When you plan a trip to the Walt Disney World Resort, the theme park tickets are often the most expensive component of your trip. It is important to understand how the system works so that you plan your vacation accordingly.
Sorting your way through the Magic Your Way tickets and choosing the best value for your family can be difficult if you are not familiar with the system.
Magic Your Way is Disney World's term for their ala carte system for purchasing theme park tickets, allowing you the flexibility to choose the number of days and types of options that you want to pay extra for.
Here is a table of current prices (without taxes) for Magic Your Way Base tickets:
If you look closely at the average cost per day information in the table you will see that it starts to go down dramatically starting with 4 days. Disney has made the park tickets extremely expensive for short trips.
The Base tickets allow you to attend one of the four Disney World theme parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios, or Disney's Animal Kingdom) each day with unlimited entry and re-entry to that same park during that day's operating hours. The Base ticket also will expire 14 days after the use, which pretty much limits it to being used during only one trip.
With the ticket pricing strategy that Disney World has chosen, you are much better off scheduling one longer trip as opposed to two shorter trips.
With a budget in mind, it is usually in your best interest to skip the options (Park Hopper, Water Parks & More, No Expiration ) that are available. This is especially true is your are planning your first Disney World trip. There is plenty to see in the four main theme parks to fill your time, so there is no need to add the extra expense for these additional activities.Best Value
Based upon ticket pricing alone, I would recommend an ideal trip length to be 6-7 days. This allows you to get to an average Ticket cost of around $35 per day vs the $70+ per day for the 3 day or less visit.
Where to Purchase?
A common question is where to purchase your Magic your Way Tickets. Since Disney World does not provide much in the way of park ticket discounts, there are limited options.
Here are the ways to get your best deal:
1. Check the pricing on the Disney Website ( http://www.disneyworld.com/) make sure you get the pricing with taxes, so that you have a good price to compare. Buying online is usually slightly less expensive than buying at the gate.
2. Check AAA. If you are a AAA member you should check their ticket pricing. They typically do not have the full range of tickets available, but you may be able to save a couple of dollars.
3. Check Undercover Tourist (see link on this website). They are one of the very few legitimate Disney World ticket resellers. I recommend them, but be very wary of any other reseller you find on the internet. It is very difficult to tell a fake ticket until you try to use it at the park entrance. As a general rule if the deal is too good to believe, you should stay away.
No matter which you choose the savings will be minimal. Disney World offers regular discounts on Resorts and packages, but not tickets.
When you are spending as much money as it takes to visit Disney World, it pays to do your homework and be prepared. The 6-7 day vacation length will dramatically lower your per day cost for one of the most expensive parts of your trip.
Later I will be posting advice for those who wish to consider puchasing the Magic Your Way Options.