Step 2 WDW Planning: Park Tickets

Last Updated on September 21, 2021 by Happily Ever Park Hoppers

The second step in planning a Walt Disney World vacation is purchasing Park Tickets and Length of Stay.

If you are staying at a Disney resort, you will most likely bundle your hotel and park tickets into a vacation package. Non Disney owned resort guests and off property guest will purchase their park tickets separately. Either way, you will want to decide what type of park tickets you will want and how many park days you plan on purchasing.

Park Ticket Options:

1 Park Per Day – Entrance in to ONE park each day for the number of days purchased
Parker Hopper – Entrance in to multiple parks each day for the number of days purchased
Annual Pass – Unlimited park entrances for a full calendar year (Depending on the type of pass)


Water & Sports Option- This can be added on to single park/day tickets to include one sports park, water park or golf course for the numbers of days purchased. This allows you to enter a theme park AND a water park, sports park or golf course on the same day. It also allows you enjoy these parks separately. So for example, if you buy a 4 Day Base Ticket with the Water & Sports Option you could potentially have 8 days to separately go in to a theme park one day and a water park the next.

Park Hopper Plus – An add-on to park hopper tickets. Allowing you to hop between theme parks and water parks, sports parks or golf courses all in the same day. You can enjoy these parks separately, just like the Water/Sports option. The only difference is, you can enter multiple theme parks in one day.
**Both add-on options have to be used within a certain number of days. So if you purchase a 4 Day hopper plus and enter the parks January 1, you have until January 8 to use your tickets.


How to decide your length of stay? How many days should you plan to be in the parks?

If your dates are flexible or you aren’t sure how many days you want to buy park tickets for, you might want to consider a few things.
Can I see and do everything in one day?
There is a LOT to see and do in each Disney theme park. It used to be that Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios were seen as “half day parks”; meaning you could accomplish everything in less than a full day. Personally, I don’t think this is the case anymore. With the addition of Galaxy’s Edge (in HS) and Pandora (in AK), there is much more to see and do. Maybe you will be there during one of Epcot’s festivals and plan to explore all the delicious food at the different food booths around the World Showcase. Depending on the time frame you are going, there also might be lengthy wait times. All these things contribute to it being harder to see and do everything in one day. So you might want to plan for an extra day or two if this will be your only trip for a while.
Are you planning on take a resort day?
Do you want a day during your trip to hang out at the pool, resort hop to eat at another Disney resort or go shopping at Disney Springs. Maybe you want a day to sleep in and get a massage. Whatever your interests are, sometimes having a day to take it easy and skip the parks is worth considering.
There’s no getting around it. Disney vacations are expensive. Theme park tickets, park hoppers, hotel and extras can be the deciding factor in how many days you are able to go. Occasionally, Disney will have special offers for tickets with a set number of park days. This may be a budget friendly option but will make the decision for you on how many park days you will have.

No matter how many (or how few) days you are in the parks, know that with a little bit of planning you can still have a Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious time.

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