Should you buy Walt Disney World theme park tickets in advance?

Planning a trip to Walt Disney World requires securing transportation, picking out a hotel and purchasing your theme park tickets. Today we’re talking about that last point – buying theme park tickets – and whether or not you should purchase them in advance.

Before we go any further, you should definitely purchase your Walt Disney World theme park tickets in advance. There are ticket booths located at the entrance of every Walt Disney World theme park, but you will be missing out on a major benefit if you wait and buy your tickets on the day of your visit.

FastPass+ is the reservation system that allows guests with a valid theme park admission to enjoy three rides or attractions with a minimal wait. Guests staying at a Walt Disney World hotel or a partner hotel will be able to pick their FastPass+ reservations 60 days prior to the first day of their visit. Guests staying off property may make their selections 30 days before the first day of their visit.

So, what does all of that mean?

Summarized, if you hope to ride one of Walt Disney World’s most popular attractions with a minimal wait – such as Flight of Passage at Disney’s Animal Kingdom – you’ll want to book your FastPass+ reservation as early as possible. Otherwise you may have to wait in line for a couple of hours to experience the ride on a busy day. You will still find some select FastPass+ reservations on the same day of your visit, but be prepared that it’s extremely unlikely that there will be any availability for the most popular rides.

Vacations to Walt Disney World involve a decent amount of pre-trip planning to make the most out of your visit. While that may not sound too appealing, the pre-trip preparations you do now – such as buying your tickets ahead of time – will pay off during your vacation.

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David is a Disney travel expert who created Notes from Neverland in 2018 after visiting Disney theme parks countless times. Previously, David spent way too much time writing about sports, and was featured in Sports Illustrated, MSN, Yahoo!, and in many other publications. Learn more or contact us.

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