One of the most asked questions Disney-loving families ask is, What is the cheapest way to get Disney Tickets?
Disneyland and Walt Disney World can add up in a hurry when you start looking at ticket prices for an entire family. I frequently see posts and comments on social media of people saying that their family could never afford a trip to Disney.
A Disney vacation IS within reach for your family.
Using my hacks and tips, most families CAN afford a trip to Disney. Our family of five can get tickets to Disneyland for three days for $393. That’s only $26 per person, per day! Yes, that’s dirt cheap!
1. APPLY FOR A DISNEY CREDIT CARD
The most bang for your buck involves a Disney credit card or two… that you pay off IMMEDIATELY and cancel as soon as you get your rewards.
Chase offers a Disney Premier credit card that gives you a $300 discount when you spend $1,000. It also charges you $49 for the annual fee. This equates to a $251 discount, which is pretty amazing.
I got a credit card for myself and one for my husband, Allan, saving our family $502!
You can reapply for the card every two years and get this reward each time.
If you struggle with managing your impulses when it comes to credit card expenditures, however, I would recommend avoiding this method.
2. GET A RESIDENT DISCOUNT
At certain times of the year, Disney offers discounted tickets to residents. Purchasing a discounted resident pass is one of the cheapest ways to get Disney tickets.
Usually, from January through May, Disneyland offers a discounted 3-day ticket for Southern California residents (the entire bottom half of the state). Any California resident that lives in zip code ZIP codes 90000-93599 qualifies. If you’re willing to visit on a weekday during the first half of the year, you can score the 3-day pass for only $199 this year.
This discounted pass is a one-park-per-day pass which means that you can only visit one park each day–no park hopping. We aren’t big fans of park hopping. It takes up more time, and we don’t feel it’s worth the additional cost. This is especially true if you have young kids.
From the time you use the first day of your pass, you have 14 days to use your other two visits.
Florida residents can get similar discounts at Walt Disney World, but it applies to all residents of the entire state.
TIP: If you purchase a resident pass, be prepared to show proof of residency at the gate. Typically, they will check your tickets against your state-issued ID. So, you cannot purchase tickets for friends or family who are non-residents.
3. PURCHASE TICKETS THROUGH DISCOUNT WEBSITES
Alternatively, you can get tickets from a reputable source like Get Away Today or Undercover Tourist for a smaller discount.
These discounts aren’t as good as a resident discount, but if you don’t qualify for a resident discount, this is a good alternative.
Note: Ticket fraud is an unfortunate reality. Do not buy your tickets from unauthorized websites or third parties like FB Marketplace or other sites.
4. USE YOUR TARGET RED CARD
Purchase Disney gift cards using your Target Red Card and save 5%. You can use the gift cards to purchase your tickets on Disney’s website or in the app.
Prior to purchasing your tickets, use the Disney gift card website to combine balances on cards. Just keep in mind that the balance of each card can’t exceed $1,000. Also, the ticket website only allows you to use one gift card per purchase. So, if your total ticket price is more than $1,000 you’ll need to split up your ticket purchase into multiple orders.
5. USE THE RAKUTEN APP
The Rakuten app is one of my favorite money-saving tips. It’s so easy to use!
Rakuten partners with popular businesses to provide cashback to its users.
Recently, Rakuten was offering 10% back on the Disney store. The fine print said cashback didn’t apply to gift cards (you can use the gift cards to purchase your tickets) but it worked for me. No guarantees on this tip—but you might get lucky, too.
Additionally, if you use this referral link to sign up for Rakuten, you’ll get $30 when you spend $30. Then, if you refer someone (like your spouse), they also get $30 when they spend $30 AND you get $30. Sounds too good to be true? It’s not! It’s good–and it’s true!
By taking advantage of their referral program, we were able to get Disney gift cards FOR FREE.
Here’s how it worked. I referred my husband who bought a $50 Disney gift card. Since it was Cyber Monday, they were giving an even better referral credit, so I got $40 and my husband got $40. That’s a total of $80 cashback. If you subtract the $50 I spent on the gift card, we still walked away with an extra $30.
When you’re on the hunt for the cheapest way to get Disney tickets, the Rakuten app is the way to go!
Sign up for Rakuten and get busy saving! It’s easy!
6. VISIT DURING OFFSEASON
The best (cheapest) time to visit Disney is during the offseason. Any day that kids are in school there will be lower crowds and cheaper tickets.
To score the lowest cost on tickets, check the ticket calendar on Disney’s website. Avoid weekends, holidays, and school breaks and your pocketbook will thank you.
7. SKIP the HOPPER TICKETS
Instead of paying extra for hopper tickets, go with the 1-park-per-day pass.
If you only have one day at Disney and have teens, a hopper may be a good choice. But for most families, park-hopping equals lots of walking. And more walking means you’re spending less time enjoying the attractions and the magic of Disney!
We have always found plenty to do and have never had trouble filling up our day by staying in one park all day long.
Typically, at Disneyland, we spend two full days at Disneyland Resort and one full day at California Adventure Park. For Disney World, it’s easy to spend a full day in each of the four parks.
The Cheapest Way to Get Disney Tickets
Using these tips and tricks will make a visit to Disney World or Disneyland within reach! Here’s a breakdown of how our family of five can score 3-days worth of tickets to Disneyland for only $393.
1. Purchased $1,000 in gift cards from Shop Disney via the Rakuten App with a 10% cashback offer.
2. Used the gift card money to purchase 5, 3-day, 1 park per day Disneyland tickets for Southern California Residents at $995.
3. Applied for the Chase Disney Premier Visa Card for both my husband and myself. Obtained a $300 credit – the $49 annual fee.
-$100 (Rakuten cashback)
-$502 (Chase credit card credit)
If you have any questions about any of these tips, I’d love to help answer them. Drop them in the comments below.
For more ways to save money at Disney, check out our post 11 Hacks to Help You Save Money on Food at Disney.