Today’s topic in my blog series is how to choose the right park ticket for your family’s vacation. Of the choices and options that we have discussed up to this point, this is one of the easier ones, I feel. It is easy to narrow down the days that you will need first, so let us jump right into that.
Tickets: How Many Days?
I have been that person before! I remember being so excited for our first trip back after so many years and wanting to cram in AS MUCH time as possible in the parks. If this sounds like you, then you might want a park ticket to be equal to the number of days you will be vacationing OR one day less. For example, if you are staying 6 nights and 7 days, you would want the 7 day ticket option IF it made economical and physical sense that you could be in the parks all 7 days. Some people have a late or early flight on their arriving or departing days, and that takes away one day immediately. So, the first option to decide will be narrowed down to how many days can we REALLY physically be in the parks and get our money’s worth out of it?
Not “Every” Day
I have also been this person. When you choose a Disney World, Disneyland, or Universal vacation, you go into it knowing there will be a fair amount of walking, while definitely having the time of your life. There are vacation goers like myself who know that you will need to write in a day to relax at the resorts, which is exactly what we did during our last trip. We took one day, spent it at the pools, lounged around, right during the middle of our vacation week, and we truly felt it recharged our batteries. We still watched the fireworks from the Polynesian beach during the evening, and we definitely still felt we were vacationing at Disney. But, it gave us some peace. It gave us time together. We moved as fast as turtles that day and enjoyed every minute of it. We had our lunch by the pool, supper in the room (the best pizza I have ever had in my life!), and just laughed and enjoyed each other. So, for our 8 days and 7 nights we were there for this trip, we didn’t do an 8 day ticket. We did 6 days worth of tickets. One reason was what I just stated, taking a day to relax. The other reason was that we arrived later in the evening on our first night, and it wasn’t physically worth it to pay for a ticket, when we were already jet lagged and just needed to rest so we could be ready to go the next day.
Tickets: Park Hopping vs No Park Hopping
The idea of park hopping is that your ticket allows you to visit more than one park per day. So if you started your day off in Magic Kingdom, but really wanted to end the evening at Epcot for their Illuminations fireworks festivities, you could do that. If you even wanted to park hop over to another park that had Extra Magic Hours that evening (later than normal “business” hours), you could do that, too! It gives you the most flexibility with your ticket as far as seeing more in a day. Your Disneyland Park Hopper would allow you to venture into both parks in the same day, while your Disney World Park Hopper would allow you to venture into all four parks in the same day (if you chose to, but I can only imagine, that would be exhausting, even though exhilarating). Universal has a system called Park to Park, which is essentially the same idea, just a different name for their brand. They offer a Single Day ticket, with the Park-to-Park option for their two theme parks. The price of park hopping is higher than having a one park per day ticket, but each family has to determine the value of that dollar and what they want to accomplish during their vacation.
Tickets: Water Park Options and More
Park Hopper Plus
There is also the Park Hopper Plus option at Disney World, where you can add on the option of other very popular Disney World attractions to your ticket. You can also buy those separately, but this allows you to work them into your park hopping options. With a 3 day Park Hopper Plus ticket, for example, you would get 3 visits, or with a 4 day Park Hopper, you would get 4 visits. The exception to the rule is a 1 day ticket allows for 2 visits. The attractions offered are: Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park, Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park, ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, Disney’s Oak Trail Golf Complex, and Disney’s Fantasia Gardens Miniature Golf Course. These attractions are amazing! You could easily take a day alone to hit the water parks, and then another day to try out some rounds of golf and head over to ESPN!
Universal offers a new water park called Volcano Bay and it has been a huge hit with tourists. Tickets can be purchased separately for this or you can combine them into a Multi Day ticket with a 3-Park Ticket, giving access to all three parks. 2-Park Tickets allow access to Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure each day. 1-Park tickets allow access to 1 Park per day.
Tickets: Annual Passholders
This is my final ticket option I will be discussing with you today. Annual Passholders are an amazing option if you find yourself having the ability to vacation at your favorite Disney or Universal destination several times a year. There are several different tiers when deciding which annual pass is right for you. I am an annual passholder, and for me, one benefit I love is the shopping and dining discounts we receive in the parks from being a passholder. There is even an app that honors passholders, and gives discounts on merchandise. Just like everything else, this is not an option for everyone, and you must decide whether or not this is something that would be worth your money.
Tomorrow’s Topic: MagicBands, FastPasses, and more!
I would love to give you a custom quote on a Disney and/or Universal vacation package that allows you all the flexibility that you need on a dream vacation. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me get started for you! I would love to give you a free Minnie Box customized for your family!