Southern California visitors will find discount tickets for Universal Studios and Sea World everywhere they look, from tourist magazines to the paper lining their dinner trays at the local fast food joint, but getting Disneyland discount tickets isn't quite as easy. The good news is that you can still get some Disneyland discount tickets, and you'll do best if you plan in advance.
Disneyland Discount Tickets - Options
- Southern California CityPass: If you're planning on visiting some of Southern California's other attractions during your trip, this one is your best bet. You can get 3-Day Disneyland Tickets and tickets for one day each at Universal Studios and SeaWorld. The total discount is approximately 30%, and you can buy the passes online in advance, or at the gate of any of the participating attractions. Find out more about whether it's the right choice for you in the Southern California CityPASS guide.
- ARES Travel offers small discounts on Disneyland California tickets and you can also reserve character breakfasts through them. They deliver by email only. You can order online or by phone at 800-434-7894.
- Buy online not at the ticket booth: You can get Disneyland discount tickets if you buy them online in advance. Prices can be up to $50 per ticket less than what you'd pay at the gate. Print at home or to get them in the mail.
- Disneyland Specials: From time to time, Disney offers special discounts. The most common is adding a couple of extra days to a multi-day ticket for free. See what's available and buy it online.
- Stick to One Park a Day: The reduced-price tickets called 1-Park per Day are about $15 less than a Park Hopper ticket, with the restriction that once you enter either Disneyland or California Adventure, you can only visit that park for the rest of the day. Multi-day versions do allow you to switch parks on different days, though, so you could spend 2 full days at Disneyland and 1 day at California Adventure with a 3-Day, 1-Park per Day ticket, for example.
- Shorten Your Stay: Another way to save money is to spend fewer days in the parks, but this doesn't mean you can't do everything. Normal visitors spend more time in line than doing anything else, but you know better. With an inexpensive subscription to Ridemax software, you can stay out of line and easily do in two days what it takes most people three to four days to cover. In fact, I once used it to do almost all of Disneyland in a single day and had time to spare.
- Stay Away from Auctions: Some people buy 5-Day passes, use two or three days and try to sell the remaining time in online auctions. However, these tickets state in writing, "Not For Sale. Non Transferable, Must be used by the same person, all days," and this practice is not recommended.
- Special Disney Deals: Most years, Disney offers some kind of special pricing for visits from January through early spring. Typical discounts are about $15 per ticket.
- Go for a Walk: Get your exercise and a Disneyland discount at the same time. Participate in AIDS Walk Orange County (May) or the CHOC/Disneyland Resort Walk in the Park held in October. For registering, helping a good cause and walking just 3 miles, participants get an entrance discount when they show their wristband at the ticket booth.
- Free Admission For Volunteer Service: In early 2010, Disneyland offered free theme park tickets as your reward for doing a day of volunteer service. It was very popular, but the promotion is now closed.
Disneyland Discount Tickets for California Residents
- Southern Californians: If you live in zip codes 90000-93599, Disney offers frequent special deals and discounts for online purchases along with special discounts on annual passes. Your local Costco, Von's or Ralph's store may also offer lower-priced passes.
- California Teachers: Members of ACSA, CTA, CRTA and First Financial Credit Union can get Disneyland discount tickets through TSA Special Services by phone or mail. The excellent discounts they once offered are getting less impressive every year, nearly vanishing when you add their processing fees, and you have to order far enough in advance to allow for mail delivery.
- Southern California University Students: Some area universities offer discounted, one-park, one-day Disneyland discount tickets for their students. Check with your Student Union.
- Employee Discounts: Some large corporations and government agencies in Southern California also offer discounted, one-day, one-park Disneyland discount tickets to their employees. Ask your Human Resources department.
- AAA and CSAA Members: These California automobile clubs sometimes offer discounts, but grab your calculator before you buy. Some of their "packages" cost the same as the individual parts at full price.
Other Ways to Get Disneyland Discount Tickets
- Some area hotels offer discount Disneyland tickets with a room rental.
- Military Discounts: Active duty, Reserve, National Guard, Retired, and DOD employees can buy Disneyland discount tickets, with the amount depending on the time of year. Check with your base MWR for information. You often have to buy these in advance and bring your military ID to show at the gate when you use them.