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Tickets to Walt Disney World are the least flexible part of planning your trip. With flights, hotels, and dining, you have a variety of really good options and ways to save. When it comes to tickets, your options are much more limited.
There are ways to find discount Disney World tickets, though. In this post, we review different ways to find discount Disney World tickets, comparing them according to savings, difficulty of obtaining the discount (this includes costs you have to front to get the discount), and risk that you'll run into problems with your ticket.
OUR CHOICE For Discount Disney World tickets
Discount: About 10% - Difficulty: None - Risk: None
There are a few ticket agencies that sell 100% legitimate discount Disney World tickets. Usually these prices are about 8-10% lower than Disney's prices for exactly the same product.
We recommend Undercover Tourist for discount Disney World tickets. We've used them multiple times and never had any problems. As an example, five days of park hopping for a family of four would cost $1960 is tickets were purchased through Disney World's website, but only $1808 through Undercover tourist, that's easy savings of over $150!
The Standard Discounts
The next set of discounts are standard offers that are either easy to get for everyone or easy to get once you've worked your way into an exclusive group for the discount.
Disney World Website
"Discount": $20 - Difficulty: None - Risk: None
For 3-day tickets and longer, buying on the Disney website or via phone "saves" you $20 per ticket. The reason we use quotes is that most people will be buying online. You'll pay the $20 penalty if you buy at the gate instead of online.
Florida Resident Discount
Discount: About 30% - Difficulty: High - Risk: None
Florida residents receive decent discounts on Disney World tickets, but their ticket options are somewhat limited (no 2-day ticket, for example).
Moreover, Florida residents who are serious about Disney should probably consider an annual pass (for which they also receive a discount).
Disney Vacation Club Discount
Discount: About 10% - Difficulty: High - Risk: None
Disney Vacation Club members occasionally get ticket discount offers. For most DVC members, it will make sense just to have an annual pass, so it's rare that these ticket offers are going to be worth much. They also aren't very high when they do happen. If you're a DVC member, look into an annual pass, and pay attention to deals as they pop up. But definitely don't wait for them or plan too heavily around them.
Discount: Up to 50% - Difficulty: Heroic - Risk: Heroic
Okay, so you can access military discounts even through a friend who is in the military, but nonetheless someone in your circle must be heroic to access these discounts. Military discounts at Disney come and go.
The best source for information on these discounts, including prices and how to buy, is Military Disney Tips.
Discount: Very Low - Difficulty: Medium - Risk: None
At one point, AAA discounts were a decent way to save on Disney World tickets. No more. First of all, the discounts come from individual branches, so you'll have to call local AAA offices to get quotes. Second, their discounts tend to be pretty small, often beaten by the prices you'll find on ticket broker sites. Worth a phone call, if you're already a member, but no worth effort beyond that.
Not so much "discounts," these are out of the box ways to carefully consider before trying.
Using Discount Disney Gift Cards
Discount: Varies (about 8%) - Difficulty: Medium - Risk: None
This will rarely be the best discount you can get, but we want to mention it for the sake of completeness. You can typically get discount Disney gift cards, saving about 8 to 10% on Disney purchases, including park tickets.
The Annual Pass
Discount: Varies - Difficulty: Medium - Risk: None
You came looking for discounts, and we're telling you to maybe just buy a yearlong ticket? Hear us out.
A single Walt Disney World annual pass for an adult with no special discounts costs $829.64 after taxes. A four-day park hopper ticket from Undercover Tourist costs $356.95. That means two four-day trips will cost you $713.90. That's close enough that if you're planning two trips of at least three days each, you'll want to look at whether the annual pass makes sense on ticket prices alone.
Also consider these two perks of the annual pass:
- The Annual Pass comes with Photopass photos, while Memory Maker costs $169 before taxes.
- The Annual Pass comes with 20% discounts on some dining and merchandise.
It might make sense for one family member to get an annual pass for those two perks! Finally, let's be real...
Are you a Walt Disney World addict? Because on ticket price alone, once you take two four-day trips, that third one comes at a "cost" of just $115.74 (that's $829.64 - $713.90). So maybe instead of doing your standard two trips, you do a third and use our tips to save on hotels, book cheap flights, book Disney hotels with points, or book flights with points. Tickets are the hardest place to save big, and an annual pass makes it easy, at least on your third trip each year.
Discount: 10-30% - Difficulty: Medium - Risk: EXTREME!!
We don't advocate buying tickets on eBay. The reason is pretty simple - prices for many, if not all, things on eBay are determined in part by the risk associated with buying over eBay. Can you find legitimate tickets on eBay? Of course! Will the legitimate tickets have big discounts? No! There are going to be a few people who put up an eBay account just to sell tickets they lucked into, but you can't distinguish those from scammers. If someone has 1000+ positive reviews for selling park tickets, they aren't going to have to offer much of a discount. In short, finding a true, legitimate discount on a ticket via eBay is incredibly difficult, and never worth the risk of getting to the park and being denied entry!