|Posted on February 21, 2012 at 3:40 PM|
One of the biggest costs of a Disney vacation is the admission price to the parks. However, with a dizzying array of options, it is also one of the most confusing things to figure out. The goal of this post is to demystify the process and help you save some money. In reality, there are just a few key decision you need to make.
How Many Days?
The first decision to make is how many days you want to go the parks. Disney tickets are priced to penalize people who want to visit other attractions and only go to Disney for a handful of days. Almost all of the costs you will pay are incurred in the 3 day pass. Adding additional days typically costs only a few extra dollars and in some bizarre instances can even be less when you find the right discounts.
Visiting Multiple Parks in a Day
The next decision to make is whether you want to visit 2 parks in the same day. Disney calls this Park Hopping. It can be added to any pass for the cost of $55 + tax. While this is clearly a personal preference, my advice is not to do it. It's a fairly costly option and you lose a lot of time moving between the parks. If you don't want to spend a whole day in a park, use that as one of your "break days" or combine it with a trip to Downtown Disney or a waterpark.
Do You Want to do the Water Parks?
Another option Disney provides is called Water Park Fun & More. Like Park Hopping, this option costs $55 + tax. The rule of thumb here is if you want to go to a water park more than once (or combine a water park with a trip to Disney Quest, basically a huge arcade), this option is a pretty good value. Otherwise, skip it. Because the water parks are much smaller and have shorter hours, they make for a great "rest day" between parks or a nice combination with an evening at a park.
The "No Expiration" Option
Disney gives you the option to keep your unused days forever. In general, I do not recommend this option. There are 2 reasons for this. One, they have greatly closed the price gap that use to exist, so you aren't saving much money by pre-paying. Two, the stats show that most people lose/forget about their unused days.
Where to buy your tickets?
The best place to buy tickets is undercovertourist.com. From my research, their prices are consistently the lowest and they are a legitimate operation. If you are a real saver, you can sign up for the newsletter at mousesavers.com and use a secret link in the newletter to save an extra few bucks per ticket off of undercovertourist's already low prices.