Disneyland© Resort in California is a truly magical place and a bucket list destination for many. It is possible to buy discount Disneyland tickets to save money for the excellent character dining, famous desserts, and souvenirs. It’s important to follow some general guidelines to avoid scams.
Initial Decisions to Make
Several decisions are necessary to make before buying Disneyland tickets.
How many days will you need a ticket? Disneyland Resort is home to two theme parks: Disneyland Park and Disney’s California Adventure. While it’s possible to see both theme parks in one day, it’s rushed. A minimum two days will allow for a better experience.
Should you buy Park Hopper© tickets? The park entrances are right next to each other, so it doesn’t take long to walk from one to the other. Whether you opt for Park Hopper tickets depends on what suits your traveling companions best. Typically, for more extended visits Park Hopper provide much-needed flexibility and allow people to re-ride favorite rides on a whim. If you do buy a one-park ticket and decide to upgrade it, you can do this at the park. Park Hopper tickets do not need to be used on consecutive days, but they do need to be used within 13 days of first use (be sure to read all terms and conditions).
Where to buy discount Disneyland tickets? I’ve detailed reliable methods for buying discounted tickets for Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park below.
Important Ticket Purchasing Tips
Buy ONLY from a Disneyland Authorized Ticket Seller
One of the most important things when buying Disneyland tickets is this. Buy only from a Disneyland Authorized Ticket Seller. Tickets to “The Happiest Place on Earth” are an investment and like many high-value goods, they can be subject to counterfeiting. Do not ever buy a partially used pass or “rent” a pass.
Read All Terms and Conditions
Read all terms and conditions before purchasing Disneyland tickets. Be sure that they do not expire before your visit. Check refund and transfer policies. And most importantly, check how you’ll receive the tickets. For example, will you need to pick them up at the ticket booth, can you print and go or will they be snail mailed?
If It’s Too Good to Be True…
It probably is. Steep discounts on authentic Disneyland Resort tickets do not exist. The best discount Disneyland ticket is the Southern California CityPASS as it includes a 3-day Park Hopper ticket in addition to admission to San Diego attractions (details are below).
There are various parking options offered for guests visiting the Disneyland Resort(s), all detailed on the Disneyland website. At the time of this writing, the fee for self-parking a standard car for the day is $20, and preferred parking (closer to the elevators and escalators) for a standard car is $35.
1-Day Passes Are Almost Never Discounted
1-day Disneyland tickets are rarely discounted so usually the best bet for a one-day ticket is to buy directly from Disneyland Resort. (Teachers, students, military and a few other groups can be eligible for discount 1-day passes through various associations.)
Kids Under the Age of 3 Are Free
You do not need to purchase a ticket for children under 3. Children ages 3-9 need a child ticket while ages 10 and older require an adult ticket.
Magic Morning is a significant benefit usually added to 3-Day, 4-Day or 5-Day Tickets. Magic Morning allows ticket holders entry to Disneyland Park one hour before it opens to the general public. Current Magic Morning days are Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.
1. aRes Travel (Top Pick)
aRes Travel is a San Diego based, Disneyland Authorized Ticket Seller. All 3, 4 or 5-day tickets purchased through them include one-day access to the Magic Morning. aRes Travel is also known for excellent customer service as they have agents that you can call if need be.
Note that aRes Travel charges a $2 convenience fee per ticket, but you will still likely come out ahead.
2-Day Park Hopper Ticket
The 2-Day Park Hopper ticket includes admission to Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park on the same two days. Note that this option does not include Magic Morning. (Price: $240/adult and $228/child)
3-Day Park Hopper Ticket (Adults Pay Kids Price)
The 3-Day Park Hopper ticket includes one Magic Morning and admission to Disneyland and Disney California Adventure on the same three days. Adults pay the kids price. (Price: $291/adult and $291/child)
4-Day Park Hopper Ticket (Adults Pay Kids Price)
The 4-Day Park Hopper ticket includes one Magic Morning and admission to Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park on the same four days. Adults pay the kids price. (Price: $316/adult and $316/child)
5-Day Park Hopper Ticket – 5th Day FREE (Top Pick)
The 5-Day Park Hopper ticket is the same price as a regular 4-day Park Hopper ticket would be at the gate. This means that your 5th day is free. You must purchase this ticket at least 48 hours in advance, and it includes one Magic Morning early entry admission to Disneyland Park. (Price: $330/adult and $318/child)
2-Day One Park Per Day Ticket
Receive admission to one park per day over two days of use. The 2-Day One Park Per Day ticket does not include Magic Morning. (Price: $195/adult and $183/child)
3-Day One Park Per Day Ticket
Receive admission to one park per day over three days of use. The 3-Day One Park Per Day ticket includes one Magic Morning. (Price: $263/adult and $251/child)
4-Day One Park Per Day Ticket
Receive admission to one park per day over four days of use. The 4-Day One Park Per Day ticket includes one Magic Morning. (Price: $283/adult and $268/child)
5-Day One Park Per Day Ticket
Receive admission to one park per day over five days of use. The 5-Day One Park Per Day ticket includes one Magic Morning. (Price: $298/adult and $283/child)
Three Days of Fun! Disneyland® Resort & Universal Studios Hollywood Combo Pass
Receive a 2-Day Disneyland Resort Park Hopper and a 1-Day Universal Studios Hollywood general admission ticket with this Combo Pass for three days of fun. (Price: $342/adult and $325/child)
Four Days of Fun! Disneyland® Resort & Universal Studios Hollywood Combo Pass
Receive a 3-Day Disneyland Resort Park Hopper (including one Magic Morning) and a 1-Day Universal Studios Hollywood general admission ticket with this Combo Pass for four days of fun. (Price: $396/adult and $383/child)
Character Dining (Includes Tax and Gratuity)
This ticket allows the purchaser the ability to select the location where they’d like to dine within the Disneyland Resort on the day they visit the park (make reservations). Valid character dining restaurants and locations are:
Minnie & Friends Breakfast Buffet at Plaza Inn on Main Street, USA – Disneyland Park. Valid Park Admission Required.
Chip ‘n’ Dale’s Critter Breakfast Buffet at Storytellers Café – Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa.
(Price: $38/adult and $22/child – includes tax and gratuity)
Premium Character Dining (Includes Tax and Gratuity)
This ticket allows the purchaser to dine at either Goofy’s Kitchen inside Disneyland Park (valid admission is required) or Mickey’s Surf’s Up! Breakfast at Disney’s PCH Grill at Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel. Make reservations. (Price: $49/adult and $29/child – includes tax and gratuity).
Note that Ariel’s Grotto is closing for refurbishment starting on January 7, 2018. You may use this voucher there until January 6, 2018.
2. Southern California CityPASS (Top Pick for SoCal Road Trips)
Cars Land is one of the most popular lands at Disney’s California Adventure park (Photo courtesy of Southern California CityPASS).The Southern California CityPASS provides entry to the very best attractions in Southern California at substantial savings. This pass is ideal for families who will visit San Diego and Disneyland. Eligible attractions covered by CityPASS include:
Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure (a 3-Day Park Hopper ticket with one Magic Morning)
Disney California Adventure
SeaWorld San Diego
San Diego Zoo or San Diego Zoo Safari Park (optional add-on)
It is valid for 14 consecutive days, starting with the first day of use and an incredible deal. (Price: $353/adult and $324/child)
Disneyland Resort offers slight discounts of $5-$9 to AAA members on 2-Day, 3-Day, 4-Day and 5-Day tickets.
4. Military Discounts
Disneyland Resort offers several substantial, special military discounts for active and retired U.S. military personnel. The current offer is for 3-Day and 4-Day tickets.
Costco used to sell discounted Disneyland Resort theme park tickets but now only offers vacation packages. It is rumored that some warehouses still have tickets, so it doesn’t hurt to check yours.
6. Canadian Resident Discount
Canadian residents can save 25% on 3-Day or longer tickets when purchased in advance online or over the phone between now and February 28, 2018. These tickets are valid through December 31, 2018.
7. Group Ticket Discounts
Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park offer discounts for groups of 15 or more from qualified non-profit organizations. You’ll need to call to secure the discount.
The Disney Youth Program also offers discounts for groups of kids ages 3-22.
8. Annual Passports
Annual Passports (annual passes) to Disneyland Resort theme parks start at $339 and go up to $1,049, depending on how many days of access you’d like (some Annual Passports are subject to blockout dates). The percentage of in-park discounts on dining vary by the pass. They can be purchased in full or via monthly installments.
The Disney Southern California Select Annual Passport is a very viable option for Southern California residents who visit the park multiple times per year. It starts at $339 per person (age 3 and older).
9. Southern California Resident Disneyland Tickets
If you live in ZIP codes 90000-93599, Disneyland occasionally offers Southern California resident discount tickets that are valid at times of the year that park attendance is typically lighter. There are no multi-day discounts available at the time of this writing, but there is the Disney Southern California Select Annual Passport, mentioned above.
Special Disneyland Resort Experiences
Extra Magic Hour
If staying overnight in Anaheim on a Disney vacation, I am a big advocate of choosing a Disneyland Resort hotel.
See also: Theme Park Luxe: Disney’s Grand California Resort and Spa
One of the main reasons is Extra Magic Hour. Registered guests of the Disneyland Resort hotels enter Disneyland Park or Disney California Adventure Park one full hour before the parks open to the general public on select days. This means that if you’re staying one night, you’ll get to enjoy Extra Magic Hour on the day you check-in and the day that you check out. Select rides, dining, and attractions in one park per day are open for Extra Magic Hour. I do advise checking the calendar in advance of booking a hotel so that you know which park is open early on which day.
For those looking for a VIP experience, Disneyland Resort now offers various packages that include concierge to plan park itineraries, priority ride access, reserved seating, and more.
One of the best times to visit Disneyland Resort is during the holiday season, including Halloween. Several rides including the Haunted Mansion and Jungle Cruise take on a Christmas or Halloween theme, special treats become available throughout the park and much more.
See also: 10 Reasons to Visit Disneyland Resort During the Holidays
How do you buy discounted Disneyland tickets?
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