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How to choose the right park tickets – PREP051

How to choose the right park tickets – PREP051

Disney World park tickets are expensive and can be confusing to figure out. Today, I have info on which options are available and who should choose each one.

I also have a quick tip about your techie setup when making hard-to-get dining and FastPass+ reservations.


These are notes from this episode. There’s much more info included in the audio so be sure to listen to the episode for a better explanation.

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Ticket types

These are the types of tickets that you can get for your Disney World trip:

  • Base tickets – allows you entry into 1 park for each day of your trip
  • Base tickets with the Park Hopper option – flat rate fee on top of the price of base tickets that allows you to enter more than 1 park per day. Read my article on who should make use of Park Hoppers for more info.
  • Base tickets with Water Parks Fun and More – flat rate fee that allows you to enter 1 park per day plus entries into extra things like the water parks, DisneyQuest, the 2 miniature golf courses and Oak Tree golf course (anybody planning to go to a water park should probably get this option since the cost is basically the same)
  • Base tickets with both Park Hoppers and Water Parks Fun and More – allows you to park hop and entry into the extra places (buying both gives you a reduced flat fee compared to buying them each separately)
  • No expiration ticketsmost tickets expire within 14 days of first being used but adding the No Expiration option allows you to use them anytime. These make sense for people who know they’ll be back to Disney World but won’t be spending more than 10 days in 1 year. (No expiration tickets were discontinued in February 2015)
  • Annual passes – unlimited entry into the theme parks for 1 year which makes sense for people who will spend more than 10 days per year there and sometimes makes sense for people only making 1 trip.

Finding deals

People buying a package will pay full price through Disney since packages require you to book a hotel and park tickets (and you can add a Disney Dining Plan optionally).

For current full-price ticket prices, see

The best deals are often found through third-party wholesalers like Undercover Tourist (use the UT link in the newsletter) or Official Ticket Center which is who I use.

See my comparison of ticket prices (which is now outdated since Disney increased their ticket prices) at

Quick tip of the day

You can use multiple devices (computers, tablets, smartphones) when trying to get dining or FastPass+ reservations. This might make it easier to get difficult reservations, especially if you have multiple people logging on at once. You will not be logged out of My Disney Experience by doing it this way.

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Saturday 23rd of March 2019

We added park hoppers but after doing more research i do not think we need it. Can i remove it from my reservation?


Sunday 26th of April 2015

Hi Shannon, I'm still confused about the Water Parks option. If I get a 5 day pass, I get 5 passes to the water parks, etc. They don't have to be used on the same days, right? I could do 5 days at parks and then the 2 following days at water parks? Also to get free dining when it's offered, do u have to buy park passes and rooms directly from Disney to get the deal? What if I book my rooms off of Expedia?

Aubrey Stalcup

Monday 16th of March 2015

Just a question on the park hopper with waterpark fun and more..... If I have a 7 day park hopper with the waterpark fun and more addition, does that mean I can spend 7 days in parks and then an 8th day in the water park, or is the water park one of my 7 days?

Shannon Albert

Monday 16th of March 2015

All of your park days must be used within 14 days so you can do it whenever you'd like within that 14 day period (so 7 park days and then 1 day in a water park will work fine).


Saturday 27th of December 2014

I am not sure if you addressed this in another podcast or not but if one buys park tickets thru a third party vender i.e. official ticket center do you receive the magic bands or is that only when you buy directly from disney?

Sharon R

Saturday 11th of October 2014

My friend came back from a trip in August, and they had the park hopper and water park and more option on their tickets. They spent all week at the parks, and intended to spend Saturday, their last day, at a water park. But they were denied entry, because they used all of their park entitlements and were told they had needed to use their water park entitlements in between their first and last park entitlements. Does that sound right?

Sharon R

Saturday 11th of October 2014

You know, now that I think about it, I wonder if they tried to ADD that option for Saturday, after they had used all their park entitlements. In that case, I know for sure that you can't make changes after you've used up all your park days.