|One of the
most confusing subjects for first- time visitors to Walt Disney World is
the admission media. How much is a ticket? Why are there so many
different kinds of admission media? How do you know what's best for you?
This session discusses WDW admission media and helps clarify these and other
questions surrounding the many different ways of getting into the theme
Admission media can be purchased at the entrance of any of the WDW theme
parks (Photo by Brian Bennett)
Let's simplify the different admission media available at the Walt Disney
World Resort by grouping them according to type. Included in each description
is the current cost for adults, and children ages 3 to 9. (Note: All prices
are rounded up.)
1 Day, 1 Park Ticket ($51 per adult, $41 per child) - Admission to
one theme park only for one day only.
2 Day, 2 Park Ticket ($97 per adult, $76 per child) - Admission to
any theme park for two days only.
3 Day, 3 Park Ticket ($137 per adult, $105 per child) - Admission to
any theme park for three days only.
These tickets are for those who plan to either spend a short time in
Orlando or just want a brief look at the Disney theme parks. These allow
you access to one park per day, and are not park hopper passes -- that
is, they do not let you hop between parks in a single day. It's a one-park-per-day
pass, and the price per day is expensive. In addition, the two- and
three-day tickets can be purchased only at a WDW ticket window.
4-Day Park Hopper Pass ($204 per adult, $162 per child) - Admission
to the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney-MGM Studios and Disney's Animal
Kingdom on any four days, with no expiration date. You can visit more
than one park in a day, and the pass does not have to be used on consecutive
5-Day Park Hopper Pass ($230 per adult, $183 per child) - Similar to
the 4-Day Park Hopper Pass, but good for five days.
Hoppers give you more flexibility as they allow you to visit more than
one park in a day. The cost per day of Hoppers is somewhat less with
single-day tickets. These are the pass of choice for week-long trips
that also include visits to non-Disney Orlando attractions such as Universal
Studios and Seas World.
Park Hopper Plus
5-Day Park Hopper Plus Pass ($261 per adult, $209 per child) - Similar
to the 5-Day Park Hopper Pass but with an added choice of visiting any
two of the following: Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon, River Country,
Pleasure Island, and Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex.
Park Hopper Plus Passes are also available for six days ($294 per adult,
$236 per child) and seven days ($325 per adult, 262 per child).
Obviously these are admission media for vacationers who do plan to
do a lot more than visit theme parks. I believe Hopper Plus Passes are
worth the price only if you plan to visit Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard
Beach, the two main water parks. If you use the Plus part of the pass
for anything else, you are not getting true value for your dollar.
Regular Annual Pass - ($370 per adult, $315 per child) - Admission
to the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney-MGM Studios, and Disney's Animal
Kingdom for one year from time of purchase. Admission does not include
water parks, Pleasure Island, or Disney Quest.
Premium Annual Pass - ($498 per adult, $423 per child) - Admission
to the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney-MGM Studios and Disney's Animal
Kingdom, plus Disney Quest, Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon, River Country
and Pleasure Island for one year from date of purchase.
We are now in the upper hemisphere of WDW admission media. Guests who
use Annual Passes are usually spending at least eight to 10 days in
Orlando, have scheduled two trips to WDW within 365 days of one another,
or plan to use this media to take advantage of an Annual Passholder
special at a WDW resort.
The price per day is obviously dependent on the number of days the
passes are used. Many first-time guests are appalled by the cost of
the Annual Pass and may not be aware of the benefits that accompany
this type of media. In addition to discount room, benefits include discounts
at many WDW restaurants, Cirque du Soleil, and many Downtown Disney
shops. If you take advantage of AP room specials as well as these additional
benefits, this media is by far the best deal for you.
Except for the single-day tickets, each of the parks sell identical
admission media (Photo by Brian Bennett)
Ultimate Park Hoppers
Ultimate Park Hopper Pass - Admission to Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney-MGM
Studios, Disney's Animal Kingdom, River Country, Blizzard Beach, Typhoon
Lagoon, Pleasure Island, Disney Quest and Disney's Wide World of Sports.
The Ultimate Park Hopper Pass can be described as a length-of-stay
pass. That is, this pass allows you full access to almost everything
you would normally visit on a WDW vacation for the length of your stay
in Orlando. This type of admission media is a good deal for very active
vacationers who get an early start to their day and are constantly on
Only WDW resort hotel guests are eligible to purchase Ultimate Park
Hopper Passes, and you must purchase a pass equal to the number of nights
of your hotel reservation.
Prices up to seven days are:
If you are staying on WDW property, an Ultimate Hopper Pass may give
you better value for your vacation dollar than a Hopper Plus Pass. For
instance, a 7-Day Hopper Plus Pass is $325 and does not include Disney
Quest. A 7-Day Ultimate Hopper Pass is $313 and gives you admission
to Disney Quest.
If you cannot decide between an Annual Pass and an Ultimate Hopper Pass,
consider the benefits of both. If you want to take advantage of an Annual
Passholder special or wish to visit WDW twice in one year, choose the
Annual Pass over the Ultimate Pass Hopper.
Of course you can always purchase admission to other Disney attractions
a la carte. These attractions include the water parks, Disney Quest, Pleasure
Island, and Disney's Wide World of Sports.
Admission media discounts are available through the Disney Club and through
AAA. For the most part these discounts offer about 10% off the regular
price. These are the two major avenues for getting admission media discounts.
The Disney Information Center in Ocala is one place to pick-up your
tickets before you arrive at WDW -- and you can get that AAA discount
if you are a member (Photo by Brian Bennett)
What's Best for You?
- How long is my visit, and about how many days of my visit will be
spent in the major theme parks?
- Is there a strong possibility that I may be returning to WDW within
- Is there an Annual Passholder special available during my visit?
- How much do I want to spend on admission media?
- Other than the major theme parks, what other Disney attractions, such
as the Water Parks, Disney Quest, and Pleasure Island, do I plan to
Once you've answered these questions, you should know which admission
media is best for you.
Note: Because admission media types, prices, and policies may change
at any time, the information given in this article is subject to change.
Call 1-407-W-DISNEY to get the latest information on admission media.
Next time: Planes, trains, and automobiles.
Photos on this page by
Brian Bennett unless otherwise noted
The MousePlanet WDW Trip
Planning Guide's Admission
Media from A to Z has a lot of valuable information on admission media
that you may want to read over.
Here's a list of the trip
reports that Mike has written that are part of MousePlanet's archives!
Also, don't miss Lani
Teshima's column, "The
Trip Planner" and Michael Hewell's "VIPs"
for more travel planning information!
Brian Bennett, author of MousePlanet's
WDW Trip Planning Guide
(and publisher of the Disney
Trip Report Archive), writes:
The first Disney trip report that I ever
read was a report by Mike Scopa that I downloaded from the America Online
travel library in late 1994. The report was a detailed description of
the Scopa family's trip to WDW in the summer of that year.
As soon as I was done reading it, I was
I picked my own brain and documented my
own trips and the things I'd learned from my own experiences. Then, in
1995 I actually wrote a report as the trip unfolded. I took a laptop with
me and spent some time in the evenings documenting what had happened that
day. (I've repeated that process for my own reports ever since.)
In July 1996, I started my Disney
trip planning Web site. Besides including my own reports, I asked
for permission from the authors of several other reports and added them
to the offering. Since then, the number of reports has expanded greatly.
In 1997, I added an information summary for each report to make it easier
to sort through the reports that are available.
I still 'blame' Mike for hooking me on
this Disney habit.