[Disney Vacation Planner]
Disney ticket options are fairly extensive, and relatively complex,
offering everything from one day's access to one of the theme
parks, right through to annual unlimited access, and practically
everything in between. Some of these ticket options are only available
to Florida residents, some to employees, others to guests that
are staying in one of the Disney hotels within the WDW resort.
Types of Pass Available
The main types of pass available that will be of interest to
UK residents visiting WDW for an annual holiday will be:
If you are planning to visit WDW more than once in a year, or
plan to visit the minor parks in preference to the major parks
the following may also be of interest:
Depending on the exact time of your visit, you may also want
to think about the following Hard-Ticket
Where should I go to buy the pass ?
There are quite a few options on where you buy the WDW passes.
At the parks.
The first option, and possibly the most obvious one, is to wait
until you get to the first theme park you intend to visit, and
buy the passes there. You still get the same choice of available
passes, and may buy the single dayy pass, or the All in one pass
The up-side of waiting until you get to the parks before buying
the passes is that it is the most fliexible option, since you
can delay trying to decide which pass to buy, right up until you
are about to enter the park. The down-side however, is that you'll
inevitably be waiting for a while for Disney to process the tickets
prior to issuing them, so may loose some time in the parks. Whilst
this may seem like a small price to pay, remember that at busy
times, queues form at the popular rides very quickly, and that
extra few minutes may make the different between a wait of a few
minutes, or a wait of an hour or so when you finally get to the
From The Disney Store
You can pre-order your passes from any Disney Store, paying for
them in advance, however in practise, this seems little different
from waiting until you get to the parks, because normally all
you'll get is a pre-paid voucher that you exchange for a ticket
upon arrival at the park. Also if you happen to loose the voucher
on the way to Disney, or while at home, then tough!
From the Car Rental Depot
Many car rental depots now also sell tickets to the attractions,
though again these tend to be sold in the form of vouchers which
are exchanged on arrival at WDW.
From Your Hotel
It's worth checking out the possibility of ordering your attraction
passes when you book your hotel reservations, since many hotels
can also sell tickets. Buying from a non-Disney hotel, you're
just as likely to get a voucher to be exchanged for the actual
tickets when you arrive at the parks, however, if you're staying
in an on-site Disney hotel, you can pre-book the required passes,
which will be available for collection from the main reception
area on your arrival at the hotel. If you plan to stay on-property,
this is almost certainly the best way to buy your tickets, unless
you have an AP.
Which pass is best for me ?
It's difficult to quantify exactly which is the best pass to
buy, because it depends on exactly what you want to do during
your time in Florida.
Price wise, the single day pass is obviously cheapest if you
only intend to visit one of the WDW theme parks each day for between
one and three days.
If you plan to visit the parks for 4 or more days, the 4-day
value pass is a cheaper option than the daily pass, unless you
want the option of moving between parks on the same day, or plan
to visit the minor parks as well.
If you have settled on the 4-day value pass as being the most
suitable, but also want the flexibility of changing your mind
and visiting a different park after lunch to the one you entered
in the morning, then you will at least be wanting the 4-day Hopper
pass, and if you plan to visit the minor parks such as the three
Disney Water parks, you'll probably want the 5 Day World Hopper
The Length of Stay pass is only available to WDW hotel guests,
and is only really worth considering if you are staying at WDW
and intend to spend more then 5 days in the major parks. Up to
5 days it works out slightly more expensive than a 5-day World
Hopper pass, but for 6 days or more it is cheaper than buying
the 4 or 5 day pass, and then additional daily passes. The only
real disadvantage in the Length of Stay pass is that it expires
when your holiday ends, so any unused days can't be reused during
a later holiday.
If you plan to spend a reasonable amount of time in the Disney
major parks, but aren't staying on WDW property, the 5-day World
Hopper pass is probably the best value, since it also offers access
to the minor water parks.
Realistically it's probably not worth considering the Annual
Passes unless you either plan to visit WDW more than once in the
same year, or are a Florida resident, and it's only worth considering
the Water Park annual pass and Pleasure Island annual passes if
you plan to spend most of your holiday in Florida outside of the
four major theme parks, but also want to be able to go into Pleasure
Island each night, or to the water parks for more than five days.
Also remember that Disney isn't the only thing to see in Florida,
and you may want to spend a few days visiting some of the other
attractions in the area such as Sea World, Universal Studios,
Kennedy Space Centre, Splendid China, or any of a host of others.
You must give this thought when buying your Disney passes otherwise
you'll be spending money for days you don't use, particularly
where the Length of Stay pass is concerned.
Note that the Disney passes can be bought from a variety of locations
including the entrance to the theme parks themselves, some airports
and hire-car facilities sell hopper and bonus passes, as do any
number of time-share resale merchants in Malls etc. Passes can
also be pre-purchased at no extra cost from any Disney store in
the UK, prior to departure, so this is often a good way to spread
the cost of the holiday by buying the Disney passes at a Disney
store before leaving the UK.
Some of the time-share merchants offer discounts on passes if
you are prepared to spend a couple of hours siting though a time-share
sales pitch. This may seem worth it, but remember it's often a
hard-sell environment, you're not going to get the discount until
you've sat through the whole thing, and every minute you spend
in there is a minute you could be spending enjoying yourself in
one of the parks, or even just relaxing around the hotel pool.
Finally remember that some all inclusive package holidays may
include a Length of Stay pass, or hopper pass as part of the package,
so you'll need to check this at time of booking before buying
any tickets from the Disney Store.
Animal Kingdom and Old Passes
When the Animal Kingdom first opened, Disney would understandably
not allow entrance with older tickets (those bought before the
creation of the park). This has now changed however, and all tickets
that were purchased prior to the Animal Kingdom opening are now
be accepted as valid admission media to the Animal Kingdom, and
the turnstiles have been reprogrammed to accept them, so if you
have passes to the Walt Disney World parks that were bought a
couple of years ago, and are still valid, you no longer need to
upgrade them to include the AK.