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Ticket prices at Disney World have only moved in one direction for as long as I can remember. Care to guess which direction that is?
With the recent move to date-based ticket pricing, families are looking for a way to save every dollar they can when visiting everyone’s favorite mouse. Some travelers find a way to use points to buy Disney tickets, which can certainly help. But, there’s new good news: For at least a good portion of 2019, Disney World is returning a limited-use ticket to the mix that may help save a few bucks when paying cash (or using fixed value points) for admission.
4-Park Magic Tickets
MouseSavers drew our attention to the fact that Disney World is bringing back 4-Park Magic Tickets for sale from Jan. 18 – Sept. 30. The most important thing to understand from the outset is these are not Park Hopper tickets. Disney World designed these tickets to save you some money (and perhaps even out crowds among the parks), but they also limit how you can visit the parks.
These 4-Park Magic Tickets essentially give you four discounted tickets, one for each Disney World theme park. You can visit one park each day, and you have seven total days from your first visit to use all four tickets.
Disney’s website does a pretty good job breaking down how it works. Here’s a helpful grid from Disney:
How Much Can You Save?
The date-based pricing certainly puts a wrinkle in easily calculating the savings. The 4-Park Magic Tickets have three pricing bands and aren’t available for all days of the year. We took a look at early April 2019 and compared 4-Park Magic Tickets with Park Hopper tickets. We used adult tickets in all of our calculations (child tickets at Disney aren’t substantially cheaper than adult tickets). Park Hoppers start at $118 per day for adults in early April, where 4-Park Magic tickets are $89 per day for that same time period.
That’s a pretty nifty savings, $29 per day. What if you dropped Park Hopper and just bought a four-day ticket? The pricing is closer, but there are still $10+ savings per day to be had via the 4-Park Magic Tickets.
So what’s the difference between a four-day ticket and a 4-Park Magic Ticket? With the regular four-day ticket, you could enter any park you wanted each day. For example, younger children will likely want to spend more time in the Magic Kingdom and less time in EPCOT. So, a four-day regular ticket could be used for two (or four) days at Magic Kingdom, where a 4-Park Magic ticket would only allow you to enter the Magic Kingdom on one of the four days.
The Bottom Line
Picking the right ticket for your Disney World vacation can be a dizzying experience. You’ll find some savings from places like Undercover Tourist and you can find discounted Disney gift cards to help control your costs a bit further. But, if you have a very set plan, 4-Park Magic Tickets can be a good option that stacks with using discounted Disney gift cards. We probably wouldn’t recommend these tickets for a first Disney visit unless you have your agenda very dialed in and will indeed visit each park one day and one day only. If you do buy these tickets directly from Disney, try and pay with a credit card that awards a bonus on entertainment (not travel), such as the Citi Premier Card (2x), Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card (4% cash back) or the US Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card (5% cash back on your first $2,000 each quarter).
It’s also important to note that if you buy a more expensive Select or Summer 4-Park Magic Ticket and use it on a cheaper day, Disney World won’t refund you the price difference. So, make sure you plan accordingly. For more trip resources, read TPG’s Ultimate Guide to Walt Disney World Resort.
Featured image by Cory Disbrow / Getty Images
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