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.
20130703-150820.jpg

In case you missed them, here are links to other recent Disney related posts:

Ten Tips When Taking Kids to Disney

Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress Orlando Part 1

Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress Orlando Part 2

Disney World with a Three Year Old

Tips for Enjoying the New Fantasyland at Disney World

 

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.

20130703-150833.jpg

20130703-150917.jpg

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!

Posted by Mommy Points | 17 Comments

17 Responses to “How to Save Money on Disney World Ticket Purchases”

  1. DanR NYC says:

    Thanks MP. There is also the option of buying via Ebay (occasionally, some pretty good value). Planning on a December visit to WDW, so thanks for ticket advice….. Flights and hotels next for research..

  2. Lively says:

    I’ve seen Disney GCs at OM.

  3. Anita says:

    Definitely, when your kids are small, buy the “no expiration date” passes! If you’re organized enough to keep track of your blog and credit cards, you can keep track of passes!!!

    An added bonus, at least when we bought, is that you got a corresponding number of waterpark trips (so if you bought a 10 day park pass, you also got 10 days of waterpark thrown in free).

    My only regret is that we did not buy them on our very first trip to Disney.

    Buy them now, with your Chase Freedom :)

  4. If you were going down for one of their races (www.rundisney,com) tasks advantage of the dicvount park tickertsd they offer. I am running the Wine and Dine half marathon this year and got a 40% discount on tickets.
    .

  5. BDMNL says:

    Office Max sells $25 and $50 Disney Gift Cards. I plan on using my Ink card to fund park tickets and Disney Hotel. There’s no discount using this method but hopefully a decent UR point earning potential! If this works I am also looking at purchasing a Disney cruise this way. It will take a lot of gift cards and an early start to avoid a huge one time gift card purchase.

  6. Kalboz says:

    Great post … will be added to favorites for future use. We are going to the San Diego Animal Park/Zoo, any ideas about savings there?

    Thank you!

  7. AMJ says:

    This is a good list of different options for buying discounted park tickets. I’ve used Undercover Tourist several times and they are great. Just make sure you plan well in advance it can take a week or two for the tickets to arrive with their standard shipping.

    Another thing to note about the Undercover Tourist tickets. If you buy a 5 day park hopper ticket through the private link that offers a savings of $29 and then decide you really want to go the park for 7 days, Disney will “bridge” the ticket price provided you used the ticket once. This means even though you would have only paid $340.87 for a 5 day park hopper, you will get credit for $370.62 (gate price with tax for a 5 day hopper). The key is to find the park ticket with the most substantial discount, even if it doesn’t match your planned days in the park, and then upgrade. That way you are saving closer to $30 a ticket opposed to $7 or $8 a ticket.

    One more thing, the first person in the comments suggested buying Disney tickets off of ebay. This is a really bad idea. Mousesavers goes into detail about this in their Advice and Tips section regarding buying tickets and ebay is specifically a place where she says NOT to buy park tickets from. There are many, many other great options laid out in this article to save money on park tickets.

  8. Charlotte (TYR) says:

    It will only work for now, but Chase Freedom is 5% back on amusement parks this quarter. Not exactly sure what all they would accept as amusement parks, but I would certainly read through the fine print.

  9. Beau says:

    As a “business” traveler more frequently than a leisure one to Disney/Orlando (conferences, etc.) I love the “After 4″ and similar passes. Especially on nights with Extra Magic Hours/park closing at 11-12-1am, I can get all of my favorite attractions in and still do a day of work.

  10. Wendy says:

    @Kalboz If you are a member of another zoo. Check to see if the San Diego Zoo offers a reciprocal agreement. I know with my Toledo Zoo membership I get 50 percent off a bunch of other Zoo’s Nationwide. But San Diego is not one of them. Depending on how long you are planning on visiting here I might be tempted to buy a Membership. It may save you money in the long run.

  11. Sam says:

    Chase Freedom 5x bonus for Q3 suggests only park admission qualifies.

    A good topic for a MP article would be what does or does not qualify for 5X-Gift cards, discount cards, etc.

  12. mizliz says:

    I agree with AMJ, definitely do NOT buy tickets on Ebay! Disney tickets are non-transferable, so it’s incredibly risky.

    My best tip is: If you have a Target credit or debit card, you get 5% off all purchases. If you fill 5 prescriptions at Target, you receive a 5% off coupon in the mail, which stacks with the standard discount. And yes, Target sells Disney gift cards! For my last trip I bought $700 in gift cards and used them at the gate to buy my tix.

    I’ve also used Undercover Tourist and they are very reliable. I love the tip about upgrading at the gate!

  13. [...] How to Save Money on Disney World Ticket Purchases – Mommy … [...]

  14. Margo says:

    We are planning a visit in March , will be at the park for two days. I like the idea mentioned here of buying the gift cards at an office supply store with the Ink card. Is there a long wait at the front gate if we wait to buy our tickets that day? Could these be used at the restaurants in the park as well? This is our first visit in 20 years…

  15. [...] How to Save Money on Disney World Ticket Purchases – Mommy … [...]

  16. Christina says:

    You referenced the Undercover Tourist via link from MouseSavers. Are you stating that the price on Undercover Tourist is different going through the link versus visiting the site directly?

Leave a Reply

home top