Last week, Disney increased ticket prices for the rest of 2023 and 2024 at Disneyland and California Adventure. With this 1-day, multi-day, Park Hopper, Annual Pass, and Genie+ costs are now up almost across the board. That’s the bad news.
The good news is that Get Away Today, our recommended authorized third party ticket seller, still has tickets at the “old” prices. By purchasing your Disneyland park tickets via them, you can lock in the previous pricing and save significantly on multi-day tickets! As compared to post-price increase, you can save up to $150 per ticket. (Obviously, savings vary based on ticket type.)
If you want the bottom line, it’s that purchasing tickets via Get Away Today or other Disney-authorized ticket sellers before Monday, October 23, 2023, you will get the best prices available. We’ve received a lot of questions about whether to buy now, wait for Black Friday or Disneyland’s upcoming kids’ special, and more–the answer to almost all of those questions is: don’t wait, buy now. If you’d prefer to read that same response but in ~2,000 words, we have the following FAQ. (It’s not just filibustering–there’s more nuance and explanations for those who want it!)
Will ticket prices be cheaper during Black Friday or Cyber Monday sales?
Not for adults and probably not for kids.
Get Away Today has advised us that they will have a Black Friday sale but the prices during that will not be better than locking in the current “old” prices. That’s entirely consistent with past precedent across all authorized ticket sellers–their deals are always best during this window, surpassing even the Black Friday and Cyber Monday specials. So adults should purchase their tickets now–no doubt about it.
Kids are potentially a different story. Disneyland announced that there’s going to be a special kids’ ticket offer beginning October 24, 2023. During that, guests can purchase a child’s ticket to Disneyland Resort theme parks for as low as $50 per child, per day valid for use between January 8, 2024 and March 10, 2024. Strong emphasis on “as low as,” meaning that’s just the starting price. That could end up being better than the current “old” pricing.
So should families wait until October 24 to see what happens?
Guests aren’t penalized for booking early with Get Away Today. This means that if you buy now and the kids’ special comes out and is a better deal, they will be able to make a price adjustment to it and refund the difference. But price adjustments only apply to previous purchases. You can’t do nothing and then try to retroactively buy tickets at the old prices–once they’re gone, they’re gone! (Absent a time machine, but in that case, go back way further and buy no-expiration tickets when they were like $20 per day. That’s the real Disneyland ticket price hack!)
Are discounted Disneyland tickets available anywhere else?
We recommend Get Away Today in this post due to their customer service, price adjustment policy, and by virtue of offering the lowest prices to DTB readers. However, the other authorized ticket brokers mentioned in our Money-Saving Guide to Disneyland Tickets should likewise have “old” inventory left for a limited time.
If you’re reading this after October 23, you might check out Undercover Tourist or other options. (Honestly, I’m not sure if October 23 is the end date for all of them or if it comes down to how much inventory other sellers have on hand.)
What about California resident deals?
For the last few years, the cadence of California resident ticket deals has been SoCal savings for early January through late May travel dates, followed by full-state specials for June through late September. Here’s what was offered this year:
2023 SoCal Resident Winter & Spring Ticket Deal Prices:
3-day, 1 park per day weekday ticket – $219
3-day Park Hopper weekday ticket – $279
3-day, 1 park per day weekday ticket with Disney Genie+ service – $294
3-day, Park Hopper weekday ticket with Disney Genie+ service – $354
2023 California Resident Summer Ticket Deal Prices:
3-Day (Monday to Thursday), 1-Park Per Day Ticket – $249 ($83/Day)
Not Valid for Admission on Fridays to Sundays
3-Day (Monday to Sunday), 1-Park Per Day Ticket – $299 ($100/Day)
We don’t anticipate lower prices for the 2024 Californian ticket deals, but it is possible on the backside of pent-up demand.
Is there any chance of a 2-Park Disneyland ‘Magic’ ticket deal for non-residents?
This summer, Walt Disney World released a fairly unprecedented and excellent 4-Day, 4-Park Magic Ticket for $99 per day, which could be purchased by anyone–not just Florida residents. We’ve since had many Disneyland fans ask if something like this is possible with a general public deal for the California parks.
It’s highly unlikely. Disney’s main motivation for that 4-Park Magic Ticket was “forcing” people to visit EPCOT and Animal Kingdom, which had/have far lower demand than Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Even though DCA is less popular than Disneyland, the difference is not nearly as pronounced.
This isn’t to say that a general public ticket deal is impossible for Disneyland. We haven’t seen one any time recently, but Disney will have to pull more “levers” to entice people to return post-revenge travel. If there is one, we’d expect it to be far less attractive than that ‘Magic’ ticket, though.
What about Walt Disney World tickets?
Multi-day tickets for Walt Disney World did not increase in price.
Last year, Walt Disney World raised ticket prices twice. The first increase occurred in mid-February and the second happened on December 8. The second time, Walt Disney World made structural changes and removed reservations for single-day tickets and gave three weeks’ notice before implementing the changes. But it was also effectively a clandestine price increase for most dates.
As a general rule, it’s always a good idea to buy tickets early to lock-in current pricing. In this case, you’re not up against a deadline–there’s no “old” pricing on Walt Disney World tickets to take advantage of now. Our best guess is that Walt Disney World is waiting for the advance-booking of Lightning Lanes (which will necessitate more structural changes) and will use that to quietly increase prices. There’s a good chance that doesn’t happen until early 2024, though.
When is the next price increase most likely?
October 11, 2024. That’s a very specific date, but it’s when prices went up both this year and last year. The chances of a three-peat for October 11 are actually fairly low–that’s a Friday next year and major changes like this normally happen earlier in the week. But past precedent is what it is, and we’d be remiss if we didn’t point out that it’s been October 11 for the last two years.
Disneyland normally raises ticket prices in February or October–sometimes both. With pent-up demand exhausting itself, pretty steep increases this year, and nothing brand-new on the horizon in the first half of 2024, we view it as exceedingly unlikely that there’s a price increase in February 2024. There’s a non-zero chance of it happening, but we’d put it in the low single digit percentages.
Conversely, the odds are very high of an increase in Fall 2024. Again, October 11 was the magic date this year and last, but it could occur anytime between the end of September and mid-October, right around the time Disney’s new fiscal year starts. October is also now one of the most popular months of the year at Disneyland, so the company could opt to move the price increase forward and capitalize on that. (My money is on the price increase occurring before October 11, not after.)
We always recommend purchasing tickets sooner rather than later if you know you’re going to be visiting Disneyland. Purchasing now will “future proof” against additional price increases in the next year-plus. Prices have gone up at least once annually every year of the last decade. That was true even for the year-plus when the parks were closed–they managed to sneak in price increases shortly before closing and after reopening.
With that said, pent-up demand is fizzling out and Disneyland is experiencing a slowdown as compared to the last two years. So it’s possible that Disney will hit pause on price increases in 2024. (Walt Disney World is about a year ahead of Disneyland in terms of pent-up demand exhaustion, and they haven’t raised ticket prices this year…yet.) We wouldn’t bet on it, but we also wouldn’t bet against it.
Are there discounts on single-day tickets?
Authorized ticket sellers don’t offer any savings on 1-day tickets. You might as well buy directly from Disney.
If prices go up again between now and my travel dates, do I have to pay the difference?
The beauty of buying now to lock-in prices is that you safeguard against future price increases. Even at today’s higher interest rates, putting your money to use by purchasing park tickets to take advantage of savings will “outperform” a high-yield savings account (based on the historical percentages of past price increases). You might be able to do better with U.S. Treasuries depending upon the duration and tickets you’d buy.
Is it worth buying the Genie+ ticket add-on?
For us, it really comes down to how long you’re visiting and how important rides are to your visit. The shorter the trip, the more likely we are to recommend the Genie+ add-on. If you’re doing a longer trip and you don’t care as much about repeating rides, we’re less inclined to recommend it.
If you’ll want Genie+ every day, it’s a no brainer. The advance purchase length-of-ticket add-on, especially at the old prices, will save you more money and be more convenient than purchasing it each day. You’ll pay $25 per day instead of no less than $30. (Current ‘surge’ pricing for same-day Genie+ is $35, but there’s nothing to say it won’t be higher when you visit.)
With that said, Genie+ works incredibly well at Disneyland Resort, which is both an argument for and against buying it length of stay. Most days, you will be able to secure Lightning Lane selections for most popular attractions, saving several hours as compared to waiting in the standby lines. The last time we tested Genie+ at Disneyland and DCA, we were easily able to make ride reservations for over one-dozen attractions, saving roughly over 6 hours in line.
This is not an anomaly or uncommon outcome. Genie+ is really easy to use at Disneyland Resort, and gives you a huge advantage. Accordingly, it offers great value and strategic advantage. Conversely, Genie+ makes it easy to have 1-2 days when you “go hard” on rides, followed by more relaxed days where Genie+ is no longer necessary.
If your budget allows, we are huge fans of Park Hopper tickets and think it’s worth the added cost. The reason for this is simple: Disneyland and Disney California Adventure are literally less than a football field apart. It’s easy to jump from one to the other, and we do on every single visit.
This allows you to hit Radiator Springs Racers first thing every morning of our trip, and then either continue the day at Disney California Adventure, or head over to Disneyland. It also enables you to use Genie+ at both parks in a single day, instead of just at one.
If you do continue the day at Disney California Adventure, having the hopper allows you to go to Disneyland late at night for the fireworks, or to head over to Disneyland to end the day, because it’s usually open later. You can also bounce back and forth between the parks, making for more efficient touring without wasting time given the proximity of the parks to one another.
With that said, if you have small children who won’t stay up late or aren’t concerned about having the most efficient day possible, opting for Park Hopper might be a waste of your money. As always, there’s really no one size fits all answer. We love the Park Hopper option and can’t imagine not doing both parks in the same day, but others might take a more laid back approach. Moreover, each park has more than enough to fill an entire day.
With the expanded 180-day reservation calendar, is it more important to buy tickets and make reservations earlier?
Don’t let Disney fool you. Park reservations for Disneyland and Disney California Adventure have become much easier to book, with it being very rare for dates on the regular ticket calendars to fill up more than a few weeks in advance. Outside of peak season, I can’t recall the last time anything was gone over a month in advance. The expanded calendar gives the illusion of greater convenience or peace of mind, but changes very little in reality.
If anything, last-minute reservations are going to become easier to book as revenge travel ends. As such, the reason to buy now is to take advantage of lower prices. If you don’t care about that or have another reason to wait, don’t sweat it. They’re not going to run out of reservations more than a few weeks before your travel dates.
Are you purchasing park tickets for Disneyland in late 2023 or 2024 before October 24 in order to lock-in the “old” prices? What do you think of these price increases to Disneyland tickets? Thoughts on buying the Park Hopper add-on or Genie+ at Disneyland Resort? Will you still be visiting the parks this year, or are you priced out? Do you agree or disagree with our assessment? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!