Disney World Ticket Scams

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Disclaimer: While I am a Cast Member, I do not speak for the Walt Disney Company. The following information is based on my own experience and does not necessarily reflect the Walt Disney Company’s policies. Please see the Walt Disney World website for official rules and regulations regarding ticket use.

I’m always on the hunt for a bargain, and I’m willing to take some risks to get one–my recent purchase of clearance yogurt comes to mind. However, Walt Disney World tickets are not the purchase to mess with. I work as a vacation planner (read: ticket seller) at the Transportation and Ticket Center, and I’ve witnessed the many ways guests have tried to game the system to avoid paying full price for tickets. Here’s a quick list of the most frequent Disney World ticket scams and why you should avoid them:

Disney World ticket scams
Beware “Cheap Tickets.” They’re especially scary at night. Photo by Maddi Higgins

Used Tickets

Somebody bought a 7-day ticket, only used 5 of the days. Why not hand those two days off to somebody else and get a little extra cash? Then you can pick up those extra days at Cheep Ticketz on 192 for a major discount.

Why you shouldn’t try it:

The only way to know if a ticket has any entitlements left is through Disney. So when you stop at Tickets ‘R Us on 192, you’ll have to take their word that there are any days left on the ticket. You also have no idea if the person who originally purchased the ticket also got the No Expiration option; if not, the days on the ticket expired 14 days after first use. The biometric scanning information is connected to the ticket, so if you have a different finger than the original user, you will not get through the touch point. So unless your used ticket comes with the chopped-off index finger of the original owner, you won’t have much luck getting into the parks.

Military Tickets

Disney offers special prices for military members and their friends and family; it’s one of the best ticket deals available. Military members are each entitled to six tickets at the special pricing. Unfortunately, a great deal attracts unscrupulous people who try to game the system.

Why you shouldn’t try it:

To redeem the military tickets, you will need a valid (read: non-expired) military ID showing that you are either a military member or a military spouse. Children of military members, veterans without a military ID, and civilian contractors are not eligible to purchase or activate military tickets. Military members are eligible for six tickets during the promotion period—that’s six tickets per military member, not each for the member and spouse. The ticketing system tracks the number of tickets allotted to each military member, so a military member will not be able to redeem more than six.

Cast Member Complimentary Tickets

Disney World Ticket Scams
A (redacted) cast member complimentary ticket. Photo by Maddi Higgins

Cast Members receive complimentary tickets to give to friends or family members. Cast Members print these tickets from their Disney employee accounts and give them away. These tickets are brought to the vacation planning booths and converted into one-day park hoppers.

Why you shouldn’t try it:

Cast members are not allowed to sell these tickets. If the tickets are sold, that cast member will punished, if not fired. But what do you care? You’re still getting cheap tickets! Maybe, but maybe not. Cast members are able to print the complimentary tickets as many times as they want, but they can only be used once. When you buy a complimentary ticket, you have no way of knowing if the ticket has been used or not. I once had a family try to redeem complimentary tickets, only to find that their tickets were all copies of a single ticket, forcing the family to buy the whole family tickets again. Do not expect any sympathy from Guest Relations; you will be told to talk to the cast member who gave you the tickets.

Please also keep in mind your fellow vacationers. Once, I had a family whose complimentary tickets were stolen (presumably by an employee at their non-Disney hotel), copied, sold, and used before they were able to activate them. Not only did somebody illegally purchase the tickets, but somebody else’s vacation was ruined.

Florida Resident Tickets

As Walt Disney World’s most loyal customers, Florida residents have to opportunity to buy specially priced multi-day tickets and annual passes. This opportunity is particularly appealing to those who are not, in fact, residents of Florida.

Why you shouldn’t try it:

Disney World ticket scams
Get a cheap “massage” and “tickets.” Photo by Maddi Higgins

You will need Florida identification to buy a Florida resident ticket. Acceptable forms of identification include a Florida state-issued ID, a military ID based in Florida, a mortgage statement, a utility bill, proof of homeowner’s or vehicle insurance, or mail from a government or financial institution. Not your student ID, not your spouse’s ID, not your library card, not your country club card (note: I have seen all of these attempted). You will also need a photo ID to match with any non-ID proof of residence, though the photo ID does not have to be a Florida ID. I saw a woman smack her husband’s license out of his hand and say, “He didn’t bring it” to avoid showing a New York license. There’s no need for that; we just need to match the name to the face. It’s OK if you haven’t switched your license yet.

Bottom Line

There a simple rule to avoiding Disney World ticket scams: If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Stick with the Walt Disney World website or the TouringPlans ticket calculator to make sure your tickets are legit.

Maddi Higgins

Maddi is a full time vacation planner at Magic Kingdom. She is a graduate of the Disney College Program and Disney Professional Internship Program. She is a long-time Disney World fan and her family has been DVC members since 2008. You can see more of her work at maddihiggins.com.

3 thoughts on “Disney World Ticket Scams

  • August 26, 2014 at 9:12 am
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    Excellent advice for life in general, so many people fail the “it seems to good to be true test” We get it all the time at the dive shop, someone wanders in wanting something serviced he bought online from a popular auction site only to be told they stopped making parts for those 15 years ago.

    Buy from a trusted vendor, at least then they can be held accountable.

  • September 6, 2014 at 8:13 pm
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    This is good information. No matter if I am buying peanut butter or Disney tickets, I always pay full price it seems. People do amaze me of how hard they work just to cheat or get a discount.

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