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Complete Guide: Walt Disney World’s Secret (Or Not-So-Secret) Ticket Price Hikes

Planning for your Walt Disney World vacation takes a lot of financial management. With increasing prices for hotels, tickets, special events and more, Guests begin planning months and sometimes years in advance. It gets more and more difficult to navigate and manage the budget with more frequent increases in prices.

Most of us did not know that Walt Disney World was going to yet again increase ticket prices for the parks (including water parks). Some had heard about it or suspected it, I will be honest with you, I did not see it coming. Especially since Walt Disney World just increased the pricing in October 2018 to coincide with the entire ticket pricing/purchasing structure change. Disney explained the October structure change and price increase as allowing “more “flexibility” in pricing to “help manage crowds” and “encourage people to visit at less-busy times.” But here we are once again, having to manage and deal with another price hike.

Generally price increases happen at this time of year. But again, we just had one last Fall. With all of the ongoing construction and mega attractions coming our way, will we continue to see increases? Let’s review what has changed:

ONE DAY, MULTI PASS TICKETS

The week between Christmas and New Year’s is by far one of the busiest times of year to visit. If you are planning a trip this year, you will need to open your pockets a little wider. There is a $30 a day increase, the biggest hike I have ever seen. On Christmas Day itself, tickets are hitting an all-time high of $161 per ticket, and that does not include the park hopper option. A steep price to pay for a family visiting the Happiest Place on Earth for the holidays.

For other crazy busy times, including Easter, Memorial Day and from mid-December to Christmas Eve the new $139 price is a $10 increase. From November 4 to November 7 the same ticket is $125, up from $114. From December 2 to December 5, a one-day, one-park pass runs $117, a $3 increase.

The park hopper option add-on cost for all tickets (anytime of year) went up $5. A one-day park hopper add-on is now $60, two and three-day add-ons are $65 and four to 10-days are $80.

Multi-day tickets went up around $9 per day. It varies depending on the day or week you are visiting, but that is the average.

PARKING

Parking remained the same, as it just increased in October 2018. Standard parking still costs $25 per day. Preferred parking is $45 most of the year. That’s actually a $5 decrease to the pre-October prices. Preferred parking stays at $50 for peak season.

ANNUAL PASSES

Theme Park Annual Passes have not changed since a $20 to $40 hike in October 2018. The Water Park Annual Pass did increase $9, from $130 to $139.

Again, this is all an attempt at controlling the crowd levels and spreading out attendance among all 4 theme parks throughout the year. With all of the new attractions and changes coming in the next few years, Disney needs to manage the continued increase in crowds coming the parks. With new hotels on the rise, there will be more opportunities for Guests to stay on property and those same Guests will be spilling over into the parks. That does not include all of the locals who come out daily to experience all of the magic Disney has to offer.

THOUGHTS

What do you think of the price increase? While I fully understand the necessity and logic behind it, where does it end? Will there ever be a limit, a cap on pricing? How high will it go? Hard to say as the parks have never been more crowded!! Clearly previous price increases have not stopped anyone from visiting. So much so, that there really isn’t a “lighter” time to visit anymore! And as long as Disney continues to offer the incredible value to their Guests for the price of admission, we (myself included) will continue to pay for something that means so much to so many of us!

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