Published: July 3, 2012 at 5:40 PMAnother note is that in order to take advantage of most Disney Hotel specials and deals, a theme park ticket purchase is typically required. That can make the "investment" of 10-day non-expiring passes less advantageous because if you're always trying to take advantage of the seasonal deals, you have to keep buying new tickets.
For example, my wife and I have 10-day non-expiring passes that we purchased in 2005, but the last two trips we have planned (October 2010 and October 2012), Disney has offered a free Dining Plan promotion for on-site hotel guests. The promotion requires us to buy a minimum 1-day park ticket, which we all know is a waste of money, so we have purchased enough days to cover our anticipated stay (without the non-expiring option) since the price per day ticket is lowest as you increase the number of days on the pass. So we have days stacking up that we'll eventually need to use, and we make sure to keep all of our unused Disney passes in a "safe" place.
Before the biometrics, you could just hand off or sell your passes to friends of family, but with the new technology, you've got to be the one to use the ticket.
Published: July 3, 2012 at 6:09 PMMy experience has differed greatly with one of the statements in this article. "Keep in mind that this option (water park fun and more) expires 14 days after you use your first day on the ticket, whether you bought the 'no expire' option or not." I have purchased 10 day, park hopper, no expiration with water park fun and more for my entire family, and it clearly states on the back of my ticket that I am entitled to 10 park days and 10 water park days (or golf, whatever) that will not expire. I have used it in this manner as well.
To further back up my point, from http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/tickets-passes/noexpiration/ :
No Expiration* Option
With this option, your unused Theme Park days and Water Park Fun & More visits never expire.
Published: July 3, 2012 at 6:52 PMFixed. Thanks for that update.
As for the no-expire tickets... I have a 10-day, no-expire ticket that I've been using for several years, never for more than one or two days per Orlando visit. I often choose instead to stay at Universal Orlando to get the free front-of-the-line benefit with a hotel stay there, then use the 10-day Disney ticket to add a day to two at the WDW parks to my Universal Orlando hotel stay.
It's kinda backward to what most people do - adding a day or two at Disney to a Universal Orlando vacation, instead of adding a day or two at Universal to a Disney hotel stay - but it works for us.
Published: July 3, 2012 at 9:44 PMIf you're going to be staying at WDW, but want to visit Seaworld or one of the Universal parks, you can call Mears Transportation. They have buses that come to the WDW hotels everyday to take guests to the other parks. Give them a call the day before and schedule a pickup. The rates are much cheaper than renting a car or taking a taxi.
Published: July 4, 2012 at 7:17 AMI think the best tip I could give is take your time and don't want to see everything. All guests that stayed with us when we had a home in Orlando wanted to do everything in 3 weeks time. In the end they where tired and couldn't fit it all in their brains. When going to Disney I always take the 14 day park pass, I can only go a few hours a day because of my sickness but I'll have the time to see everything I want. the other year I would take a 10 day Universal/Seaworld pass that I can use in 14 days. These tickets are wonderfull.
Published: July 5, 2012 at 12:44 AMYou have missed the question, where are you visiting from?.
For example a 14 day park hopper ticket inc. waterparks\hopper etc will cost approx UK £250 (approx US$375) if purchased in the UK before travel.
Published: July 5, 2012 at 6:10 PMAre there any tickets you can buyt if you're visiting both walt Disney World Orlando and Walt Disney land in California in the next year?
Published: July 6, 2012 at 6:31 AMThere are no passes that I'm aware of that are transferrable between the resorts. There used to be a pass sold at Disney Stores that could be used at either resort, but once it was activated at the turnstyle of one of the resorts, that was the only one you could use the pass at.
Published: July 6, 2012 at 12:17 PMI live in Orlando, and am an annual passholder to both Universal and Disney. I have to say it has taken many many trips to WDW to get the hang of it. Even now, I rely on my Garmin app to get me around the property, as many times as I've been there. It's just so big!!
I much prefer the size, layout, and comfort of Disneyland and/or Universal Orlando. Two parks, on-site hotels, parking structures rather than huge expansive lots, and overall just a much cozier feel.
If you can possibly swing the cost, I would recommend either the Swan or Dolphin, or the Yacht/Beach Club, as they have boat service to both EPCOT and Hollywood Studios. And with a park-hopper, you can take the boat to EPCOT and then hop not the monorail from there to get over to the Magic Kingdom. You can visit 3 of the 4 parks without needing to ever ride on a bus or in a car.
By the way, all of Hollywood Studios' rides/shows are covered or indoors, so if the forecast calls for rain, it's your best bet.
Published: July 6, 2012 at 3:51 PMI am a fan of the 10-day non-expire park hopper. We usually go two or three days every other year so it works out better for us. Combined with three-letter room discount codes or the occasional PIN discount postcard from Disney and I can usually make up for missing free dining or ticket specials.
Even if one is not a fan of the 10-day ticket, there is still no need to pay full price for park tickets. Many ticket resellers have "get a day free" specials or shorter non-expire tickets. Many businesses have discount programs for their employees which have Disney tickets. Just make sure to compare the total price, including tax and shipping, to Disney. I prefer sites which state the full price including tax and standard shipping up front.
The moral, plan ahead and do the math. Get what fits your budget and style of vacationing.