As you plan a trip to Disney World for you and your young kids, you’ll have many decisions to make: including which type of tickets you’re going to buy. You have numerous options, which we’ll cover in detail below so you can decide which is best for your family.

orlandovacation_disney-ticketsBuy a one-day ticket for a single park

If you know you’re only going to visit a single park while you’re at Disney World, and you only plan to spend a day there, then the most affordable option is to buy a one-day ticket for a single park. The prices vary based on which park you’re planning to visit. Generally, the Magic Kingdom is a few bucks more expensive than a one-day ticket to Hollywood Studios, EPCOT, or Animal Kingdom.

Buy a one-day park hopper ticket

A park hopper ticket allows you to move from one park to another during the same day. If you want to take in favorite rides at more than one park, and you’ll only be visiting a single day, then this is the ticket you’re looking for. Note that this can be a tough order for parents with small children! If you’re planning to visit more than one park in a single day, the best option is to head out early in the morning, take a mid-day break, and then come back around dinner time. Otherwise, you risk serious meltdowns and tired kiddos.

Buy multiple days without park hopper

You can also buy a multi-day ticket that allows you to enter different parks – but not on the same day. For example, if you purchase a 3-day ticket you could enter the Magic Kingdom one day, Animal Kingdom another, and Hollywood Studios on the third day. However, you could not enter more than one park per day.

These tickets don’t have to be used consecutively, but unless you buy the no expiration option (which is generally not a good value) you must use all ticket days within 14 days of first activating the tickets.

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Buy multiple days with park hopper

If you plan to visit numerous parks in a single day, and you’re staying for numerous days, you can add the park hopper option. Note that you can also upgrade at the park. As a result, the best option is often to buy tickets without the park hopper option, and if you find you can benefit it once you’ve arrived at the parks, simply visit any guest relations booth and pay to upgrade the ticket.

Water parks and more

A final option is the park hopper ticket with water parks and more. It gives you admission to either or both Disney water parks, plus park hopping privileges for the duration of your ticket. Note that if you buy a 4-day water park and more pass, that gets you access to the parks 4 days and the water parks for 4 days – essentially it could end up being an 8 day ticket for you.

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To learn more about Disney World visit our section dedicated to all thinks Disney.