But you've got many more options beyond the number of days you buy when you purchase a Disney ticket. One way that people have gotten around the ever-increasing price of Disney World tickets is to buy the "no expiration" option on their tickets. By default, multi-day Disney World tickets expire 14 days from the ticket's first use. But if you buy the no-expiration option, your unused days are good forever, locking your future visits in at today's prices.
Of course, Disney charges plenty for this benefit, sharply reducing its value. Many years ago, when the no-expiration option didn't cost that much, going with the no-expire tickets was a good deal for fans who planned regular visits to the resort. Today, many fans have done the math and decided that paying $77.60 a day for a 10-day park-hopper with no-expiration versus $41.40 a day for the same ticket that does expire doesn't provide enough of a hedge against future price increases to make the option worth its price. (Some of those fans have decided instead to join the Disney Vacation Club, the company's time-share deal, which provides some discounts on park tickets as well as the potential to get a better room for your money when staying on-site.) Two years ago, Disney took the no-expiration option off its website and many ticket booth boards, making it an "off the menu" option you had to ask for in person or over the phone.
Ever since then, we've heard rumblings from within the company that Disney wants to eliminate the no-expiration option altogether. Disneyland doesn't sell a no-expiration on its tickets, and the elimination of the option in Orlando would bring the two resorts in line on this issue.
What do you think?
Would you miss the no-expiration option if it went away entirely? Would it change the way that you choose which Disney World ticket to buy? Please tell us in the comments what Disney World ticket you buy when you visit, and why.
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I'll miss the thrill it gave our family many years ago to buy more days, knowing we may or may not use them all this time, but that we'd store them safely until we went again. I'm sure it's an accounting nightmare, however, and with other factors, like the uber-planning that MyMagic+ requires, that spontaneity is gone, and so never-expiring tickets are likely gone, too.
(Oh, and since Magic Your Way and the subsequent removal of the option online, it's been harder to justify the added cost and hassle of No Expiration, especially when buying discounted tickets via AAA, travel packages, work discounts, etc. I haven't bought No Expiration tickets in 4-5 years.)
I'm joking, of course.
We did convert our old non-expiring passes over to the new RFID cards on our last trip (along with consolidating some other older ticket media), which is something I highly recommend for everyone to do, unless you have really old non-biometrically linked media. The way we look at it, if we're ever in Orlando on business or simply on a whim, we can get into WDW without having to buy admission at the going rate, and can visit for just one day at a time without paying the obscene 1-day rates.
I feel that Universal's pass structure makes the most sense with 3-day passes that are typically the most widely used, but with 4 and 5-day promotional passes that are the same price as the 3-day passes to get guests to spend extra days in the Universal parks. If Disney eliminated the non-expiring option, I could see them trying the tact of adding days beyond the typical visit (6 or 7 days) essentially for free. Not only would that quell the backlash from eliminating the non-expiring option, but it would be more of an encouragement for guests to spend those extra days at WDW and not at Universal Orlando.
For those of us who love Disney but cannot visit on a regular basis, it does work out to be less with the caveat that you don't use up all your days in 2 - 3 years.
In the end you need to understand your visiting habits and cost it out to understand whether you will find the price worth it.
That's okay though. Universal's season pass is still economical for me and I receive a discount on hotels along with food purchases. Guess who will receive more of my money and time?
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