The number one question that comes up when planning a trip is how long to visit/do I need park tickets for every day. This is something I pondered when planning our family’s first trip and something my friends have asked me repeatedly. It now comes up with every client as we prepare to build a magical vacation.
So do you need tickets for every day of your trip? Of course not. You can choose to visit the parks as little or as much as you would like during your stay. With that said the best decision we ever made was to get tickets for each an every day of our trip.
My original plan did not include daily tickets until I compared the pricing. The structure has changed some since then, but the concept is still the same– the more days you purchase the less you pay per day. The first four days are the most expensive, but looking at an 8-day trip the tickets were barely more expensive. We added that 8th day at the last minute and it cost us approximately $40 (in 2016).
The extra day made a huge difference in our trip. It was our arrival day– the first time we ever set foot on Walt Disney World property. Magic Kingdom was amazing, but it was monstrous in size, especially the first time you ever see it. We ended up turned around inside the park and couldn’t find our way– until I remember the My Disney Experience app had GPS. It walked us out of the dead-end in Storybook Circus back to Main Street. (I now know the Walt Disney World Railroad would have been a more fun experience to get to the park entrance.)
Despite being lost and confused this was actually a good experience! We used our “$10 admission” as a way of getting our feet wet. We learned a little about the lay of the land and got some exposure to the app that we’d be using throughout the rest of our vacation. It was a very helpful experience. We didn’t spend a full day at the park– just a couple of hours, yet it was the perfect way to level-set and adjust.
Since that first trip I always highly recommend popping in the parks for a short park preview on the first travel day if arriving in town early enough. Our pick for a the first park is always Magic Kingdom!
As mentioned the pricing structure has changed. Prices are now dated bases so there is some fluctuation in the rates. The sample is for 4-day and 8-day single park tickets both starting with a usage period on September 22. Using my family of four for the example it’s only $221 for all of use to enjoy four more days in the park. It works out to less than $14/person per day.
I also looked up ticket pricing for a family of five (2 adults, 1 junior age 10-17, and 2 children age 3-9). They had included a 5 days ticket for their trip but changing to a 7-day ticket only cost $105.32 during their dates.
I can’t stress enough how adding those extra days really enhances a vacation for very little additional investment. Even when your extra day really only means an extra few hours– it could mean the difference between needing to decide what to leave out of your plans.
A day to relax
Last fall we had a nine day ticket with a park hopper for the first time which was even more amazing. Also for the first time we planned a day for rest, but I didn’t forego the park ticket admission. We had gone to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween party the night before so we weren’t planning to rush off to rope drop at any park. Instead, we had a late breakfast reservation at Cape May Cafe which was less than 5 minutes from our room. We leisurely cleaned up to afterwards to transfer resorts before going shopping, then playing mini-golf using our Magical Extras card, and grabbing a lazy lunch by the pool while waiting for our new room to be ready. Once the room was ready we changed into our swimsuits and stopped at the pool.
We didn’t arrive at Magic Kingdom until 6:15pm that day. The park had late night Extra Magic Hours that we could have utilized but we were just going to have a little bit of park time. We a couple FastPasses, rode a few favorites with short lines, and walked out of the park at 9:05pm as Happily Ever After Fireworks were booming. We watched from outside the gates before riding the bus back to the room and calling it a night.
It was a great evening and definitely nice having that flexibility without feeling like we had to spend a full day at the park to make it valuable. We still had plenty of downtime and relaxation during the day.
Have questions about how long to visit? Need to book your vacation package or just buy tickets? I can help.
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