The best Disney World tickets for 2016

(Article last updated: July 6, 2016)

When 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.

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Leave a Reply

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Ellen Tennis

The way that I calculated whether an annual pass would be beneficial was by adding up the price for the tickets for two separate trips I would be taking. Rather than looking at how much it would cost to get a ticket for the total number of days for the two trips since it would cost more to buy a 7-day ticket and then a separate 4-day ticket. I also added in the price of parking (included in annual pass benefits) and factored in the cost of the photopass photos. With the two tickets and parking, it about equalled the price of the annual pass and the photos are basically free to me.

Angela

Am I missing something? All these “discount” sites are more expensive for tickets than Disney…

Steven Kelly

I’ve read good things about Visitorlando.com, which had particularly good Black Friday deals on WDW tickets. Has anyone had experience with this company?

Jennifer

If we book at an onsite Deluxe Villa Suite directly from Disney and then purchase the park hopper passes from UT, and get a dining plan directly from Disney, but then they release the percent off your room stay, would we still qualify for the percent off the room stay? (Going in May, 2017).

Cleo

Will wdw guest’s get a discount on some tickets if they order in advance?

Shani Shalgi

Thank you so much for these tips and comparison!
I found very cheap tickets on OrlandoFunTickets – looks like a 40$ discount for a 5 day ticket. Is this website legit? Does anyone have experience with it?
Also, if I get an e-ticket, will I be able to link it to my account and use FastPass just like a regular ticket?

Kristin J.

Wondering if we purchase tickets from a discounted vendor, can those same tickets be upgraded to an annual pass or only tickets purchased directly from the Dis? Thanks!!!!

Bev

If you upgrade a discounted ticket to annual pass, is the difference always going to be vs. current ticket prices? Or is it possible that discounted tickets from the vendors you mention would have been issued prior to price increases?

A. Barton

Couple of special prices running right now on TicketsAtWork.com:

5 Days (3 Day + 2 Days Free), with Park Hopper – 10+ = $369, 3-9 = $349
7 Days (4 Day + 3 Days Free), with Park Hopper – 10+ = $409, 3-9 = $389
7 Days (4 Day + 3 Days Free), with Park Hopper, Water Park F&M – 10+ = $434, 3-9 = $414
4 Days (3 Day + 1 Day Free), with Water Park F&M – 10+ = $369, 3-9 = $349

Catherine W.

Your price comparison chart is extremely helpful, thank you! I plan to purchase the Park Savers 7 day PH for $389. Does Park Savers pretty much run that price consistently year round? I prefer to wait a few months before purchasing park tickets, but I don’t want to miss the $389 price. Just wondering if in your experience, that price is consistently on their website. Thank you!

Jill Brown

Hi! My mother passed away suddenly and had 9 days of a 10 day Park Hopper, water parks and more, no expiration available. I understand tickets are non-transferable in FL. What about this case? Do we lose this ticket or is there a provision for a situation like this?

Amy

Hi, just wondering about the ParkSavers tickets, I have not ordered from them before. Usually go with Undercover tourist. Has anyone used them before? Would like to know their experience. Thanks!

Disney 2016

Can you setup fastpass plus when you buy a discounted e ticket? If yes, how far in advance? Thanks!

Felicia

yes, same as anyone else – 30 days if offsite, 60 days if onsite.

Sylvia Moore

does disneyworld offer group discounts on base ticket?

Kelly F.

Are the parksavers tickets upgradable? Thanks!!!!

Kevin

First of all, I LOVE your website. It is Wonderful! Thank you very much.
Question about water park add on tickets… I plan on going for 5 days… 1x each to the 4 parks, and 1x to a water park. (just 1 park per day)… Do I purchase the 4 day or 5 day base ticket+ water park add on? I never understand if the visit to the water park counts as 1 of your ‘days’. (because, if it’s the 5 day, it would make more sense to just purchase the 4 day and buy the water park ticket separately)

Also, I notice the price difference between 4 day and 5 day base tix is almost $0… If I wanted to visit 5 parks in 4 days (but didn’t want to purchase the park hopper option)could I purchase the 5 day base ticket, and use 2 separate ‘days’ on 1 day??? (for example… day 1 MK, day 2 Epcot, day 3 AK, day DHS, and day 5 MK ‘and’ Epcot)

Felicia

1. you should buy 4 day tickets. The water parks plus option would then give you 4 days of water parks, either on the same days or different days. So you could have up to 8 days of things to do. However, if you want just 1 day at a water park, I think it’s cheaper to purchase it separately.

2. no, you can’t use 2 days of base tickets on the same day. Disney makes sure you buy the more expensive park hoppers.

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