Disney Just Increased Its Ticket Price—Here’s How to Save at the Park
Disney's ticket prices keep going up. Here's what you can do to keep the cost of your trip down.
Disney may be the “Happiest Place on Earth,” but its theme parks are becoming some of the most expensive short or long-term vacation destinations.
On Oct. 11, there was a noticeable price hike at Disneyland Parks. Their latest annual price increase seems to have “outpaced the U.S. annual inflation rate of 8.2%,” according to CNN. Ticket and pass prices will also increase at three of the four main Disney World parks on Dec. 8th—the second time prices have risen this year. Cinderella Castle may not feel so magical with Magic Kingdom prices rising more than 12%.
So what can you do to mitigate the burden of higher Disney ticket prices?
Whether you’re a die-hard Disney fan who knows all the Disneyland facts and Disney World secrets, or planning your first trip to any Disney theme park, here’s what you need to know about Disney prices and how you can save money to get the most bang for your buck.
What are the current Disney ticket prices?
Disney World’s single-day, one-park tickets currently range between $109 to $159, while Disneyland’s single-day tickets start as low as $104 for entry to one park on off-season dates—a price consistent with 2019. Although Disneyland’s lowest price hasn’t increased in the last two years, fewer dates are available at this lower cost than in previous years.
During Disney’s busier dates, such as the holiday season, tickets can cost as much as $179. A quick look at the Disneyland ticket calendar shows dates at this high-tier price include Nov. 19 through Nov. 26, and Dec. 17 through the first week of 2023. Additionally, according to the Disney World ticket calendar, Nov. 21 through Nov 25, Nov. 28, and Dec. 24 through Dec. 31 are days with limited park availability.
If you want to visit both Disneyland Park and Disney’s California Adventure Park on a single day, it’s an additional $65 per ticket. This means a Park Hopper ticket can cost anywhere from $169 to $244, depending on when you choose to visit.
For people who want to enjoy their favorite Disney parks, this increase is significant enough to make it more challenging to go.
Are Disney ticket prices going up?
In recent years, many Disney fans have complained that Disney park tickets are expensive after annual price hikes. Unfortunately, these observations of increases aren’t false.
Disney has swiftly increased Disneyland ticket prices each year. Per CNN, the peak season ticket price before the latest increase was $164—9.2% less than the current cost of $179. The Park Hopper ticket also increased by 8.3% from $60 to $65.
The 9.2% price increase of single-day tickets during peak season surpasses the current inflation rate by a whopping 1%, while the Park Hopper increase better reflects the state of the U.S. economy.
Conversely, Disney World ticket prices are increasing by park. According to CNN, Magic Kingdom prices are increasing to $124 to $189 for a single day, EPCOT prices will rise to $114 to $179 per day and Hollywood Studios will increase to $124 to $179 per day. Lovers of Animal Kingdom, however, can rejoice, as prices will remain the same at $109 to $159.
Disney further stated that multi-day tickets will increase, but did not specify the price. And three of four Disney World annual passes—except for the $399 Disney Pixie Dust Pass—will increase as well. The Incredi-Pass will be $1,399, the Sorcerer pass will rise to $969 and the Pirate Pass will now be $749 with annual renewals offered at discounted rates.
How to save money at Disney
With current price increases, you should think more carefully when planning your trip to any Disney park, especially if you’re on a budget. Although there’s nothing you can do to change Disney’s prices, there’s a lot you can do to strategize.
Don’t go during peak season
Although you might want to go to Disney World or Land during the holidays—or other peak seasons, such as summer—it’s best to avoid high-tier dates.
Because Disney parks are a family destination, the worst times to go price-wise include the weeks surrounding spring break, summer vacation starting in June through Labor Day weekend, Thanksgiving week, the last two weeks of December, and the beginning of January. Any three-day weekends are also key Disney days to avoid.
If you aren’t sure when the best time to go is, the easiest thing to do is look at Disneyland and Disney World’s ticket calendars. Disney has conveniently marked each day with the ticket price, so there are no surprises at checkout.
Weekends are the best time to visit Disney parks for most working professionals, but if you’re trying to keep costs down, you’ll want to skip them entirely.
Most low-tier ticket prices fall on weekdays—Monday through Thursday. For instance, several Disneyland $104 options are available after Jan. 8, 2023, but January’s weekend costs—including Fridays—range from $144 to $179.
Save money while you’re in the parks
Aside from the cost of your entry ticket, you’ll have to consider the cost of food in the park and any merchandise you buy. Although you might want to eat every meal at Disneyland, Disney World or California Adventure, this will significantly increase the cost of your vacation.
Instead, try to eat at least one meal outside the park. Or, if you’re able, bring a packed lunch or snacks to enjoy.
As far as merchandise goes, think about it before you buy it. Try to keep impulse buys at a minimum.
If you’re staying in a hotel, look for a budget option. Disney offers luxury stays and affordable resorts, and you can also check out non-Disney hotels in the area.