Walt Disney World has announced that starting October 16, 2018, they will offer seasonal-priced multi-day tickets where the final price of the ticket depends on what dates you are planning to visit. This will work like current 1-Day tickets: a ticket for Value dates will be cheaper than a ticket for Regular or Peak dates. Most ticket periods will cover a mix of Value, Regular and/or Peak dates, and the price will be based on the specific dates the ticket covers.
We do a quick analysis of the changes below, but here’s our bottom line: we recommend that most people who have a vacation planned between now and the end of 2019 should buy tickets now or book a package now with Wishes and Wands Travel. We think it’s likely that most multi-day tickets will go up in price, and if some go down in price it won’t be by much.
All current tickets will be honored through their existing expiration dates, for any day of the year, and packages booked now will stay at their current prices even if the components (tickets, dining, etc.) go up in price before your vacation (assuming you don’t make a change that causes the package to be repriced; see below for more). Read on for more details about the new tickets.
Important Note: this information is based on our best understanding of Disney’s current plans. Disney may change aspects of the new ticket system between now and the actual day they roll it out (including changing the date they roll it out) so consider all of this preliminary information until Disney actually starts selling the new tickets.
Below is a basic outline of the changes.
Each new ticket will have a specific date range it is valid for, which you select when you buy it.
Each length of ticket is valid for a few more days than there are admission days on the ticket, so you don’t have to go into the park every day. For example, a 2-day ticket can be used on any 2 out of 4 consecutive days, while a 7-day ticket can be used on any 7 of 10 consecutive days.
If you buy a ticket with a Disney Vacation Package, the validity period is the longer of the period mentioned above, or the full length of the package (counting both arrival and departure days).
“Flexible date” tickets that work the same way as today will still be available, but we’re pretty sure they’ll be more expensive than specific-date tickets.
You will be able to change the start date, length, or options on a ticket yourself without having to visit the park in person. There will be options on the MyDisneyExperience web site and app, or you can do it over the phone with Disney Reservations. You’ll have to pay any price increase caused by the changes, naturally.
The price of the specific-date tickets vary over the course of the year. They’re cheapest during slow, off-season weekdays, and expensive over holiday periods and summer weekends. We don’t know the exact calculation used.
In the end, we believe most tickets will be more expensive under this new system, with some possible exceptions for tickets covering mostly weekdays during Value season. Looking back to when Disney introduced season-priced 1-Day tickets, the Regular and Peak tickets went up in price relative to the “any day” tickets that were being sold previously. The Value tickets went down in price, but by a very small amount. We think this is likely to repeat.
So if you have a trip planned for next year that touches a weekend or a holiday period, we think it’s a safe bet to buy your tickets or book a package now and lock in the current prices. Think of it as insurance. On the other hand, if you look at your planned dates and most of them are Value dates, you may want to roll the dice and see if the new prices end up saving you money.