Walt Disney World's New Pricing System Starts In October, Here's What We Know

Disney characters pose in front of the Castle at Walt Disney World
(Image credit: Image courtesy wdwnews.com/Disney)

Walt Disney World is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Even with numerous other Disney theme parks in the world, the sheer scale of Disney World is something that needs to be experienced. If you're planning to experience it any time soon, you have a key decision to make soon, because the way you purchase tickets is about to change. While previously guests simply purchased tickets for a set number of days, and then used them whenever they went to the park, starting next month you'll be able to purchase tickets for specific dates.

It had previously been announced that Walt Disney World would be making this change to its ticket system, but yesterday Disney revealed that the new ticket plan will go into effect beginning October 16. Starting then, when purchasing your theme park tickets on the Disney World website you'll be asked which days you plan to attend the park, and each day will have its own ticket price based on crowd expectations. The idea, according to Disney, is that by selling tickets in this way the parks will be able to "better distribute attendance" and will thus be able to make sure they're prepared to handle the influx of people and be sure everybody still has a great experience.

It also appears, based on the information provided, that tickets purchased this way could sometimes actually be slightly cheaper than they are now depending on the time of year. A video accompanying the announcement shows an example of a 4-day ticket being purchased in mid-November 2018 for a price of $85 per day. An equivalent ticket purchased on the current system would cost $95 per day. However, Disney has clarified that the video does not represent actual prices, so it's unclear for now exactly how much the new pricing structure will cost. Multi-day tickets won't need to be used on consecutive days, so if plans change and you decide to hop over to Universal Studios Orlando in the middle you still can. In the 4-day example, the tickets were good for a week-long stretch, though, again, that's not official, so we'll need to wait for the actual program before we know exactly how it will work. Currently, tickets purchased now will be valid until the end of 2019, though after the first day of use any additional days would need to be used within two weeks.

Open-ended tickets will still be available, though there may be an additional cost associated to get them.

While this might feel like Walt Disney World is making vacation less flexible, the fact is that a trip to the theme park already requires a lot of planning in advance. Reservations for restaurants can be made six months in advance and if you want to eat in the most popular locations you'll need to do exactly that. FastPasses can also be booked 60 in advance if you're staying in a Walt Disney World hotel (30 days in advance if you're not), and again, if you want to avoid the longest lines for the newest and most popular rides, you'll need to do that too. This already locks you into visiting certain parks on certain days, so buying theme park tickets that way too doesn't seem like it's going to be that big a deal for most guests.

This will also allow guests who can be flexible with their vacation dates to go on days that tickets are cheapest, saving them money, which, let's be honest, is just going to be spent on food and souvenirs anyway.

If you still want to buy tickets for an upcoming trip under the old structure, you have a couple more weeks to do that or you can wait until October 16 and buy them for specific dates.

Image courtesy wdwnews.com/Disney

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis.  Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.