New Discount Mid-Day Magic Ticket at Disney World
Walt Disney World has announced a new discounted afternoon park admission option called the Mid-Day Magic Ticket, valid at Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, or Hollywood Studios after 12 pm. In this post, we’ll offer pricing and share thoughts about this new WDW ticket offer.
For starters, the basics. Walt Disney World’s new Mid-Day Magic Ticket is only a multi-day ticket, sold in 2 to 4 day increments. Currently, it’s available between now and December 15, 2019. If the Mid-Day Magic Ticket proves popular, we’d expect it to be extended.
While Disney Meetings has long offered convention guests special afternoon tickets, this is the first time Walt Disney World has sold such a midday ticket to the general public. It’s an interesting option, but perhaps not for the reasons you might think…
Let’s begin with pricing. Per Walt Disney World, here are the various options and price points:
- 2-Day Mid-Day Magic Ticket: Valid for admission after 12 p.m. 2-day Mid-Day Magic Tickets are available from $88 per day plus tax (from $176 total plus tax) and expire four (4) days after the selected start date.
- 3-Day Mid-Day Magic Ticket: Valid for admission to after 12 p.m. 3-day Mid-Day Magic tickets are available from $84 per day plus tax (from $252 total plus tax) and expire five (5) days after the selected start date.
- 4-Day Mid-Day Magic Ticket: Valid for admission after 12 p.m. 4-day Mid-Day Magic tickets are available from $79 per day plus tax (from $316 total plus tax) and expire seven (7) days after the selected start date.
One thing to note here is that there is no date-based pricing (at least not that we can see) for Mid-Day Magic Ticket, so the amount you’ll save varies by date. This means you’re looking at the least savings now or through most of September and greater savings October through December. You might save as little as ~$20 per day for an off-season date, or as much as ~$50 for a peak-season date.
UPDATE: Disney’s press release didn’t provide details about date-based pricing, but apparently there is date-based pricing on these tickets. Additionally, the starting prices are actually lower than what Walt Disney World has indicated. See accurate pricing based upon your travel dates here on DisneyWorld.com.
However, it is worth noting that those 3 hours, especially during the aforementioned peak season dates, are the most valuable of the day at Walt Disney World. This is something we harp on a lot, but with an efficient 1-Day Disney Parks Itinerary or Touring Plan, you can do more during the first two hours of the day you can get more accomplished than during the next 5 hours.
It’s also worth noting that Walt Disney World is offering Extra, Extra Magic Hours for the entire months of September and October in Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios. If crowds prove to be large during the initial months of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, we could also see this being extended to November and December.
During Extra, Extra Magic Hours, Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom will open to on-site hotel guests at 7 a.m., and Disney’s Hollywood Studios will open at 6 a.m. It should go without saying, but on-site guests who purchase Mid-Day Magic Tickets will not have access to Extra, Extra Magic Hours.
This means those guests will lose out on another 2-3 hours of time in the parks–early morning hours that will offer a huge strategic advantage to on-site hotel guests who are early risers. This is especially true if daytime and evening hours are busier than normal, you should be able to get a ton done first thing in the morning if you arrive early.
The flip side to this is that those who arrive later will be at a huge strategic disadvantage. If you’re rolling up to Disney’s Hollywood Studios at noon in September and October, you are essentially showing up 6 hours after the park has been open, at which point the crowds will have swollen pretty considerably.
If you’re an on-site guest, we’d implore you not to sleep in during this timeframe (for all of the reasons identified above). Nevertheless, if you’re the type who likes to relax in the morning or if you’re an off-site hotel guest on a budget, the new Mid-Day Magic Ticket is potentially an attractive discount option.
Off-site guests might actually be better off arriving later and staying later. You’re going to hit peak crowds at 9 a.m. anyway, so why not sleep in and not hold off for another few hours, save some money, and stay as late as possible (when crowds will once again start to subside). From that perspective, it’s tough to argue with the Mid-Day Magic Ticket.
Beyond the superficial, we’re also intrigued by the deeper implications of, and motivations for, the Mid-Day Magic Ticket. It would appear that this is a way to redistribute crowds (within a single day) while also offering a quasi-discount to lure in guests who have otherwise been priced out.
The ‘priced out’ guests are the most interesting part of this, and it makes us wonder whether we’ll see more options like the Mid-Day Magic Ticket in the near future. We wonder this because, the Walt Disney Company released its fiscal third quarter results last week, and revealed that attendance dropped 3% at Disneyland and Walt Disney World.
Disney CEO Bob Iger attributed this drop to aggressive Annual Passholder blockouts and people postponing trips due to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge (in the case of Disneyland, fears of crowds; in the case of Walt Disney World, wanting to see the new land).
The reality that attendance is down is hardly surprising–we’ve been covering this phenomenon in our Why Are Star Wars Land Crowds So Low? post. It’s the underlying causes for the declines that have our interest. Speaking to this, Iger said: “we do not feel that we have a pricing issue at our domestic parks.”
While we agree with some of Iger’s purported rationales (fears of crowds, AP blockouts, people postponing trips until the entire land is open) and disagree with criticism of the land’s substance, we disagree that Disney doesn’t have a pricing issue. Of course Iger isn’t going to come out and say that–it’s his job to put a positive spin on Walt Disney Co’s results.
Disney’s aggressive price increases and their long term sustainability is something we’ve discussed at length in countless other posts. We won’t reiterate all of that here, but see our “Is Disney World Eroding Fan Goodwill?“ and Page 2 of our Should You Wait to Visit WDW? posts (among many others) for more of our thoughts on this topic. Suffice to say, cracks are starting to show in the travel industry at large, and this is with record consumer confidence.
The inverted yield curve and warning signs in the global economy have been making waves in the news the last couple of days, and the stock market has already started to react. Even if it takes another 18 months, it would appear that some degree of a recession is an inevitability. It will be interesting to see how Disney navigates a less-than-stellar economic environment after a long run of growth.
Walt Disney World and Disneyland haven’t felt the ramifications of these price increases (yet) thanks to guests being in a ‘spend freely’ sort of mood, but will that end? Will Disney’s parks be hit harder than during the Great Recession due to most expensive day ever perceptions? Will we see a litany of other promos and offers like this? If I were a betting person, I’d say the answer to all of those questions is yes, and we’ll start to see this play out in the not-too-distant future. Of course, I’ve been wrong (or at least premature) in my predictions about this for the last couple of years; perhaps Disney is better positioned than I think.
Planning a Walt Disney World trip? Learn about hotels on our Walt Disney World Hotels Reviews page. For where to eat, read our Walt Disney World Restaurant Reviews. To save money on tickets or determine which type to buy, read our Tips for Saving Money on Walt Disney World Tickets post. Our What to Pack for Disney Trips post takes a unique look at clever items to take. For what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Ride Guides will help. For comprehensive advice, the best place to start is our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide for everything you need to know!
What do you think of the Mid-Day Magic Ticket? Does this ticket appeal to you, or are you a rope drop sorta crew? Thoughts on how a recession could impact Disney? Do you agree or disagree with our analysis? 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!
Does anyone know if Disney plan to release these for 2020?
Is there any news on whether the mid day magic tickets will be extended past mid December… we are coming through on 30 December and would really like these tickets.
I’d love an answer to this as well. Seemed like an excellent option to offer.
This would be great for 1st day of arrival, except you have to get a 2 day ticket. WDW is super expensive, and now that a 4 night stay does not get you into the parks like 3.5 days if old, there is no way around that 1st .5 day.
Please, please, please extend the mid-day tickets!!! We are coming in January and these are the best value for our family!!!!
Can you still get in the restaurants or do you have to wait until after 12?
You can’t enter the park until noon
Do you can’t go to an in park restaurant until after noon.
We are from Washington state and find that we do best staying on West Coast time while we’re at WDW. If we do EMH at 6am, we are essentially getting to the parks at 3am our time. Do that for a week and we are exhausted! I love this idea!
I would consider this option. We are 76 yrs old and we go quite often and set the alarm to get up early. At our age, that is crazy. We like to take our time and like the night time with all the lights. Disney looks different after dark. As long as the closing time give you enough time. We don’t worry about getting on all the rides, because we are only 3 hours away and will go again.
We LEAVE the park after noon because the heat and crowds are so miserable compared to the morning. This holds zero interest for me.
This is my dream come true! I get physically nauseous if I get up super early (and, no, I’m not pregnant). Hitting the parks at noon is my norm so I always lose out financially on full-day tickets.
I agree this is an awesome opportunity for people that typically do the parks later anyway. Congrats to you all for getting to enjoy some savings. I also agree about the price hikes from the smallest to the biggest which have upset my own very large social circle as well as many others outside of my circle. I am excited about all of the improvements and expansions at WDW and I know all of this comes with a price. However, I also know that Disney has crossed the price gouging line at this point. My family lives outside of Florida, we have annual passes, and go to WDW 3-4 times per year … Until now. Sure, we will still go to WDW ONCE per year to get our Mickey fix, but my travel agent is booking our other Florida trips in 2020 for Universal and Sea World. Annual passes there are ridiculously cheaper than at WDW. My travel agent tells me I will save over $10,000 on travel in 2020 because I am only doing Disney once and instead enjoying their competition. That is crazy!!!!!!! I know when the new park at Universal opens they will probably hike up their prices some. I also know the economy is eventually going to tank for a bit and then everyone will be offering deep discounts and begging for park visitors. Business is business, I know. But I am the CEO of my own life and business and for 10 grand less, Portofino Bay wins!!! Sorry Disney … You lose big time with me and my circle!!!!!
I am actually really excited about this option. We start the day with an easy non-rushed breakfast, pool time, followed by a noon -1:30/2pm nap for our 3yo. This is a great option for us to save money since we start our days so late. I’m on the phone now with WDW to see if I can switch our current ticket booking for our early Dec trip this year!
I am loving this Mid-day ticket. My son is a night owl and we love to go to which ever park is closing latest so we usually don’t get there until after noon. Anything that would save me some money is a great thing.
Right?! Same here! I mean we spend enough going there. I just called and the difference is roughly $500 in savings. That’s for a family of 4/4 days – 2 adults, 2 kids. You have to pay in full and book separate, can’t be part of a package where a minimum ticket purchase is a requirement. I booked a room discount, so luckily it works out for us. I love easing into our WDW days, and now I have less guilt thinking I’m wasting money by not being at a park all day – win/win!!! 🙂
I might be the only one who seems to really benefit from the mid-day ticket. I have a daughter who refuses naps, so the only way to enjoy the parks at night (my favorite time) is to get on a late shedule. We sleep in, eat a VERY late breakfast, and get to the parks at noon or later and stay til closing. With the midday ticket, I can get a 4-day parkhopper ticket for the same price as the 3-day tickets we had. This way, we can go to the park at noon on out Christmas party day instead of having to wait til 4pm. I love everything about this.