ALERT: Prices for Magic Your Way tickets changed on February 12th, 2017.
Any prices quoted below are as of February 12th, 2017, and do not include taxes. Prices are subject to change. Taxes except in rare circumstances are at the 6.5% rate when purchasing from from any source, regardless of method or location of purchase.
If there are any additional questions, a great place to ask is the Theme Parks Attractions and Strategies forum on the DISboards.
General Information and Frequently Asked Questions
Magic Your Way Tickets
Magic Your Way (MYW) tickets were introduced in 2005 as a new way for guests to purchase tickets for the length they want, with the options they want. The longer the ticket, the more you saved per day. A MYW ticket can be purchased for up to 10 “park days” (see below).
Prior to 2005, days on tickets never expired. MYW tickets now expire on the 14th day after first use (including the day it is used), unless you purchase the “no expiration” (NE) option. So, if you use a ticket the first time on a Sunday, you must have used all days/options on that ticket by the end of the second Saturday. Unused MYW tickets NEVER expire. On February 22nd, 2015, WDW discontinued selling the No Expiration option on MYW tickets, but tickets that already have the option may still use it.
Also, as of February 12th, 2017, all Magic Your Way tickets will now have a “use by” expiration date, where the ticket must be first used by that date. Previously, all unused MYW tickets did not expire. That date is not based entirely on the date of purchase, so it isn’t known exactly how far in advance, but currently all tickets that are purchased from today going forward must have their first use on or before December 31st, 2018. We expect that date will jump ahead as we get further into 2017. Previously this had only been on 1-Day Base tickets.
What is Value, Regular and Peak seasons?
As of February 28th, 2016, Walt Disney World has moved to a seasonal pricing model on 1-Day Base tickets only. A 1-Day Base ticket will cost a different amount depending on what “season” the day falls in. The three seasons are named Value, Regular and Peak. As the seasons are subject to change and can be quite complicated, we can’t easily post them here, but you can see a PDF of the current calendar at Disney’s Ticket Calendar site.
A higher season ticket can be used on a lower season day, but no refund in price will be given.
What is the difference between a “Magic Kingdom” 1-Day ticket and one for the other parks?
In 2014, Disney introduced a premium charge for guests purchasing a 1-Day Base ticket just to visit the Magic Kingdom. Currently, that ticket is $107/115/124 for Value/Regular/Peaks seasons, versus $99/107/119 for the other parks.
You cannot enter the Magic Kingdom with a 1-Day Base ticket purchased on or after February 23rd, 2014 that is not specifically marked for admission to the Magic Kingdom.
1-Day tickets with either the Park Hopper or Park Hopper Plus options can be used to visit any park. There is no Magic Kingdom upcharge on these tickets.
What is a “park day”?
A “park day” is an admission to one of the four major parks – Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom. A park day allows you entrance into ONE of those parks for the entire day. You can leave and re-enter the same park that day as many times as you want, but you cannot visit another park unless you also have the Park Hopper option.
What is the Park Hopper option?
Park Hopper (PH) is an option that allows you to enter more than one of the four main parks on the same day, while only using a single park day on your ticket. For instance, if you went to the Magic Kingdom in the morning, then went back to your room in the afternoon, and then decided to go to Epcot in the evening, you can only do that with the PH option on your ticket. The turnstiles will not let you in otherwise.
The Park Hopper option is the same price – $75 – no matter how many park days you have on your ticket, or how many you have not used yet, for tickets with 4 or more days. For 1-Day Magic Your Way the Park Hopper option is $63 in Value and Regular Season and $55 in Peak Season, 2- and 3-Day tickets the option is $60. If you add days to a 3-day or less Park Hopper ticket, you’ll also have to pay the additional difference in the Park Hopper prices to upgrade.
Tip: If you are unsure if you need or will use the Park Hopper option, do not get it in advance – you can always add it when you need it (see “Upgrading Magic Your Way tickets”), as long as you do it within the upgrade period of the ticket (see below).
Can I just use two days on my ticket, instead of getting the Park Hopper option?
No. Major park admissions are based on “park days”, and you can only use one “park day” per day per ticket. You MUST get the Park Hopper option if you want to go to a different major park that day.
A park “day” is considered to be from the time the park opens to guests until it closes to guests. Even if there is an Evening Extra Magic Hours that runs until 3am, the hours from midnight to 3am are considered part of the previous day.
If for some reason you happen to have two separate park tickets (say, one from a previous trip that was non-expiring), then you could use a day from each ticket instead – but this may not be the most cost effective use of a second ticket.
What is the Park Hopper Plus option?
Park Hopper Plus (PHP) replaces the previous Water Parks Fun And More option, and now it is only available in conjunction with the Park Hopper option described above.
It adds a number of “minor” park admissions that is equal to the number of park days on your MYW ticket – so for a 7-Day MYW ticket with the Park Hopper Plus option, you also get 7 admissions to the minor parks, which include both Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon water parks, the Oak Trail golf course, Fantasia Gardens and Winter Summerland miniature golf courses (prior to 4pm only), and ESPN Wide World of Sports complex (excluding special events that are separately ticketed). The exception is on a 1-Day MYW ticket, you get 2 minor park admissions.These admissions are often referred to as “pluses”, which was a term held over from the tickets available prior to the current Magic Your Way tickets, and with the new name, that term might be coming back.
The cost of the option is $90 ($15 over the Park Hopper price for most tickets), for a 4-Day or greater ticket, $75 for 2- and 3-Day tickets, $70 for a 1-Day Value or Regular Season ticket, and $78 for a 1-Day Peak season ticket.
Unlike park days, each one of these pluses count as true “admissions”, and you can use more than one a day. So if you went did a round of golf at Oak Trail in the morning, Blizzard Beach afterwardsthen a round of mini-golf at Winter Summerland next door, it would cost you three pluses.
Another thing to note is that if you add additional park days to a Park Hopper Plus ticket, you also get the additional admissions.
What is the No Expiration option?
As of February 22nd, 2015 WDW has discontinued the No Expiration option on Magic Your Way tickets. As such, this information is retained for now only for reference to existing tickets with the option, and may be removed in the future. Prices mentioned below reflect the prices prior to discontinuation.
The No Expiration (NE) option makes it so your park days (and WPFM options if you have those as well) never expire, so you do not have to use them all within 14 days.
The cost of the NE option depends on total number of days on the ticket (used or not), starting at $40 for 2 days, up to $340 for 10 days. This is the one option that gets more expensive as more days are added.
However, getting the NE option should not be done lightly. If you are local enough to Disney to make day trips, or at least short ones, it may make sense. But if you can’t fit full vacations within the length of ticket you purchased such that you need to purchase an additional ticket, you will probably spend more money.
For example, lets say you got the maximum ticket – 10 days, no options. The adult base price is $354. To add the NE option is an additional $340, so now its $694. If you used 7 days on your first trip, you now have 3 days left. But if your next trip will require 4 park days, then you will have to purchase an additional 1-day MYW ticket for $94 ($99 for a single Magic Kingdom ticket), so now your pre-tax total is $788.
If you had stuck to a 7-day base ticket, and then gotten another 4-day ticket on the second trip, your total cost would have been $324 + 294 = $618. You ended up spending $170 MORE to get the NE option…
If you already have a NE ticket with leftover days, and an upcoming trip requires more days, you are better off keeping the NE ticket for a future trip that you can fit on it, and purchase a separate ticket for the one which requires more days.
Note that the No Expiration option ONLY applies to the use of the entitlements on the ticket, and not to the timeframe to upgrade the ticket. That still has to be done within 14 days of first use.
Upgrading Magic Your Way tickets
All upgrades to Magic Your Way tickets must be done within 14 days of first use of the ticket, including the first day. For example, if you first use the ticket on a Sunday, you can still upgrade the ticket up to and including the second Saturday. This even applies if the original ticket has the No Expiration option – you CANNOT upgrade it after 14 days regardless of that option. In addition, you cannot upgrade the ticket if all the entitlements have been used. You can upgrade the day you used the last entitlement, but not the day after. For example, if you had a 5-day base MYW ticket, you can still upgrade any time before or on the 5th day you entered a park, but not the day after you used the 5th day. This does not apply to ticket entitlements on Key To The World cards (the combination resort room key/ticket cards), which get the full 14 days to upgrade.
You can add the Park Hopper or Park Hopper Plus options within 14 days by simply paying the amount it would have cost as if you had gotten it in the first place – nothing is pro-rated.
You can add days to a MYW ticket, so long as the total number of days on the ticket (used or not) does not exceed 10. If you need more than 10 days, you either need to purchase an additional ticket, or more probably get an Annual Pass.
Upgrades do NOT extend the expiration time or upgrade window of a ticket – it remains 14 days of first use, regardless of what upgrades you perform when. The exception is when upgrading to a non-MYW ticket that does not have the 14 day limit, like an Annual Pass. However, when upgrading to tickets that expire based on a particular date, the date of expiration is based on the first use of the original ticket, not the upgrade date. For example, if you have a 7-day MYW ticket you first use on May 1st, and add the Park Hopper option on May 5th, the ticket still expires on May 14th. If you then upgrade to an Annual Pass on May 11th, the expiration of the AP is May 1st of the next year.
If your original ticket includes the Water Parks Fun and More or Park Hopper Plus option, and you have _used_ any of those Plus admissions, you can only upgrade to a ticket that still has those options. For instance, if you had an 8-Day Park Hopper Plus ticket, and wanted a 10-day Park Hopper ticket instead, you can still do it unless you have used one of the Plus options (like you went to Blizzard Beach for a day), in which case you could only upgrade to another MYW ticket with the Plus options. You can also upgrade to an Annual Pass, but again if you’ve used a Plus option, you can only upgrade to a Platinum Plus Pass, which also includes those options.
Tip: If there is any chance the ticket you have was discounted from the “gate” price (the price you’d pay if you were purchasing right at the park), such as ticket purchased through an authorized reseller, use it at least once first, and THEN upgrade it. A used discounted MYW ticket should (and I say should – some CMs do not always do this properly) be credited at the full gate price, not the purchase price, when applied to a new ticket. This is referred to as “price bridging”.
Note that as of June 3rd, 2012, price bridging does not apply to tickets purchased at the full gate price but prior to a ticket price increase – upgrading will require paying the difference in purchase price and the new ticket.
Tickets that existed prior to Magic Your Way
Standard “per-day” park tickets issued prior to 2005 did not expire, and you can still use them. However, you cannot modify them in any way. If the ticket is completely unused, you CAN get credit for its original purchase price towards any current ticket of equal or greater value, but it may not be worth doing so as prices have gone up since then.
If the ticket fails to read at the turnstile or it is old enough to not have the RFID chip, you can get it re-issued at any ticket booth or Guest Relations.
An Annual Pass (AP) option is also available to the general public. The pass offers unlimited major park admissions (including park hopping) for one year. There are two – a Platinum Pass, which gets you into the four main parks, and the Platinum Plus Pass, which adds in unlimited admissions to the minor parks as well, just like the Park Hopper Plus option.
These Annual Passes also include free parking at the theme parks, so if you are staying somewhere other than a Walt Disney World Resort, this could factor in to your decision to purchase as well. And that is just among the various other perks that an AP holder can get, such as room discounts, dining discounts, and more, which can vary and are too numerous to list here.
The Platinum Pass price is $779, and the Platinum Plus Pass is $869, and the same price for all guests 3 and over. There are different rates for DVC Members (see below) and Florida Residents, and they may also have additional Annual Pass options as well.
Annual Pass Vouchers/Exchange Certificates
You can purchase an Annual Pass in advance and get a “voucher”, also called an “exchange certificate”, which does not expire. When you are ready to get your AP, you turn in the voucher at a ticket booth or Guest Relations, and you will be provided your AP which will then expire one year from the date you exchanged the voucher (“activated” the AP).
You can also access the WDW Passholder web site even before the pass is activated to see all your benefits, and even make plans based on discounts. You can always book AP discounted rooms, even though you do not yet have an active Annual Pass, but if you do not show a valid AP to the resort staff by about 24 hours after check-in, you may lose the discount.
When you order an Annual Pass online or over the phone, you are also getting a “voucher”. You must activate the Pass by going to a ticket kiosk or Guest Relations location prior to entering a park, and all adults must present valid photo ID.
Renewing Annual Passes
Annual Passholders can renew their APs for another calendar year at a discount over the full price. The renewal can take place anytime between 60 days prior to expiration up until 30 days after expiration to get the discount. When you renew an Annual Pass, the expiration date remains the same, but one year later. It does not matter when you renew the pass. You are also free to upgrade or downgrade your pass at renewal time, paying the renewal price for the chosen pass.
DVC Annual Passes
Disney Vacation Club members can get Annual Passes for a lower price than the general public – $679 for a Platinum Pass and $769 for a Platinum Plus Pass (the same as Florida Resident Annual Passes). In order to get these prices, the DVC member must have their blue DVC Member ID card and personal ID when picking up the active pass at a ticket kiosk or Guest Relations location. Note that when ordering an Annual Pass online or on the phone, you MUST go to a ticket booth or Guest Relations location before entering a park to activate the pass.
These DVC Annual Passes are otherwise the same as their counterparts.
Also new as of October 4th, 2015, is a new Gold Pass for DVC members and Florida Residents, at $559. It is the same as the Platinum pass, except for some blockout dates where it cannot be used. For 2017, they are: April 8-21, and December 18-Janaury 2nd.
A DVC Member can only purchase APs at this price for themselves and members of their immediate family who reside in the same household. All adults must be present at time of purchase/activation, and must have valid personal ID with their address matching that of the DVC member. The DVC member MUST be present and also present their Member ID to receive the discounted tickets.
Note that the DVC prices are not considered a discount by WDW Ticketing, but a specific ticket price, so if other discounts are available, they can usually be used in conjunction with the DVC price.
There is some confusion as to whether being a DVC Member makes you eligible for Florida Resident prices in general. Although these Annual Pass prices for DVC Members happens to be the same as for Florida Residents, being a DVC Member (or owning any sort of timeshare) does NOT grant Florida Resident rights such as the purchase of tickets that are only available to them. Florida Resident pricing requires having a Florida Resident drivers license or state-issued ID or certain other types of documents that WDW will accept.
At which point does an Annual Pass make more sense?
It depends on how often during a calendar year you will visit and for how long.
Because of the Magic Your Way pricing structure, you pay more per day if buying shorter tickets than longer ones. So if your typical trip length is 2-3 days, an AP will almost certainly make more sense after 2-4 trips.
What if you are taking an “extra-long” WDW vacation longer than 10 days? Only UK residents are eligible for tickets longer than 10 days. If you were to do this with Magic Your Way tickets you would need to purchase at least two tickets, which means you have to pay front loaded cost for the first few days again.
If you are staying a total of 14 days, say, and you’d need to purchase 14 days worth of tickets. Adult 10-Day Base and 4-Day tickets will run $790. A Platinum Annual Pass costs $779 – $11 less, plus it includes park hopping ($150 value for both tickets), free parking if staying offsite, and other merchandise and food discounts. 13 days is $729 in Base tickets, just $50 less than the Platinum Pass, and the other savings could save you the difference still. And if you normally get Park Hopping on your tickets, the breakeven point moves within $5 of 12 days worth of tickets.
For DVC members or Florida Residents it is even less.
If you would normally get the Park Hopper Plus option on one or both of the tickets, the breakeven would be lower – be sure to do the math.
Tip: If you are staying longer than 10 days but no more than 14, you can consider getting the Park Hopper Plus option instead of a longer ticket, and on some of the days go to one of the Water Parks, etc. instead of one of the main parks. The two water parks can take a good portion of a day, plus you can visit the resorts, use the resort pools, etc.
There are many other types of tickets that are generally only available to certain groups like Florida Residents, residents of the U.K., etc. I couldn’t possibly list out all the options and answer all the questions as I am not as familiar with them, so if you are looking for those types of tickets, you may need to research on your own.
All entrances at WDW utilize a single finger scan to tie the ticket user to the ticket. When a ticket is first used, the scan is read and tied to the ticket in the computer. Subsequent admissions then use the scan to compare against the previous scan. If there is a match, you are allowed in. If there isn’t, then you have a problem…
You must always use the same finger. It should be the index finger on your right hand (the side the scanner is on), but if for some reason you did not use that one, make sure you always use the same one. Some CMs might try to “correct” you to use your index finger even if you know which one is the right one.
Tip: With the new entrances and the RFID touchpoint scanners, put your finger on the scanner at the same time as you place your MagicBand/ticket against the touchpoint. This will speed things up.
Previously guests on child tickets (3-9) did not need to use the finger scanner at all. Since September 2016, Disney has now required a finger scanner on all guests who require a ticket. Parents can opt to use their own finger in lieu of the child’s. This was to cut down on the use of child tickets for more than one child.
According to Disney (and I also know about the technologies typically used), it is NOT a full fingerprint scanner. It is relatively low resolution, and after normalization (to account for rotation, distortion, etc.) some data points are chosen and turned into a numerical value, which is what is actually stored in the ticketing computer. The likelihood of two people being identified with the same finger scan is on the order of 1:10000 – much more common than a true fingerprint match. The technology used is actually fairly common and what Disney says is pretty much correct. Full fingerprint scanning would be difficult and slow.
Sometimes, and under what circumstances is unclear, tickets that are purchased together may be linked together in the ticketing computer such that a finger scan for one ticket might be accepted for another. This can help prevent “turnstile confusion” wondering whose ticket is whose – but this cannot be relied on, so it is highly recommended that you somehow identify which ticket belongs to which person in your group.
Also, at times the scanners may actually be turned off to help the flow of people, and you may not be required to scan your finger.
I heard the finger scanners are just for show and really don’t do anything…
As anyone who has actually had problems with them will tell you…they DO work. I have personal experience with it. They aren’t necessarily used all the time (as mentioned above), and are really just meant to prevent people from sharing a ticket or unscrupulous ticket “dealers” who purchase tickets with unused days left on them and then sell them to unsuspecting tourists as if they are new.
Save the ticket info
Always keep a photocopy of the backs of your tickets, or at least record the ticket ID information (the series of letters and numbers on the back), and keep this separate from your tickets. If your tickets ever get lost, they can be reissued at any ticket booth or Guest Relations, and this information can help speed things up.
Kids do not grow up while at WDW!
Actually, NO ONE grows up while at WDW. For all intents and purposes, you are the age you are when you check in for the entire trip. That means if a child is 2 at check-in, and has a birthday during the trip, there is no need to purchase a ticket for the remaining days of their stay, or add them to the dining plan, etc. Similarly, if they turn 10 during the trip, there is no need to upgrade to an adult ticket.
In addition, if they obtained an Annual Pass or Non-Expiring ticket or other similar long-term ticket that was used before turning 10, you can upgrade that ticket to an Adult ticket at no extra charge. The child needs to be present during the upgrade, and the age difference needs to be reasonable – if the ticket was obtained within the past year, but the child is obviously 16, then it can be denied.
If the ticket is unused, however, you can only receive purchase credit towards the price of an adult ticket.
Right-size or under-size your tickets
If you are not an “uber-planner” who plans out the details of each day of your trip and thus know for certain how many park days you need, and you want to potentially save some money, it might make sense to “under-size” your ticket – that is, get a day or two less than the max you need, and/or leave off the Park Hopper option, and take advantage of the fact that you can add more later. Skipping the Park Hopper option especially, at its cost, if you’re not sure you really need it, could save quite a bit if you wait if it turns out you don’t end up needing it.
Often when you get a package from Disney via their web site, it by default will match the tickets to the length of stay. So if you are going to plan to have “down” days, or travel days, or things like that, be sure to select the tickets of the appropriate length.
Why are my tickets on paper?
[FYI all tickets are now issued on plastic RFID-based cards, or virtually through MagicBands now…this remains for reference]
It’s not paper. The so called “paper” tickets are actually a material called Tyvek, and is very strong and waterproof. Strong enough that you may have heard of it before…if you’ve seen a house under construction or having the siding redone, you’ve probably seen the white sheeting with “Tyvek” emblazoned on it. They wrap the house to protect it from water before putting on the siding.
Cast Members have reported that they have LESS issues with the Tyvek cards than plastic, especially with regards to the magnetic stripe. Reasonable care should make them last perfectly fine. If it was a problem, Annual Passes wouldn’t be issued on them.
It appears that tickets purchased and mailed to you are usually plastic. This may be due to them standing up better in the mail. I’ve also gotten plastic tickets from AAA, but have also heard of them issuing Tyvek tickets as well. I’ve received Tyvek tickets from third party resellers as well.
If you have ANY ticket issues, you should be able to get them reissued easily. Having copies of the backs of the tickets may make it faster, but at least have your ID.
Regardless of whether they are Tyvek or plastic, reasonable care should keep your tickets in condition. Keep them in a waterproof holder, and arrange them such that no magnetic stripes contact another.