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Purchasing Your Park Tickets for Disneyland and California Adventure

Show Summary

This audio is from our free course that helps you plan a vacation to Disneyland. In this module, learn about ticket discounts, best purchasing options, and alternatives for buying tickets at lower prices.

We'll give you some tips for where to safely purchase discount park tickets and all the ticket options - like Park Hoppers, Single Park per Day, and Genie+.

We have a tool that helps you quickly find the best deal for tickets and compare the prices of different ticket types. Visit our Disneyland Ticket Comparison Tool.

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0:00 Intro

9:23 Outro

Show Transcript

Once you know that you're ready to go to the Disneyland Resort and you have your dates picked, it's time to start looking at buying your tickets.

Getting the Best Price on Disneyland Tickets

Tickets for Disneyland don't go on deep discounts very often. There are a few things that you can do to try to save money here, and there on tickets. The biggest discounts that Disney tends to offer are for military and Southern California residents. In the course below, we have some information about some additional discounts and where you can purchase through those discounts to try to get the best prices for tickets.

Where to Purchase Park Tickets

Now, let's talk about where to buy your tickets. Outside of those that need to be purchased through a specific location, so for example for some of the military tickets, you can buy them on base, let's talk about where most people will buy their tickets for Disneyland.

There are several places that you can purchase outside of Disney. However you want to make sure you're limiting it to very reputable sources. There are people that will try to sell tickets on Craigslist, on Facebook at a discounted price, and those tickets are inauthentic, and that can really ruin your vacation. So let's talk about some of the safe places to purchase Disney tickets.

The first and most obvious is to go to Disneyland's website. The best part about purchasing tickets directly from Disney is that you set your reservation when you purchase your tickets, so you don't have to have any extra hassle of linking tickets; everything is right there. And because when you're buying your tickets, you're setting up your login that you can also use for your app, it's the most seamless for those that maybe are a little less tech savvy.

Ticket Purchased from Disney Are Non-Refundable

The negative to purchasing your tickets directly through Disney is that those tickets are non-refundable, and so once you've committed to those park tickets, you will not be able to get a refund for that.

Refundable Tickets from Undercover Tourist

If being able to have the ability to cancel your trip is important, then I usually recommend that people purchase from our friends at Undercover Tourist; and we recommend them for a couple reasons.

 One is they will often run discounts. They buy a lot of tickets in bulk, so sometimes you can get a small discount, and they do run sales, so you can join their email list. And if you purchase a ticket through them and you end up having to cancel your trip, their tickets are refundable. Now, they do charge a 5% restocking fee, but that's a lot better than not being able to get any of the money from those tickets back. You do have to complete your reservation separately, so they will send you a ticket and then you'd have to log in to Disney's website and link your tickets to make your reservations separately.

 And it is very important that you do that second step to make your reservations. If technical things tend to be stressful for you, it might be worth it for you to purchase through Disney. If you feel like you're fairly tech savvy and are able to log on and follow instructions, then Undercover Tourist is usually going to be what I recommend.

What to Know Before Purchasing Tickets to Disneyland

 Now, before purchasing your tickets, you're going to need to know the following information. The first is how many tickets you need to purchase, how many days you're going to be in the park, whether you want a Park Hopper, or a single day pass, and whether you want to use Genie+. Now, some of those can be a little overwhelming, so let's go ahead and walk through those options really quick.

Step 1: Number of Tickets and Days in the Parks

The first is the number of tickets. So that's just determining how many people you want to have in your party, which we covered earlier in this course. The next thing you need to know is how many days you want to be in the park. Again, we covered that in an earlier module, but for those who haven't seen that video or skipped past it, I prefer two to three days for visiting Disneyland. You can visit with less or more days, but I find two to three days is usually about the sweet spot.

Step 2: Understanding Park Hopper Tickets

 Now let's talk about Park Hopper versus single park per day passes. So a Park Hopper allows you to move from one park to another. A single park per day pass means that you will make your reservation for Disneyland and you will only be allowed entrance into Disneyland that entire day. With a Park Hopper, if your reservation for that day was at Disneyland, you could go be at Disneyland till 11 and then go to California Adventure and move back and forth between the parks, or you could stay in Disneyland the entire day.

 When it comes to Park Hoppers, They cost the same whether you purchase them for one day or for all of the days. Park Hoppers aren't always available for upgrade, so if you think you want to move between the parks, then the Park Hopper can be a good option.

 If you're trying to save money and you're only visiting two or three days, then I usually will recommend a single park per day with one full day at Disneyland, one day at California Venture, and then a second day at Disneyland to go back and re-ride some of your favorites.

Step 3: Understanding Single Day Pricing

 One thing to note that can be confusing as people go to purchase tickets, especially if they're purchasing them at Disneyland's website, it looks like it's cheaper to purchase two individual days versus purchasing one two day pass. When you actually click through, that may or may not be true. The single day tickets can vary between $104 and $179 per day. So if you're going during a time period Disney doesn't expect to be very busy in the parks if you're at the $104 mark that day that you want to go, it can be cheaper to buy two individual tickets. When you do that, you just want to know that if you decide you want a park hop, you will have to pay more in total to park hop. So make sure you've determined whether or not you want to park hop and you will not be able to exchange that for a longer day ticket.  So you can't take two single parks and exchange them for a 2-day ticket, you would have to upgrade one of the tickets to a two day pass and then keep that other ticket to use at a later time.

 So just to recap, a single park per day means whatever park you reserved is the only park that you're able to attend that day. Park Hopper means that you have to start at the park that you made your reservation for, and then after 11:00 AM you're free to move back and forth between the two parks.

 If you are coming from Disney World as your home park that you've visited more often, park hopping is much easier at Disneyland. It is literally a two and a half minute walk, right across the walkway. So park hopping is much easier and much faster at Disneyland than it is at Disney World.

Step 4: Adding Genie +

 So now we've talked about the number of tickets, how many days in the park and whether you want to Park Hopper or a single park per day, let's now talk about Genie+.

Genie+ allows you to reserve a time for rides that tend to have the longest waits. When you purchase Genie+ with your ticket, you have to purchase it for all of the days or for none of the days. If you purchase it for none of the days, as soon as you get into the parks, you can purchase it for a single day. But depending on how busy the parks are, the price can sometimes rise up significantly, maybe up to $40 dollars or so per ticket per day. Genie+ basically allows you to make reservations at some of the most popular attractions, so you don't have to wait as long in line. If you want to ride a lot of the thrill rides, the coasters, the things with big drops, then Genie+ is going to be a lifesaver and keep you from spending so much time in line, and I think it is very much worth it.

 If you're traveling only with small kids and you won't be doing any of those thrill attractions, I don't know if Genie+ always makes sense; and because of that in the course here below, we've included a link to all of the rides that Genie+ Includes, and you can also see that directly on our tools to give you an idea of whether or not you want to purchase Genie+.

 If you're not sure, it's okay to skip Genie+, again, you can purchase it later just know that the price might be a little bit more expensive. Personally, if I was doing three days, I probably would only do Genie+ for the first day in each park.

Even though I really love Genie+ and I feel like it's really helpful because our family really does take advantage of riding a lot of the thrill rides, I will sometimes wait and purchase it the day of if I'm going during an off season because I might not want to use it every day.  But if you think you want to use Genie+ and you're going during summer, Christmas break, spring break, around Thanksgiving, then when in doubt, go ahead and purchase Genie+. But again, In the course here below, we're going to have a much more detailed explanation of Genine Plus. So if you want, you can even skip to that module to make your decision before you purchase your park tickets. Those are the main things that you need to know in order to be able to purchase your park tickets.

In the next module, we're going to be talking about park reservations. Remember, you have to have both a park ticket and a park reservation in order to enter Disneyland parks. They do not make exceptions, and there are times when park reservations are not available, especially during the busier seasons.

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