family disney tips & strategy

Expert tips on the theme park's new ticket pricing.

It's that time of year again: Walt Disney World just increased ticket prices to its four theme parks. Under its tiered pricing system, one-day tickets saw a jump of $2-$7 each, depending on the park and season of visit.

During the value season — including select dates in February, April, late summer, and fall — visitors ages 10 and up can expect to pay $109 to get into the Magic Kingdom and $102 to enter Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios, or Disney's Animal Kingdom. Visits during the regular season, which includes May weekdays, most of the summer, September weekends, and most days in December, can cost as much as $119 at the Magic Kingdom and $114 at the three other gates. Most holiday periods (like the weeks leading up to Easter, Thanksgiving week, and late December) are considered peak season and will set guests back $129 at the Magic Kingdom and $122 at the other parks.

Fortunately for budget-conscious folks, there are ways to shave dollars off the price of Disney World tickets. While we've already shared tips to save on admission to the “Most Magical Place on Earth,” here's how to really get your money's worth.

Time your visit right.

Visiting in the value season doesn't just save $10-$20 over regular and peak season visits. You'll also notice a difference in crowd sizes. During our value season trips, we've noticed fewer people in attendance, resulting in shorter waits for attractions and shows — meaning you'll have an easier time enjoying more of the parks' offerings without hordes of other people.

Get to the parks early (and stay later).

No matter when you're traveling, we always suggest getting to the parks before they open since fewer guests leave their hotel rooms early in the morning; it's during this time that you'll experience shorter wait times for rides than you would later in the day. At night, stick around for some of Disney's best shows, including Happily Ever After, IllumiNations, Fantasmic, and Rivers of Light. For those staying at an on-site Disney resort, you'll also have access to Extra Magic Hours, where the parks stay open earlier or later than their typical operating hours, giving you more time to use your tickets.

Book your FastPass+ before the trip.

Disney World single-park tickets each come with three FastPass+ entitlements per day. Use them to reserve your spot in line at specific attractions. Once you've used up the three selections, you can make others, one at a time, at kiosks located at the park or through the My Disney Experience app. To have a better chance of getting the attractions you want, reserve them as early as possible when your FastPass+ booking window opens. You can start making reservations at 7 a.m. EST up to 60 days before your visit if you're staying on the premises, and up to 30 days prior if your hotel is off-site. You may not know what you'll want to see and do at the parks this far in advance, but you'll gain some peace of mind of knowing you'll experience at least three attractions — and you can change your FastPass+ reservations up until your arrival.

Buy early.

Thinking of going to Disney World in 2019? Ticket prices are sure to rise again next year. To lock in current prices, consider buying tickets for a future trip this year since any unused tickets issued in 2018 won't expire until Dec. 31, 2019.

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