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Disney World Date Based ALL Tickets is coming, this is scary!

by Dad
(The Office)

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It’s coming. It’s BIG and really scary. What am I talking about? The new dated based ticket pricing for all Walt Disney World tickets.

What is Date Based Ticketing?

A Magic Band Scanner at Walt Disney World

The price for getting into Walt Disney World is going up – Photo by Cliff Wang

Back in 2016 Disney rolled out single day tickets based on the crowd levels predicted for that day. The higher the crowds the more expensive the tickets. It wasn’t an earth shattering announcement, annoying but not earth shattering. Most of the other theme parks were doing the same thing.

How it Works

Date based ticketing works by assigning a crowd level to each day of the year. Disney has 3 levels. Value, Regular and Peak. Then they assigned a “premium” to the two higher levels. They couldn’t just make it easy, so the Magic Kingdom and the other parks are different.

At the Magic Kingdom you pay $10 extra for Regular and $20 extra for Peak tickets. For the other parks it’s $12 for Regular and $20 for Peak.

That’s the way it’s currently structured.

Actions Have Consequences

There were immediate consequences to the new system. The higher prices especially during the summer drove guest to go in other times of the year. Summer has gone from a CRAZY crowds to just moderate to heavy crowds.

Disney World attendance hasn’t gone down so, where did those Summer crowds go?

January, February, March, April, May, October, November, December. They spread out through the whole year. October went from being a sleepy nice month to visit to one of the busiest months of the year. Busier than July.

Actions have consequences.

All Tickets Will Be Date Based Tickets

On October 16, 2018 Disney will move to where ALL tickets will be date based not just single day tickets. This means that even if you have a ticket in a package, if you buy a ticket from a Disney Authorized Ticket Broker (like our partners at The Official Ticket Center, or if you buy a multi-day ticket from Disney it will be subject to date based pricing.

What That Means

Let’s take an example. If you were planning a trip to Walt Disney World from January 5th though 12th, you would have a ticket that has 1 Peak day, 3 Value days and 4 Regular Days. That would be an 8 day ticket. Currently that ticket sells for $425.

Since the current Regular tickets are roughly 10% more and the Peak 20% we’ll use that for calculations.

I was a math major so let’s see if I can figure this out. If we divide $425 by 8 we get $53.12. Multiply that by 3 Value days and you get $159.37. Multiply $53.12 by 1.1 (10%) and you get 58.44. Multiply that by 4 Regular days and you get $233.75. Finally multiply $53.12 by 1.2 (20%) and you get $63.75. Add those up and your 8 day ticket will cost $456.87 which I’m sure Disney will round to $457. That’s about an 8 percent increase.

Let’s say you pick a week that doesn’t have a Value Day in it. The price goes up pretty quickly. For example March 16-23 has 2 Peak days and 6 Regular days. That would be $478.15. For April 18-27, all Peak it would be $510 for the same ticket you pay $425 for today.

Ticket prices are going up.

One big thing that changes with the new date based tickets is the 14-day expiration or tickets goes away. The new system makes tickets expire quickly after the first day on the tickets. If you add the Park Hopper Plus (not just the Park Hopper) option which gives you access to the water parks, you get an extra day before it expires.

For example our 8-day ticket will expire on the 12th day. If you add the Park Hopper Plus option it will expire on the 13th day.

Here’s a chart of expiration dates:

New Disney World ticket expiration date

Simple right?

October 16, 2018

This goes into effect on October 16. OCTOBER 16th. Just over 2 weeks. This is BIG. HUGE. This is coming. On October 16 ticket prices are going up for almost trip. Up to 20%


I can’t emphasize this enough. BOOK YOUR 2019 VACATION NOW!!!! BUY YOUR TICKETS FOR 2019 NOW!!!

Yes, I’m yelling, but I don’t want you to pay more for your trip than you have to.

If you only need tickets get them from our partners at The Official Ticket Center. Pay Value ticket prices instead of Value, Regular and Peak prices. Save up to 20%.

Dad’s Official Ticket Center page

If you plan to stay in a Disney Resort, LOCK IN YOUR PRICE NOW. Don’t get caught in the coming ticket price increase. Don’t wait because soon Resort rates will be going up. Prices are going up. Lock in your price today. It’s only a $200 deposit.

Our partners at Destinations to Travel are ready to help you save money today. They will help you book your package, but that’s not all they do. They partner with you to help you have the BEST. VACATION. EVER. All you have to do is go over to my Destinations to Travel page and fill out the form at the bottom to get started.

Trust me. Do it now.

Dad’s Destinations to Travel Page

Destinations to Travel

Dad’s Bottom Line

So, date based ticketing is coming to Walt Disney World on October 16th. There’s no putting the genie back in the bottle. This is going to happen. That means that on October 16th, ticket prices will go up at much as 20%. On October 16th. Did say that DISNEY TICKET PRICES ARE GOING UP ON OCTOBER 16TH?


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Comments for

Oct 16, 2018 kinda not great
by: 10/16 new tickets

So it appears that when you book your trip and then decide on your tickets they are very date specific and sensitive!
Once you choose your dates of travel for the tickets you then must decide what day you “start” at the parks and it has an end date you must abide by.
For instance if you choose June 7th -through June 15th for you vacation dates and want to buy a five day pass, but don’t plan on going to the parks until June 8th your tickets expire on June 15th.
They have increased the prices at least nominally from what I can glean.
What is unclear is what happens if you book a trip and change the dates for whatever reason or if you can even pre-buy your tickets without a set date in mind.
When you go on their website it does not allow you to just buy tickets so that throws a lot of spontaneity out the window on when to decide your vacation dates.
I think that makes it difficult for people to plan early and without a definite date in mind.
Not sure how it will impact vacations, I guess it will force people to be highly organized and definite on their trips, and I am curious if as the year progresses will the prices increase in accordance with the amount of people booking specific months? You know, like the Uber effect with price surges?
Right now if you look at 2019, they state right off that January 2019 is the lowest priced time to buy tickets.
Learning curve definitely, not as bad as I had feared but not as user-friendly or for pre-planners that like to lock in tickets in advance without their trip planned.

Oct 10, 2018 No bargains
by: value hunter

The so-called value resorts are no longer values.
It seems the entire region that supports Disney has gotten fat with greed and want to soak families for every last cent they make.
The tickets are so expensive already without a yearly increase, and now to top it off with a system you need to be a student at MIT with an engineering degree to figure out all the permutations!
Clearly they are using algorithms we of the simpler mind set will not be able to crack the code and determine when is the best time to visit.
It is going to have a negative ripple that will take awhile but it will show a drop in attendance year over year.

Walt Disney would NOT be happy that they are pricing out families of all means to visit the supposedly Happiest Place in the World.

Everyone here, including you Dad, should be mass emailing the company expressing our intense concern for this new system they are dumping on people.

Oct 10, 2018 tipping points for ticket prices
by: Anonymous

I suspect this might be the straw that breaks the camels back for pricing.
If it gets “too complicated” for people to set up a family vacation or they have to try and figure out the not just the best rates for hotels, flights but now park tickets! (and don’t forget best weather) this will definitely dampen the spirits of vacationers.
Parents have a finite period of dates when kids can realistically be pulled out of school without too many consequences and companies don’t always allot too many people same periods for vacations for the fear of being short staffed.
Disney created this beast by over doing the aggressive build out over the past few years in Orlando and they push the holidays worse than retailers.
Think about it the Fall season for the Mickeys not so scary Halloween starts end of August! Then you slam into Thanksgiving and the Christmas season where they go all out of decorations and parades.
They push for conventions and for all sorts of sports teams to arrive (cheerleading/dance) etc the list is endless so they have created this behemoth of a vacation and now they cannot sustain it so they raise prices to deal with their over success.
I think the management has been too aggressive and have made Walt Disney World, a once Magical place for families to go, into now a complex financial nightmare with few being able to afford it and I think the trend will be a decline in average visitors.

Too Big, Too Fast and TOO EXPENSIVE!

Oct 09, 2018 outrageous Iger
by: very very upset

WOW Dad, thanks I just contacted the ticket broker I use and they have said at least with their tickets that if you purchase e tickets they are valid through 12/31/2019 BUT the regular card tickets EXPIRE 2/28/2019 WHICH we cannot use for an upcoming late Spring Trip.


I have gone along with all the changes and upsets through the years with iger as CEO and I have to say this is the most disruptive.

They are pricing out regular people that make it a big vacation once a year and we feel we are being priced out no matter when we choose to go for the vacation.

I don’t know at this point I have a feeling 2019 might be our last trip for awhile – it’s getting too expensive even at value resorts and the tickets are increasing too much – must be to pay his $35 million dollar income and then his pension… 🙁 very sad and scary

Oct 02, 2018 Ticket changes
by: Anonymous

Are there changes to military discount tickets?

Dad Answers

That’s a real good question, but since Disney just announced the renewal of the Disney Military Ticket program for 2019 with specific numbers, I don’t think the new date based ticket pricing will affect them at least for now. 2020 may be a whole different situation.

Sep 28, 2018 Date based tickets will suck!
by: Jill

I’ve been a fan of Disney a long, long time, going there for over 23 years. I’ve seen prices continue to go up & up to where it’s getting ridiculous! If they don’t stop penny/nickle-ing us ( actually much more than that!) with these constant ways to squeeze more money out of us they are going to see a drop off in crowds because no one ( other than the very rich) will be able to afford to go.

I thought it was Walt’s dream to make these parks affordable to EVERYONE! I have an annual pass as I love Disney so much, I moved to Florida. I cringe every year at how much the pass holders tickets go up. We are the tried & true fans of Disney that keep these parks going during the slow times.

I wish the folks at Disney would think about how this impacts the regular folks who want to go to Disney to share Walt’s dream. (This speaks NOTHING about how much money we spend inside the parks when we visit! I’m a frustrated fan!

Sep 28, 2018 Ticket changes
by: Anonymous

Are there any changes to annual passes?

Dad Answers


Sep 28, 2018 Should have seen it coming
by: Phil

I knew something must be in the works on tickets. Ever since Disney did away with the no expiration tickets, I just felt like that was the preliminary shot in the ticket price increase war. Now we know why they eliminated that feature. Wish now I had bought about 10 of those no expiration date tickets back then. It would have out performed my 401k by a mile!

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