days you’re purchasing.
As you can see in the picture above, the price per day for the 5-Day ticket I selected varies based on the day I will first use my ticket.
So, if the first day I went into a park was Sunday, April 5th, I would pay $101 per day for my ticket. The total price of the ticket before tax would be $505.
However, if the first day I entered a park was Tuesday, April 21st, I would pay $89 per day, making the total ticket price $445 before tax.
The prices seen here are for adult, one-park-per-day tickets before tax.
On the Disney World website, the ticket calendar will show you the months with the lowest-priced tickets. Currently, the Disney World calendar shows per day ticket rates for the next 12 months.
Because of Disney’s dynamic ticket pricing, days that are projected to be less busy are cheaper. These cheaper days are often during times that kids are typically in school.
Peak times with more expensive tickets and busier parks are around spring break, summer vacation and the holiday season. If you’re bound by a school schedule, compare prices for different breaks before deciding when you’ll go.
Another tool you'll want to use before you decide when to travel is the Undercover Tourist crowd calendar. This tool lets you see how busy each Walt Disney World park is projected to be based on historical data. Fewer people in the parks means you can do more when you're there!
Age of the Ticket Holder
Did you know that not everyone at Disney needs a ticket? Kids younger than three get free admission.
Children ages three to nine are eligible for discounted admission, while anyone age 10 and over pays full price.
Number of Days You Purchase
Generally, it’s cheaper per day of park-going to purchase multiple days on one ticket.
If you want to take a break mid-way through your trip and go somewhere other than a Disney park, your multi-day ticket will still work. Read the fine print before purchasing your ticket to see when it’s valid.
If You Want the Park Hopper Option
As I laid out in the table at the beginning, the Park Hopper and Park Hopper Plus tickets let you do a little more each day you’re at Disney World.
The Park Hopper options give you more flexibility on your trip, but the choice to add it largely depends on what’s important to you while you’re at Disney.
The Park Hopper Plus option is probably not worth the money for most Disney-goers because the amount of activities you have access to is likely to be wasted. It might be worth it if you have a long vacation and don’t plan to be in the parks at least half the days that you’re there.
Note that if you make reservations for a restaurant in a Disney park, you must have valid admission to get into the park. If you don’t purchase Park Hopper tickets, make sure you plan your day so that you’re in the park where your reservation is.
If You Qualify for Membership Discounts
There are discount Disney tickets available to a few different groups, like members of the United States military, Florida residents and AAA members. Check the websites of any groups that you're a member of to see if you can get discounted tickets this way.
If you can’t, there’s no need to worry. There are ways anyone can get discounted Disney tickets.
How to Find Discount Disney Tickets
You can find current deals for Disney tickets at ClarkDeals.com, but because there are so many variables when it comes to booking a Disney vacation you should still comparison shop.
You can buy tickets directly from Disney, but you'll likely get a better deal from a third party vendor. When purchasing tickets from 3rd party sites, look for the "Authorized Disney Ticket Seller" emblem:
When you enter your information, the search results with the best deals for you will appear below the calculator.
Although Touring Plans does list Undercover Tourist as one of the sites it checks for discount tickets, there's a secret you should know. Undercover Tourist announces its best deals via the MouseSavers newsletter.
My family has purchased tickets for a great price by subscribing to this newsletter. If you’re waiting to buy tickets until you see a great deal, this option could be your best bet.
Sites like Undercover Tourist sometimes offer Disney vacation packages, as well. You may also find that Disney tickets from Costco that are included in some of their vacation packages are a good price. However, you'll have to see if these Disney vacation packages work with your plans and budget.
If you want to save money when you buy your Disney tickets, do these three things: Check out ClarkDeals.com for the latest Disney savings, use the Touring Plans calculator to compare discount ticket prices and sign up for the MouseSavers newsletter to be notified when Undercover Tourist releases their best deals.
If you're thinking about staying on Disney property during your trip or just want to learn a little more about the pros and cons, read my article about how to choose the best Disney World Resort hotel.