How to Beat the 2018 Disney Ticket Price Increases

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When Walt Disney World first opened in 1971, it cost $3.50 to go and enjoy the park. The first price increase to $3.75 came just a few months later, and by 1975 prices had increased to $6.00 for general admission. Right out of the gate, Walt Disney World and Disneyland set a precedent of raising prices most years (sometimes three times in one year!), and this year will be no exception for the annual increases. In 2017 a peak season one-day ticket to the Magic Kingdom was $124, and now in 2018 that will cost you $129. That price is per adult, before tax, and does not include parking. The cost of regular and value season tickets, annual passes, children’s tickets, and parking are all going up, too.

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To erase any thoughts of these price increases just keeping up with inflation or similar, the minimum wage in 1971 was $1.60 per hour, so even those earning minimum wage could earn a ticket into the park by working just a little over two hours. Now the minimum wage varies some by state, but using the Florida minimum wage of $8.25 per hour, someone would have to work close to 16 hours just for one peak ticket to enter the Magic Kingdom. Ouch. 

However, the parks are full, attendance is up, profits are good, and I don’t see Disney backing off this trend of ticket price increases anytime soon. Let’s look at how Disney ticket prices are on the rise in 2018, and then how to beat them.

2018 One-Day Magic Kingdom Ticket Prices

  • $109 Value ($2 increase)
  • $119 Regular ($4 increase)
  • $129 Peak ($5 increase)

2018 Other Disney World Park Prices

  • $102 Value ($3 increase)
  • $114 Regular ($7 increase)
  • $122 Peak ($3 increase)

2018 One-Day Disneyland Ticket Prices

  • $97 Value (no increase)
  • $117 Regular ($7 increase)
  • $135 Peak ($11 increase)

The prices listed above are without tax, so expect to pay $137.39 for a one-day adult peak season ticket to the Magic Kingdom once you factor in tax. Parking at Walt Disney World will increase $2 per day to $22, and preferred parking will increase $5 per day to $45. Annual passes increase $70 to $849 and Premium Annual Passes increase $80 to $949. But wait, it gets worse. Right now only single-day tickets are subject to peak pricing levels while the more popular multi-day tickets have a static price throughout the year, but Disney has indicated that this may be changing later this year to help even out crowds.

How to Beat the 2018 Disney Ticket Price Increases

You can’t outrun the Disney ticket price increases forever, but if you are 100% sure you are going to the parks in 2018, you can beat the increases for a little while by buying your Disney tickets via Undercover Tourist ASAP before they run out of their current ticket stock at the old prices. I almost always buy my Disney tickets through them (preferably with an Amex Offer), and you can save a bit over the new Disney direct prices by purchasing tickets right now. Below are some example price comparisons between purchasing Disney World one park per day tickets directly from Disney and via the current UnderCover Tourist remaining ticket stock.

Disney Adult UCT Adult Disney Child UCT Child
Two-Day $222.59 $217.76 $209.81 $204.87
Four-Day $404.70 $356.95 $383.40 $337.95
Five-Day $420.68 $373.95 $399.38 $354.95
Six-Day $431.33 $394.35 $410.03 $373.58

Be aware you must use your Disney tickets purchased from UnderCover Tourist in 2018. If you are a subscriber to the MouseSavers Newsletter and go through that link to get to UnderCover Tourist, you save a couple more dollars on the tickets than what is displayed below. If you still have some Chase Sapphire Reserve $300 annual travel credit to use, charges from UnderCover Tourist have historically counted towards that credit.

We plan to go to Disney this summer right before my youngest turns 3-years-old as she will still be free to get into the parks. We may very well purchase park tickets for the rest of us from UnderCover Tourist ASAP in order to avoid the newest round of Disney ticket price increases.

If beating these ticket prices increases have you thinking about putting together a Disney trip, head here to learn more about our Disney tips, tricks, and reviews. How do the Disney price increases play into your family’s Disney strategy?

Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.

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  1. I read a rumor 2 weeks ago that the price would increase on Feb 11, so I used my Chase Pay 10x offer at Best Buy to get enough Disney gift cards to cover our 4 day passes to Disneyland for our next trip this fall. If I had waited, it would have been $57 more!

      • I only saved about 5% over the new prices, whereas if I had been renewing our APs, I would have saved 15-20%! That is if I’d been able to scrape together over twice as much in Disney gift cards! Ya gotta spend money to save money, amiright?!

    • Yes, I went a couple of weeks ago… I don’t use Chase Pay but I used my Business Ink Card to purchase gift cards at Office Max for 5X per $1.

  2. I loved this article! But, one thing to put those 1971 prices in perspective is that you didn’t get unlimited admission like you do today. Instead, you got a ticket book that had (I think) 2 ‘A’ through ‘E’ tickets. So, once you rode each level ride twice, you were done for the day — unless you bought more ticket coupons.

  3. I have several Best Buys near me so I usually wait for those buy $150 gift card and get a free $15 code(basically an expiring gift card) that has to be spent within a few weeks. If you do 3 x $150, it’s basically enough to get a $495 disney gift card for $450 (done over 2 trips). The extra gravy is that the original gift card purchase counts for Best Buy Rewards. However, in my experience, you cant buy the disney gift card with a best buy gc online, so that requires a trip to Best Buy brick and mortar. It seems like this deal happens at least 4 times a year.

    Another option during Xmas, Target also does those $300 gift cards for $270 which ends up being almost the same. But there’s always some YMMV since some cashiers may not allow you to purchase a gift card with a gift card.

    The backup option is to buy Disney gift cards with a target red card for 5% off. Problems are trying to get enough gift cards if there’s not enough in stock. May require visits to multiple target stores if there aren’t enough for what you need. I’ve had no problem buying $50 x 10 in store but you never know if cashiers implement some fake limit. Most of the cashiers won’t give you any problems since they know youre using them for Disney tickets. Many comment to me “Going to Disneyland?”

  4. Just bought a $500 Disney E-Gift Card from Sam’s Club today for $484 + 5% cash back on my Discover IT card. So roughly $40 savings today.

  5. I think our Disney days are over, at least as far as we can tell. The tix are just too overpriced now to reasonably bring the entire family. I am wondering how much the public is going to accept these increases?

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