This sign is now gone, replaced by an army of photographers (image courtesy Guy Selga Jr.)
During the holiday season, as reported by Guy, Disneyland Resort began checking photo ID of all guests using multi-day tickets to enter the parks. This move, which led to increased wait times at the entry turnstiles, was explained as a way to cut down on the abuse of fraudulent re-sold park passes. (At WDW, a biometric finger scanning system is used instead).
As of yesterday (Tuesday 1/8) a new policy has been implemented. Currently, all guests using multi-day tickets are being photographed by a cast member upon entry. The photos are electronically linked to the guests’ park passes, are are displayed on a screen at the turnstile for employees to verify upon re-admittance.
According to the LA Times, this new policy caused delays of 45 minutes at park entry yesterday. Hopefully, the bugs will be worked out quickly, and Disneyland will finally settle on a system that allows it to monitor fraud without greatly inconveniencing paying guests. In the meantime, if you are visiting the Anaheim resort with a multi-day ticket, we advise arriving extra early (up to 1 hour before park open) to ensure you will be inside the gates before rope-drop.
Let’s say you’re visiting Walt Disney World for two weeks. Lucky you!
If you’re a UK resident, there are 14-day Disney World ticket options available to you. You lovely Brits can move along now, nothing to see here. But if you’re a North American visiting Disney for two weeks, you’ll quickly see that there’s no immediately apparent ticket option that makes sense for you. There are 10-day Magic Your Way tickets, but nothing longer than that. What to do?
Annual pass holders have access to discounted WDW hotel room rates.
First lets look at some basic numbers. A ten-day basic, one park per day, adult ticket currently costs $318. But let’s face it, if you’re going to Walt Disney World for an extended period of time, you’ll want a Park Hopper ticket, which runs $375. Given that as a starting point, if you’re staying for 14 days, your ticket options are:
- Stick with a 10-day ticket. Spend your remaining four days at your resort, Downtown Disney, or other Orlando area attractions.
- Add the Water Park Fun & More option to your 10-day Park Hopper. This involves only a slight bump up in price, making your ticket cost $397 instead of the non WPF Hopper at $375. Adding WPF gives you ten admissions to the water parks, DisneyQuest, ESPN Wide World of Sports, a round of 9-hole golf, and some daytime minigolf. This is plenty of additional fun to fill four non-theme-park days.
- Add a four day ticket to your ten day ticket, giving you a full 14 days of theme park admissions. Let’s say that for these four days you don’t need Hopper capabilities. A basic adult four-day, non-Hopper WDW ticket costs $256. Add that to your previously purchased $375 10-day Hopper and you’re looking at a ticket outlay of $631.
Compare this to the current price of a standard Walt Disney World adult annual pass: $611. Clearly, for a 14-day visit, if you’re going into the theme parks every day, then an annual pass makes sense. You’ll save at least $20 getting the pass versus getting 14 days of park tickets in Magic Your Way form.
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In the triumvarate of Walt Disney World ticket modifications you have the Park Hopper, the No Expiration option, and the Water Park Fun & More option. The first two modifications are fairly straightforward, the Park Hopper allows you to visit more than one park per day, the No Expire allows your tickets to have no expiration date. But what’s that Water Park Fun one? Do I need it? Is it worth it? Why should I get it? Let’s figure this all out.
Lots of Fun at Blizzard Beach
The basic information is this:
- Neither water park nor DisneyQuest admission is included in with the basic or Park Hopper theme park ticket.
- To get into a water park or DisneyQuest you’ll need either a separate water park or DisneyQuest ticket, or you’ll need to purchase the Water Park Fun & More add-on for your basic or Park Hopper theme park ticket.
- The Water Park Fun & More (heretofore known as WPF&M) add-on is purchased for a flat rate, regardless of the number of days you have on your basic ticket or Park Hopper.
- Currently, the WPF&M option costs $55.00 per person, plus tax. The child and adult price is the same. Florida residents may pay a lower price.
- For your flat fee, you get a variable number of “Fun” admissions, based on the number of days on your basic or Park Hopper ticket.
- The number of Fun visits is commensurate with the number of theme park days on your ticket. For example, four day ticket with the WPF&M add-on will have four Fun visits. A five day ticket with the WPF&M add-on will have five Fun visits, and so on.
- A Fun visit can be either: a one-day admission to one of the water parks, a one-day admission to DisneyQuest, a one-day admission to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex (ESNPWWoS), or one round at Disney’s nine-hole Oak Trail golf course.
- Your theme park visits and Fun visits do not have to be on the same day, or even consecutive days.
- All theme park and Fun visits must be completed within 14 days of the first use of the ticket, unless you’ve purchased the No Expire option as well.
Given those parameters, let’s consider some of the ways you could use your ticket with the WPF&M add-on:
The Water Park Fun and More option includes admission to DisneyQuest
- Visit Epcot – Use one theme park admission.
- Visit Epcot in the morning and the Magic Kingdom in the afternoon – Use one theme park admission IF YOU HAVE A PARK HOPPER TICKET. This is not a possible scenario if you only have a basic theme park ticket.
- Visit Blizzard Beach – Use one Fun admission.
- Visit Epcot in the morning and Blizzard Beach in the afternoon – Use one theme park admission and one Fun admission.
- Visit Blizzard Beach in the morning and DisneyQuest in the afternoon – Use two Fun admissions.
- Visit Blizzard Beach in the morning, DisneyQuest in the afternoon, and Epcot in the evening – Use two Fun admissions and one theme park admission.
- Visit Blizzard Beach in the morning and Typhoon Lagoon in the afternoon – Use two Fun admissions.
- Visit Blizzard Beach in the morning, go to your hotel and take a nap, come back to Blizzard Beach later in the day – Use one Fun admission.
Now that you get the idea, you probably have some questions.
Is getting the WPF&M add-on worth it?
That depends on how much you’ll be visiting the water parks, DisneyQuest, ESPNWWoS, or the Oak Trail golf course. Currently, a single-day admission to a water park costs about $52 for adults (ages 10 and up) and about $44 for children (ages 3-9). A single day-day admission to DisneyQuest is currently about $46 for adults (ages 10 and up) and about $39 for children (ages 3-9). A round at the Oak Trail golf course is currently $38. Pricing ESPNWWoS is currently about $15 for adults (10 and up) and about $10 for children (ages 3-9).
It’s pretty easy to see that if you’re going to be visiting a Fun location only once during your trip, a single-day admission is most economical. If you’re going to be visiting more than once, the WPF&M add-on is the way to go.
You can go to ESPN WWoS with a Water Park Fun ticket, but there might not be much to do.
My family has six-day Park Hoppers. Can only one of us get the WPF&M add-on and share those six Fun admissions with the rest of the gang?
Nope, sorry. Each ticket can only be used by one person.
I think I want to go to the water parks, but I don’t know what the weather will be like during my trip. Should I buy the WPF&M add-on?
I generally advise guests to wait until they arrive to decide if they want the WPF&M add-on. Your base ticket or Park Hopper can be upgraded to the WPF&M add-on at any ticket window or guest relations office at WDW. This way you’ll have both a clearer picture of the weather situation during your travel and a better handle on what your actual schedule is going to be like.
If you do decide to purchase the WPF&M add-on prior to your arrival, be sure to select this option on the handy-dandy TouringPlans Disney World Ticket Calculator. Click the “Show Advanced Options” buttons for detail-level planning.
I have a six day Park Hopper and the WPF&M add-on. Does this mean I can be busy for twelve days?
Kinda, yeah. Personally, I think it would be tough to spend six full days at the water parks and DisneyQuest without going a little nuts. But if that’s your thing, then go for it. If you’re looking for economical ways to extend your vacation activities, the WPF&M option is a fantastic way to do this.
I have an eight day Park Hopper and eight fun admissions. I can’t possibly use them all. Are these admissions going to go to waste?
Probably. Of course, you do have the option of upgrading your ticket to the No Expire option. With the No Expire option, your remaining Fun visits are valid into perpetuity, until you use them. The kicker is that adding the No Expire option to an eight day ticket currently costs about $200. Obviously, that’s significantly more than the flat $55 fee to re-purchase the WPF&M option during your next visit. It’s also about the same price as four separate single-day water park tickets. This means it’s likely more economical to let unused WPF&M visits expire and go to waste rather than try to preserve them.
You can't share one Water Part Fun ticket with multiple people. Everyone will need their own.
I have an eight day Park Hopper and eight fun admissions. Can I get sixteen days of play out of them?
No. Tickets are only good for 14-days from first use. In your situation, if you do want to take advantage of all of your Fun admissions, you’ll have to use some of them on the same day that you use a regular theme park admission.
Can I go see a bunch of Atlanta Braves preseason games at ESPNWWoS using my WPF&M tickets?
No. The WPF&M admission basically just allows you to walk around the grounds and possibly see some children’s or amateur games being played. There are separate tickets with premium pricing required for premium events.
So that’s the scoop. What have your experiences been with Fun visit ticketing? Do you usually purchase the WPF&M option? Do you find that it’s worth it? Let us know in the comments below.
UPDATE JUNE 2012: The Water Park Fun & More add-on now includes the Fantasia Gardens and Winter Summerland miniature golf courses at Walt Disney World. Guests are limited to one round per day, prior to 4:00 p.m.