Date-Based Ticketing System FAQ

With four theme parks and two water parks making up 118 attractions, 51 entertainment offerings, and 149 options for dining, planning a Disney World vacation can be daunting. And that’s before we’ve even added in all that Disney Springs has to offer, as well as the Disney Resorts!

As with any vacation, planning includes figuring out travel and transportation, admission fees, daily budgets, and so much more.

Recently, Disney World changed its ticketing to a date-based system. We’ve examined it, and come up with some answers to common questions about the new system.

What is the New Disney World Ticketing System?

In the past, Walt Disney World theme park ticket prices were assigned to seasons: Value (off-season), Regular, and Peak (especially busy seasons like the holidays). Effective October 16, 2018, however, ticket prices are now assigned to specific dates and are based on the crowd levels.

The new date-based system was implemented for tickets purchased on or after October 16, 2018.  If you purchased tickets prior to October 16, 2018, the following information may not apply to your tickets. Be sure to read the “fine print” and terms and conditions associated with your tickets when you purchased them.

When you purchase your ticket under the new system you will select a start date, or the first date that you will use your tickets. Next, you’ll select the number of days you want to enter the parks.

Date Based Tickets at Walt Disney World

What If I Purchased My Tickets BEFORE October 16, 2018, for a Date AFTER October 16?

If you purchased tickets before the change-over to date-based pricing for a date after October 16, 2018, your tickets and prices will not be affected. The policy is not retroactive.

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.

Can I Price Shop and Find More Economical Dates to Visit the Parks?

Yes, when you visit the Disney World Website you’ll be able to see the base price for tickets on the dates you select. This does allow you to research the prices, and, if your travel dates are flexible, select dates that fit within your travel budget.

How Many Park Days Will I Need?

For help with planning the number of park days you’ll need, the Disney Moms’ Panel has come up with the following information. You’ll need to make use of the  FastPass+ System  and have a Park Hopper Ticket to achieve many of these numbers.

In 1 Day you can visit and enjoy:

  • 1-2 Parks
  • 5-9 Attractions
  • 2-3 Shows

In 2 Days you can visit and enjoy:

  • 2-3 Parks
  • 10-18 Attractions
  • 4-6 Shows

In 3 Days you can visit and enjoy:

  • 3-4 Parks
  • 15-27 Attractions
  • 6-9 Shows

In 4 Days you can visit and enjoy:

  • 4 Parks
  • 20-36 Attractions
  • 8-12 Shows

In 5+ Days you can visit and enjoy:

  • 4+ Parks
  • 25+ Attractions
  • 10+ Shows

Do I Have to Go to the Parks on Consecutive Days? Can I Take a Day Off from Visiting the Parks?

Tickets do not have to be used on consecutive dates.

Multi-day tickets will be valid for 2-4 days longer than the number of days of admission you get, so you can skip a few park days in the middle of your trip to rest or do something else if you like.

Each ticket length has a specific extra amount of days of validity:

Ticket Length / Valid Use Period

  • 1-Day / Only the start date selected
  • 2-Day / Any 2 days within 4 days beginning on the start date (5 days for Park Hopper Plus)
  • 3-Day / Any 3 days within 5 days beginning on the start date (6 days for Park Hopper Plus)
  • 4-Day / Any 4 days within 7 days beginning on the start date (8 days for Park Hopper Plus)
  • 5-Day / Any 5 days within 8 days beginning on the start date (9 days for Park Hopper Plus)
  • 6-Day / Any 6 days within 9 days beginning on the start date (10 days for Park Hopper Plus)
  • 7-Day / Any 7 days within 10 days beginning on the start date (11 days for Park Hopper Plus)
  • 8-Day / Any 8 days within 12 days beginning on the start date (13 days for Park Hopper Plus)
  • 9-Day / Any 9 days within 13 days beginning on the start date (14 days for Park Hopper Plus)
  • 10-Day / Any 10 days within 14 days beginning on the start date (15 days for Park Hopper Plus)

Is There a Time Limit to Use the Tickets?

Yes.  Tickets cannot exceed a 14-day usage window from start date (15 days for Park Hopper Plus).

Can I Park Hop or Visit Water Parks?

Yes, for an additional fee you can add the Park Hopper option to your tickets. When adding the Park Hopper Option you can add just the Park Hopper allowing you to visit any of the four theme parks on the same day, or you can add the Park Hopper Plus option which adds the two water parks, ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, Disney’s Oak Trail Golf Course, and the Fantasia Gardens and Winter Summerland Miniature Golf Courses to your ticket.

Can I Make Changes to My Tickets?

Yes. You can make changes to your tickets prior to midnight ET on the day prior to your ticket’s first valid date.

You will not be charged a change/modification fee, however, you will be charged the excess difference in cost if your new travel/ticket dates are on dates that are more expensive than your originally selected dates.

You will not receive a refund/credit if your new travel/ticket dates are on dates that are less expensive than your originally selected dates.

If your plans change and after the expiration date you end up not using your tickets on the original dates, the price paid for a wholly unused ticket can be applied to the purchase of a new ticket with an equal or higher price. You will be able to make all these changes online using the Disney website or the My Disney Experience app on your phone. You can also call Disney Reservations to make the changes.

NOTE: If you change ticket dates and you previously made FastPass+ selections, you will need to make new FastPass+ selections for any new dates you’ll be visiting the parks. Please check your selections after making any change to your ticket dates.

Can I Buy Flexible Start-Date Tickets?

Yes, for an additional fee you can purchase tickets without a specific start date.

If you don’t want to be pinned down to an exact start date, you can add on the Flexible Date Option. With this option, you don’t have to choose dates. The first day of use of your ticket can be any day on or before December 31, 2019. Plus, you get more days to use your ticket. When you add this option, you have 14 days (from first use) to use all your ticket days. The price of this add-on varies, but as an example, the Flexible Date option costs $71.92 for 5-day ticket in value season.

One-day Flexible Dates Tickets are valid for one day of admission prior to December 31,2019.

For multi-day Flexible Date Tickets, the first day of use must be on or before December 31, 2019, and the tickets and any other options purchased must be used within 14 days of first use, except for Florida Resident 3-Day and 4-Day Flexible Date Tickets. For Florida Resident 3-Day and 4-Day Flexible Date Tickets, the first day of use must be on or before December 31, 2019, and the tickets and any other options purchased expire 6 months after first use. Multi-day tickets are valid for one theme park per day for each day of the ticket.

I Have Unused Days on Old Tickets. Can I Still Use Them?

Maybe.

Tickets sold prior to 2004 did not have an expiration date, and the unused days are still valid.

Tickets sold between 2004 and 2014 did have an expiration date, but you could pay a fee to add a no-expiration option to them. If you paid that fee, the unused days are still valid.

To check the status of your tickets, call Disney at 407-566-4985 and select option 5. Have your ticket with you when you call so you can provide the ticket information for Disney to verify and check the number of days remaining on the ticket and if they are valid.

Can I Still Buy Tickets from Discount Resellers

Yes, but be careful. Always be sure to purchase your tickets from an Authorized Walt Disney World Ticket Reseller (like AllEars.Net’s recommended provider MapleLeafTickets.com) to ensure you are purchasing valid tickets.

I’m an Annual Passholder. Have my Passes Been Impacted?

The price of Annual Passes increased in October 2018 from $20-$50 but there are no other changes to them at this point in time. If Disney makes changes to the Annual Passholder program or pricing structure we will be sure to let you know. Follow AllEars.Net for the latest Disney news and updates.

Other Questions

Disney put a YouTube video online to help explain the new changes.

In addition, the Disney Parks Blog shared a graphic that attempts to show how the new system affects pricing. In these examples, prices have decreased in some cases, as compared to the system that was in effect previously.

Date-based Ticket Pricing

Do you have any other questions that aren’t answered above? Let us know and we’ll research and try to answer your question for you.