Should You Buy Disney World Tickets Before Oct. 16 Pricing Changes?
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A few weeks ago we learned that big changes were coming to how Walt Disney World prices tickets beginning on Oct. 16. While the exact forthcoming price points for Disney World tickets were not disclosed in that announcement, we learned that Disney World will be shifting to date-based pricing for both single and multi-day tickets.
Disney World Moving to Date-Based Ticket Pricing
Beginning Oct. 16, your Disney World tickets will price differently depending not only on how many days you stay and how many parks you visit per day, but also based on which days of the year you travel. This will mark the first time that Disney World has introduced date-based seasonal pricing for multi-day tickets that are tied to the exact dates of your trip.
As you would expect, peak season dates will cost more than off-season dates. Until now, only one-day Disney World tickets had seasonal pricing — multi-day tickets were a consistent price throughout the year.
What Will Disney World Tickets Cost After Oct. 16?
Unfortunately, most of the new Disney World ticket prices are not scheduled to be released until they are live and for sale on Oct. 16. A Disney spokesperson confirmed to TPG that one-day park tickets will vary from $109–$129 per day based on date (currently $102–$129 per day), but no other prices are scheduled to be released ahead of time.
We learned you will also have a shorter period of time to use your multi-day tickets than you do today. Currently, you have up to 14 days from the first day in the parks to use your multi-day tickets, but in the Disney Parks video example, you just have from November 12–18 to use a four-day ticket. If you want 14 days to use your multi-day Disney World ticket, the video indicates you will have to pay extra. The added benefit of that extra fee is that you will also be able to use your tickets on flexible dates instead of fixed dates — in other words, just like the current system.
Should You Purchase Disney World Tickets Now?
Knowing that these new prices take effect next week beginning on Oct. 16, should you purchase your Disney World tickets now ahead of the pricing changes? If you are planning to travel to Disney World in 2018 or 2019, and have the money to make the ticket purchase now, then I think there is a strong argument to purchase your tickets before Oct. 16 in a number of cases.
Buy Now If You Travel to Disney World at Peak Times
First, you should consider purchasing now if you are traveling during what you know will be a peak season date. If you want to go to Disney World at Christmas, New Year's, Spring Break, summertime, on weekends, etc. then odds are very high that your dates will fall on the pricier end of the date-based spectrum and could very well cost more than the current flat-rate multi-day ticket prices. You can get a flavor for how this may work by checking out the single-day park tickets that are already priced by value, regular and peak dates.
Buy Now If You Want 14 Days to Use Your Multi-Day Tickets
We know that you will have fewer days to use your multi-day tickets starting Oct. 16, so if you like to purchase a four- or five-day ticket but use those days over a period of two weeks while having multi non-park days in the middle of your trip, then purchase your tickets now. You will have to pay extra to get a 14-day window to use multi-day tickets starting next week.
Don't Rush to Buy a One-Day Ticket to the Magic Kingdom
Right now, one-day tickets to the Magic Kingdom cost more than the other three parks. That will be changing on Oct. 16, as all four Disney World parks will charge the same amount, though that will continue to vary by date.
One-day tickets to the Magic Kingdom are currently $109–$129 per day based on date and they will be shifting to the same $109-$129 range, so I would not prioritize those purchases. Currently, on value dates you can get tickets to the other three Walt Disney World theme parks starting at $102 per day, so those prices will be rising to a minimum of $109 each for adults.
Buy Tickets Disney World Valid Through the End of 2019
I called up Undercover Tourist, one of my favorite sources of discounted Disney World tickets and they told me that they don't have the details of what the new prices will look like next week, but that they are encouraging their customers to make purchases now. Their physical Disney World tickets are currently valid until Feb. 28, 2019, and their e-tickets are valid until Dec. 31, 2019. The physical tickets are refundable as long as they are not used, damaged or linked to a Disney account. The e-tickets are non-refundable but come with the longer use period until the end of 2019.
Disney World has assured Undercover Tourist that tickets sold now will be honored under the current 'use on any date' rules until they expire.
As an added perk to purchasing tickets from Undercover Tourist is that they can often beat Disney World's tickets on multi-day tickets and ticket purchases from Undercover Tourist traditionally code as a travel charge for the purpose of earning bonus points on a card such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve. Here are our tips if you want to use points to cover the cost of your Disney World tickets. A bonus tip is to subscribe to Undercover Tourist's monthly newsletter to get even more discounts on your Disney World tickets.
While Disney has yet to spell out all of the exact details of the new ticket pricing system, there is enough information in the newly released video and blog post to know that these changes mean tickets are getting pricier in some situations, especially for families who like to travel during peak times. In other situations, some Disney World ticket prices may go down a little bit for those who can travel on the least busy dates.
A Disney spokesperson has emphasized to TPG that one of major goals with these changes is to continue to try and spread attendance throughout the year to improve the guest experience. However, we don't want you to pay more for Disney World tickets then you have to, so consider buying now if your situation makes it likely that tickets would cost more or be more restrictive beginning on Oct 16. Of course, we will update when additional details and prices become available on Tuesday, if not sooner.