Disney Tickets – Everything You Need To Know
Disney tickets are your key to the magic for both Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort in the United States. Disney Tickets are also required for guests visiting international parks as well including Disneyland Paris, Tokyo Disneyland, Shanghai Disneyland and Hong Kong Disneyland. Below you’ll find all the information you need about Disney Tickets including a history of tickets, where to buy them, different ticket types and what you can expect to pay.
BUYING DISNEY TICKETS
We get asked all the time where guests should buy their Disneyland and Walt Disney World Tickets. There are several places to choose from where online or in person. Here’s our list of places to purchase Disney Tickets.
- We highly recommend our trusted partner Get Away Today. They’ve been an online wholesaler and partner with Disney for over 20 years! They offer a Best Price Guarantee on every ticket they sell and offer prices below gate pricing.
- Costco has been known to sell Disneyland Tickets for Costco Members. Tickets, if available, can be purchased from your local warehouse.
- AAA has been selling Disneyland Tickets to its members for many years. Though recently their partnership for tickets only was not renewed so savings are minimal. They can be purchase online or in person or over the phone.
- Vons grocery stores have been selling Disneyland Tickets for several years as well. Be sure to visit your local store in California to see what tickets and deals they have available.
- Of course you can always purchase your tickets from Disneyland.com. Guests should expect to pay full price from Disney.
Walt Disney World Resort:
- You can purchase your Walt Disney World Resort tickets at a discount with Park Savers. We’ve been selling tickets for over 10 years and offer free shipping and email delivery on all tickets.
- AAA offers Walt Disney World Tickets if you’re looking for a hotel as well. They have to be purchased as a package.
- Costco may offer Walt Disney World Tickets through your local warehouse. It’s always a good idea to call ahead to make sure they have them.
- And just like Disneyland Tickets, you can purchase your Walt Disney World Resort Tickets from Disneyworld.com.
DISNEY TICKETS HISTORY
Disney tickets have been around since 1955 when Disneyland Park, the original Magic Kingdom, opened in Anaheim California. Opening day was July 17th, 1955 and the park has been opened ever since. On opening day, special tickets were required for entrance into the park. News and media outlets, educators as well as celebrity guests were supposed to be the only people in the parks that day, about 22,000 people. However, copies of these special event tickets were made and handed out which ended up over-crowding the park, causing a bit of chaos.
On opening day, the cost of entry was $1 for adults and $.50 for children which got you into the park. Unlike today however there were additional fees in order to ride one of the 35 attractions that were open. After paying your $1 entry fee you would need to purchase individual tickets ranging in price from .25 to .35 per attraction. If you had wanted to visit the park then and experience everything it would have cost an adult about $8.70 and a child $5.15.
Overtime prices increased and so did the tickets. One particular type of ticket was known as the ticket booklet. Ticket booklets contained tickets featuring A, B, C, D and E attractions. On the front of these booklets guests would find inscribed, “Welcome to Disneyland. We hope that your visit with us today will be a happy and memorable experience for you and your family. This ticket book is your passport to many wonderful adventures in the Magic Kingdom. May your day at Disneyland be a pleasant one. Return and visit us again soon.”
In the booklet you would find several different types of coupons referencing the above mentioned attractions. A attractions were the simpler and cheaper attractions such as the Main Street Vehicles. C attractions included Peter Pan’s Flight or Mad Tea Party. The first E ticket attraction at Disneyland was the Matterhorn Bobsleds.
In 1982 Disneyland got rid of the individually priced attractions and booklets and moved to the single price admission that it has today. Guests can pay one entrance fee and experience (almost) everything the parks have to offer. Eventually admission could be purchased for multiple days at a time and even annual passes. Moving over to a one-fee entry helped keep the costs of running Disneyland down as they no longer needed Cast Members checking tickets at attractions or selling them throughout the park.
When multi-days Disney Tickets were introduced, a simple stamp tool was used to record the days of your entry. For example, if you had purchased a 5 day ticket, there would be 5 blank lines on your ticket. As you entered Disneyland that day for the first time a Cast Member would stamp the date on one of the lines. Then you only had 4 days left and so on. Eventually they moved to a bar code scan and your entries were logged into a computer system that kept track. To this day Disney still uses bar code scanning to record your ticket usage.
TYPES OF DISNEY TICKETS
Tickets have changed looks over the years. On opening day in 1955 there was just a single Press Preview Ticket for the opening of Disneyland and the dedication. The ticket contained a time stamp on the bottom right corner which told guests when to arrive. Once inside the parks guests could purchase ticket stubs for each individual attraction. There were ticket booths located around the park where Cast Members would sell guests tickets. Some of these ticket booths are still standing today, mostly in Fantasyland.
Eventually Disney Tickets moved to a coupon style booklet that contained several different types of coupons as we have mentioned above. These coupons could be torn out and given to a Cast Member at the attraction which would allow you to ride. If you ran out of coupons you could purchase more. Ticket booklets could be brought back on different days and used until they were all gone. There were no expiration on them.
When Disney moved to the one-time entrance fee in 1982, guests did not need to purchase these coupons any more. They could now just pay one fee and enjoy all the attractions at the parks except for the shooting galleries. Guests would simply carry around their 1 ticket called a passport, have it stamped at the the entrance and be good to go for the day. At first these passports could only be purchased for a single day. Eventually the passports included multiple days which would also be stamped each day for entry.
Eventually Disney implemented a system for barcode tickets. This allowed for guests to have their tickets scanned at the entrance instead of stamped. Disney’s system would keep track of their entry and the number of days they has entered the parks. The tickets featured a barcode on the back and usually a changeable image on the front. This system was first introduced at Walt Disney World as they were the first Disney Resort to have more than one theme park for guests to visit. Eventually Disneyland also moved to this system and it’s still in use to this day.
As technology has improved, so has Disney Tickets. In the 2000’s Disney introduced E-Tickets that allowed guests to purchase their theme park tickets online and print them off at home. Guests then bring these E-Tickets to the parks and scan them at the entrance. A single ticket is then printed and handed to the guest which is then used for their re-entry and Fastpass use. E-Tickets can now be purchased via the Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World official apps. They can be scanned right from your phone for entry into the parks and hard copies are not required (though it’s a good idea to have them).
MAGICBANDS AND RFID TICKETS
Walt Disney World Resort eventually moved to a scan-only system that allows their tickets to be scanned at the entrance of their theme parks, no barcode scanning required. This system is based around RFID (Radio Frequency ID) technology. A small chip inside the plastic ticket holds all the data associated with that ticket including the guests name, date of purchase, how many days are available for entry, where it’s been used and on what dates, Park Hopper or 1 Park Per Day and more. It’s basically a small computer chip that can process and transfer data through a system that can read and display the information.
Scanning your RFID enabled tickets for entry and FastPass+ only takes a few seconds to process. Eventually Disney took this technology and made MagicBands which are an optional accessory that can be wrapped around a guests wrist and used for entry and FastPass+. They work just like the RFID enabled tickets but are no required to be used for entry or FastPass+.
PARK HOPPER TICKETS
When Walt Disney World opened Epcot in 1982, it became the first resort to have two separate theme parks for guests to visit. Because of this they needed to change their Disney Tickets to a multi-park system. This would allow guests to visit both Magic Kingdom and Epcot on the same day. This type of ticket eventually became known as the Park Hopper ticket and is still in use to this day at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort.
The Park Hopper at Walt Disney World) eventually allowed guests entry into all 4 theme parks including Magic Kingdom, Epcot, MGM Studios (now Hollywood Studios) and Disney’s Animal Kingdom in 1997. The Disneyland Resort Park Hopper was introduced in 2001 when California Adventure Park opened. Park Hopper tickets allow guests entry into multiple parks and flexibility. Park Hopper Tickets do cost more than guests who guest want to visit 1 park each day.
1 PARK PER DAY TICKETS
This is your classic Disney Ticket and has been in use since Disneyland opened in 1955 and Magic Kingdom in 1971. Guests with these tickets can visit just one park each day of their visit. This ticket type can be purchased in multiple days, 1-5 days at Disneyland and 1-10 days at Walt Disney World. This ticket doesn’t offer as much flexibility but does cost less.
DISNEY TICKETS PRICING
Pricing has changed significantly from the time the first park opened till now. The cost of park admission to Disneyland was $1 on opening day. As time has gone on, more parks have opened, new rides have been added and costs have gone up. Disneyland pricing is now over $100 for a one day ticket. In 2018 Walt Disney World moved to date-based pricing for all their tickets so pricing changes based on the day you choose.
Disneyland Resort Ticket Pricing:
- 1-Day Tickets – Pricing is based on the date you choose including Value, Regular and Peak.
- 2-Day Tickets – $225 or $280 for Adult Tickets.
- 3-Day Tickets – $300 or $335 for Adult Tickets.
- 4-Day Tickets – $325 or $380 for Adult Tickets.
- 5-Day Tickets – $340 or $395 for Adult Tickets.
For Walt Disney World Ticket pricing be sure to visit our calendar for up-to-date pricing. If you enjoyed reading about Disney Tickets be sure to see our other guides including Discount Disneyland Tickets, our 2019 Disneyland Planning Guide or What To Pack For Disney.