Many people say there is nothing sure in life but Death and Taxes.
I’d like to add another sure thing to the list, Disney Price Increases.
Walt Disney World Increased Ticket Prices on 12 March 2019!
(Updated September 2019) – Since the Magic Kingdom opened at Walt Disney World in 1971 with an General Admission price of $3.50 (ride tickets were extra at the time, $4.50 for the entry level set of tickets), prices have steadily increased yearly (sometimes more than one increase per year). The same is true at Disneyland in California.
In 1981 WDW switched from General Admission plus attraction fees to a daily all inclusive ticket. This started at $8, but by mid decade was over $20. We now find single day adult tickets going at over $130.
Disney Military Tickets
The reason for this post is to let you know when to expect ticket increases for the different types of Military Disney tickets and how increases effect military discounted tickets, so that you can get the best deal for your vacation.
Disney Military Tickets fall into 2 main types:
- Disney Armed Forces Salute Tickets
- Tickets that are not part of the Disney Armed Forces Salute
The Disney Armed Forces Salute is a special, highly discounted temporary offer that runs for a specific timeframe. Usually renewed annually, the prices on these tickets are increased for each new offer and remain the same for the life of the offer period.
- The current 2019 offer started on 1 January 2019 and runs through 19 December 2019
- These prices are set and will remain in effect through 19 December 2019
- There is currently no follow on offer for 2020, but if offered it will have a price increase based upon any general public price increases in 2019
Non-Disney Armed Forces Salute Tickets are the same or very similar to tickets purchased by the general public, but at a very slight military discount. The prices for these tickets follow most general public price increases.
There are two types of these tickets:
- Regular Military Discounted Disney Tickets are available for both for Walt Disney World and the Disneyland Resort
- Shades of Green sells the all inclusive, length of stay Stars and Stripes Passes for Walt Disney World
Note: Disney recently had 2 different recent General Public price increases:
- At Disney World, in September 2018, Disney introduced Tiered Pricing for their multi-day tickets along with a price increase
- Pricing is now based on the start day for ticket use – Busier/popular times cost more
- This price increase HAS been incorporated into regular military tickets, but the tiered scheme HAS NOT BEEN
- MDT’s thoughts are that, because these tickets are sold off site (at military Ticket Offices, the variable price by start date is too complex, so DIsney has allowed the military to continue to use the single price tickets.
- At Disneyland, in January 2019, Disney raised prices on all tickets and passes
- This price increase has been rolled into military pricing
Disney Ticket Price Increase Timing
All Disney Military Discounted Ticket Prices (including the Disney Armed Forces Salute) are affected by Disney’s general public ticket price increases, just at different times.
Disney usually increases their general public ticket prices annually, sometimes more often.
Historical Disney General Public Ticket Price Increases:
- March 2019 (Disney World)
- January 2019 (Disneyland)
- September 2018 (WDW Tiered Multi-Day Pricing)
- February 2018
- February 2017
- February 2016
- February 2015
- February 2014
- June 2013
- June 2012
- June 2011
- August 2010
- May & August 2009
- August 2008
- August 2007
- January & August 2006
- January 2005
- February, March, & October 2004
As you can see above, general public tickets have increased in February the last few years, but with the 2 recent increases it turned out that there was not one in February 2019. However there just was a WDW increase on 12 March 2019!
When Disney increases prices on their regular tickets it causes an increase in both Regular Military Discounted Magic Your Way Tickets, Regular Military Discounted Disneyland Tickets, and Shades of Green Stars and Stripes Passes. This usually does not happen immediately, but usually within a month or so.
The important thing to note, is that the Disney Armed Forces Salute tickets for the offer that is ongoing at the time of a general public price increase DO NOT change price for the length of the current offer period.
If a new Salute is offered for the following year these tickets will then increase based upon the last general public price increase, just as they did for the new 2019 Disney Armed Forces Salute based upon the February 2018 price increase.
Disney Armed Forces Salute Historical Price Increase Dates:
- January 2020 (12 month offer)
- January 2019 (12 month offer)
- January 2018 (12 month offer)
- January 2017 (12 month offer)
- January 2016 (12 month offer)
- October 2015 (12 month offer with 2.5 month extension)
- September 2014 (12 month offer)
- September 2013 (12 month offer)
- September 2012 (12 month offer)
- September 2010 (12 month offer with 12 month extension)
- January 2010 (9 month offer with a 3 month extension)
Note Disney Armed Forces Salute tickets often go on sale months early so that you can buy them prior to the start date of the new offer.
Ticket Expiration Dates
Unused tickets will remain valid through:
- The 2019 Disney Armed Forces Salute – 19 December 2019
- The 2020 Disney Armed Forces Salute are valid 1 January – 18 December 2020
- One-Day Regular Military Discounted Disney Tickets (WDW & DL) expire 31 December 2019 (Disney will give you credit for unused, expired tickets towards new ones)
- Multi-Day Regular Military Discounted Disney Tickets (WDW & DL) also expire, the first day of use must be by 31 December 2019
Once you start using your ticket:
- Unused days on Disney Armed Forces Salute tickets remain valid through the entire length of the offer
- Regular Military Discounted Disney Tickets have a 14-day (WDW) or 13-day (DL) expiration period after the day of first use
- Shades of Green’s Stars and Stripes Passes expire 1 day after their length i.e. a 5 day pass expires 6 days after purchase
At Disney World from 1981 through the 2017 price increase, an unused Regular (non-Military Salute) Disney ticket remained valid for use forever, so you could have bought a ticket in 1981 (or any year), not use it at that time and then use it many years later when it would have been a huge discount off of the then current price. But in 2017 Disney ended this policy for good, the 2017 tickets expired at the end of 2018 and so on. You could then use the value of the expired ticket towards the current priced ticket.
Disney World also used to offer a No Expiration Option for their regular tickets, the ticket remained valid for use forever, even after you started using it. You could buy a 10-day ticket with its lower cost per day and use it for two or more trips over the years. We did this a couple times. Disney ended this option several years ago.
Timing is Everything…
When you should buy your tickets depends on what type of ticket you intend to use, when you will be going to Disney, for how long, and when it is in the year compared to ticket price increases.
We have another long post on how to decide what’s is the right Disney military ticket so please check it out. This will guide you on your decision to either use the Disney Armed Forces Salute or regular military tickets.
If you will be using Disney Armed Forces Salute Tickets there is no pressure, you can buy your tickets at any time. Once offered the price for each year will not go up.
If you will be using Regular Military Discounted Magic Your Way tickets or Shades of Green Stars and Stripes Passes, these prices will go up after general public price increases.
- This has happened for Disneyland and it’s January 2019 Price increase
- Purchasing these tickets now for 2019 use would avoid any further 2019 price increases
- This has not yet happened for Disney World’s new tiered pricing system
- By Purchasing these tickets now you are avoiding the tiered pricing increase and avoid any further 2019 price increases
For shorter trips the Disney Armed Forces Salute tickets are always a better value than the shorter Regular Military Discounted Magic Your Way tickets!
Compare all ticket options closely when deciding what and when to buy!
For example buying the 4-day WDW Disney Armed Forces Salute ticket is cheaper than buying a 3-day Regular Military Discounted Magic Your Way ticket.
I hope this helps! Do you have any ticket price increase questions?
Let us know in the comments section below
Planning a Disney Trip? Want to get the best military discounts that are available? Feeling a little confused? See our:
Learn about the Disney Armed Forces Salute the best military discount that there is for Disney. For where to stay see our Resorts/Hotel Overview Page. Disney doesn’t discount dining for the military, but there are a few places on property that do, see the Dining Overview Page to learn where plus more dining info. You can also learn about Transportation Options. Be sure to check out our Technology Overview to learn about Magic Bands and My Disney Experience to see how they work with military tickets. Walt Disney World visitors might be interested in staying at Shades of Green, WDW’s Military Only Resort.