NEWS - If you've recently tried getting tickets to Disneyland or Disney World, you may have opened your eyes, stared into the distance, and quickly left the page!
For whatever reason, Disney has decided to continue to raise ticket prices to over $100 (that's being conservative) for one-day admission to their parks.
We don't know about you, but shelling out hundreds of dollars to get through the door -not to mention the costs for snacks, merch, and whatever else entices you during your visit - seems like a bit much.
What happened to the old $75 tickets we used to love?
Looking back, even spending $75 or $80 to go to the Magic Kingdom as a kid was still a big deal. But those prices are as vintage as a Mickey Mouse timepiece.
Now, imagine paying for 3-4 guests along with you. Don't worry because we have some secrets that will help keep your credit card from exploding.
Disney Prices Soaring: How To Save Money On Your Next Visit
Okay. Now that you have been reminded that Disney ticket prices are outlandish, what can you do about it?
Luckily, some things might help bring your total cost down, which we'll explain below. Disneyland or Disney World run on similar pricing tables (usually), so use this information for the California and Florida theme parks.
Disney Prices Are Lowest (Historically) During January, February, August, and September
Again, Disney execs might see us spilling these beans and change that: but for now, you can count on this information.
Moving forward, Disney park prices almost always increase from the end of January into Presidents Day weekend.
So, if you are planning a trip during that time frame, please, "Stop, in the name of magic!"
If possible, we recommend switching the dates to either mid-Jan or waiting until February. Your wallet will appreciate this.
We also have this super helpful Disney "how to buy tickets" explanation video from YouTube:
Jacob is like the Disney ticket king, so we trust him with our lives. It may seem a little dramatic, but trust us; it's worth it!
Don't Let Disney Park Tickets Ruin Your Life
Before you even step foot onto the sweet-smelling streets of the Magic Kingdom or Disneyland, you have to look into the various ticket options and bundles the parks offer.
Important! Disney currently requires a reservation. You need a reservation to buy a ticket!
Here are the current per-ticket prices available as of Jan/Feb 2023:
- Standard Theme Park Ticket starts at $83 per day per person
- Southern California Resident Weekday Ticket starts at $73 per day per person
Once you find your preferred ticket, you can add a "Park Hopper" bundle for an extra $60 per day.
To use this park hopper add-on, you can enter the second park after 1:00 PM that same day. So, these numbers aren't too scary (but again, it's currently January as we write this).
Walt Disney World in Orlando
Here is the current pricing for their tickets to the park:
- Standard Theme Park Ticket starts at $109 per day per person
- Florida Resident Disney Weekday Magic Tickets: 2 days of theme park fun for $175, plus tax
- Save 40% on a 4-Day Ticket (again, different than Anaheim, but still good for larger parties)
So you can see there's a bit of a different structure for Florida residents than for California parkgoers.
If you're in Florida and want to check out the Magic Kingdom, you can do the two-day ticket for $175+ or get the 40% off of four-day tickets.
Between these, California's $73+ weekday tickets seem like the better deal.
More Money-Saving Tips For Your Next Disney Vacation
Now that you know when and how to get tickets to Disney World or Disneyland, there are other ways to save.
Here are some ways to cut back on costs while enjoying all the magic Disney offers:
Stay Nearby Or At The Parks (No, not hiding out in the castle.)
The first thing that will save money on your Disney trip is staying very close to the parks.
Many Disney frequenters claim that staying on-site or nearby saves hundreds in transportation, even if the hotel is a little more pricey upfront.
For example, if you're at Disney World, try to stay at the All-Star Sports Resort, which usually costs around $125-$150 per night.
Yes, that may be a little more than a nearby inn or hotel, but it will save money on gas, parking, and rideshare/taxis. That adds up.
Many Disney World and Disneyland hotels and resorts offer FREE transportation to and from the respective parks, so why not cash in on that?
Skip The Ever-controversial Genie+ Service
Another tip to save cash during your Disney vacation is to skip Genie+ because it costs $25.00 per ticket per day, which can add up for bigger families.
On top of that, if it's peak timing or a holiday weekend, Genie+ prices can get worse. Yes, worse, we tell you! There are also issues with people not being able to use more than one Genie+ pass per hour, and it's just a bad situation in general.
This Tweet should help sum up Genie+
It’s hard to understate the level of frustration and confusion that Genie+ and Lightning Lane have introduced to the Disney experience. It’s so sad.
— Andrew 🎢🍻🌁 (@GatorAndrew) January 19, 2023
So, maybe, try to choose a less-busy day at the park so you don't have to worry about the Genie+ passes and extra fees. Buy a churro instead!
Eat Outside The Parks (the food will probably be better)
Lastly, we recommend skipping the food options at any Disney park. In recent years, Disneyland and Disney World have bumped up the food prices, meaning a simple snack could cost you $20-$50.
We don't know about you, but more than $6-$10 for a sandwich/salad feels wrong.
Sometimes, the Mickey-shaped burger isn't worth it. Instead, spend your money on a nice meal at your hotel or a restaurant close to the parks.
Will the food be shaped like Disney characters? Maybe...
This Twitter user puts all of our emotions into the perfect tweet:
If I’m crying at Disney it’s because the food is so expensive and I just paid $8 for an ice cream sandwich https://t.co/ED0oqA70RK
— Soundwave (@LocalSoundwave) May 1, 2021
You know the world is ending when an ice cream sandwich costs more than an actual sandwich.
Ending On A High Note: Enjoy Your Disney Park Experience
Now that we've given you tips and tricks to find cheaper park tickets and even cut down on additional costs, please, take our advice.
Even though Disneyland and Disney World will never be "cheap," that doesn't mean you can't save a few hundred dollars here and there.
Try and go to the park in January, February, August, or September: the pricing will be more magical.
Nobody's saying there won't be another cheap weekday/weekend that pops up, but historically, these four months are the best.
And remember, when you're at a Disney theme park, nothing is real, and money doesn't exist.
Do you have any Disney advice for us? Leave a comment, and let's all save some money.
We also have these Disney articles:
Churro Craze: How Disneyland’s Iconic Snack Became A Fan Favorite
Disney Magic Never Grows Old: The Phenomenon Of Disney Adults