Disney Parks Tickets Tips & Tricks

Our guide for Theme Park Tickets covers how much money you can save on tickets to Walt Disney World, Disneyland, and all international parks including Disneyland Paris, Tokyo Disneyland, Hong Kong Disneyland and Shanghai Disney. Whether you realised it or not, there are some great savings out there on tickets that are worth looking at. (Updated April 15th, 2021).

Because of COVID-19, the theme parks have been thrown into disarray as to how they function and that includes tickets. Disney last raised prices on their theme park tickets in February of 2020. Since then tickets have seen a whirlwind of changes.

Epcot Japan Pavilion Gate

First, the Disneyland Resort started selling tickets again April 15th, 2021. Guests can purchase all tickets including base and park hopper for 2021 and beyond by using the #1 ticket discounter on the web. Authorized and highly recommended by us for over 10 years. For the first month or so only California Residents may make theme park reservations but anyone can purchase tickets for future dates.

The Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando has been open since July 2020 and until fall was only selling tickets for 2020 guests. While 2020 kept the park hopping option away, 2021 is bringing it back. And even better news is that guests can purchase discounted tickets from our recommended third party seller Undercover Tourist.

Right now guests can save upwards to $79 per ticket when they purchase them in advance. Locking in your ticket price today can save you even more when the unexpected price increases hit.

If you think you’ll be headed to the Disney Parks in 2021 at all, now’s the best time to buy!

Of course there are other great ways to save on Disney tickets and we’re going to cover all of them in this post so stay with us..

LEGITIMATE AUTHORIZED TICKET SELLER

Two Walt Disney World FastPass+ Cards

First we want to make sure that you understand that we do not post any ways of purchasing discounted tickets that could be fraudulent or sketchy in anyway. There are so many scams out there that we need to mention to you ways to avoid them.

First, do not buy off of classified websites like craigslist, KSL, Facebook Marketplace, Mercari, OfferUp etc. These are the easiest ways to lose hard-earned money on fake tickets. Now matter the “savings” you’ll want to pass these up like the plague.

Even websites like eBay, who, back in the day was notorious for offering up good ticket deals is no longer a viable option.

Anyone offering half-priced tickets is a too-good-to-be-true scenario and should also be avoided.

The way Disney picks and chooses authorized third party ticket sellers is a rigorous process and is not available to any regular business or person who is interested in doing it. They have an entire team dedicated to supporting these sellers and are very strict on how tickets are offered to the public through them.

What we can tell you is that these companies is that they negotiate their prices each year with Disney and then choose their margins of profit. For example, Disney may agree to sell them a 5-day park hopper ticket at $270. Regular pricing through Disney’s website may be $320 for the same ticket. Now the seller has to decide how much they want to make on the ticket which ultimately decided how much you as a consumer saves. So if they set their price at $300 they will profit $30 and you will save $20.

Lastly, no legitimate ticket seller offers discounted 1 day tickets (except for Undercover Tourist on Walt Disney World Tickets). If you see them anywhere else, it’s probably a scam!

The average discount on tickets is between $5 – $60 per ticket with the biggest discount around $75 for a 5 day ticket or longer (all the way up to 10 days for Disney World). So again, avoid the half-priced ticket scams out there and only purchase legit tickets.

WALT DISNEY WORLD TICKET SAVINGS

Disney World Castle in the evening

Walt Disney World’s ticketing system is the biggest and most complicated to use out of all the parks. We’re not saying this to scare you in any way and the word complicated is probably too much but to get our point across, it’s the hardest one to navigate.

The reason for this is Disney runs this system on date-based pricing instead of on a yearly basis like they use to. You may want to read our post on how date-based pricing works but in a nutshell, every day at Walt Disney World can be a different price. And then you have options to add onto that which further increases the price.

However, the benefit of this system is that once you understand it, you can choose exactly what you want, nothing more or less. This in itself can save you money when you’re ready to purchase your multi-day tickets.

Our recommended ticket broker, Undercover Tourist consistently offers the best pricing on Disney World tickets available and has been doing so for over 20 years. Guests who purchase tickets from them save an average of $40 per ticket or $160 on a family of four. Right now guests can save up to $79 per ticket with their current online pricing. These types of offers are not ones to pass up, especially with price increases looming.

Typically every year around February Disney raises their ticket prices by an average of $20 per ticket. While that may not seem like a lot, if you happen to need the ticket that was raised by $40, that adds up quickly. Thus we always recommend buying before this month as you’re almost guaranteed to save.

It saves to be educated in our opinion, when it comes to buying tickets. Families who go into the process of buying knowing exactly how many days they want to play at the parks and what options (if any) and save an additional average of $45 per ticket.

An example of this would be 1 park per day tickets vs. park hopper tickets. If you’re visiting Disney World for the first time there’s a solid chance you will spend each day in one of the parks without hopping over to another. This is because it allows you all the time you want to experience it. If someone talks you into the park hopper option and you don’t end up using it, you just spent $40+ on something you didn’t need.

Think about what you want to do at the parks; your time commitment to each and then choose your tickets. For more details on discounts be sure to checkout our discounted ticket guide which takes a deeper look at these options.

DISNEYLAND TICKET SAVINGS

Bridge and Sleeping Beauty's Sastle in the Morning

Disneyland tickets are way easier to understand than Walt Disney World. On top of this, the resort only offers 2 parks instead of the 4 parks, 2 water parks, ESPN Experience, and Golfing like Florida does. This does means that your ticket options decrease which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. For a smaller resort there are less options. All you have to decide to how many days and if you want the park hopper option or not.

There are actually quite a few authorized ticket sellers for Disneyland out there. You may have come across some of them on accident or as you joined a service/membership program. Companies like AAA, Costco, Vons/Safeway and even a So. California Resident offer small discounts of a few dollars off.

Of all those mentioned, the So. California Resident offer is typically the best savings but there are restrictions to these tickets. First, they typically have a set period of time of when the tickets can be used (Jan-May). Second, the person purchasing the tickets must present photo ID to prove they fall into the offers zip codes of 90000-93599. Anyone who lives outside of these is not eligible to buy them.

For anyone who doesn’t qualify and wants to save more than a few dollars should look at buying their tickets from our recommended authorized seller, Undercover Tourist. They’re offering savings up to $27 per ticket which is higher than anyone else online.

One of the biggest savings of course can come from you when choosing your tickets. Think about what you want to accomplish while you’re there. Do you need park hopper because you’ll be going non-stop between both parks each day? Do you want to take it slow and just do 1 park each day? Lastly, do you need MaxPass because it’s probably going to be busy with long lines or did you choose dates when the resort is slower than usual?

Answering these questions before buying can help you save upwards to $40 per ticket. It’s all about choosing the number of days and options that you want to deal with, not about picking things someone else recommends because they prefer it that way.

For an even more deep dive into saving on Disneyland tickets be sure to read our discount ticket guide.

TOKYO DISNEYLAND TICKET SAVINGS

Daytime view of the Tokyo Disneyland Castle and grounds

International Parks are pretty hard resorts to find tickets savings for. One benefit for guests who are visiting from the U.S.A. is that the tickets are typically already less than the U.S. based parks which is a good start. The reason it can be so hard to find discounts for Tokyo Disneyland is because they don’t have third party wholesalers like they do in the states.

There are services available similar to Expedia that offers a bit of savings but you’re not going to get much. The best place that we’ve found thus far is Klook though they are currently not offering any type of tickets at this time. While this is unfortunate we promise you’re not missing out on much.

While no savings may be available right now, we can offer you some tips on buying them directly from Disney or finding a place that sells them around Tokyo.

For convenience sake, it’s always best to purchase before you arrive so that you don’t have any issues getting to a box office or having your card declined because you’re out of the country. Japan offers a few other ticket machines found around Tokyo called Loppi machines. They are actually quite easy to use and while they won’t save you money necessarily they can save you time. These machines operate in Japanese and English so it’s easy to purchase. The list they offer is:

1-Day Passport for Tokyo Disneyland (1デーパスポート 東京ディズニーランド)
1-Day Passport for Tokyo Disney Sea (1デーパスポート 東京ディズニーシー)
After 6 Passport for Tokyo Disneyland (アフター6パスポート 東京ディズニーランド)
After 6 Passport for Tokyo Disney Sea (アフター6パスポート 東京ディズニーシー)
Starlight Passport for Tokyo Disneyland (スターライトパス 東京ディズニーランド)
Starlight Passport for Tokyo Disney Sea (スターライトパス 東京ディズニーシー)

You can see the only downside is that you can’t purchase more than 1 day at a time while on the official Tokyo Disney Resort website you can. In fact, you can purchase up to 4 days if you want. However, unlike the U.S. parks, there is no discount for purchasing more days. It’s the same price per day no matter what.

HONG KONG DISNEYLAND RESORT SAVINGS

Mickey, Minnie and Disney characters in front of the Castle

We’re happy to say that there are discounts available on tickets to Hong Kong Disneyland and you should take advantage of purchasing them. Right now Klook is the only official third party vendor who can discount these tickets. Guests can save up to $8 per ticket by purchasing them in advance. You can save even more by using Klook discount code: MOBILE10 in the Klook Mobile App.

Luckily the tickets for this resort are very easy to navigate considering they only have 2 options: 1 day or 2 days. This is because Hong Kong Disneyland only has one park! This will make things much easier when you’re choosing your tickets. They also offer season passes which are only worth it if you’re visiting more than 3 days.

With COVID-19 the resort may or may not be open so be careful about buying tickets. Make sure they are open and be sure to take advantage of their HK$65 off ticket promo that allows guests to purchase tickets with free cancellation on or before June 21st, 2021. We’ve never see a deal like this so if it works out for you, do it! The deal includes:

– Ticket for 2-day visit within a 7-day period*

– Two HK$10 merchandise discount vouchers (Total value HK$20)

– One Buy-1-Get-1-Free Popcorn voucher at Outdoor Vending Carts in the Park

– One voucher to redeem a Designated Disney Friends Sip Sip at Outdoor Vending Carts in the Park (Valued at HK$45)

FYI, Hong Kong Disneyland’s website can be a tough place to get a U.S. credit card to go through because they don’t ask for an address. You may need to call them to process your order.

DISNEYLAND PARIS TICKET SAVINGS

View of Disneyland Paris Castle and grounds

This is a tough resort to save on tickets for due to surge pricing that was introduced a while back. Basically surge pricing means prices go up on days that the resort feels will have higher attendance, such as holidays and weekends. For most guests travelling outside of France, the best deals are actually buying from Disney themselves and finding the cheaper days in advance.

There are 3 different types of 1 day tickets available to purchase including mini, magic and super magic. To save the most you’ll want to aim for the mini ticket which should offer you smaller crowds. Super magic will be the most expensive and would be the busiest days of the year.

Because there are two parks here guests can purchase up to a 4 day park hopper ticket which will give them access to both Walt Disney Studios and Disneyland Park.

If you really want to try and save some money you could check out Expedia for possible discounts. We only mention them because occasionally they will offer tickets lower than gate pricing. Their tickets also allow you to skip box office lines and head straight into the parks. You do have to purchase them on the Expedia.fr site which can be translated into any language.

Updated: You can now purchase these tickets on the English Expedia website instead of the FR one.

Lastly, if you think you’re going to be visiting Disneyland Paris more than three days, you may want to look at getting an annual pass. They start at the cost of 3 days in the parks so if you’re a local or wanted to spend 4-5 days in the parks, an annual pass is probably going to be a good option for you.

SHANGHAI DISNEYLAND TICKET SAVINGS

Evening view of Disneyland Castle and grounds

When this resort first opened, tickets were dirt cheap in our opinion. You could visit for less than $50 USD per day which was a steal. Now guests will have to pay a bit more than that but not by much. And that’s what we love about Shanghai (and Hong Kong); their ticket prices are already “cheap” compared to the U.S. parks which run about $130 per day.

Like Disneyland Paris, Shanghai has introduced surge pricing on their tickets so one of the best ways to save money is to attend on a less busy day. Klook is the only online company that we’ve found that offers both a discount on tickets and a surge pricing calendar so you know which days are less expensive. Typical savings with Klook are around $3-$4 per ticket and then you can take an additional $10 off your mobile order with code: MOBILE10

However you purchase your tickets be sure to have access to them via photos on your phone. Instead of trying to follow a link to them day of (and heaven forbid you have issues) you can simply pull up the screenshot you took and have the Cast Member scan them. This applies to both Klook-purchased tickets and purchased tickets directly from Disney.

If you only have one day to spend at the resort we highly recommend you add the Disney Concierge Service which give you priority access to the major attractions, dining and reserved fireworks viewing. It’s absolutely worth the price. If you’re going to be spending more than 1 day in the parks then you may consider skipping it and doing everything of the course of your time there.

MILITARY TICKETS FOR DISNEY WORLD AND DISNEYLAND

We like to talk about the Military Salute Tickets that Disney has been offering to active and retired service men and women for many many years because they are such a great deal if you qualify for them. When it comes to saving on tickets to both of these resorts, nothing can touch the deal Military Members get.

We used to think that Disney was doing all the work on these Military Tickets but over the years have discovered that the government and Disney work together to provide these at the prices that they do. Currently, Military Tickets can be purchased by active, retired and reserve military members and their spouses. Unfortunately veterans do not qualify at this time.

Ticket promotions change year to year so it’s always a good idea to see what is currently being offered for the year you’d like to visit in. The promotions run calendar year so you’ll want to make sure that you are purchasing the correct tickets for the correct year as well.

To purchase these tickets, the military member or their spouse can visit any military base (affiliation doesn’t matter) and buy them tax free. Tickets are typically printed out and then redeemed at the gate of the parks with the member showing valid military ID. This is probably the most important step to remember. Members cannot buy the tickets and then send their family or friends without them. They must be there in person to show their ID at the gate.

If you don’t have time to purchase the tickets from a base you can purchase them at a box office. The only difference with this option is that taxes are added to the price. Even with these being added in, it’s still much cheaper than buying regular tickets. The military member will still need to show ID here and provide it upon first entry as well.

Because Walt Disney World and Disneyland as sister resorts, their military promotion tickets are not the same. Here’s what’s current for Military Promotion Tickets for both resorts:

DISNEY WORLD RESORT MILITARY TICKETS

On Feb. 15th, 2021 Walt Disney World announced their new 2021 promotional tickets for military members and their families. The offer includes the following:

Members of the U.S. Military can choose between a 4-Day or 5-Day Disney Military Promotional Ticket. The promotional tickets below are available for purchase.

5-Day Military Promotional Tickets
Purchase now through December 17, 2021

  • With the Park Hopper Option: $315 plus tax
  • With the Park Hopper Plus Option (for travel beginning March 7, 2021): $345 plus tax

4-Day Military Promotional Tickets
Purchase now through December 17, 2021

  • With the Park Hopper Option: $296 plus tax
  • With the Park Hopper Plus Option (for travel beginning March 7, 2021): $326 plus tax

Receive admission for 4 or 5 days when you visit during the period from February 15, 2021 through December 17, 2021.

Like every year before this, members are limited to purchasing 6 tickets per year and no more. Disney did get rid of the 6 Park Hopper promotional ticket for 2021.

DISNEYLAND MILITARY DISCOUNT

These tickets haven’t received an update to them yet because the resort has been closed since March of 2020. When they do reopen we expect the promotion information below to change due to limited capacity at the parks that will be in effect.

3-Day Park Hopper Ticket

  • $178 – Military Salute Promotion

4-Day Park Hopper Ticket

  • $198 – Military Salute Promotion

Disneyland typically only offers 2 promotion tickets for military and have always maxed out the days at 4. Overall these is about a 50% savings vs. regular ticket pricing.

Below we’ve posted some of the most common FAQ’s people have with these tickets:

Where can I buy the Disneyland military discount tickets?

The service member or their spouse can purchase the tickets from their local military base by contacting the travel and recreation department. They can also be purchased over the phone from Patrick AFB or Camp Pendleton ITT.

As we mentioned above, they can also be purchased at any ticket counter located just outside the park gates. The service member or their spouse will need to activate the tickets by showing their military ID for the first time they are used. After this, the ID does not need to be shown.

When can I use the Disneyland Military discount?

Currently for 2021 no promotion is being offered because the resort is closed. Upon reopening Disney will need to renew the current promotion or offer a new one in connection with the U.S. Government. Once this is completed they will make the new promotion available online on their website. We will also provide an update here.

If you’re getting ready to plan a trip to the Disney Parks you may find our planning guides useful as they offer tips and tricks for Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disneyland Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland, Tokyo Disney Resort and Shanghai Disneyland. We also have a guide for planning a trip to Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa.

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