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How To Buy a Walt Disney World Ticket

Updated on June 6, 2012

Figuring out Walt Disney World Tickets: what are the options and where to purchase.

Maybe the kids have been begging. Maybe you just want to do something fun. Maybe it’s an annual tradition. No matter what the reason, you’re going to Walt Disney World. It’s exciting and it’s confusing. It seems nothing Disney does is simple. Purchasing tickets is no exception.

Disney tiers their tickets. You start with a base ticket for one to ten days. From there everything is optional and extra. A one day base ticket grants you access to one theme park per day. You may come and go from that park as often as you like, but you may not use extra days on your base ticket to go to another park; Disney’s turnstiles will lock you out. Disney charges $87 to $2.42 for extra days, depending on how many days you purchase; the more days you purchase, the less per day your ticket costs.

If you want to go to more than one park on any one day, you must purchase the park hopping option. This is an extra $57 per ticket for 2 -10 days or $35 for one day. If you upgrade your 1-day ticket, you will pay the $20 difference in park hopping.

If you want to add the Water Park Fun and More option, that is an additional $57 per ticket, no matter how many days you have on your ticket. The Water Park Fun and More option grants you a certain number of entries to either of Disney’s water parks (Blizzard Beach or Typhoon Lagoon), Disney Quest, a round of golf at Disney's nine hole Oak Trail Golf Course (Tee times required), a round of minature golf or entry to Disney's WideWorld of Sports Complex. You may come and go from any one of these, except golf, as often as you like during any single day that you used an entry there. Going to a different place will require the use of a second entry. For example, you could play golf in the morning, go to a water park in the afternoon and Disney Quest in the evening and use three entries that day. If you were to go to a water park in the morning, leave for a break and then head back to the same water park in the evening, you will have only used one entry. One or two day tickets receive two Water Park Fun and More entries. Three through ten day tickets receive the same number of entries as days.

The cost of purchasing both the Park Hopping option and Water Park Fun and More option is $79. This saves you $35 if you bundle the two options.

All tickets and options expire fourteen days after a ticket is first used, regardless of what type of use it is, unless you purchase the no expiration option. The cost of no expiration is based on the original number of days on your ticket or the total number of days originally on your ticket plus any days you have added. The more days on your ticket, the more expensive your ticket is. An unused ticket will never expire.

You may add options to your ticket at anytime, up to the last day of use of your ticket. For example, if you have a five-day ticket, you must upgrade on or before you use the fifth day; the fifth day can be used anytime during the first 14 days. Upgrading a ticket is based on ticket price and not type of ticket. It is possible to go from a ten-day base ticket to a seven-day ticket with the park hopping and water parks and fun options with no expiration, but it is not possible to go from a ten-day ticket with no expiration to a three-day ticket with Water Park Fun and More and Park Hopping. It is a good habit to use a ticket at least once before doing an upgrade; even a ticket that has used all its options and days may still be upgraded for up to fourteen days.

If you are buying a Walt Disney World package, you must purchase tickets, but you may purchase any ticket you choose. You do not need to purchase a ticket for your length of stay. If you are not purchasing a Walt Disney World package, you would be wise to not purchase your ticket from Disney. Disney is the most expensive place to purchase tickets. You should never purchase tickets from eBay or Craig’s List—these might be counterfeit tickets or partially used tickets (which are non-transferable and linked through a finger scan to the original user). You are better off buying from a reputable discount broker like Maple Leaf Tickets or Undercover Tourist. Also check out your HR department at work; they often sell Disney tickets or have Tickets at Work, both of which would be at a discount. AAA or CAA offices also sell discounted Disney tickets. If they do not have the exact ticket you want, you may always upgrade it after using it to get the current gate value of your ticket, more than what you paid. Otherwise, you will only get the amount Disney sold the ticket for credited to your new ticket. This could be less than what you paid for it if you purchased your ticket/booked your package before a ticket price increase or purchased your ticket at a discount.

Another reason to not purchase from Walt Disney World directly is that unused tickets never expire. You can use your ticket at any time. However, if you decide you would like to upgrade, tickets purchased from Disney World directly will only give you credit for what you purchased. If you purchase from an authorized ticket reseller, you will receive current gate value for your ticket provided you have used it once first.


If you will be visiting Walt Disney World more than 10 days in any 366 day period, you would be better off purchasing an annual pass. An annual pass will give you unlimited admission to all four major theme parks for 366 days, including park hopping. An annual pass also gives you discounts at select restaurants, on water park tickets, Disney Quest admission, select retailers, free parking (if not staying onsite), the ability to purchase Tables in Wonderland, Disney’s discount dining card, and many other discounts. Annual passes may only be purchased through Disney directly (or upgraded at Disney) or through AAA South.

You now have the knowledge to decide what ticket and ticket options are best for you.


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    • brennawelker profile image

      brennawelker 6 years ago

      Sch a fun hub! Thanks for sharing this article.

    • LelahKimball profile image

      LelahKimball 7 years ago from USA

      Steve, the finger print isn't a real finger print. It's a very small section of the finger and not fully stored. They aren't saved forever either. Many people will fit the profile. It's more of a scan that will help prevent the sharing of tickets.

    • profile image

      steve 7 years ago

      Who knows what they do wit the database of fingerprints???? Somedcay they will use DNA. Homeland security

    • Dizney Fan profile image

      Dizney Fan 8 years ago from Orlando, Florida

      Great information on buying Disney World tickets. I will also say that Maple Leaf Tickets is a very reputable ticket company here in Orlando.

    • profile image

      Disney World Tickets 9 years ago

      Good information for Disney world visitor. I also like Disney world visitor.

    • LelahKimball profile image

      LelahKimball 9 years ago from USA

      I'm glad you found it useful.

    • k@ri profile image

      Kari Poulsen 9 years ago from Ohio

      Good Advice! Thanks for sharing.