Disney World Tickets Explained: Get The Most Bang For Your Buck

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Disney World Tickets

Gerard Walen

There are four theme parks, two water parks, an indoor amusement center and restaurants out the wazoo at Walt Disney World. Tickets can be purchased in all ways, shapes and forms for any of them, depending on how much you want to see and do at the Central Florida mega-park. The options can be confusing, so don't wait until you're at the Disney World tickets booth to decide: Not only will you hold up the line, but you may end up not getting the best deal for your dollars.

Here's an overview of the various Disney World tickets options and some tips for getting the most out of your stay.

Magic Your Way
Purchase these Disney World tickets and have access to one theme park per day (Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Epcot or Animal Kingdom) for the length of a visit up to 10 days.

For an additional charge, there are options such as Park Hopper, which allows entry to multiple theme parks on any given day; or Water Park Fun & More, which gives admission to the two water parks and other attractions (DisneyQuest Indoor Interactive Theme Park and the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex) as well as a round at Oak Trail Golf Course, a nine-hole walking course.

There's also a No Expiration Option, which allows guests to use unused days any time in the future; ordinarily the tickets expire 14 days after the first use. Prices currently range from $82 per day for a one-day adult base ticket to $26.20 per day for the 10-day option. For ages 3-9, base prices range from $74 to $23.90. Worth noting is that tots younger than 3 get in for free.

Annual Passes
These are the best bargains of the Disney World tickets for the frequent visitor. For admission to all four parks for 365 days, the cost is $499 for ages ten and older and $450 for ages 3-9.

Those upgrading to the Premium Annual Pass also get admission to the water parks, DisneyQuest and more. Premium prices are $629 for ages ten and up, and $567 for ages 3-9. Disney World also offers a Water Park Annual Pass ($99.95; $80.50) and a DisneyQuest Annual Pass ($89; $71).

Florida Residents Get All The Breaks
The House of Mouse knows that a lot of its customers live in its Sunshine State home, so it gives Florida residents a break on their Disney World tickets. Prices and discounts vary, depending on the time of year and which options are desired. Check out the Disney World website to see what's available.

Things to Note
Disney World also offers various dining plans, which can save money on dining in the park.

The water parks are subject to seasonal or severe weather closures.

Prices listed here do not include tax, and are subject to change.

For those driving to the parks, there are signs offering to buy or sell Disney World tickets with unused days at steep discounts. DO NOT DO THIS! These operations are illegal and folks that buy these tickets are likely to be turned back at the gate.

Fortunately there are legitimate ticket brokers who buy Disney World tickets in bulk and resell them at a discount off property. There are also kiosks offering free Disney World tickets. These are usually legitimate (read, usually), but require sitting through a high-pressure timeshare sales pitch. Never fun.

The best bet still remains buying Disney World tickets through the park.

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