Which Disney Pass is right for me
Disneyland Resort, California.
The original Disneyland Park opened in Anaheim, California in 1955. In 2016 the park will celebrate its 60th Anniversary, and a lot has changed since its opening those many eons ago. Firstly, the solitary park has grown into a resort destination with two incredible theme parks, three on-site hotels, and a lively shopping and entertainment district to fill those ‘few’ hours in a day you might not spend inside one of the world-class theme parks. But before you tackle the amazing adventure that awaits a visitor to the Disneyland Resort, you will need to work out which ticket is best for you!
The Disneyland Resort has 3 ticket options available for pre-purchase with Infinity Holidays. The Disneyland Resort Ticket is available in either 2-day, 3-day, 4-day or 5-day passes and allows guests entrance to ONE of the resort parks per day for the duration of the ticket. The ticket is NOT consecutive, offering visitors the ability to scatter their visits over a 14 day period from first use – allowing you to fit in one or two of Southern California’s other great attractions such as Knott’s Berry Farm, or LEGOLAND California in between your Disneyland Resort Park visits.
The second ticket option adds the Park Hopper feature to the standard ticket package mentioned above. As the name suggests, Park Hopping allows greater flexibility, meaning you could start your day in Disneyland Park and then head over to neighbouring Disney California Adventure Park in the evening to view the spectacular World of Color show. And it doesn’t end there. The Park Hopping feature means you can jump back and forth between the parks as many times as your feet can carry you in a day!! And given the parks can be open from 8AM to Midnight on many days during peak seasons, there’s plenty of time to jump between parks as much as you like.
The third option is for those wanting to explore more of the Sunshine State’s signature attractions during their visit. A Southern California CityPass will provide you with all the features of a 3-day Disneyland Resort Park Hopper pass, along with single day entry tickets to Universal Studios Hollywood and SeaWorld San Diego. This value pass can save you up to 25% on the combined full price admission tickets to each of the attractions, and just like the other two ticket options, is valid for 14 non-consecutive days from first use. And whilst the pass doesn’t include transfers from your accommodation to any of the parks included in the ticket, if you are staying in the Anaheim area, Infinity Holidays does offer transfer packages with ground partner LUX Bus America that can get you to each of the incredible attractions without the hassle of having to drive yourself! One important thing to keep in mind is this ticket has to be used first at one of the Disneyland Resort Parks – meaning your visits to Universal Studios Hollywood or SeaWorld San Diego MUST be following your first visit to either Disneyland or Disney California Adventure Park.
As an added bonus, if you pre-book any of the 3-day or more Disneyland Resort Passes mentioned above BEFORE your visit, Disney will also provide you one Magic Morning pass to use. This incredible perk will allow you to gain access to the Disneyland Park up to one hour earlier than general admission allows on one designated morning during your visit. Just check either the Disneyland website, or ask a cast member for which day Magic Morning is in effect during your visit.
Finally, if you want to have a truly unforgettable Disney experience during your visit, remember to pre-purchase a Disney Character Breakfast before you leave. Whether you’re staying on-site at one of the three official Disneyland Resort hotels, or at a neighbouring Anaheim hotel, a Disney character breakfast allows kids of all ages to mix and mingle with their favourite Disney characters in a colourful and unique setting at one of several dining locations scattered across the Disneyland Resort. The experience really is the perfect way for families and friends to share some quality time together over a hearty American style breakfast before starting a busy day in the parks. Keep in mind the selection of Disney characters that attend each breakfast differs per location, so if you have a particular favourite you’d love to share a morning with, then do your research first in selecting a venue and package option that best suits your inner Disney geek.
Walt Disney World Resort, Orlando.
If your visit to the US is taking you beyond the borders of Southern California and across the country to the equally stunning Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, then there’s a separate set of ticket options you will have to wade through to ensure you have the perfect ticket package to match your Walt Disney World experience. And with a total land expanse roughly twice the size of Manhattan featuring Four Theme Parks, two Water Parks, two Shopping and Entertainment districts, four 18-hole Golf Courses, a Speedway, a permanent Cirque Du Soleil show, an indoor sports centre and twenty-four highly themed resort hotels – there’s a lot to weigh up before making your choice!
Much like the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando has three ticket options to choose from. The first, the Walt Disney World Magic Your Way Base Ticket is available in either 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, or 10-day options. This ticket works exactly the same way as its Disneyland counterpart offering admission to only ONE of the four Walt Disney World Resort Theme Parks per day, meaning you would have the difficult decision in having to choose between visiting either the Magic Kingdom Park, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios or Disney’s Animal Kingdom and sticking to that park for the duration of the day. Visits do not have to be taken on consecutive days, but all tickets have to be used within 14 days of first use.
Now before you ask the question “is there really enough to do in order to justify a 10-day pass” the answer is, YES! Not only this, but the longer the ticket duration, the cheaper the DAILY rate of admission becomes. In fact, from the 6-day ticket option up, the cost increase is approximately only $3 to $5 more per day, which offers exceptional value if you are staying in the Orlando area for a week or longer. So if you are sticking around the area to check out some of Orlando’s other world class theme parks such as the phenomenal Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld Orlando, LEGOLAND Florida, perhaps shopping at some of the best outlet shopping in the USA, or visiting NASA’s out of this world Kennedy Space Centre in nearby Cape Canaveral, the extra days can give you the flexibility to jump into a park during one of your non-Disney designated days to catch one of the incredible nightly shows, a meal, or even a late night adrenalin rush.
Disney also allows you to add two upgrades to this base ticket package: Park Hopper or Water Park Fun and More. Again, like the Disneyland Resort tickets, the Park Hopper feature allows you to jump between any of the four theme parks as much as you like per day. Transportation between the parks varies between monorail, ferry or bus, and is regular, convenient, and entirely free. There’s also no limit to how many of the four theme parks you visit per day, meaning if you’re feeling up to it, you could try zipping to all parks in one day – although I definitely do not recommend this as you will probably spend more time travelling between the parks than you will inside of them!!
The second add on is the Water Park Fun and More feature, and as the name suggests, it adds the two Walt Disney World Resort Water Parks (Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon and Disney’s Blizzard Beach) to the list of parks available to visit. Furthermore, this ticket also allows you to visit a handful of the other attractions scattered within the Walt Disney World Resort including Disney’s own indoor interactive theme park – DisneyQuest, or for the golf fans out there, the ticket also includes green fees to Disney’s Oak Trail Golf Course. With this ticket, you can choose to visit ONE of the abovementioned water parks or attractions per day, dependant on the base ticket validity, i.e. if you have a 5-day Magic Your Way Water Park Fun and More Ticket, you will be able to spend 5-days visiting the parks themselves, and have 5 visits to any one or more of the Water Park Fun and More add-ons. And the good news is, these extra visits DO NOT have to be used on the same day as a theme park visit, meaning you can scatter your visits across the full 14 day duration of the pass! You can also add in the Park Hopper option to this ticket package HOWEVER, keep in mind the Water Park Fun and More visits DO NOT have Park Hopping abilities, meaning each visit will constitute one ticket’s worth of use.
And there you have it, the Walt Disney World Resort ticket options in a nutshell. No matter what ticket option you choose, remember one thing, the Walt Disney World Resort is enormous! If you’ve been to any other Disney Resort world-wide, you know how vast and incredible a Disney park can be. Double it, then triple it, then double it again and you might be getting close to the size and scope of the Orlando resort. And whilst the Walt Disney World Resort is unquestionably 2/3 of the mountain, there’s still an enormous amount of other things to see during a visit to Orlando, so if we can recommend one thing, it ss to allow at least 7-10 days to see it all. Oh, and above all – have fun!
Written by Michael Casiss,