In a perfect world we could spend unlimited time at Disney World for free, am I right? But in the real world we adults have to worry about little things like time and budget constraints. Thankfully, Disney has several options to choose from in order to help you customize your park experience.
HOW MANY DAYS CAN YOU SPEND?
Your best park ticket option hands-down is some variation of the multi-day pass. If you can swing it, shoot for the 4-day ticket. There are four unique parks, so you could plan on doing one park each day. Obviously if you can spend more than four days – do it! However, if your time constraints only allow you to spend three days (or fewer) visiting the Mouse, you’ll need to prioritize which parks to visit (unless adding a park hopper option, outlined below). ALL the parks are amazing, so it will be tough to eliminate one, but consider these park details as you make a decision:
1. Magic Kingdom – Magic Kingdom is what you think of when you think of Disney. It’s classic – the castle, the characters, the Teacups, Dumbo. There is SO MUCH for kids in this park, and also some “big” rides like Space Mountain and Seven Dwarves Mine Train. I wouldn’t eliminate this one.
2. Epcot – Epcot is a very large park with two distinct areas: Future World and World Showcase. Future world has some great rides, while World Showcase has some great cultural exhibits. There is plenty for kids to do and see here (check out the Agent P Missions and Kidcot activities). But if you choose to visit this park be prepared for an extreme science museum experience, not necessarily a typical thrill-ride theme park experience.
3. Hollywood Studios – Hollywood Studios is a park devoted to movie making. You’ll learn a lot about motion pictures, animation, and stunts. This is the park for Star Wars enthusiasts, and it has two incredible “big” rides. Also there are several newer Pixar characters to meet. However, if you are traveling with small children, their options are extremely limited here in terms of rides.
4. Animal Kingdom – Animal Kingdom is full of animals, of course! Some people choose to eliminate this park because they figure they’ve got a zoo at home. Also, the hours of operation are shorter, so some feel it’s less bang for the buck. However, there are some incredible rides and kids tend to love this park (check out the Wilderness Explorer Badge Stations). It’s more than your average zoo, by far.
Figure out your schedule. Then check your budget.
HOW MUCH MONEY CAN YOU SPEND?
As I mentioned before, the multi-day tickets are the way to go. With current prices, the 4-day pass is about the same price and three single day tickets, so you can look at it like you’re getting one day for free! Yay! And if you plan to spend more than four days in the parks, the price per day goes down even more. However, there are three other options you may want to consider as you look into cost.
1. Park Hopper Option – Your basic multi-day ticket will only allow access to one park per day. A Hopper Option will allow you to switch parks at any point during the day. If you only have three days to spend, you may want to add this option in order to visit all four parks. Also, some add this option to the 4-day in order to spend another evening at Magic Kingdom or Epcot after a day at Animal Kingdom (since they stay open much later).
2. Water Park Fun and More Option – If you add this option you have access to additional Disney properties like Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon, the mini-golf courses, the 9-hole golf course, Disney Quest, and ESPN Sports Complex. You choose the same number of “extras” as days on your multi-day ticket (for instance a 4-day ticket will allow you to visit four of the places listed above). If your vacation is long enough, this is a fantastic deal. The water parks are super fun (and clean)!
3. Special Event Tickets – If you are traveling in the fall or winter months, check out tickets to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party or Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. For a once-in-a-lifetime experience, they may be worth your time and money. Could you get by without this option? Sure. But this option will be what the name says – a very “Special Event”.The Magic Kingdom will close earlier to regular ticket holders on these nights, so the park will be less crowded. And Mickey knows how to throw a good party, without a doubt.
After weighing your time and money, your best park ticket option should become more clear. Now if we could just get them to add that “Free Unlimited Lifetime” option…
BONUS TIP: Consider planning and booking your next Disney trip with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner you can trust like Mickey Travels. They’ll help you get the best price for your vacation, share expert advice and their services are totally FREE! It’s genius!