Do Walt Disney World Ticket Prices Go Up Every Year?

It’s no secret that a trip to Walt Disney World is expensive. Between travel, resorts, merchandise, and dining, it adds up quick! And of course one of the  most important components is your admission ticket to enter the Most Magical Place on Earth.

Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom

Did you know that when the Magic Kingdom opened in 1971, you could spend a day there for less than $10? Now a one-day ticket STARTS at $110. So have tickets really gone up in price every year since then?

In the resort’s 48 years of being open, Walt Disney World day tickets have increased yearly 33 times.

1971 Magic Kingdom Tickets

The most recent year without a day ticket increase was 2015. Vacationers that year did not escape a price hike altogether, however — Annual Passes rose in cost. If you’re curious about the ticket increase breakdown year after year, check out our full ticket increase chart here.

Often, Disney uses the price increase period to restructure tickets and offerings. This includes adding the park-hopper option, getting rid of no-expiration tickets, or most recently, introducing the date-based ticket system, which occurred in October 2018.

Date Based Tickets at Walt Disney World
Date-based Ticket Calendar

Historically, tickets are most likely to be raised in February or June, so if you’re considering a Disney trip this year, you may want to buy tickets before the summer. And with so many new attractions coming to the Walt Disney World resort (think Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, for starters!), we expect to see more frequent price hikes over the next few years.

With the new date-based ticketing system, you can select the days that are the least expensive, based on your vacation flexibility. Your best bet is to look at a variety of dates and search within your ability to go. Can you switch your vacation dates to take advantage of a lower price? Will your children be aging out of a certain price-range? We have so much ticketing info available — not to mention info on a few ways to save on tickets, like our preferred discounted ticket reseller, Maple Leaf Tickets. Take advantage of it!

So the short answer to the big question, “Do Walt Disney World ticket prices actually go up every single year?” Yes, for the most part. But why?

Child’s ticket to the Magic Kingdom from 1971

On top of rising business costs, there are always repairs. There are expansions. Walt Disney World will never be complete; it was Walt’s dream that it not remain static. That means that we see improvements constantly. There is always something new being built, opening, or being created behind closed doors.

These ticket price increases help cover the cost of construction, the creative minds behind those new experiences, and the needs of the parks. For example, can you imagine how much it costs to put on the 18-minute nighttime spectacular Happily Ever After, every single night at the Magic Kingdom?

Yet, what could be better than watching the fireworks go off over Cinderella Castle to top off your evening?

So is a trip to Walt Disney World worth all those price increases? YES, we certainly think so!

Mickey and Minnie Mouse celebrating 90 years!

Do you think Disney World ticket prices have climbed too high? What are your thoughts on the new date-based ticket system? Let us know in the comments!

Remember! When you’re in Disney tag @allearsnet in your photos!

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Molly is a lifelong Disney enthusiast, and former Walt Disney World Guest Relations Cast Member and tour guide. Her Walt Disney World favorites include Festival of the Lion King, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Fantasmic!, Mickey-shaped pretzels and rice krispie treats, and anything with Buzz Lightyear! She lives in Orlando with her husband (who she met in Guest Relations) and their two rescue dogs, Kronk and Cruella de Vil (Ella for short!)

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17 Replies to “Do Walt Disney World Ticket Prices Go Up Every Year?”

  1. WHY WHY WHY do they refuse to offer a monthly plan for non-Florida annual passes? There would be more money in their pockets if they did that, and there would be less people bitter at having to shell out $4000 for a family of four for annual passes. Universal, Hershey, Busch Gardens, Six Flags, they all offer monthly payment plans for annual passes. We used to have annual passes, but plunking out that chunk of change all at once is a non-starter now. Especially since they just raised their annual pass price by another $50 each. We would definitely get them if they offered a monthly payment option.

    1. Why, why, why, would Disney ever lower prices or offer payment plans when they don’t have to? The place is packed and the $$ just keeps flowing in.

      And, just my opinion, i don’t think it’s a good idea for anyone to start out on any vacation being “bitter” about the cost of it.

  2. I think when you compare Disney to their closest competition, Universal, the park ticket & included FP is a good deal. Where the value has started to decrease is staying on Disney property. We have always stayed “on site” at deluxe hotels & never felt that we weren’t getting what we paid for. However, our December trip didn’t feel like we were getting the same value for our dollar. Now that non- Disney hotel guests can use EMH the parks are way too crowded at night. They also get 60 day FP selection making it hard to get the FPS we wanted. The buses were ridiculously slow. I love going to Disney and had considered buying DVC but now I’m not sure the value is there with extending traditional Disney resort guest perks to off site guests

    1. There was never any value in a DVC. Just becuase they gave it the fancy name DVC instead of timesharing doesn’t keep it from being the biggest financial ripoff in the history of real estate.

  3. Not saying there aren’t enjoyable things still at WDW. However, Disney puts out their line about wanting to control crowds and that’s why they increase pricing and create all these crazy schedules of seasons. If they really wanted the crowds to slow down, they’d kill advertising for about 6 months or so. You’d see the attendance drop. They’d also have to stop flooding social media (more marketing) with stories about how everyone needs to come there this year. If they did those two things, crowds would start dropping.
    Sadly, though, they really don’t seem to care about the guest experience anymore. The experience everywhere at WDW was head and shoulders above everywhere else. Now, they justify many of these things by saying they’re “Industry Standards”. The translation is they’re following, not leading.

    1. Your right. They want to control crowds, not reduce them. In the Eisner days of WDW they, at least, made an effort to balance customer experience/satisfaction with operating costs. Now they don’t even bother. Problem is, at least for visitors, there is still an endless line of WDW addicts who will keep the money flowing out of their pockets into Disney’s pockets for a long time to come. Just look how the DVC continues to expand. When Disney realized that the addicts would buy time shares (the biggest ripoff in the history of real estate) they knew they weren’t dealing with people who cared about their money. Which means the trend will not only continue, but worsen.

  4. They are too high for many people. However, that means other vacation destinations that are more affordable like Wisconsin Dells, Branson and beaches throughout the U.S. will benefit from the increase in vacationers.

    Disney will kill the goose that laid the golden egg eventually with their price increases. Not all the ultra rich want to buy into DVC or go to Disney Parks.

    Average wage earners used to be part of Disney’s revenue base. Cutting that out will impact their theme parks’ bottom lines and the communities around their theme parks will be impacted as well.

  5. The worst thing they did was do away with the non expiration tickets. That is the epitome of greed when they do away with something like that and FORCE you to take part in the price hikes. I used to buy a 10 day ticket and take several small trips in a year. Now because of how insane the prices have become, I have gone on 2 cruises and a trip to Paris and London in the past 5 months. It’s time to start protesting with our wallets. I’m currently planning my second trip to Paris with my sister. I dearly loved Disney, but they certainly don’t feel the same about me. I hope the rich can sustain them because those are the only people that will be able to go.

    1. Most DVC’s ARE purchased by average wage earners. Who go in debt buying something they cannot afforded. WDW has no problem soaking the rich or the poor.

      Also, at this point there is no indication that cost increases are hurting their bottom line. Quite the contrary. Revenue is up, attendance is up. WDW as the playground for the rich and famous (and not-so-rich that want to stay poor) is a successful business model and It’s going to continue.

  6. I am thinking of going to Universal for the first time in many years. I’m thinking twice about it now as it is far more expensive than Disney and yet, everyone is always complaining about Disney, but, not Universal.
    I thought I’d look at the cost of an Express Pass, $104! That’s on top of the One Day,two park ticket at $188.Can you imagine the fuss if Disney charged that for Fastpasses? You could go for the cheaper option of the Express Pass that gives you entry for each ride once, a bargain $90. I remember going in 2014 and I’m sure the Express Pass was only $40. Now that is what I call inflation. Meanwhile, I look forward to park hopping at Disney and being able to get as many FP+ as I like for free.
    I think Disney is great value for the money, so

    1. Your right that, in many ways, WDW is a great value for the money. The problem is that the raw cost of that “value” is now too high. Flying private jets might also be a great value for your money, but do you have the money to pay for that value? Just because something is a good value doesn’t mean its a good expenditure of money. I hear broke and in-debt people say every day “wow, that was such a good deal I just had to buy it. I saved a lot of money.”

  7. Over the past 20 years, the price of tickets to Walt Disney resorts has grown at a faster clip than inflation. In 1997, a single one-day ticket for an adult averaged about $39.13. Recently, a one-day, one-park, regular-season (as opposed to peak season) adult ticket to the Magic Kingdom set you back about $110. While inflation averaged 2.1% annually, Disney ticket prices nearly tripled, averaging 5.3% annually.