Disney Adopts Surge Ticket Pricing for One-Day Tickets

by  Christine Dayao | Mar 1, 2016
Disneyland / Wittayayut/iStock

Every year, Disney raises the admission prices for its parks in Florida and California. In 2014 and 2015, news of the price hike came in February -- leading many to anticipate the 2016 hike would come by Leap Day. While the predictions were indeed true, the new prices came this weekend with the added element of surge pricing on one-day admission.

Similar to seasons of travel or even an Uber ride, the calendar year is now broken up into three tiers: value, regular, and peak. Those days can be viewed through Walt Disney World’s online calendar, as well as on one set up for Disneyland between eight and 11 months in advance. Here’s what all of this means.

For visitors to the Magic Kingdom during peak season -- like holidays, summertime, or whenever kids are out of school -- a one-day ticket will set you back $124, excluding taxes. Regular season tickets, like in late July and early to mid-August, cost $110. Value season, which falls in September and other select dates, is priced at $105. For Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom, prices are as follows: $97 (value), $102 (regular), and $114 (peak). Want to hop between parks? Depending on the season, tack on an extra $40 to $58 to your ticket for a Park Hopper.

Over at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure, the price of admission is slightly cheaper than the Orlando parks -- but not by much. At each park peak season tickets are $119, $105 during the regular season, and $95 on value days. The Park Hopper option costs an additional $50-$55.

Other terms of the new ticket policy include having to use one-day tickets before the end of the next calendar year. (For example: If you purchase a ticket this year, you’ll have until December 31, 2017 to use it -- or it expires.) And it’s also worth noting that the dynamic pricing is valid on only one-day park admission, so you don’t have to worry if you’re visiting for multiple days. However, multi-day tickets weren’t spared from the price hike, either: two-day base or non-park hopper tickets are from $202 at Walt Disney World and from $195 at Disneyland -- up from $192 and $185 in 2015, respectively.

While one of the biggest ways to save on Disney World’s one-day tickets is to visit during the value season, you can still shave a few bucks off admission by purchasing tickets through Undercover Tourist. We found that at $115.95 for a one-day Magic Kingdom ticket and $106.95 for the other three parks on Undercover Tourist, the savings are significant if you’re visiting during peak season -- amounting to about a $14-$16 difference from buying directly through Disney. For multi-day passes, you can save at least $5.

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