By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2017, from the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever. Paperback available on Amazon here. Kindle version available on Amazon here. PDF version available on Gumroad here.—Disney World Instructions for the First-Time Visitor

Seasonal Pricing at Walt Disney World: Pay More to Wait in Line Longer!

By Dave Shute


This site recommends that you arrive in Disney World one of the first three Saturdays after Thanksgiving.


For those who cannot go to Walt Disney World then, the material that follows illuminates the different resort room prices you will face from going to Walt Disney World at different times of the year. For ticket prices, see this.

You can find 2017 resort price seasons here. Projected 2018 resort price seasons are here.


The major prices at Walt Disney World that vary by season are hotel room costs. (Disney also does seasonal increases in one day ticket prices, but not multi-day tickets, which are what the vast majority of ticket buyers get.  This may change.)

“Season” does not mean anything as simple as fall or winter.  Disney changes prices much more frequently than that.

It changes prices when it predicts a change in demand, or a change in willingness to pay.

The business intent of these changes is to extract maximum value from high demand/willingness to pay periods, and to attract families into lower demand periods by lowering the costs of attending during those times.

One of the upshots of this is that Walt Disney World charges more for the periods when most people want to be there–which is also when it is the most crowded.

As a result, in general, the more crowded the parks, the longer the lines, the more your hotel will cost.

There are a couple of exceptions to this.

  • Very late February and very early March can be expensive, but not crowded. (This is from the increased willingness to pay of northeasterners getting away from the snow.)
  • Mid-July to mid-August is cheap at the deluxe resorts, but still crowded.  These dates are priced this way because the deluxes are hard to fill these dates, even though the parks are crowded.

See the links below for exact price seasons for 2017, and forecasts for 2018.  In addition, for even more detail on 2017 price seasons, see the material that starts on this page at


The 2017 easy Guide

Kelly B Can Help You Book Your Trip

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1 Nancy { 06.07.11 at 2:01 pm }

Do you have to purchase theme park tickets well in advance if you are attending the week of Christmas- do they reserve until capacity only and then stop selling tickets?

2 Dave { 06.07.11 at 2:18 pm }

Hi Nancy!

Great question, but no, you don’t.

At Disney World, new tickets aren’t associated with a date when they are sold. Your tickets don’t have any sense of “when” until the first day you use them–and then a clock starts during which they work for 14 days.

3 Erika Garza { 07.15.11 at 5:49 pm }

I would like to plan a trip for a family of 6 but I would like to know that if you book or purchase a vacation package, does it include park tickets to Disney World?

4 Dave { 07.15.11 at 6:10 pm }

Erika, with Disney you can do it many different ways. You can book just hotel rooms; you can book just tickets; you can book both; and you can add other stuff like pre-paid dining plans, waterpark tix, etc. It’s pretty flexible.

5 HUGH { 09.12.11 at 1:20 pm }

I would like to know if you guys have a program where I can purchase a annual ticket on a payment plan and pay for it monthly and start using the pass ASAP.

6 Dave { 09.12.11 at 1:29 pm }

Hi Hugh!

First, I’m just a guy with a website, not Disney…

Second, on your question, there is such a program, but its for Florida residents only—see

7 Dave { 12.03.11 at 9:38 am }

Hello, I am planning a trip to disney in late Feb early March, I see the PoP Century Resort is good for Firts timers on a tight budget, we are a family of 4, my wife and I, and our 2 kids 11 and 9, I am 6’3″, is there any room size options at Pop Century? and any general tips you can add would be great… Dave.

8 Dave { 12.03.11 at 10:23 am }

Hey Dave, all beds at Pop are full sized, so it will be a stretch. The next least expensive option with queen beds is Port Orleans French Quarter.

For other tips, start with the home page For more on where to stay, click the Where to Stay link on that page or in the left sidebar.

9 miranda { 01.06.12 at 10:58 pm }

Hey Dave, I’m trying to plan a vacation with my family of 6. 4 children and 2 adults. Im planning to go in late July and I live in Florida. I’ve heard u can get tickets cheaper if your a Florida resident. How does it work? And when do I buy our tickets? Please help.

10 Dave { 01.07.12 at 9:20 am }

Hi Miranda, DIsney offers various deals over the year for Florida residents. To see what’s on offer, see the box on the right side of this page:

11 Anonymous { 02.15.13 at 1:57 pm }

Hi Dave! We’re looking at a trip to WDW inmid November. We can get 20% off our rooms at a low end resort if we book directly. But this will not include a meal plan, theme park tics, or our flight. Or would oyu recommend going thru a T/A for the entire pkg

12 Dave { 02.16.13 at 7:05 am }

Hi! I’m guessing you are writing from overseas–likely the UK–as that deal is not available in the states. In the US a travel agent can’t get you a better deal than you can get yourself–the just do the work for you. But I don’t know if that’s true for visits from overseas…

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13 luis torres { 01.01.14 at 12:46 am }

How much would it be (including meals) for 1 eight year old, 2 adults, 1 15 year old, and a 12year old to go to Disney world in Florida?

14 Amy { 07.28.14 at 4:24 pm }

Hi Dave, I am planning a visit for the Dec. 2014 and wondering what day you see crowds going up at Disney from 12/13 through 12/20. Would it be before xmas or afterwards on Thurs. 26th. Ideally we would go the 17th – 24th to avoid taking the kids of school the whole week. thxs!

15 Dave { 07.29.14 at 8:38 am }

Amy, crowds will start being unbearable beginning 12/20.

16 Frida { 10.07.15 at 11:03 pm }

Hi, a group of 20-somethings gals are visiting Disney World next week and tickets online have gone up since last time we checked, do you recommend buying online or is it better buying at the gate?

17 Dave { 10.08.15 at 7:48 am }

Frida, because of FastPass+ you should buy your tickets ASAP so you can pre-book your rides. See this.

18 Sandeep kumar { 01.06.17 at 6:45 pm }

This is my first visit pls cnfrm how many days spent at dsny world with my family and what is the basic expenses in one day all the rides with water park with food nd ngt stay

19 Dave { 01.07.17 at 10:57 am }

Sandeep, for how long to stay, see this. There’s no simple way to answer the budget question, as hotel prices are wildly different, ticket prices get lower the more days you stay, etc.

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My response to questions and comments will be on the same page as the original comment, likely within 24-36 hours . . . I reserve the right to edit and delete comments as I choose . . . All rights reserved. Copyright 2008-2017 . . . Unless otherwise noted, all photos are by me--even the ones in focus--except for half a dozen from my niecelets . . . This site is entirely unofficial and not authorized by any organizations written about in it . . . All references to Disney and other copyrighted characters, trademarks, marks, etc., are made solely for editorial purposes. The author makes no commercial claim to their use . . . Nobody's perfect, so follow any advice here at your own risk.