The cheapest times to visit Disneyland and Walt Disney World.
Well, it's finally happened. This weekend Disney's Walt Disney World resort in Florida and Disneyland in California rolled out surge pricing, meaning from now on visitors will be charged differently depending on projected crowds and the time of year.
The new pricing plan—the spirit of which has long been implemented by hotels and airlines and is already the norm at Disney Paris—applies to one-day tickets and is based on a calendar divided into Value, Regular, and Peak periods. Prices for a ticket during Peak periods runs as high as $124, while the "Value" tickets can dip as low as $95. How does a budget-friendly family take advantage of the value plan? Here's when to go:
Just after the holidays
Ticket prices during Peak days like Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, and Christmas will jump to $124 at Orlando's Magic Kingdom, $114 for the three other parks, and $119 for Anaheim's Disneyland. But if you have some flexibility with your timing, then book a trip from January to mid-February. The weeks immediately after the New Year not only have lower ticket prices ($95-$105), but also hotel prices tend to be. Just be careful for pop-up holiday weekends like Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
After Labor Day
While the pricing periods vary between the two parks, September and October overall has the most number of Value days at the Florida and California locations. It's a tough time to travel if kids start school, but you'll be looking at lower ticket costs, shorter lines, and ideal weather.
End of August
Good news: if you're lucky enough to have a late back-to-school date, you can avoid paying higher prices. The beginning of the month boasts Regular ticket prices, while the final couple of weeks are in the Value category. Bad news: you'll have to brave the often-sweltering Florida and California heat.
These new prices come at a time when a spate of exciting changes are enticing more and more Disney fans to go to the Happiest Place on Earth. New Star Wars experiences are opening in both U.S. destinations, and a number of new attractions like Soarin' Around the World, a Frozen inspired musical, themed lands based on AVATAR and Toy Story, and a nighttime experience at Disney's Animal Kingdom, are expected to open on both coasts.