It's no exaggeration to suggest that Walt Disney should have named his Orlando theme park Disney Universe—or even Disney Galaxy! The Walt Disney World Resort is so large, in fact, that it's difficult to narrow down which of the four main theme parks and two water parks to make time for, let alone whether to stay at a hotel within the resort confines or conserve costs with a nearby off-resort stay. Even selecting your preferred theme-park entry ticket can be daunting.
Here is some helpful Walt Disney World Resort information to get you started:
Disney World ticketing options start at $94 for single-day, single-park passes for Epcot, Disney's Animal Kingdom, or Disney's Hollywood Studios parks ($99 for kids ages three to nine); and $99 for single-day tickets for Magic Kingdom adult passes ($93 for kids). You can extend your Disney World stay with multiday passes, which reduce the per-day rate significantly. For example, two-day passes cost $94 per adult, per day ($188 total); three-day passes cost $91.34 per adult, per day (about $274 total); seven-day passes cost $46.29 per adult, per day (about $324 total); and 10-day passes cost $35.40 per adult, per day ($354 total). Kids' multiday passes are $87.50 per child, per day (two-day); $85 per child, per day (three-day); $43.43 per child, per day (seven-day); and $33.40 per child, per day (10-day). All tickets must be used within 14 days of your initial visit.
With multiday passes, you don't have to limit yourself to just one Disney theme park. Tack on the Park Hopper option (with access to all four parks) to increase your ticket's flexibility: Admission to Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney's Animal Kingdom, and Disney's Hollywood Studios (formerly Disney-MGM Studios) is included. The Park Hopper pass adds an extra $60 if you purchased multiday, single-park passes.
For some Florida visitors, it's not a vacation without wild water play or tee time. Disney knows how to round out the visit with two water parks (Disney's Typhoon Lagoon and Disney's Blizzard Beach), a nine-hole golf course, two mini-golf courses, the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, and DisneyQuest Indoor Interactive Theme Park. Access to these extras is included in the Water Park Fun & More pass, which adds an extra $60 per ticket to your base ticket cost.
Combine both the Park Hopper and Water Park Fun & More options for an extra $86 per ticket.
Budget-minded travelers will easily find an array of accommodations options, with thousands of hotel rooms from "budget" to "luxury" within driving distance of Disney World. Consider a stay at a Disney Resort such as the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin if you want to take advantage of early-morning and late-night access to select theme parks. Guests of Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista also have an added hour of play before the general public is allowed in and three hours after the parks close for the evening.
With so many parades and shows, peruse the Disney calendar to find scheduled events, plan your itinerary, and work around park closings.