Wonder what Disney park tickets to buy to save money? Where to get them? Add-ons to buy? We answer these questions & cover tips for Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disneyland Paris, Tokyo Disneyland, and Hong Kong Disneyland park tickets in this post, along with links to helpful resources concerning Disney park tickets plus a coupon code to save you even more money on park tickets!
Tickets are often one of–if not the–most expensive aspects of any Disney vacation, so knowing you’ve purchased the right tickets for your needs and that you’ve done everything you can to save money is crucial. As ticket prices raise on a yearly basis like clockwork, now more than ever it’s important to find the best–and legitimate–ways to save money on Disney tickets.
We cannot stress the “legitimate” part of the above enough. Since literally the opening day of Disneyland when thousands of people overcrowded the park with counterfeit tickets, there have been problems with fake and unauthorized tickets in the parks. From roadside stands to eBay to Craigslist to shady websites and beyond, there are many Disney ticket scams to which budget-conscious guests fall prey. Worse yet, if you purchase invalid tickets from a scam–even if you do so innocently–Disney won’t honor the tickets, nor will they have any sympathy for your mistake.
This is why we cannot stress this enough: if a ticket deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. While it is possible to save money on Disney tickets, most savings are of around $5 to $30 per ticket. You will never find legitimate, half-price tickets. Our Disney ticket tips & tricks cover only the best, legitimate ways to save money on Disney tickets, and authorized sellers from which to buy those tickets.
Let’s start with Walt Disney World tickets…
Walt Disney World
The Disney resort with the most options is Walt Disney World. This is both good and bad. It’s good because there are myriad options that enable you to buy exactly what you need and nothing more or less. It’s bad because understanding all of the different choices can be difficult for a first-time Walt Disney World guest. Disney representatives often only make matters worse, as they upsell or subtly “encourage” (nothing with Disney is ever high-pressure) guests into buying the more expensive tickets, always encouraging guests add the Park Hopper option, among other things.
To underscore just how much you can save by knowing which type of tickets to buy and from which authorized discount ticket brokers to buy them, a 7-day Park Hopper includes 3 free days, which offers a significant savings over buying directly from Disney. In fact, when you compare prices of all multi-day Walt Disney World park tickets, you’ll notice that the 7-day ticket is actually cheaper than 6-day tickets! As an added bonus, readers of this blog can save an extra $2 per ticket with discount code DISNEYTOURISTBLOG at check-out (valid through February 14, 2017).
As you can see, simply knowing about the different options so you don’t purchase unnecessary add-ons and buying from the discount sellers with the best price on particular tickets can save you a lot of money, and significantly cut down on the cost of your park tickets. It’s pretty easy to do, especially since many guests (especially those families with small children) don’t truly need Park Hopper or other add-ons.
In our Tips for Saving Money on Walt Disney World Tickets post, we discuss which add-ons you should and should not get, how many days you might want tickets, and also compare prices (nothing beats that 7-day ticket, though).
Disneyland tickets are a bit more straight-forward, since there aren’t water parks or other entertainment options at Disneyland Resort that can be added onto tickets. Here, it’s basically a question of whether or not to get the Park Hopper option, and how many days to stay in the first place.
For several years, physical retail stores in Southern California offered some excellent deals on Disneyland tickets. With skyrocketing popularity since the opening of Cars Land this hasn’t happened in several years. The colossal success of the Disneyland 60th Anniversary Diamond Celebration this year means it’s unlikely to happen anytime in the near future. Instead, AAA, Safeway, Costco, and a handful of other SoCal retailers have small discounts of a couple dollars per ticket.
Currently, for the best deals for buying Disneyland tickets safely and securely are via Park Savers, an authorized seller of Disneyland tickets with the best prices that we’ve found. If you already know how many days worth of tickets you need and are looking for the best price, that’s all you need to know. (That same discount code above will save you on Disneyland tickets, too.)
If you need more assistance with determining how many days to buy tickets, if you should get the Park Hopper option, and whether an Annual Pass might actually make sense, check out our Tips for Saving Money on Disneyland Tickets post.
Both Disneyland Paris and Hong Kong Disneyland are unique in that if you plan to spend as few as 3 days in either, you might be better off just buying an Annual Pass. For Disneyland Paris, there are 3 tiers of Annual Passes–the Francilien (valid 280 days per year, with a 3 day break even point), Fantasy (valid 320 days per year, with a 5 day break even point) and Dream (valid 365 days per year, with a 6-7 day break even point)–with the lower two tiers having blockout dates, with the Dream tier having no blockouts.
Annual Passes are also great for discounts on food, merchandise, hotels, and more, and these discounts can lower the break even point. For my last 5 day trip to Disneyland Paris, it was worth getting the Dream Annual Pass despite not spending 6 days in the parks (blockout dates precluded me from doing the lower tiers) due to the discounts…and the vague hope that I’d be back to France within the year. 😉
As far as regular park tickets go, Disneyland Paris has adopted surge pricing, meaning that single day ticket prices vary based upon anticipated attendance. This makes things a bit more complex, since there are three tiers of normal single day tickets now: Mini, Magic, and Super Magic.
Note that only the single day tickets are subject to the tiered pricing. If you purchase a multi-day ticket, the tiers are irrelevant. However, even if you are going for multiple days, you should look at the tiered pricing calendar, as 2 Mini tickets (if you’re going during a slow season) is actually a cheaper option than one 2-day ticket. Zut alores, très compliqué!
For multi-day tickets, there are also some money-saving options available, particularly for Europeans. Americans might have a more difficult time scoring deals, but we cover all the ways to save in our Disneyland Paris Park Ticket Tips & Info post.
Tokyo Disney Resort
Your options are pretty limited when it comes to tickets for Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea, and money-saving options off of gate prices are few and far between. The good news is that park tickets there are significantly cheaper than for the US Disney Parks. The Japanese parks most definitely are locals’ parks, so the pricing strategy there is to charge a premium for Annual Passes (which are significantly more expensive than Annual Passes for the US Disney Parks) and less for one to four day tickets.
Not only are the single and multi-day ticket prices lower, but for Americans, the dollar-to-yen exchange rate is excellent right now, making park tickets for us a relative steal (of course, you still have to pay for airfare to get there in the first place!). Currently, a 1-day park ticket is just under $60 US, with a 4-day ticket costing just under $175.
In terms of park hopping, save for special tickets available to Disney hotel guests (that we do not recommend purchasing), it’s not an add-on option. If you buy a ticket of 2 days or less, you cannot park hop. If you buy over 2 days, you automatically get hopping on days 3 and 4. We’ve found this to be ideal, as you don’t need to park hop before then. We really only hop on our last day, typically.
As far as saving money goes, there are a few options, none of which are all that attractive. First up is the “After 6” ticket, which is a 4,200 yen ticket sold after 6pm on weekdays, except National Holidays. Alternatively, there’s the “Starlight Passport,” which allows entry after 3 pm on weekends and National Holidays for 5,400. Finally, there are slightly discounted tickets available at convenience stores for about the same price as the Starlight Passport during off-season. These are pretty uncommon. Keeping in mind that you’re spending thousands of dollars to travel halfway around the world to Japan, our take is that–in most situations–you should just spend the ~$10 extra for full day tickets rather than doing the partial day options.
Hong Kong Disneyland
Hong Kong Disneyland has by far the easiest ticket system. There are 1-day and 2-day park tickets (no Park Hopper since there’s only one park), and three tiers of Annual Passes: Silver (valid for 250 days per year), Gold (valid for 340 days per year), and Platinum (valid for 365 days per year). Each of these passes also offers discounts on food, merchandise, and hotels. The break even point on the Silver is 3 days, with the other passes having varying break even points of ~6-10 days based upon whether you’d buy 1 or 2 day tickets.
About the only way to save on single day Hong Kong Disneyland tickets of which I’m aware is to buy from Klook, which will save you about $8 per ticket, and will allow you to instantly print your ticket.
The good news is that park tickets for Shanghai Disneyland are inexpensive as compared to the US parks, especially during their low seasons (they also have surge pricing); you can find a current listing of prices here.
The bad news is that only 1-2 day tickets are offered and, to our knowledge, discount tickets are not yet widely available for foreign visitors. We’ve found a couple of sites that promise ~$3 savings per ticket, but they look questionable, and we do not feel it is worth taking a gamble for such insignificant savings. At least, until we can find a more reputable source.
You’ll have a few options once you purchase, including a paper voucher or digital ticket. We recommend the digital route, taking a screenshot of the ticket (for safety in case the internet is down) as well. Make sure to bring your passport in case the Cast Member requests to check your ID (you should always have your passport on your person when traveling internationally).
As with all things Shanghai Disneyland, you can expect this to change once the park has been open longer…
Planning a visit to one of the Disney theme parks? Check out our Disney Parks Trip Planning Guides for everything you need to start planning a trip to Walt Disney World, Disneyland Resort, Disneyland Paris, Tokyo Disney Resort, Hong Kong Disneyland, and Aulani in Hawaii. As for tickets, what are your preferred type of tickets to get? Do you purchase optional add-ons, like Park Hopper or Water Park Fun & More? Do you have an Annual Pass? Any tips or tricks of your own to add? Share your questions and thoughts in the comments!