Walt Disney World has announced a new special offer on 4-Day, 4-Park tickets which will not require theme park reservations and will be discounted. If that sounds too good to be true or like there’s a catch coming, you’ve learned well, as there’s no such thing as a free lunch. This shares details about the deal, plus our commentary about why it’s being offered and whether it makes sense to buy.
Beginning May 23, 2023, you can purchase the 4-Day, 4-Park Magic Ticket for $99 per day plus tax ($396 total plus tax). This special ticket offers one day of admission to each of the four theme parks for a total of 4 admissions, on 4 separate days. No Disney Park Pass theme park reservations are needed for the 4-Day, 4-Park Magic Ticket.
The 4-Day, 4-Park Magic Ticket is valid for admission June 1, 2023 through September 29, 2023 and is subject to blockout dates from July 1 to July 4 and September 1 to September 4, 2023. This ticket must be used within 7 days of first use or by September 29, 2023, whichever comes first. Ticket excludes activities/events separately priced.
4-Day, 4-Park Magic Ticket Important Details:
- The 4-Park Magic Ticket includes one admission to each of the Walt Disney World theme parks (Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park) for a total of 4 admissions, on 4 separate days.
- Limit one admission per theme park, and one theme park per day. Ticket may not be used to enter the same theme park more than once.
- All tickets are non-transferable and non-refundable, and exclude activities/events separately priced.
- Admission is subject to capacity closures and other restrictions.
- The 4-Park Magic Ticket is subject to blockout dates from July 1 to July 4, and September 1 to September 4, 2023. Ticket is not valid for admission on blockout dates.
- Ticket expires within 7 days of first use or on September 29, 2023, whichever occurs first.
- Parks, attractions and other offerings are subject to availability, closures and change or cancellation without notice or liability. Admission to a theme park is not guaranteed.
If the this 4-Day, 4-Park Magic Ticket sounds vaguely familiar, you have a great memory, because it isn’t exactly brand new. The last time Walt Disney World released this special offer was on February 26, 2020 with the ticket itself valid through June 30, 2020.
Back then, it was called the 4-Day, 4-Park Discover Ticket. Given the limited time it was actually on sale and how few days during that window that the Walt Disney World theme parks were even open, it’s probably fair to say that not many fans took advantage of that deal.
It also was significantly different. Back in 2020, the Discover Disney tickets could be used on both consecutive and non-consecutive days, anytime between the start date and June 30. Most significantly, they were only available for Florida residents, and the 4-day Discover Disney Ticket cost $49 per day plus tax or $195 total, or $175 for the 3-day Discover Disney tickets.
At that time, the Discover Disney ticket was marketed as being the perfect option for a “4-day long, fun-filled weekend itinerary” for guests visiting from out of town areas like Miami and Jacksonville. Alternatively, there was a multi-month itinerary aimed at locals in Orlando and Tampa, with an emphasis on seasonal events in EPCOT and Animal Kingdom, and new additions at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. (Walt Disney World even included sample itineraries in its marketing of these tickets.)
In terms of commentary, this is a savvy move by Walt Disney World. It should be apparent from the deal description, but in case not, this 4-Day & 4-Park ticket prevents its purchasers from spending multiple days in Magic Kingdom or Disney’s Hollywood Studios. It’s one day at each and every Walt Disney World theme park with no option to purchase Park Hopping or any other add-ons that are normally available even with special tickets (such as Florida resident tickets).
In the past, the company has used theme park reservations to limit access to Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, redistributing attendance and push people towards Animal Kingdom and EPCOT to increase the utilization of those parks and normalize numbers across all four parks. That was an instance of the infamous “yield management” approach discussed by executives on earnings calls and in interviews.
It’s a somewhat similar idea here. If left to their own devices, tourists would not visit Animal Kingdom and EPCOT in the same numbers or with the same frequency as Magic Kingdom (also known simply as “Disneyworld” to many casual guests) or Disney’s Hollywood Studios (aka “The Star Wars Park” or “The One With All the ‘Big’ Rides and New Stuff”). The 4-Day, 4-Park Magic Ticket essentially accomplishes that, with its purchasers spending 25% of their vacation days at each park.
As for the “why?” of this 4-Day, 4-Park Magic Ticket being released right as summer tourist season should be starting, we’re not going to belabor the point made in today’s previous post about V.I.Passholder Days, but suffice to say, pent-up demand is finally exhausting itself and there are signs of softness on the horizon for Walt Disney World. We’ve mentioned repeatedly that Walt Disney World already has released 14 different discounts for 2023, which is more than were available for the entirety of last year.
Just last week on the company’s earnings call, CFO Christine McCarthy warned of a slowdown at Walt Disney World in the coming quarters to soften the blow to investors. This wasn’t news to us–it’s already happening! We’ve been discussing the higher than normal post-spring break attendance drops in Sharp Shoulder Season Slowdown at Walt Disney World and Low Pre-Summer Crowds at Walt Disney World.
As for whether we’d recommend the 4-Park Magic ticket deal for Walt Disney World visitors, that depends. First, are you currently planning on visiting all four theme parks? Do you intend upon spending an entire day at each of them? Would you skip the Park Hopper option?
If the answer to all 4 of those questions is yes, then buying this ticket makes sense. If you’re on a tight budget and a vacation to Walt Disney World is already stretching your vacation dollars, then this ticket offer also probably makes sense if it fits pretty closely with your vacation parameters.
In pricing out Walt Disney World tickets, it should be fairly obvious that the 4-Park Magic ticket is a good deal–and that’s even as compared to discounts offered by authorized third party ticket sellers. As compared to front gate prices, this is a tremendous savings on admission–over $100 per person.
Accordingly, if you’re a bottom dollar kind of visitor and this works within your Walt Disney World vacation plans, it’s a pretty open and closed case. You should buy the 4-Park Magic Walt Disney World ticket–it’s a good promo for your circumstances.
However, we would encourage everyone else to give it more thought and consider whether the savings are enough to overcome this ticket’s shortcomings. As with everything, there’s no one-size-fits-all advice when it comes to Walt Disney World, but this is not a ticket that we would personally purchase as first-timers or infrequent visitors.
As explained in our Money-Saving Guide to Walt Disney World Tickets, we are huge Park Hopper fans and advocates. That’s one of the first and highest-priority splurges we’d recommend making, even if it comes at the expense of table service meals, Genie+ and Lightning Lanes, or just about anything else. That’s especially true for those with fewer days at Walt Disney World.
Although all of them can be full-day parks, we struggle with recommending that first-timers spend 25% of their vacation time at Animal Kingdom. This might upset its staunchest advocates–and we have come around to view DAK as a full-day park–but it’s very difficult to argue that the average first-time visitor is going to want to spend the same amount of time at Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom.
Realistically, that’s just not true for most people. This isn’t just our bias or personal preferences–there are plenty of stats to support it. For one thing, Animal Kingdom sees millions fewer annual guests than Magic Kingdom. For another thing, wait times show that Animal Kingdom crowds arrive late and leave early.
The ‘average’ guest is rolling up at around 10 am and leaving before 3 pm. The average first-timer will spend more time at DAK, but you could easily arrive at opening (or better yet, for Early Entry) and leave fully satisfied at 1 pm, arriving to Magic Kingdom right at 2 pm and still having a chance at the afternoon TRON Lightcycle virtual queue.
This is an illustrative example, and admittedly the most extreme one. With that said, we also favor splitting up both EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios into two half-days, but it’s much easier to spend a fill an entire day at them.
The salient point is that if you’re a first-timer with 4 days at Walt Disney World, you should spend at least 1.5 of those days at Magic Kingdom. Allocating the same number of days to both ‘kingdom’ parks is an inefficient use of time, and money is equally valuable (if not more) to time for many people on vacation.
However you split up the rest of the time between EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios comes down to personal preference, and there are arguments for and against excessive Park Hopping. (It does “waste” time, but much of that time is spent on novel transportation systems like the Skyliner or FriendShip boats, which are some of the best non-attraction attractions in all of Walt Disney World!)
Finally, you should not ascribe any value to not having to make Disney Park Pass reservations. Many Walt Disney World fans have become vehemently anti-theme park reservations, and for good reason. It’s another unnecessary layer of friction, source of stress, and so forth. Walt Disney World has already announced reservations are being retired for most ticket types in 2024, and this is essentially a “sneak peek” at that.
However, you should not be willing to pay more for the “peace of mind” of bypassing park reservations in Summer 2023. It’s a red herring or illusory perk. As of right now, every single day for the remainder of 2023 is green on the reservation calendar. If the rumors of a significant summer slowdown are accurate–reinforced with each new special offer like this one–reservations are going to be ample throughout Summer 2023.
It’s great that Walt Disney World is (finally) getting rid of reservations, but we would pay exactly $0 extra to have “early access” to this perk. At least, for Summer 2023. The calculus would be different if this were offered for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and NYE, but that’s not the case. The point is that making and modifying reservations might be a slight chore this summer, but it shouldn’t be an actual problem like the past couple of years.
If Walt Disney World offered a ticket or Annual Pass type that had unrestricted Park Hopping…now THAT is a perk for which we might be willing to pay extra! (Not to give them any ideas or anything…hopefully the 2 pm restriction ends sooner rather than later without an upharge, or is at least moved forward to noon.)
Planning a Walt Disney World trip? Learn about hotels on our Walt Disney World Hotels Reviews page. For where to eat, read our Walt Disney World Restaurant Reviews. To save money on tickets or determine which type to buy, read our Tips for Saving Money on Walt Disney World Tickets post. Our What to Pack for Disney Trips post takes a unique look at clever items to take. For what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Ride Guides will help. For comprehensive advice, the best place to start is our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide for everything you need to know!
Will you be purchasing the 4-Day, 4-Park Magic Ticket? Do you think this is a good deal, or is it too restrictive in ‘forcing’ you to spend 25% of your time at each of the 4 parks? How do you feel about Walt Disney World ending reservations early for this special offer? If you’re a tourist, does the 4-Day, 4-Park Magic Ticket appeal to you? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!