Disney World will be moving to date-based pricing for theme park tickets starting October 16, 2018. This means that tickets will be priced differently depending on the day you visit.
The new system will:
- Assign each individual calendar day a specific ticket price (each day will reflect a different price based on various factors like crowd levels)
- Use an interactive calendar for ticket purchasing, and to show guests the highest and lowest ticket prices within a given month or year
- Offer guests the option to upgrade to a ticket with a “flexible start date” for an added cost.
How To Purchase Disney World Tickets Using The New Date-Based Pricing System:
Starting October 16th, guests wishing to purchase Disney World tickets will be able to access the new system via DisneyWorld.com or the My Disney Experience app.
Guests will be able to search for lowest-priced days to maximize their budgets, and when they’re ready to purchase…
…they’ll be able to choose a start date for their ticket.
Once a start date is selected, guests will see the total ticket cost based on that start date.
A date range will also be provided for when the ticket can be used. Tickets do not have to be used on consecutive days, but do have to be used in entirety during the date range provided.
If this system doesn’t do it for you, there IS a way to avoid the changes altogether… but it will cost you!
Disney World Date-Based Pricing “Flexible Dates” Option
For guests who’d rather not be locked into specific days, a “flexible dates” option is available for an additional fee. This is basically your “keep everything the same as it was before” choice. It allows guests to start using the purchased tickets on any date before December 31, 2019 (in this example below — date will change going forward) and allows for a 14-day window during which to use the ticket after it’s been activated by a first use. So…pretty much the same as the current system.
Depending on the cost of tickets on the days you want to head to Disney World, there’s a chance the flexible dates option may actually save you money — but that remains to be seen based on exactly how much they end up charging for the flexible dates option, and how much ticket prices vary per day. These prices are always subject to change.
Why is Disney World Doing This?
According to Disney, “introducing date-based tickets and pricing will allow us to better distribute attendance throughout the year so that we can continue to improve and deliver a great experience.” So, in a nutshell, Disney World is getting too crowded, and making popular days more expensive is the most effective way to incentivize guests to visit during lower capacity times.
It makes sense. Crowd levels have been high in Disney World, and spreading those out a bit will make the experience better for those who traditionally visit during busy times.
Also, Disney has priced hotel nights and hard-ticket events based on capacity and “seasons” for years — why wouldn’t ticket prices follow suit? Disney World is a business, and it makes sense that they’d follow a supply-and-demand policy for pricing park tickets.
However, the new system could make things more financially difficult for families who can only attend during school breaks or pre-set work vacation dates. These are historically and usually the most popular and crowded seasons — meaning they’ll likely be the most expensive seasons as well for airfare, hotel stays, AND, now, park tickets.
Disney World Date-Based Ticket System FAQs
What Happens If I’ve Already Purchased My Tickets For a Date AFTER October 16th?
If you’ve already purchased tickets for a date after October 16th, or you purchase tickets BEFORE October 16th for a date after October 16th, your tickets and prices will not be affected. The policy is not retroactive.
Does this Affect Annual Passholders?
At this time, no information has been released regarding updates to the Annual Passholder ticketing system.
Will Tickets Still Cost Less Per Day The Longer You Stay?
Yes. The “more you play, the less you pay per day” structure is still in place. So, if you buy a one-day ticket, it will cost more than that same day would cost if you purchased a multi-day ticket.
Let us know what YOU think in the comments, and read more at Disney Parks Blog.