Disney on a Budget: Several Discount Options for Buying Tickets to Disneyland

Before you purchase your Disneyland Theme Park tickets you will have to decide on a couple of things:

  • How many days you want to spend at the Parks?
  • Do you want to use the Park Hopper feature?

The cost per day goes down with each additional day you spend at the park.   Here is a break down for 1-Park tickets with a 1-day, 3-day or a 5-day pass.  These prices are for ages 10 and up.  (ages 3-9 will be cheaper). They also include a discount for purchasing your tickets online (prices at the gate will be higher).   These prices were valid as of June 2011.

  • 1-Day Ticket = $80 (cost per day is $80)
  • 3-Day Ticket = $199 (cost per day is $66)
  • 5-Day Ticket = $231 (cost per day is $46)

If you decide to add the Park Hopper feature to your tickets, the cost will be a little more.  The Park Hopper allows you to visit both Disneyland and California Adventure on the same day, so you can alternate between the 2 parks.  Since the 2 parks are so close to each other we enjoy this feature.   If you are trying to save money on your trip, you can easily just go with the one park a day ticket.  The price of a 3-Day Park Hopper ticket is $214, which is $14 more than the one-day park ticket.

If you plan on making more than one trip to Disneyland in a year, than you may want to go for an annual passport.  You can view the different yearly passport options and their prices on the Disney website.

Here are several options for picking up discount tickets to Disneyland:

California Residents:


Military Discount:

    • Disney Military Promotional Tickets can be purchased by active and retired U.S. military personnel for themselves and up to five additional family members or friends.
    • Disney Military Promotional 3-Day Park Hopper Tickets cost $99 each
    • You can find all the details on this promotion HERE. They have extended the dates of this promotion until September 2012, you can find out more about the extension HERE.

Buy Ahead of time online:

  • If you are buying a 3-Day or longer Park Hopper ticket, you can get a discount for purchasing them online before you head to the parks.
  • Not only is it cheaper, but it’s also more convenient. If you choose the print at home option (which is FREE), you will just take the print out of your ticket to the gate and they will exchange it for a real park ticket. No waiting in the ticket line!
  • You can also choose to have your tickets mailed to you or picked up at will call, both of which have a $5 fee.

Buy Discount Tickets Online at GetawayToday.com:

GetawayToday.com offers discounted tickets for Disneyland.   You have the option of buying a package deal or individual tickets.

Buy a Package Deal:

  • You can do some research ahead of time and see if buying a package deal will save you money. I would price everything individually and then get a quote on a package price.  Don’t assume that just because it’s a package you are getting a good deal.
  • I recommend both Costco Travel and Getaway Today for Disneyland packages. The Costco package includes some extras like a character breakfast, so you will need to take that into account when you are pricing the package.
  • If you use Getaway Today, you may also want to check for discount codes at RetailMeNot.com.

Buy your tickets though City Pass:

  • When you buy through City Pass your are not only getting a discount on your Disneyland ticket, but you will also get other attractions at a discount too. (Sea World, Universal Studios, etc.)
  • You can check out the rates and other attractions available at City Pass to see if this would be a good option for you.

Get a Disney Visa Rewards Card:

  • I can only recommend this option if you pay the card off in full each month.   The amount you would pay in interest each month would not outweigh the benefits you receive.
  • I received a special offer that gave me a $200 Disney Gift Card for opening a Disney Visa Rewards account (HELLO! $200 in FREE Disney money!! I was all over this one)  They are currently offering a $100 statement credit.
  • You will earn 1% cash back for all the purchases you make with your card. The money is given to you in the form of a Disney Rewards card that can be redeemed at the on tickets, lodging, food or merchandise.   You could use the cash back to purchase your Disney Park tickets. It doesn’t sound like much, but it can really add up. I use the Visa to pay all of my monthly bills and then pay it off at the end of each month.
  • The card also give you other perks and discounts.

Take Advantage of the Albertsons Gift Card Promo (though 6/21/11):

  • Albertsons is currently running a gift card promo where you will earn a FREE $20 Albertsons Catalina for every $100 in gift cards you purchase. The great news is they sell Disney gift cards!
  • Learn more about the promo HERE, and also check THIS POST for some important updates.

Check Your Grocery Stores for the Park Hoppers with the old pricing:

  • Several grocery stores sell the Park Hopper passes, you can find them in with the gift cards.
  • Since Disney has recently had a price increase on admission prices (on 6/12/11), if you find some of the Park Hoppers with the old pricing, you an pick those up and pay a lower cost than current ticket prices.

Do you know of a way to get Disneyland Park tickets at a discount that I haven’t mentioned here?   Please leave a comment and let us know your special tips or tricks for scoring Disneyland tickets for less.

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Comments

  1. Kim says

    We have never purchased tickets from ebay but we heard it was a great way to get unused days from another family. We recently bought 4-5 day hopper passes from AAA but were only going to be there for 4 days (bought 5 day as it wasn’t much more $$) Before we left, we placed an ad on ebay for the 4-1 day hoppers that would be left on the tickets. We made a Buy It Now for $200 for all 4 and a California resident purchased them as they were going to use them towards their purchase of annual passes. Disney will apply the full value of each ticket and give them full value credit towards their annual pass. Doing this saved us money on our trip. We paid $720 for our 4-5 day hoppers, sold the one day remaining for $200 which in turn gave us 4-4 day hoppers for $520. That works out to be $130.00 for each of my family to enjoy 4 days in Disneyland/California Adventure!!!!!

  2. says

    @Kim Unfortunately, the Park Hopper tickets are only good for the person that uses them the first time, they cannot be sold or transferred to someone else. Also, the tickets usually expire 14 days after the first use. I can understand wanting to reduce the cost of your trip, but I wouldn’t do it at the expense of Disney. Sometimes its things like this that can end up raising the cost of the tickets.

    Disney World has installed a fingerprint scanning system to prevent this from happening, it may only be a matter of time before Disneyland does the same.

    I like your suggestion for buying discount tickets through AAA. If anyone is a member of AAA you should check with them for discounts.

  3. says

    From what I understand, if you go with ebay and heaven forbid, get to the gate and have a problem (like the tickets are expired or fraudulent or whatever….) then you are totally out of luck.

    Personally, I just wouldn’t want to risk it, but I can certainly understand the temptation. Our tickets were more expensive than our airfare!

  4. Lori says

    AAA does still offer a discount for Disneyland tickets. Their current price for 3 day park hopper tickets are: $243 for adults and $228.50 for ages 3-10 yrs. They also offer free parking at Disneyland, Magic Morning entrance on one morning, etc. If you are a AAA member headed to Disneyland, this is definitely a great way to go.

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