The best Disney World tickets for 2016

by Shannon Albert 101 comments Like the Facebook page

(Article last updated: July 6, 2016)

The best source for Disney World ticketsWhen people start planning Disney World trips, they're often shocked at how expensive Disney World tickets are. Although huge discounts are fairly rare, there are some ways to save.

Today, I've compared some popular sources for tickets and shown you where to buy different types of tickets to get the best deals.

Let's take a look...

Which Disney World tickets should you get?

First, a quick overview of the different types of tickets and who should get each one.

Base tickets
These are the most basic tickets that allow you to visit 1 of the 4 theme parks per day. If you are looking to spend the least amount possible and/or your daily plan only requires you to visit one park each day, this is your best bet.

Park Hoppers
Adding the Park Hopper option to tickets allows you to visit more than 1 park per day. I recommend Park Hoppers in these situations:

  • People who want to use Extra Magic Hours but spend the other part of the day in a non-EMH park. Though I don't normally recommend EMHs, this is especially handy during peak travel times (like Christmas and Easter).
  • If you're staying at an Epcot-area resort, it's convenient to have Park Hopper tickets so you can spend the first part of the day at any park and then go into Epcot in the evening.
  • Visitors with trips of 3 days or less who want to fit in more parks than they have days.
  • Those who want to see all nighttime entertainment but the shows aren't scheduled for every night of your trip. Park Hoppers will allow you to visit any park for the first part of the day and then hop to the park with the nighttime show when it's scheduled.

Water Parks Fun and More
Adding this option to your tickets gives you entry into the water parks, miniature golf (before 4:00), and a round of golf at Oak Trail. For every day of tickets that you buy, you get 1 entry into 1 of the extra places. For instance, if you buy 5 day Water Parks Fun and More tickets, you'll get 5 entries into the extra places that can be used at any time during your trip.

If you plan to do a water park, it's often a good idea to get these tickets rather than buying your water park ticket separately.

Annual Passes
People taking multiple trips within a year will usually find that an Annual Pass is a better deal than buying two sets of Disney World tickets (though you should do the math to be sure). Annual Passholders also get free PhotoPass downloads (basically Memory Maker is included), free onsite parking, and special discounts on resorts and food. There aren't many AP discounts available and these tickets are usually purchased directly from Disney World.

The best source for Disney World tickets

People staying offsite may also find it makes a lot of sense for just 1 person in the travel group to get an Annual Pass because of the things that are included. Here's a chart to help you decide.

The best source for Disney World tickets

You can combine all of the ticket options above (except Annual Passes) to create the best combo for you. The more days you buy, the less expensive it gets per day.

Where should you buy tickets?

We compiled prices from some of the most popular sources.

Here's the breakdown of which sources provide the best types of Disney World tickets:

Disney World
Buying directly from Disney means that you're paying full price for tickets, but it's also a required part of booking a package. If you hope to take advantage of a package promotion like Free Dining, you'll have to make a reservation for an on-site resort plus park tickets to do that.

This is the best source for these types of tickets:

  • 1 and 2 day tickets of all types, and 3 day base tickets
  • Anytime you need to book a package

AAA
People who belong to AAA are used to receiving discounts on travel and some chapters do offer discounted tickets. However, AAA no longer provides vacation package discounts for Disney World and many chapters no longer have park tickets available to purchase at a discount (some provide a link to purchase but it just goes to a page showing Disney World's full priced tickets).

This is the best source for these types of tickets (varies by chapter):

  • 4 day base tickets

Corporate discount
Many big corporations offer discounts on lots of things, including park tickets which can be purchased through a site called TicketsatWork.com. When searching your company intranet, try just searching for "tickets" rather than "Disney World" because the site sells discounted tickets for lots of destinations and your company may not list the specific types of tickets.

This is the best source for these types of tickets:

  • 4 day tickets with water parks fun and more

Park Savers
Park Savers offers prices that are hard to beat for many ticket types. Park Savers tickets are sent by email which you can then link to your My Disney Experience account. Once you arrive at Disney World, you need to take your printed voucher to your Disney resort or Guest Relations at 1 of the parks to officially activate them.

This is the best source for these types of tickets:

  • 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, and 9 day park hopper tickets
  • 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 day water parks fun and more with park hopper tickets
  • 5 and 6 day base tickets

Undercover Tourist using the private Mousesavers link
For many years, the Mousesavers email newsletter has provided exclusive Undercover Tourist ticket prices that were hard to beat, but now you can usually get the same prices from other sources without having to worry about the email link.

This is the best source for these types of tickets:

  • 4 day water parks fun and more, and water parks fun and more with park hopper
  • 5 day park hopper, water parks fun and more, and water parks fun and more with park hopper

Official Ticket Center
Like Undercover Tourist, Official Ticket Center is an authorized, legitimate ticket wholesaler. They provide free shipping for tickets, have a great reputation, and fantastic prices.

This is the best source for these types of tickets:

  • 3, 6, 7, 8, 9 day water parks fun and more tickets
  • 4, 7, 8, 9 day base tickets
  • 10 day tickets of all types

Youth Education Series tickets
Youth Education Series is a Disney program that provides educational classes in the parks for kids during certain months of the year (usually January, February, June, July, August, September and October). A side benefit to participating in YES classes is that you can purchase discounted park tickets.

The tickets aren't as deeply discounted as they used to be but they still sometimes provide good discounts. There is different pricing for those participating in the class vs. those not participating.

There are lots of rules and restrictions (like there can't be more adults purchasing tickets than kids) so be sure to read about it on the YES website. Don't purchase tickets and then skip the YES class; Disney can deactivate your tickets if you do that.

When looking at tickets, note that they have different names for tickets. Base Tickets are called "Starter Package," Park Hopper tickets are called "Park Hopper Package," and Park Hopper tickets with Water Parks Fun and More are called "Premium Package."

This is the best source for these types of tickets:

  • 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 day base tickets

Military Salute tickets
Disney provides tickets to military personnel at a deep discount. However, the only tickets available are 4 day tickets.

This is the best source for these types of tickets:

  • Anybody who qualifies and wants 4 day tickets will find these to be the best deal by far

Comparison chart of all sources

Check out the chart below to compare prices from all sources for all types of tickets of different lengths.

Some notes:

  • The bolded prices are good deals in their respective ticket category
  • All ticket prices include tax
  • All of these ticket sources can be linked in My Disney Experience. People buying Youth Education Series tickets may need to ask for a confirmation number that can be linked in their My Disney Experience account.
  • For those sources that ship tickets, shipping is usually free

(Click here to open the chart in a new tab.)

Some additional sources

International guests can often get great discounts by purchasing long-length tickets from Disney.

Used ticket resellers are bad news. Ticket sellers will often pop up at random hotels in the Orlando area or on sites like eBay. Do not purchase from those sources.

When you enter a Disney theme park, your finger is scanned to verify that you are the person linked to the park ticket. If you purchase used tickets, your fingerprint won't match, you'll lose your tickets and there's a good chance you'll be questioned by a Cast Member regarding where you purchased the tickets.

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What questions or other info do you have about purchasing park tickets?

Please share in the comments.