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If you've read even a small fraction of our content, you probably have noticed that we mention Undercover Tourist frequently as a place to get discount Disney World tickets, discount Disney World hotels, and discount Disneyland tickets.
First, it's natural to worry about the legitimacy of any discounted Disney product. No one wants to spend hundreds, even thousands, of dollars and find out they got ripped off. So, there are plenty of searches done online for things like “Is Undercover Tourist legit?”
Yes—Undercover Tourist is legitimate. They are an authorized seller of Walt Disney World tickets (and hotel rooms), and they sell them at decent discounts. The goal of this post is to talk a little more about Undercover Tourist to help you understand why we recommend them so much.
Dumbo In The Room
You might be familiar with the concept of “affiliate marketing.” Essentially, some sites that recommend products are doing so because they earn a commission when you click their link and make a purchase. Well...
We're NOT affiliates of Undercover Tourist! We don't earn a dime if you click our Undercover Tourist links and make a purchase. You don't have to ask yourself whether we're recommending them because we get any sort of kickback. Honestly, we just love their services!
Undercover Tourist Sells Disney Tickets At Reduced ("Wholesale") Price
Undercover Tourist is most popular as an authorized seller of Walt Disney World tickets. They've recently added Disneyland tickets to their offerings. They sell these tickets at a discounted price. In short, the reason we recommend them is because they offer great (often the best) discounts and have good service and a great reputation.
As a quick example, we personally saved $126 one trip by buying our tickets through Undercover Tourist. They’re able to sell at a discounted rate because the tickets are what are known as “wholesale,” meaning Undercover Tourist has purchased a bunch of them from Disney at a low rate, and now they're passing some of that discount onto you.
Wholesale Tickets Aren't Any Different Than Gate Tickets!
If you're worried that wholesale tickets are different than tickets you'd get through Disney online or at the gate, worry no more! When it comes to how you use them, benefits you get (like Fastpass+), and restrictions on when they can be used, the rules are the same as any other Disney ticket. Once you purchase the ticket and link it to your My Disney Experience account, no one gives any attention to how you acquired them.
Wholesale Tickets Can Be Bridged
Ticket bridging is when you upgrade a discounted Disney ticket to an annual pass. You’re credited the gate price of the ticket when you do this, so you’ve essentially saved on your annual pass. Disney Tourist Blog has a great post on ticket bridging. We bridged to get our Disney World annual pass.
The Savings Are Pretty Good
As we discuss in our post on discount Disney World tickets, these discounts are usually around 8% to 10%, and a family of four on a five-day trip can expect to save around $150 buying tickets through Undercover Tourist. For example, we saved $126 or 8.4% buying tickets through Undercover Tourist.
Disney tickets are one of the hardest items to save on when it comes to planning a trip. But Undercover Tourist's Disney World ticket prices are a decent discount on this expensive part of your trip.
The savings are best when Disney raises ticket prices, as wholesale sellers like Undercover Tourist are able to sell some of their old supply at the prices they were previously offering.
Finally, Undercover Tourist also has tickets for special events, like Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. We’ve even purchase Halloween party tickets through them!
Undercover Tourist Often Has Great Hotel Prices
When it comes to booking hotels, Undercover Tourist is really no different than any other third-party site like Expedia or Hotels.com. Our limited, anecdotal experience is that Undercover Tourist often has prices that beat these sites. (You’ll also always want to consider renting DVC points if you're considering a deluxe stay.)
In any case, it’s definitely worth checking out when booking your Disney hotel. We recently booked an Art of Animation stay through them and saved $50 vs. Disney's prices when other sites weren't even able to offer us Little Mermaid rooms.
What's more, Undercover Tourist often beats Disney's own deals. We featured this in a newsletter a while back, but compare the discounts offered on Disney's Sun & Fun deal in 2018 to prices you'd get on Undercover Tourist:
That $35 savings isn't huge, but what's notable is that these savings were available while Disney had a room offer going on! No site is always going to beat another on price, and certainly no site will always beat another on the mix of price and inventory. But if you're not at least checking Undercover Tourist before booking your Disney World hotel, you're potentially missing out on big savings.
Undercover Tourist Purchases Easily Connect to Your Disney Account
If you're a master Disney planner, you know how important it is to link your tickets and your hotel room to your Disney account well in advance of your stay. Primarily, you need to do this to make Fastpass+ reservations 60 days in advance and to pick your MagicBand colors.
Happily, Undercover Tourist makes it easy to link these items to your account. First, you need a ticket number. If you buy and ship physical tickets, the ticket number is on the back of the ticket. If you purchase an E-Ticket, you'll get a "Reservation #" that can be found by clicking a link they email you or through your Undercover Tourist account:
When you navigate over to your My Disney Experience "My Reservations and Tickets" page, you'll have the option to "Link Tickets."
Then just enter the reservation number (or the ticket number from a physical ticket)...
And choose who to link the ticket (or tickets) to...
And congrats, you're done!
Linking hotel rooms is even easier. When we made our last reservation with Undercover Tourist, we received an email with a reservation number...
...which we just went ahead and entered into the Disney website's "Link a Resort..." page.
While we cover this a little more below, you might notice one difference between a third-party room reservation and one made through Disney:
When you compare the Polynesian reservation we made (through Disney online), to our Art of Animation reservation through Undercover Tourist, you'll notice cancellations to third-party bookings have to be made by calling Disney. We can't see why this would be a problem, though.
Once our tickets and hotel reservation were linked to our account, we had no problem checking in online or making Fastpass+ reservations.
Undercover Tourist Has a Proven Track Record (Including With Us)
The #1 reason we recommend Undercover Tourist is simply that we actually use them (as we mentioned twice in this post already). Prior to becoming annual passholders, we exlusively used Undercover Tourist once we’d learned about them.
Beyond us, we have friends, family, and readers who have used them, and countless sites also swear by them. Again, we're not saying you should buy tickets or hotel rooms from them no matter what. You always want to get the best price you can for a legitimate product. We're just here to clarify that Undercover Tourist is totally legitimate, easy to use, and offers good discounts.
Finally, these are people who actually care about Disney vacations. They produce some pretty good Disney parks content on their blog, including one of the Disney World crowd calendars we recommend.
The Downsides To Using Undercover Tourist
Yes, there are some downsides to using Undercover Tourist. While we don't think they are a big deal, we do think they're worth pointing out so you can evaluate for yourself whether Undercover Tourist is right for you.
No Access To Packages / Disney Offers
This isn't a downside, per se. You should always book the deal that makes the most sense for you, whether its a package through Disney, a room through Undercover Tourist, or a room through some other site.
But, for example, you won't be able to get free dining on a room booked through Undercover Tourist (or any other third party). You also can’t add a Disney dining plan to an Undercover Tourist room rate. You can however book a “ticketless package” with Disney if you purchase tickets from Undercover Tourist.
Oftentimes, Disney planners will refer to something like “adding free dining to your existing booking.” What's really going on here is that you're rebooking the same package—at Disney’s rates—with the offer. You can't "stack" or combine any offers, whether they came from Disney or a third party.
It can take up to 24 hours for ticket orders to be processed. When we made a $2000 order with six tickets (three Walt Disney World, three Universal), we were delayed a bit more when they required us to call and confirm our order. Personally I think this was a good thing for them to do, as it was a big, relatively complex order.
Hotel Deposit Policy
This is probably the most significant difference between booking through Undercover Tourist (or any third-party site) and booking through Disney directly. If you book a hotel room through Disney directly, you only have to pay a deposit up front. You pay the balance of your room when you arrive.
If you book a Disney hotel room through Undercover Tourist or any other third-party site (like Expedia), you have to pay the entire balance up front. For some people, especially people who like to make speculative bookings early on in planning, this can be a real nuisance. Then again, you can use that hotel booking to earn a signup bonus on a new credit card for great savings.
This post has been a little longer than intended, but with good reason. We want to make sure you're as comfortable as possible with the advice we give. What this boils down to is a mix of a few things. Yes, they are a legitimate agency that offers great discounts. No, we aren't an affiliate of Undercover Tourist. And, indeed, we use them for a lot of our bookings because they're discounted and very convenient.
All Your Other Disney World Planning Questions Answered
Don't be overwhelmed by Disney World planning! Take a second to check out our most important content and you'll not only be an expert, but you'll save big $$$ along the way. If you're still picking dates, we've got everything you need to know about Disney crowd calendars. For picking your hotel, check out our Walt Disney World hotels guide.
Don't forget to master your Disney World Fastpass+ strategy a few months in advance. We'll keep you out of long lines so you can maximize the magical time in the parks!
Finally, before you head out, be sure to check out our to-the-point packing list, 10 essentials you forget to pack for every Disney trip. And if you're interested in saving, there's no better list than our 53 Ways to Save on your Disney trip from start to finish.