To conclude my recent mini-series on our family trip to Disney World, I’m going to cover the good stuff – saving money on Disney theme park tickets. Because this is a miles and points blog, I am also going to cover how to maximize earning miles and points on Disney theme park tickets. You will have to do the math and see what option works out best for you given the length of visit and type of tickets your family needs. Also note that I am not focusing on full packages right now, though those can sometimes be great values especially when a free dining plan or similar is included. This post is specifically devoted to those who just want to buy tickets to Disney.
In case you missed them, here are links to other recent Disney related posts:
Save Money and Earn Points on Disney Tickets:
- If your goal is to save money on Disney tickets then the best publicly available resource I know of is Undercover Tourist via a link from the Mouse Savers monthly newsletter. The newsletter comes out on the 15th of each month, so you need to plan accordingly and subscribe. Here’s an example of a few of their prices:
Adult Five Day “Magic Your Way” ticket $280.09 ($307.79 from Disney)
Child (3-9) Five Day “Magic Your Way” ticket: $261.68 ($287.55 from Disney)
Adult Park Hopper Five Day ticket: $340.87 ($370.62 from Disney)
Child (3-9)Park Hopper Five Day ticket: $321.70 ($350.39 from Disney)
Their one and two day tickets are slightly more expensive than buying them at the gate, but their tickets for three or more days are cheaper than buying them directly from Disney. I have personally used Undercover Tourist myself for Disney tickets and they arrived on time and worked just fine.
- Some AAA offices offer discount Disney tickets, but some don’t offer Disney tickets at all. It is worth checking with your local AAA office to find out.
- If you are active or retired military you can get some great discounted Disney tickets for you and your family. I believe the current offer is a four day Park Hopper tickets for $156+ tax which is about half-off.
- Those who live in Florida and Disney Vacation Club owners can also have access to discounted tickets. I recommend heading to MouseSavers for more details for those two special groups.
- Sign up for a credit card that gives a large sign-up bonus that can be used for Disney tickets! Some rewards credit cards offer sign-up bonuses that can be used as cash toward travel expenses. One current example is the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® that provides $400 toward travel charges after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days. The $89 annual fee is waived the first year. I imagine if you bought your Disney tickets through a travel agent they would code as a travel expense. They may even code as a travel expense directly from Disney. If you included them with a hotel or other package I think you would also safely be in the clear as having them be a “travel” expense. I think this is a great way to knock some of the cost off of a family Disney trip.
- Buy tickets that never expire and save days unused for a future trip. Most multi-day Disney ticket purchases expire within a couple of weeks from the date the ticket was first used, but you can pay extra to get a version that never expires. For example, from Undercover Tourist you can buy a 10 day “Magic Your Way” ticket that never expires for $ 678.95. Disney tickets only get pricier each year, so in theory you could use the days you want for your trip this year, and then save the remaining days for a trip in a future year. That way you benefit from having the discount that comes from multiple days, and you guard against price increases in the coming years. Of course, you have to be willing to shell out a bunch of cash now, bank on going to Disney again in the future, and not losing your tickets. I’m personally not that organized.
Earn Miles and Points for Disney Tickets:
I would prefer to save as much money as possible on tickets rather than worry about earning points, but on one and two day tickets there aren’t many real ways to save money so you might as well maximize the points earned.
- Tack the ticket cost onto your hotel stay and room charge. I did this recently at the Hyatt Grand Cypress. There was a fee of a couple of dollars per ticket to do this, but it lumped it in as a hotel charge on my credit card, so you could maximize with a card that gives a bonus at hotels. Instead, I paid with my Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express and earned one SPG point per dollar for the charge, but I received a 5% statement credit for the charge thanks to the Amex OPEN program. I did not earn bonus Hyatt points for the room charge, but it’s always possible that your luck may vary with that.
- Buy Disney gift cards at retailers that are part of a credit card’s bonus categories. For example, my local grocery store sells Disney Gift cards that can be used at Disneyland, Walt Disney World, Disney Cruise Line, Disney Store locations in the US, and DisneyStore.com. I bought this one with my U.S. Bank FlexPerks Visa since it gives 2x on grocery purchases and the points earned are worth up to two cents each toward airfare redemptions. You could also use any other card that gives cash back or bonus points at grocery stores. I have also seen these gift cards at drug stores, and it wouldn’t shock me if they were at other types of retailers as well.
I’ve been to Disney many times in recent years, but I know some of you go way more than I do, so I would love to hear your tips and tricks for earning miles and saving money on your admission tickets!
Disclosure: I do receive a commission if you are approved for a credit card using one of my affiliate links. As always, thanks for your support!