10 Things You Should Know About Disneyland Tickets – Updated!

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It seems a lot of people have questions about tickets at Disneyland! The blog post I did on them last year around this time turned into an FAQ of sorts over the last 11 months. Over time, some things have changed and some have stayed the same. Disneyland tickets are still different than tickets at Walt Disney World in a lot of ways. So I thought now was a good time to update!

1. Prices Usually Go Up Once a Year – and if last year is any indication, that time is probably getting close. Price jumps are usually pretty nominal, but last year a few things, like the Premier Annual Pass, which gets you entry into both Disneyland and Walt Disney World for a one year period, went up quite a lot. The day passes shouldn’t go up much, but if you’re planning a trip later this year, you may save a few dollars buying them now. At Disney World, it’s a tougher decision whether or not to buy tickets before prices go up, because at Disney World, the big discounted packages (free dining anyone?) often require a ticket purchase. At Disneyland, that’s not typically the case. Historically Disneyland discounts are concentrated on room discounts. You can add tickets or not, the discount is the same. There are no guarantees on any of this, but it’s information you may want to take into account.

2. Tickets Are Non-Transferable – Disneyland (and Disney World while we’re at it) tickets are non-transferrable. They are. It’s the rule. You can do it and offer every excuse in the book as to why it was okay, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s against the rule. I know you would save a lot of money if your friends bought 5-day tickets, only used 3 and then gave them to you. Believe me – I know. But that’s just not how it works. Whoever uses the ticket on the first day is who needs to use the ticket on the last day, the middle day, the middle-middle day. Got it? People overlooking that rule caused Disneyland to shorten the length of the tickets they offered.

3. 6-Day Tickets Are Back – Kind of. As I alluded to in number 2, with the exception of Annual Passes, Disneyland now only sells 5-day tickets, much to the chagrin of many guests who would like to stay longer. For a long time, Disney didn’t sell longer tickets, but if you knew to ask, you could add a day or two on to your 5-day tickets at the ticket booths for a great price. But Disneyland still had a problem. Disneyland doesn’t have biometric scanners like Walt Disney World, and they have a real issue with people selling unused portions of their tickets. That’s against the rules! Remember #2? Rather than the seemingly obvious solution of installing biometric scanners, Disneyland tried to curb the problem by taking away the unadvertised option to add days on at the booths. They also started taking pictures of guests with 3-day and longer tickets as they entered the park to make sure it was the same guest using the ticket each time. Well, that’s helping! There are still some websites out there intent on breaking the rules and “renting” those unused days on tickets, but overall it seems to be working, and guests are reporting that the ticket booths will add a day again. Keep in mind, this is not official and if you call and ask, you will probably be told it’s impossible. That’s because the people that answer the phones don’t have anything to do with this one. It’s the people in the ticket booths that do it, and they’ve started doing it again. Hopefully it will continue!

4. Tickets Expire 13 Days After the First Use – When you start using your tickets, they will expire 13 days after your first day. You don’t have to use the tickets on consecutive days though! If you have a 3-day ticket and want to take a break in the middle and go to the beach, do it! Just be back in time to finish using the ticket within those 13 days. There isn’t a No Expiration Option to add on like you can at Disney World.

5. Unused Tickets Expire at the End of the Calendar Year – Disneyland tickets expire at the end of the calendar year. There’s some wiggle room if you start using your 2013 tickets on December 31st of course, but as a general rule, they expire. At Disney World, if you buy tickets today and don’t use them at all, you can save them and use them 3 years from now. UNUSED tickets at Disney World don’t expire. That is not the case at Disneyland. Don’t buy tickets now to save money, and save them for 3 years. They expire. There are some reports that Disneyland will let you apply the value of the unused ticket to tickets that don’t expire until the next year, but don’t count on it.

6. You Can Use Disney World Tickets at Disneyland – It’s unadvertised, but true! You don’t do this at the ticket booths; this is done at the turnstiles. When you get to the turnstile with a Disney World ticket, the cast member will take your ticket, deduct a day, and give you a 1 day Disneyland ticket back. You can’t do this for multiple days at the same time. If you have more than 1 day left, you’ll have to repeat this process every day. I wouldn’t recommend doing this to save money, but if you’ve got unused days on a Disney World ticket that hasn’t expired, try it. This won’t work with annual passes (other than the Premier Pass mentioned in #1) or complimentary tickets. It’s also another one of those things that the cast members on the phone can’t (won’t?) confirm and it could change, but it works for now!

7. Check Online Prices – If you’re not traveling on a package and are buying tickets separately, check the prices online. There isn’t an advance purchase discount of any kind right now, but they do show up from time to time. Just keep an eye on the Disneyland.com tickets page.

8. Some Tickets Are Mailed – If you are on a package and are staying in a Good Neighbor Hotel, your tickets are usually mailed with your documents. The documents aren’t mailed until 30 days, or less, before you travel. If you booked through a travel agency, they’re going to them first, so you can see how easy it is for delays to happen. If you’re getting close to your trip and they haven’t shown up, track them down! You don’t want to arrive at your hotel expecting them to be there and they’re not!

9. Some Tickets Give You Early Entry – Disneyland has Extra Magic Hours at both of their parks for guests staying in one of their onsite resorts. If you’re staying offsite are you out of luck? At California Adventure – yes. But not at Disneyland! You can get a Magic Morning at Disneyland if you buy the right kind of ticket. What is a Magic Morning you ask? If you have a 3 day or longer ticket you can get into Disneyland one hour before it opens on either Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday. There are some exceptions like Military tickets and tickets for other special days, but most other tickets of 3 days longer will work. If you are purchase your ticket at the ticket booth, you may have to add the Park Hopper option to be able to take advantage of Magic Morning.

10. You Can Upgrade Any Ticket That Hasn’t Expired – Did you decide you don’t want to go home? Did you decide you want to come back several times this year? Or did you just realize you want to park hop between parks during the same day? It’s probably not too late! You can upgrade any ticket to a more expensive one before the end of your last day.

Hopefully that helped! Do you have questions? Tips to share about tickets? Next week we’ll talk Annual Passes!

 

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Tammy Whiting

Tammy has been a lover of all things Disney for most of her life. There’s nowhere on this Earth she’d rather be than on a Disney cruise with her family. She’s an Air Force wife and proud mom of two wonderful children and one beautiful daughter-in-law . She fulfilled a lifelong dream in 2008 and became a travel agent specializing in Disney vacations. She now owns her own travel agency - Storybook Destinations. You can reach Tammy at Tammy@StorybookDestinations.com.

25 thoughts on “10 Things You Should Know About Disneyland Tickets – Updated!

  • May 17, 2013 at 6:58 pm
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    Is there any advantage to staying at a Disneyland Good Neighbor Hotel? I’d prefer to stay at one that isn’t (though still on an ART route) but can’t really figure out the ticket packages that you can get with that.

    Reply
    • May 18, 2013 at 3:22 pm
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      There isn’t anything too huge, Jeffrey. Sometimes you’ll get a pin and lanyard and free photo when you book a good neighbor package through Disney, but that’s usually the extent of the extras.

      Reply
  • May 18, 2013 at 11:37 am
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    My husband did not use one of his tickets at Disney World this past February. My daughters and I will be visiting Disneyland this June. Will Disneyland accept my husbands unused ticket from Disney World for myself? I realize this is a stretch but I thought I’d ask.

    Reply
    • May 18, 2013 at 3:32 pm
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      Did he not use one day or did he not use a whole ticket? If he didn’t use one day, then technically it’s not transferrable although I’m not sure they would have any way to know that. If he didn’t use the whole ticket, then that shouldn’t be a problem at all.

      Reply
  • May 20, 2013 at 11:08 am
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    I purchased a 6 day right before the price increase last year and was hoping to add a day in December. I went to 3 different ticket booths and through the concierge at the Grand Californian and no one could add the 7th day we needed. It wasn’t a total loss as we just went shopping, to the pool and to Trader Sam’s for dinner but it was frustrating to already front for a max term park hopper and then be told I need to purchase a separate single day ticket and I was lucky to get the 6 day.

    Hopefully they will allow guests to add days, especially if they can see its been used consecutively and the you are staying at one of their own hotels.

    Reply
    • May 22, 2013 at 4:27 pm
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      I agree. It’s frustrating to have to purchase another day. I hope this all changes permanently soon!

      Reply
  • May 24, 2013 at 9:13 am
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    So is there still a Passport Plus that’s NOT an Annual pass? IF so, where do I find it? Is it any better than a 4 day park hopper?

    Reply
    • May 28, 2013 at 9:36 pm
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      There isn’t, Rachelle. They did away with the Passport Plus in 2013.

      Reply
  • May 26, 2013 at 4:52 pm
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    Make sure to keep your tickets in a safe place. If you happen to lose your tickets Disneyland isn’t obligated to replace them, even if you have your receipt.

    Another tip (if you haven’t pre-purchased your tickets) is to use the ticket booths towards the east side of the main entrance plaza. Most guests stop at the ticket booths on the west side of the main entrance plaza where the Mickey and Friends tram lets everyone off. We’ve spent as little as 15 minutes renewing our annual passports using these tickets booths, where the wait could’ve easily been an hour. Great post!

    Reply
    • May 28, 2013 at 9:34 pm
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      Those are great tips, Rigo! Thanks!

      Reply
  • June 4, 2013 at 2:22 am
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    Thanks for the tips.

    Couple of questions:

    – If I purchase a 3-day, 1-park per day ticket, and then on the third day at the resort decide I’d rather park hop before going home, do I have to pay the full difference between the non-hopper and the hopper tickets? Or do they ‘pro-rate’ it so I would only pay a third of the difference, since I’m only park-hopping one of the three days?

    – Is there any risk of not being able to get tickets if you don’t order them ahead of time? (i.e. how soon should I buy tickets if we want to go there the weekend after Christmas this year?

    Reply
    • June 6, 2013 at 11:46 pm
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      Hi Micah!
      – Yes, you will pay the full rate for the hopper. They don’t pro-rate them unfortunately.
      – No. Not really. Disney will always sell you tickets. Now during the Christmas season, it is possible that you will get there and not be able to enter at times because the park is at capacity, but they don’t sell out of tickets.

      Reply
      • June 7, 2013 at 12:36 am
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        Thanks, Tammy.

        Yeah, we’ll be sure to get to the parks early, tickets in hand — especially with the holiday crowds!

        I think I noticed in the current touring plan projections for Christmas week this year, that both the Magic Morning and Early Entry would be in effect every day of the week, rather than just the current Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, schedule. Is this safe to assume? Early Entry every day for DCA as well? We won’t be lodging on-site, so I guess that would blow our chances of getting to RSR before the initial wave. The Magic Morning for Disneyland should come in handy one of our four days, though.

      • June 10, 2013 at 10:33 am
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        It’s hard to say for sure yet, Micah, but that’s probably a good bet on the morning schedule. It’s okay, Fastpass will be your friend for RSR. If the single rider line is a possibility, that’s a good option as well!

  • October 29, 2013 at 3:08 am
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    I purchased five Disneyland tickets last year. They all expire this December. We can’t use them. I can’t try to sell them? Is that correct. Thanks

    Reply
  • November 12, 2013 at 5:04 pm
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    if i buy a disneyland 1-Day park hopper ticket and use it that day, is my ticket still good for another day?

    Reply
  • November 27, 2013 at 1:16 pm
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    I went to Disneyland with a Disneyworld ticket yesterday and they told me that they changed it a week ago, you can no longer enter Disneyland with a Disneyworld ticket!

    Reply
  • December 7, 2013 at 12:52 pm
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    hi there .. i have a two day 1 park per day ticket. my question is. the ticket will expire the second day i will visit. do they will still let me go in?
    example ticket will expire dec 1 . i will be there dec1 and dec 2 will they let me in dec 2??

    Reply
  • December 28, 2013 at 1:36 am
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    Hi, please help. Have 2 tickets : 2-Day 1-Park Per Day that my daughter and I were going to go this weekend (12/28 – 12/29/13) but I just read tickets and they expired on 12/15/13. I thought they were good thru the end of year 12/31/13 –any suggestions. Can I still use them? Please help. Thank you

    Reply
    • December 29, 2013 at 9:24 am
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      Hi Rosy-

      Based on the expiration date and time of year, I don’t think these tickets are valid. Let us know if you try to use them though. Good luck!

      Reply
      • December 29, 2013 at 11:19 am
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        It depends they told me that i cant use the ticket because i won it in a contest and its promotional…. If u have an expired ticket and you bought it (not a prize ticket) you might be able to pay sone money… You really have to go at the ticket booth so they could tell u… I was not able to go in the second day sadly….

  • January 19, 2014 at 9:35 pm
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    As of today, at least (January 19′,2014), Disneyland DOES NOT accept Disney World tickets any more…we discovered this the hard way!

    Reply
  • May 19, 2014 at 5:40 pm
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    Has anyone had luck lately having the ticket booth add the 6th day? We’re flying in on a Sunday and leaving Saturday morning. I’m trying to decide whether to spend Sunday at the parks or just visit Downtown Disney. We land at SNA at 11:20AM so based on the predicted close time, we could still have close to 10 hours in the parks.

    Reply
  • August 23, 2020 at 9:13 pm
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    I bought tickets to Disneyland in early March 2020 for my kids and I and then Covid hit and we could not use them…can I use my three prepaid tickets at Disney World in June 2021instead?

    Reply
  • August 24, 2020 at 7:27 am
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    Hi Elena,

    Unfortunately, Disneyland tickets can’t be used at Walt Disney World, and WDW tickets can’t be used at Disneyland. Have you called Disney to ask for a refund? (714) 781-4636.

    Reply

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