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 11 February 2020!
(Updated May 2020)
The Magic Kingdom opened at Walt Disney World in 1971 with a General Admission price of $3.50 (ride tickets were extra at the time, an entry level set of tickets went for $4.50). Since then prices have steadily increased, sometimes yearly, sometimes with more than one increase per year. The same is true at Disneyland in California.
In 1981 Walt Disney World switched from the General Admission plus attraction fees to a daily all inclusive ticket. These tickets debuted at $8, but by mid decade were over $20. We now find single day adult tickets going at over $160.
Disney Military Tickets
The reason for this post is to let you know when to expect Disney general public theme park ticket increases and how those increases effect the different types of Disney 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 (Regular Disney Military Tickets)
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 entire life of the offer period.
- The current 2020 offer started on 1 January 2020 and runs through 18 December 2020
- These prices are set and will remain in effect through 18 December 2020
- There is currently no follow on offer for 2021, but if offered it will have a price increase based upon any general public price increases in 2020
Non-Disney Armed Forces Salute Tickets are the same or very similar to the tickets purchased by the general public, but at a very slight military discount. The prices for these tickets follow most general public price increases, but not immediately.
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: in September 2018, Walt Disney World introduced Date Based Pricing for their general public multi-day tickets. WDW’s General Public pricing is now based on the start day of ticket use – Busier/popular times cost more. This does not apply to Regularly Military Discounted Tickets! Military tickets continue to be non-date specific at a single price. These tickets do have an expiration date about a year out but are valid on any start day. They also retain the old 14-day after first use expiration.
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:
- February 2020
- 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 in the recent past. However in the lead up to the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge that schedule was slightly thrown off.
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. Base Ticket Offices buy these tickets at a discount ahead and will use up their stock before increasing prices.
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 2020 Disney Armed Forces Salute based upon the March 2019 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 2020 Disney Armed Forces Salute – 18 December 2020
- One-Day Regular Military Discounted Disney Tickets (WDW & DL) expire 31 December 2020 (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 2020
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 however 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 DIsney tickets or Shades of Green Stars and Stripes Passes, these prices will go up after general public price increases.
Recommendation (12 February 2020)
If you plan to use Regular Military Discounted Magic Your Way Tickets in 2020, buy them now to avoid the trickle down Military increase based on the February 2020 price increase.
With the current theme parks closure it is unknown how this will effect ticket prices when Disney re-opens.
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? Get Our Email Newsletter See Our Great Disney Discount and Planning Info:
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- The Military Family’s Walt Disney World Comprehensive Vacation Planning and Preparation Guide
- Military Disney Tips Disney Packing Checklist
- Disney Military Tickets – Your Start to Finish Guide
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- Shades of Green, WDW’s Military Only Resort
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