• Breaking down Theme Park tickets and annual passes

    By: Shelley Caran

    Updated:

    ORLANDO, Fla. - There has been a HUGE shakeup over the past few weeks when it comes to ticket and annual pass pricing, benefits, and more.

    In this week’s Theme Park Thursday, I am breaking down all of the changes with prices and benefit summaries.

    Walt Disney World

    On Tuesday of this week, the Walt Disney World Resort has changed their ticket pricing structure and system with some noticeable changes for guests buying day or multi-day tickets and annual passes.

    Let’s talk about some of the changes staring with the purchase a single or multi-day ticket.

    The Walt Disney World Resort has launched a new online vacation-planning destination and has begun offering date-based tickets and pricing.

    So what does that mean for you?

    Guests will now be able to purchase tickets using an interactive online calendar, which displays different ticket prices based on the dates they choose to visit. 

    Compared to previous pricing, some tickets have decreased, increased or stayed the same, depending on the start date and length of the ticket. 

    For example, a guest purchasing a 3-day ticket with a start date of Feb. 10, 2019 will now actually pay $4 less per day than they would have before. A Guest purchasing a 6-day ticket with a start date of this Thanksgiving will now pay a little more - an average of $5 per day - since it's one of the most popular times of year to visit.

    Also, please know that these prices are listed as of October 16, 2018, and subject to change.

    Like before, tickets may be purchased on DisneyWorld.com, in the My Disney Experience app, over the phone, upon arrival at any of the four theme parks, or through authorized travel professionals and ticket sellers. 

    New to the ticket buying process, guests can now access several new online planning tools including park offering overviews, travel tips from Disney Parks Moms Panelists and customized suggestions based on each guest's personal preferences - helping them make more informed decisions on DisneyWorld.com.

    Annual Pass Price Increase

    Here is a look at the Annual Passholder tiers with pricing for Florida Residents:

    • Platinum Plus Pass
      • $849, up from $829 
      • Admission for a year to all 4 theme parks, 2 Disney water parks, ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, and Disney’s Oak Trail Golf Course 
      • No blockout dates
      • Visit all 4 theme parks on the same day
      • Includes Disney PhotoPass downloads
      • Up to 20% off on select dining
      • Up to 20% off select merchandise in store or online at Shop Disney Parks
      • Free Standard theme park parking
    • Platinum Pass
      • $749, up from $729 
      • Admission for a year to all 4 theme parks 
      • No blockout dates
      • Visit all 4 theme parks on the same day
      • Includes Disney PhotoPass downloads
      • Up to 20% off on select dining
      • Up to 20% off select merchandise in store or online at Shop Disney Parks
      • Free Standard theme park parking
    • Gold Pass
      • $609, up from $589 
      • Admission during most times of the year to all 4 theme parks 
      • Has blockout dates
      • Visit all 4 theme parks on the same day
      • Includes Disney PhotoPass downloads
      • Up to 20% off on select dining
      • Up to 20% off select merchandise in store or online at Shop Disney Parks
      • Free Standard theme park parking
    • Silver Pass
      • $479, up from $439
      • Admission during certain times of the year to all 4 theme parks 
      • Blackout dates apply
      • Visit all 4 theme parks on the same day
      • Up to 20% off on select dining
      • Up to 20% off select merchandise in store or online at Shop Disney Parks
      • Free Standard theme park parking
    • Weekday Select Pass
      • $319, up from $289
      • Admission during certain times of the year, Mondays through Fridays only
      • Blackout dates apply
      • Visit all 4 theme parks on the same day
      • Up to 20% off on select dining
      • Up to 20% off select merchandise in store or online at Shop Disney Parks
      • Free Standard theme park parking
    • Epcot After 4 Pass
      • $289, up from $239
      • Admission for a year to Epcot, any day after 4:00 PM
      • Invitations to Epcot events and festivals
      • Up to 20% off on select dining
      • Up to 20% off select merchandise in store or online at Shop Disney Parks
      • Standard theme park parking

    Again, keep in mind that these prices are listed as of October 16, 2018, and subject to change.

    Price increases at Walt Disney World weren’t limited to ticket prices.

    Parking at the Walt Disney World has also increased:

    • Standard parking: $25, up from $22
    • Oversized vehicle parking: $30, up from $27
    • Preferred parking: $50, up from $45.

    As with any decision to purchase an Annual Pass, you should weigh in the savings from benefits and usage.

    SeaWorld Orlando

    SeaWorld created the new Annual Pass program with more flexibility for guests to pick the Pass with the benefits they want most, such as unlimited admission, parking, free guest tickets, in park discounts and more.  

    The SeaWorld Annual Pass does not require a down payment and for a limited time, introductory prices start as low as $9.99 per month for Florida residents.

    Combination passes with Aquatica, and Busch Gardens and Adventure Island in Tampa, provide even more savings.

    The Annual Passes, now divided into four tiers, allow guests to choose the Pass with the benefits they most desire:

    • BRONZE PASS
      • $9.99 a month or $119.88
      • Includes blackout dates
      • Discounts on parking, dining, and shopping
    • SILVER PASS
      • $13.99 a month or $167.88
      • Unlimited admission
      • Free preferred parking
      • 10% off dining and shopping
      • One free guest ticket per year and 50% off 3 additional guest tickets
    • GOLD PASS 
      • $16.99 a month or $203.88 
      • Unlimited admission
      • Free parking
      • 15% off dining and shopping
      • Two free guest ticket per year and 50% off 3 additional guest tickets
      • Free annual Photokey
      • One free animal encounter
    • PLATINUM PASS 
      • $29.99 a month or $359.88
      • Unlimited admission to 11 SeaWorld and Busch Gardens parks in the United States
      • Free preferred parking (when available)
      • 15% off dining and shopping
      • Two free guest ticket per year and 50% off 3 additional guest tickets
      • Free annual Photokey
      • One free animal encounter
      • Free ride again access
      • Free reserved show seating

    Since this is a complete overhaul of the Annual Pass system, it is hard to create a comparison of pricing. The park did say that for now the ticket discounts.  

    Another great perk that Annual Passholders at SeaWorld Orlando can take advantage of is the newly reopened Annual Passholder lounge with ample seating, charging stations, and free soda!

    Universal Orlando Resort

    Universal Orlando Resort has launched a first-of-its-kind offer that gives Passholders more thrills and adventure than ever before. Starting today, guests can get up to six months FREE on Universal Orlando Resort Annual Passes depending on what tier they choose. 

    This special offer is valid on 2-Park (Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure) and 3-Park (Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure, and Volcano Bay) Seasonal and Annual Passes and is available for purchase and activation through April 4, 2019. 

    Here’s a look at the different Universal Orlando Annual Passes:

    • Seasonal Pass 
      • $269.99 for two park, $368.99 for three park
      • Three months free
      • Doesn’t include any parking or merchandise discounts,
      • Includes blackout dates
    • Power Pass
      • $354.99 for two park, $463.99 for three park
      • Three months free
      • 50% off regular daytime self-parking after your first visit
      • Limited discounts at CityWalk, Blue Man Group, and resort hotels
      • Includes blackout dates
    • Preferred Pass
      • $394.99 for two park, $503.99 for three park
      • Six months free
      • Free self-parking and discounted rates for normal and Red Carpet valet parking after your first visit
      • 10% Discount at Universal-owned stores and restaurants (not carts), CityWalk, Blue Man Group, and resort hotels
      • No blackout dates
      • Early park admission without having to be a resort guest
    • Premier Pass
      • $559.99 for two park, $733.99 for three park
      • Six months free
      • Free prime self-parking and normal valet parking, with a large discount for Red Carpet valet parking
      • 15% Discount at Universal-owned stores and restaurants (not carts), CityWalk, Blue Man Group, and resort hotels
      • No blackout dates
      • Early park admission without having to be a resort guest
      • Free Express Pass after 4pm 

    With this offer, there was a price increase from 2% to 7% depending on what pass you choose. 

    LEGOLAND Florida

    The LEGOLAND Florida Resort has announced an easy way for guests to make the last few months of 2018 the most awesome yet. 

    The Seasonal Play Pass will grant guests nearly three months of admission for the low rate of $54.99 + tax.

    This deal is exclusive to Florida residents, and the Seasonal Play Pass is only available for a limited time. 

    It can be purchased online or upon arrival.  

    The pass is valid through December 21 and block out dates apply, including special event weekends.

    Choosing the right ticket for your time in Central Florida’s theme parks can be tricky, and I hope that this helps you choose the right option for you and your family!

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