Disney recently raised their single day ticket prices for 2017 during certain times of the year. Company officials say they hope this will prevent overcrowding during the busiest times at the theme parks. So where does that leave you and your wallet?
In 2016, Disney implemented a new a price plan that allows guests to consult planning calendars eight to eleven months out from their trip to view “value,” ”regular” or “peak” times. Use this link to see those calendars now. You’ll pay more on “peak” days, which park officials consider to be the busiest times of the year. In other words, you are paying for top-shelf vacation time.
With prices creeping up, what are your options?
Go During Peak Holiday Times Anyway
Single-day ticket prices either stayed the same or increased no more than $5 per day under the new price structure. In the grand scheme of things, this is not a budget deal breaker. Crowds may thin out somewhat because of higher pricing, but trust me, you will still be surrounded by tons of people willing to pay top dollar.
With the 2017 price increase, peak prices remain $124 for adults and $118 for children.
Peak tickets at Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios now cost $119 for adults and $113 for children, a $5 increase.
Go During Non-Peak Holiday Times
Since the implementation in 2016, the goal of the varied price structure was to provide an incentive for park visitors to visit Disney World during times that aren’t so peak = popular, which would provide a more enjoyable experience for all visitors. Disney spokeswoman Jacquee Wahler said, “Our pricing provides guests a range of options that allow us to better manage demand to maximize the guest experience and is reflective of the distinctly Disney offerings at all of our parks.”
Standing in crazy three-hour rides is no fun for anyone. Holidays like Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter and Spring Break are often insanely busy.
So use the crowd calendar and visit during non-peak times. This could involve taking the kids out of school, because when children are not in school, thousands upon thousands of families head to Orlando. And then stand in long lines together. We have a link with more information on Value Season:
Value days at Magic Kingdom now cost $107 for adults and $101 for children. This $2 increase won’t be the reason for vacation cancellations. And really, you won’t be shelling out a tremendous amount more for trips during Regular Season, with a $5 increase per ticket, which now cost $115 for adults and $109 for children.
At Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom, Value Season one-day tickets cost $99 for adults and $93 for children; this is just a $2 bump for both. Regular Season tickets for adults are now $107 for adults and $101 for children.
Purchase Multi-Day Tickets
Vacationers can purchase multi-day tickets online at any time prior to entering the park to save money on tickets.
Guests can also save $20 on multi-day tickets when they purchase them online and in advance. (Notice it says three days or longer for the savings.)
You don’t have to buy Disney World theme park tickets for every day you vacation in Orlando, and guaranteed, you will not run out of things to do and see.
Plan a Day/Days with No Disney Park Tickets
With ticket prices going up, maybe it’s time to see some of the other things there are to enjoy in Orlando.
Sea World and Universal Studios are in town as well, and you might save a little money from paying for a one-day Disney ticket.
There are currently more than 25 Disney Resort hotel locations to choose from, which means lots of exploring and dining opportunities. Disney has an open resort policy where, right now anyway, they encourage you to look around and grab a bite to eat. Read – Disney World Resort Hopping: A Cheapskate Princess Guide.
There are a TON of free things to do at the resorts while you hop around. Use this link for all sorts of free activities to enjoy – Resort Hop Your Way to Free Entertainment at Disney World.
So this one might involve finding other plans for the kids, but there are multiple spa locations on Disney property. Why not pamper yourself for a half or even a full day? Use this link for general pricing ideas- Disney’s Senses Spa at Saratoga Springs Cost: A Cheapskate Princess Guide.
Some people think it would be insane to spend a day shopping in Orlando when you are so close to roller coasters. I get that, but rides aren’t for everybody, and you can window shop for free. Orlando has some fabulous malls. We have our suggestions for the best places to shop:
Enjoy a Meal
Food plays a really big part in many family’s vacations. Character meals (How to Keep a Good Disney Character Meal From Going All Wrong), specialty desserts (Disney Springs Must Do: Chocolate Extinction at T-REX), and specialty events (Afternoon Tea at Grand Floridian’s Garden View Tea Room: a Cheapskate Guide) abound on Disney property.
You also have the option of traveling off property for a dinner theater-style meal. Erin has her top pics for best dinner show –A Travel Agent’s Pick for the Best in Orlando Dinner Theater.
While you can schedule a two-hour meal break on a day when you have park tickets, why not enjoy a character meal at one of the Deluxe Resorts when you have nothing else more pressing to do? Character meals are pricey compared to counter service meals, and you will be responsible for tipping, but you are paying for an event that kids (and adults) are sure to love.
Beach Club Resort – Cape May Cafe – Breakfast and Dinner, ($30 to $60 per adult)
Contemporary Resort – Chef Mickey’s – Breakfast, Brunch, and Dinner ($30 to $60 per adult)
WDW Swan Hotel – Garden Grove – Breakfast and Dinner – ($30 to $60 per adult)
The Four Seasons – Ravello – “Good Morning Breakfast with Goofy and His Pals” ($22 per child, $42 per adult) Thursdays and Saturdays only.
Grand Floridian Resort & Spa – 1900 Park Fare – Breakfast and Dinner – ($30 to $60 per adult)
Polynesian Village – ‘Ohana – Breakfast and Dinner – ($30 to $60 per adult)
*NEW* Bon Voyage Breakfast – Trattoria al Forno (located on the Boardwalk)
Here are some suggestions from our readers about their favorite restaurants on Disney property, both in parks and resorts: The Top 20 Best Disney Restaurants, So Says the Fans!
Play Mini Golf
Many towns have putt putt courses, but they’re not Disney miniature golf courses. They name Disney tells you that the quality level is high, even if these prices aren’t all that bad compared to park tickets.
Fantasia Gardens and Fairways Miniature Golf
At Fantasia Gardens, you and the kids will putt your way through five scenes featuring tutu-clad hippos, marching broomsticks and pirouetting ostriches. This course is perfect for families and beginner golfers.
Fairways Miniature Golf is more challenging. Resembling a traditional golf course built on a miniature scale, this course emphasizes skill over chance. Sand traps, bunkers, water hazards and sloping greens make the Fantasia Fairways Miniature Golf Course an exciting challenge, where par-3 and par-5 holes range in length from 63 to 109 feet long.
Both courses are located in the Epcot Resort area by the WDW Swan Hotel. Prices are $12 for children ages 2-9 and $14 for everyone over age 10.
Winter Summerland Miniature Golf
The elves built 2 distinctly different 18–hole golf experiences: a sand course named “Summer” and a snow course named “Winter.”
On the Summer Course, putt among surfboards, sand castles and ornaments hanging from palm trees, peppermint-striped inner tubes, snapping clam shells and a melting snowman. Disney advises you try not to wake sleeping Santa buried in the sand!
On the Winter Course, watch out for Squirty the Snowman, who sprays water at golfers when golf balls pass beneath him. Holiday themed obstacles include giant peppermints, hockey sticks and the drawbridge of a fantastical, melting castle. The courses combine for the last holes, and after sinking the last putt on Hole 18, you will receive a special message from Santa Claus, courtesy of the WinterNet.
The courses are located next to Blizzard Beach water Park. Prices are $12 for children ages 2-9 and $14 for everyone over age 10.
I tell everyone who asks what to do at Disney to plan half a day at the newly remodeled Disney Springs. Throw in a meal or a movie and you could make it a full day.
Wow, there is a really a lot to do at Disney Springs, which has been completely renamed and re-imagined from Downtown Disney within the last several years, with some free activities and other things to do that are definitely not so free.
- Shopping – Over 40 stores from toys and games to clothing and jewelry
- Dining- Over 40 restaurants, including kid favorites T-Rex and Rainforest Cafe
- Bowling – 30 lanes, billiards tables, live music, and dining opportunities
- Movies – 24 theaters
- La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil. Tickets start at $59 before tax.
- DJ Kids Dance Party – everybody can dance at the Waterside Stage
- Characters in Flight – ride a balloon 400 feet up in the air
- Goofy’s Candy Co. – No trip here is complete without stopping by this delightful candy store.
Some of our favorites?
You can ride the balloon at a discounted price (Save Money on Disney’s Characters In Flight) and lots of other things to do that will not break the bank (Over 30 FREE Activities In Disney Springs: A Cheapskate Princess Guide).
Plan a Pool Day or Days
Lots of families say their children tell them they wished they had more time to swim at their resort. Disney also has two amazing water parks. Adding the Water Parks and More option to multi day passes is not a tremendous jump in price, and a one-day ticket is a little over half of what a regular park ticket costs.
Every year I tell myself I would like to plan an Orlando vacation where all I did was swim, because look at the price of a water park annual pass…
Use this link for more information regarding water parks: Disney World Water Parks: A Cheapskate Princess Guide
Plan a Day at the Beach
- Canaveral National Seashore
- Cocoa Beach.
- Daytona Beach
An increase in ticket prices doesn’t have to put a damper on your Disney vacation. Sometimes you just have to do a little planning and scheming, and perhaps even a little swimming.
For more specific details on some of these “free day” ideas, use this link:
To see more of our Cheapskating Guides, use this link.
Thanks for stopping by, and we’ll see you on the shores of Typhoon Lagoon, waiting for the sound of that crazy wave horn…
Disney’s Cheapskate Princess
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Amanda Major is the creator of cheapskateprincess.com. She remembers her first visit to Magic Kingdom like it was yesterday, because she had a ham sandwich tucked in her shorts pocket. The whole family snuck in their lunch; you can’t make that kinda stuff up. 40 years worth of trips to Orlando later, she is still trying to save money on vacations.
Amanda is a Disney Vacation Club Member and Annual Pass holder. Her amazing husband, band director Carl Major, plus three teen children and two dogs keep her busy. Amanda teaches Leadership to high school seniors in the almost-coastal town of Foley, Alabama. Read about her cheapskating local vacations with this link. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, walking somewhere, or paddling a kayak. Life is indeed a blast.
We hope we can help save you some money too. Use this link for a free no obligation vacation quote from our Princess Travel Experts with Destinations in Florida travel, Elizabeth and Erin. You can also e-mail them at email@example.com.