As the weather gets warmer and summer gets closer, many people look forward to vacation plans. If your summer vacation plans include Disney World, then you are not alone. Tickets went on sale in February 2021 for this year. However, you will need advance reservations since they often run out. Planning ahead and knowing the cheapest time to visit Disney World can make your trip much more affordable. But as with most things in life, it all comes down to timing.
Ticket Prices Vary
Beginning in 2016, Disney switched to date-based pricing for admission tickets. In an effort to prevent overcrowding, Disney World adjusts the price depending on how busy they are. When the demand for tickets goes up, so does the cost.
Prices fluctuate regularly. So, if you see a good price, you’ll have to book it then to lock in the rate. The cheapest one-day ticket starts at $109. However, the same ticket goes for $159 during the busiest days of the year.
If you go online, you can find great discounts for entrance and hotels if you travel in the off-season. You should check out ticket prices ahead of time and compare to find the best rate and beat the crowds.
Different Ticket Types
There are also different types of tickets that give you greater access to all the parks. Depending on what you want to do, the cheapest option may not offer the best value. If you are planning your trip around Disney World, different packages allow you to take advantage of multiple attractions. Some also give you the ability to enter multiple parks on the same day.
- Park Per Day – entrance to one theme park for the day
- Water Park and Sports Option (+$70) – admission to the water park or the ESPN center for one day
- Park Hopper Option (+$65) – allows you to visit multiple parks each day
- Park Hopper Plus Option (+$85) – visit multiple parks each day, including the water park
The Most Expensive Times to Visit Disney World
As you probably guessed, the most expensive tickets and busiest days correspond with holidays and times when kids are out of school. Generally speaking, this means summer ticket prices are usually higher. But, you can find days with cheaper rates even during the peak season.
However, budget-minded travelers will want to avoid these dates:
- New Year’s Day: January 1
- Spring Break: April 1 – 17
- Memorial Day: May 28 – 30
- Thanksgiving: November 24-27
- Christmas/Winter Break: December 15 -31
The Cheapest Time to Visit Disney World
Now that you know which dates to avoid, it will be easier to home in on the best prices. You will typically find that weekdays are the cheapest time to visit Disney World since it receives more visitors on the weekends.
When comparing prices, there are several factors to consider. A single-day ticket starts at $109 without any discounts. However, you will spend less per day when you purchase multi-day tickets. The longer you stay, the cheaper the prices get.
For those who are looking for the cheapest time to visit Disney World, these dates fall between holidays and school breaks. You can usually find multiple days with the lowest rates in these time frames:
- mid-January through mid-February
- mid-August through the end of September
The Best Discounts for Disney World
After years of practice, I’ve learned that you never have to pay full price for tickets. If you know where to look, discounts are easy to locate. Here are a few tricks to find discount ticket prices that can save you a ton of money on your next Disney World vacation.
- Be flexible. You will have a better chance to find discounts if are less rigid about the actual day you visit. Being flexible can land you better deals.
- Compare prices and multi-day discounts. Disney World rarely offers discounts on one-day tickets. If you book through the official website, you can usually find better discounts for multi-day tickets. However, you should also compare prices from different sellers. Third-party ticket agencies like Undercover Tourist, Orlando Fun Tickets, and Parksavers can help you get tickets for 8-10% below face value. You may also get lucky if you take your chances to score cheap tickets through online auction sites like eBay.
- Know your discounts. The last tip seems obvious. But, you may qualify for an additional discount that you aren’t even aware of. The easiest method to get discounted tickets is to purchase them online which saves you $20 right off the bat. However, here are a few other significant discounts that could net you huge savings:
- Disney Vacation Club gets you 10% off
- Florida residents get a 30% discount with an ID
- the Military discount gets you up to 50% off tickets
- first responders can also claim a discount when they book tickets
- memberships with discount buying clubs and car clubs usually get you 5-10% off
- an annual pass can save you more in the long run if you plan to visit several times
General Tips to Help You Find the Cheapest Time to Visit Disney World
Keep in mind that your ticket is only valid for Disney parks in Florida (Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios). So, if you plan to visit Universal as well, you’ll have to purchase additional tickets. Furthermore, date-based pricing only applies to the Florida parks and hasn’t been implemented yet for the California parks.
Any unused days on your ticket are non-refundable. But, if you find a cheaper ticket or choose a cheaper option before your arrival, they will usually refund the difference. If you are set on a specific date or special event, some people recommend booking your ticket prior to your arrival date since the ticket can be used after the start date. However, you’ll need to be aware of the window of time when you have to use them.
The best advice for finding cheap tickets is to plan ahead so you don’t pay more than you have to. Part of this includes knowing which dates to avoid, which passes you’ll need, and buying them online. Good luck and happy hunting!
What are the best deals you have found on Disney World tickets?
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Jenny Smedra is an avid world traveler, ESL teacher, former archaeologist, and freelance writer. Choosing a life abroad had strengthened her commitment to finding ways to bring people together across language and cultural barriers. While most of her time is dedicated to either working with children, she also enjoys good friends, good food, and new adventures.