One of the questions we often get from folks planning a trip to Walt Disney World is: “Should we
buy multi-day tickets or annual passes?”
Now people are wondering even more so with this most recent price increase for annual
passes. So I thought I’d take a moment and talk through the different passes available, and do
some math to help you work out what the best pass might be for you.
I’ll tell you right up front, the answer is a bit long and confusing, as is this blog post, but I do
believe it could help someone out.
Which ticket to buy will, of course, depend on the length of your trip, so I’m going to use the
same thought process I use when determining which Disneyland tickets to buy when I go to
California. I’ll just use current Disney World tickets prices. This blog post is also going to be a
math heavy, so get your calculators ready!
Let’s start with the assumption you are non-Florida residents visiting Walt Disney World in the
mid-summer when single day admission prices are highest, and it’s not a holiday like July 4 th . A
single day park hopper ticket would be $185 per person before taxes (all prices going forward
Fun fact: Since we used July 4th as an example of a holiday where ticket prices are higher
($199 for a single day Park Hopper) it should be noted that Magic Kingdom has the same
fireworks display on July 3rd and 4th. So if a family of 4 goes on the 3rd of July, they could save
$60 on Park Hopper tickets.
Disney does reduce the price the more days you buy. But that’s also where the planning and
budgeting can get complicated. They also don’t list actual per day prices on their website, so
you’ll notice the math doesn’t quite work out on the per day price vs the total. Disney lists an
average per day rather on the site, rather than an exact amount.
Sticking with the week of July 4th as our example, the price for a 2-Day Park Hopper fluctuates
between an average of $155 per person per day on Sunday June 30 th and $161 per person per
day on July 1st. Using a bit of planning and a few non-park days (which, trust me, can be
essential for a happy vacation) one could get away with paying a total of $309.60 going to the
parks Sunday, June 30th and Wednesday, July 3 rd , versus $320.32 going July 2nd and 3rd.
It’s about to get even more bewildering. When we look at the 3-Day Park Hopper, the prices are
going to fluctuate even more wildly! So in an attempt to keep it as simple as possible, I’m going
to keep including a visit to the parks on July 3rd for the “July 4th Fireworks” at Magic Kingdom.
A 3-Day Park Hopper putting us at Magic Kingdom on July 3rd could cost an average of $139
per person per day, with the first trip to the parks being on June 29 th , for a total of $416.88. We
are starting to get into the price range of an annual pass for Florida residents, but as stated
above, we are assuming non-resident prices. We still have a ways to go before we reach the
cost of a non-Florida resident annual pass.
Moving on to a 4-Day Park Hopper (still aiming for July 3rd in Magic Kingdom) it strangely gets
less expensive to move our first day to July 3rd rather than our last day. So, a 4-Day Park
Hopper starting on July 3rd and going any 4 days (non-consecutive days are allowed on these
passes) until July 9th would cost us an average of $129 a day for a total of $515.46.
Side Note: It needs to be mentioned that July 4th will be an incredibly busy day at ALL of the
Disney parks. That day would probably be better spent relaxing by the pool or exploring the
That said, on to 5-Day Park Hoppers. We haven’t even reached the break-even point for an
annual pass and the total price is starting to look really affordable, especially when comparing a
4-Day Park Hopper and a 5-Day Park Hopper. Still looking at a start day of July 3rd for the best
bang for our buck, the price drops to an average of $106 per person per day for a total of
This is where Disney really starts to make staying longer look good. The difference between a
3-Day Park Hopper and a 4-Day Park Hopper was almost $100. The difference between a 4-
Day Park Hopper and a 5-Day Park Hopper is only $10.12.
6-Day Park Hoppers take that same idea even further with a per person per day average of $89
for a trip starting on July 3rd and going any 6 days through the 11th. This option puts your total
At this point it seems like an annual pass would never make sense, as the first annual pass
available for non-Florida residents starts at $899 per person for all 4 parks, any day of the year.
EDIT: Disney and their trickery got me on this one! The price listed above is the first price you see for the Platinum Annual Pass which is also the first time the website doesn’t specifically list “Florida Residents Only”. However, $899 is the Florida Resident price. Once I clicked on the price as if I were going to purchase it it gave me the option of being a Florida Resident or not. When I clicked “Products and Prices For All Guests” the price jumped up to $1191.74 as noted by the screen shot below.
It should also be noted that this blog post doesn’t take into account the perks of being an Annual Pass Holder such as free parking, discounts on restaurants and merchandise, and free photopass downloads. It is strickly comparing pricing of tickets and annual passes in an attempt to keep the math as simple as it can be on such a confusing subject.
So what is the break-even point? After skipping ahead to 10 days, we hit a total of $575.43 per
person for any 10 days between July 3rd and July 16th, and still didn’t reach the cost of a non-
Florida resident annual pass.
Now we enter the next level of confusion: Disney’s UK site. Disney offers discounted tickets for
travelers coming over from the UK that better fit the typical UK holiday trip. Bizarrely, the prices
for these tickets are less confusing than the ones offered domestically, and with less changes
So keeping in mind our July 3rd goal, the UK site has a 7 day option and a 14 day option that
include water parks and a round of mini-golf for the same price of £385.00 ($483.77 U.S.
conversion rate at the time I’m writing this) for both the 7 or 14 day. That is less expensive than
the 4-Day Park Hopper available to those of us in the US. Even the 21 day pass on the UK site,
which is £405.00 ($508.90 U.S.) costs less than the 4-Day domestic Park Hopper.
Uncle Scrooge would be outraged. Or thrilled. After all, he is from the UK.
So in conclusion, it seems the only way the Walt Disney World annual pass is worth the cost is if
you’re planning to go more than 10 days, and you live in the US, but not in Florida. If you’re
visiting from the UK, you would have to visit the parks more than 21 days for an annual pass to
As for Florida residents, the Weekday Select Pass, which is only good Monday-Friday with
blackout dates would pay for itself within 5 visits.
Here are the websites I used to determine the pricing in this blog:
Park-to-Park with Park Hopper Option:
Annual Passes: https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/passes/
International Disney tickets: https://www.disneyholidays.co.uk/walt-disney-world/tickets/