2021 Disney Parks Tickets Tips & Tricks

Our 2021-2022 ticket buying guide covers how to save money on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, and other theme parks. This covers info & tips on the best deals, time-saving add-ons, and more for Florida, California, Paris, Tokyo, Shanghai, and Hong Kong–every park in the world! (Updated February 23, 2021.)

The first thing you need to know is that Disney quietly raised ticket prices for next year in mid-February 2021 with the release of 2022 Walt Disney World Vacation Packages. This impacts a variety of park ticket durations, with 1-day off-season ticket prices not increasing at all and some multi-day prices jumping by $25 or more. With the date-based system, it’s easier to obfuscate the increases, but average prices are up for next year by a few dollars per day.

The good news here is that 2021 ticket prices have not increased for Walt Disney World. At least, not yet. It’s possible Walt Disney World won’t increase prices this year given the cutbacks during the reopening, but we wouldn’t bank on it. To the contrary, we’d recommend buying now from Get Away Today, our recommended third party ticket seller, to save up to $78 per ticket! In this post, we cover other ways to score legitimate discounts on Disney Parks tickets…

We cannot stress the “legitimate” part of the above enough. There’s a plague of fake and unauthorized tickets being sold for the parks. Roadside stands, eBay, Craigslist, shady websites, etc–there are many Disney ticket scams to which budget-conscious guests fall prey. Worse yet, if you innocently purchase invalid tickets from a scam, you’re going to pay twice, because Disney isn’t going to accept the fake tickets.

Suffice to say, 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 $50 per ticket, with the biggest savings being on multi-day tickets for 5 days or more. (Sometimes, 10-day tickets are discounted by $75 or more.) However, you will never find legitimate, half-price tickets.

Tickets are often one of–if not the–most expensive aspects of any Disney vacation, so we understand the desire to save as much money as possible. However, you have to be smart about it. Spending money on a shady but “great deal” that turns out to be a scam will cost you more in the long run. 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

Walt Disney World has myriad ticket choices that enable you to buy exactly what you need and nothing more or less. It’s a complicated, date-based system that can be difficult for a first-time Walt Disney World guest. Disney representatives often only make matters worse, as they upsell or subtly “encourage” guests into buying the more expensive tickets.

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, Get Away Today currently has select multi-day Walt Disney World park tickets discounted by $79 off! This will save you a lot of money over buying park tickets directly from Disney.

We mentioned the price increase for 2022 above, and how one hasn’t yet occurred for this year. Setting aside last year as an anomaly, ticket price increases normally occur twice per year at Walt Disney World. It’s possible we’ll see one in Spring 2021, but if not, right before the start of Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary on October 1, 2021 is almost a sure thing.

You can order tickets for use now through December 31, 2021, and you will receive confirmation codes via email for My Disney Experience. 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 among the four reputable Orlando discount ticket brokers.

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.

Disneyland

Disneyland ticket sales are temporarily suspended. As you’re likely aware, Disneyland and Disney California Adventure are both closed, and have been since last March. They’re likely to reopen by Summer 2021 with capacity limits and reservations required. Prior to that, ticket sales will resume–check back for more details later.

We cover the likely timeframe for the return of the theme parks in When Will Disneyland Reopen? Additionally, Disney announced it was cancelling all Annual Passes and ending the AP program.

When sales resume, Disneyland Resort park tickets will be more straight-forward. Since there aren’t water parks and only two parks–Disney California Adventure and Disneyland–it’s a pretty simple process. 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.

AAA, Safeway, Costco, and a handful of other SoCal retailers have small discounts of a couple dollars per ticket in store from time to time, but those savings are usually smaller. Additionally, there is a Southern California resident special on tickets that typically runs every mid-January through mid-May. If you’re not a local (with ID to prove it), your best option is purchasing online via authorized discounted sellers.

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.

Disneyland Paris

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. Disneyland Paris just released a new range of Annual Passes last year, with the new tiers being the Discovery, Magic Flex, Magic Plus, and Infinity Annual Passes. These APs vary in price considerably based upon blockout dates, discounts, and other perks that each tier offers.

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, but 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 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. Read our Money-Saving Tips for Tokyo Disneyland Park Tickets post for our full recommendations on buying the best tickets–and at the best prices–for Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea!

To save money, we recommend purchasing tickets in advance from Klook. Disney Tourist Blog readers can take $5 off their first booking on Klook by entering our exclusive discount code KLKDTB at checkout. (Note: during the limited capacity reopening of Tokyo Disneyland, these are temporarily unavailable. Check back in late 2021 or 2022 as we anticipate them returning then. If you’re somehow visiting before then, you’ll have to buy tickets directly from Tokyo Disney Resort.)

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. As with the Tokyo tickets, you can take $5 off their first booking on Klook by entering our exclusive discount code KLKDTB at checkout. You can also use the coupon to purchase a discounted meal voucher for Hong Kong Disneyland.

Shanghai Disneyland

shanghai-disneyland-grand-opening-fastpass-007

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); the bad news is that prices have already increased and upcharges have been introduced since Shanghai Disneyland opened two years ago.

Fortunately, there are now discounted 1-2 day tickets available via Klook. Depending upon the ticket season, you’re looking at a savings of around $5-10 per ticket (or more if you use our KLKDTB coupon). Not huge savings, but considering that tickets are in the $65-75 range, that’s not bad–and it all adds up.

Regardless of how you purchase your Shanghai Disneyland park tickets, we recommend getting digital tickets. Once you have them, take 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).

Shanghai Disneyland also offers “Disney Premier Access” which is a paid, digital FastPass service for its most popular attractions. If you only have 1-day in Shanghai Disneyland and don’t arrive at rope drop, this can be a good, time-saving purchase. If you do rope drop, stay late, or have multiple days in the park, we view this as unnecessary.

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.

Your Thoughts

As for tickets, what are your preferred type of tickets to get? Do you purchase optional add-ons, like Park Hopper or MaxPass? Do you have an Annual Pass? Any tips or tricks of your own to add? Any questions? Hearing feedback about your experiences is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!

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