Advice, Tips and Tricks for Walt Disney World Tickets and Passes
LAST UPDATE: 5/9/13
There are loads of different Walt Disney World tickets and passes, and it can be very confusing to figure out which ones to buy and how to get the best discounts and deals on them. This page can help.
In addition to discounts, there are lots of ways to maximize the use of your Disney ticket. You can get a lot of extra value out of it if you know what you’re doing! Read the sections below to get specific tips for each of the major tickets and passes sold by Disney in advance, at the gate and at the Disney resort hotels.
- Very Important Tip!
- Where NOT to Buy Disney World Tickets
- Deciding Which Tickets to Buy
- Where to Get the Lowest Prices – In a Nutshell
- 1-Day, 2-Day and 3-Day Magic Your Way Tickets – Adding Value
- Maximizing the Value of Magic Your Way Tickets
- Using Old Park Hopper Passes
- Are Annual Passes For You?
Other Walt Disney World Ticket Information Pages
- Regular Ticket Prices
- Discounts on Standard Tickets and Passes
- Discounts on Tickets for International Visitors
- Discounts on DisneyQuest Tickets
- Discounts on Water Park Tickets
The first thing you should do when you buy Walt Disney World tickets is make a photocopy of the reverse side (the side with the magnetic stripe). If you lose your ticket, your only hope of getting it replaced is to have the coded information on the back. The seemingly random numbers, letters and dates you’ll see in a couple of locations on the backs of your tickets will help Disney replace the tickets if you lose them. Disney will usually reissue a pass if you can provide that information, though it is not obligated to do so: the tickets state that “Disney is not responsible for misplaced, lost or stolen tickets.”
If you buy your tickets at the gate, save the receipt, since that can also be used to look up lost tickets. A receipt from a non-Disney source, such as AAA or a ticket broker, won’t have any information that helps with replacing tickets, so it is especially important to make a photocopy if you get your tickets that way.
Even a regular receipt from the Disney Store won’t have your ticket numbers on it, though reader Kathy R reports that her local Disney Store gave her a separate receipt with the pass numbers on it. I don’t know if all Disney Stores do this. If you don’t see a serial number on your receipt that matches the info on the back of your tickets, be sure to make a photocopy.
Another option is to scan the backs instead of photocopying them, then email the file to yourself. As long as you have a web-based email account, you can retrieve the file from anywhere.
Easiest of all is this suggestion from MouseSavers.com reader Francis T: “…take a photo of them! This can be done immediately after you purchase them — even at the gate. Use your cellphone camera [or] digital camera… you’ll have the information right at your fingertips.”
5 seconds and a free photocopy saved us $200.00!
There is one bit of info on your site that is absolutely imperative that EVERY Disney World visitor MUST follow. Take 5 seconds and make a PHOTOCOPY of your tickets.
We purchased three – 4 day park hopper passes… I had the tickets photocopied. On the 2nd day we discovered we had lost one of our tickets. We did panic for a few minutes, until we remembered I photocopied the tickets….
When we got to the Magic Kingdom we handed them the photocopy of our tickets. The guest relations person … said had we not done this there would’ve been nothing they could’ve done for us other than sell us a new 4 day park hopper ticket. Instead, they reissued the ticket.
Rick J from Colorado Springs
There are lots of legitimate ways to get discounted Walt Disney World passes. Unfortunately, there are also many ways to get ripped off.
Never buy partially used passes.
For instance, perhaps someone says he bought a 7-day ticket and ended up using only 5 days of it, so he’s reselling the remaining 2 days. Sounds good, right? Wrong, and here’s why:
- There is absolutely no way to tell whether the pass actually has the number of days remaining that the seller claims, until you get to the gate and see if it works.
- Disney tickets are nontransferable. Each ticket can be used only by one person. Disney uses a biometric finger scan system at the gate that takes a partial fingerprint the first time the ticket is used, and records it on the ticket’s magnetic strip. If the scan doesn’t match, you can’t use the ticket.
- In Florida it is illegal to resell partly-used multi-day admission tickets: click here to read about the arrest of some people who were doing just that. Used ticket brokers are everywhere in the Orlando/Kissimmee area. They are generally fly-by-night operators with small storefronts or a desk in another business, such as a motel or restaurant. They mostly sell partially used passes. It’s likely that you’ll get to the gate and find out the passes are no good. Needless to say, Disney is not going to help you with this. It is a great way to ruin a vacation. Here’s a link to a news story describing a recent fraud involving worthless tickets.
Websites that seem to be offering super low prices on Disney tickets are almost guaranteed to be scams.
There are legitimate, authorized Disney ticket brokers (such as Undercover Tourist) but they don’t have a lot of profit margin once they pay Disney. There is no way a ticket dealer can offer new, authentic Disney tickets at extremely low prices without losing money.
Scam sites may outright rip you off (charge you for tickets you never receive), or even worse, they may just be harvesting your personal information and credit card number so they can sell that information to criminals.
Some signs of a scam ticket site:
- Disney does not allow its authorized ticket dealers to use the word Disney in their URLs (domain names or website addresses). If the site’s URL has the word Disney in it and it is not a site operated by Disney, do not buy tickets there.
- Disney does not allow legitimate ticket brokers to sell discounted 1-day tickets. If you see a site offering those at a discount, run away fast.
- Some sites require you to pay by Western Union or other cash-equivalent services, which means you’ll never be able to get the money back. That should be a huge red flag. ALWAYS pay by credit card (not debit card) when making purchases on the Internet!
It is a very bad idea to buy Disney passes on eBay or Craigslist.
Unfortunately both of these online resources are extremely popular with con artists. Recently scammers have even taken to presenting fake “invoices” or “receipts” that seem to be from legitimate businesses that supposedly sold them the tickets. They always have some sad story about buying nonrefundable tickets, and now they can’t go, and they just want to get some of their money back. But the passes they sell you are partially or completely used up, or were never valid to begin with.
Tickets can look perfectly new and real, yet be worthless. For example, they may be selling real Disney ticket stock shoplifted from a Disney Store, but since the tickets were never paid for, they have not been validated and they have zero value.
There is no way to find out if the tickets you buy from a stranger (or even “a friend of a friend”) are any good in advance of your trip. You are very likely to arrive at the gate and find out you have invalid passes.
Look at the very bottom of the site — it probably says something like “This advertising material is being used for the purpose of soliciting sales of vacation ownership interests.” That means you would have to attend a timeshare presentation in order to get tickets at the advertised price.
Yes, many timeshare resorts will give you some sort of discount on Disney World passes — or maybe even a couple of free one-day passes — if you will sit through a hard-sell “90-minute presentation” (which usually takes 2 hours or more). Some people don’t mind spending part of their vacation doing this, but to me this is not worthwhile. I do not list any ticket discounts that involve timeshares.
Thank you to Ron L for suggesting this topic.
I wish I could give you a quick and easy way to decide, but picking which tickets to purchase is complicated because every vacation is different.
It’s always wise to spend some time developing an itinerary BEFORE you buy your passes, because the right passes for you really depend on how you plan to spend your days. Some (actually, most) people will spend each day in only one theme park. Others like to “hop” between parks and water parks in one day. Some families with teenagers find themselves going to DisneyQuest a lot, and only certain passes include that option. And so on…
It’s important to get out your calculator, take a look at the prices and figure out which tickets make sense for your situation.
A few hints:
- For stays of 11 days or more, or if you plan to return to Walt Disney World within a year, consider an Annual Pass.
- If you will be buying Magic Your Way Tickets with the Park Hopper option and plan to visit a water park and/or DisneyQuest at least once, adding the Water Park Fun & More option is cheaper than buying a separate water park or DisneyQuest admission. Cost of the upgrade would be $23.43.
- If you will be buying Magic Your Way Base Tickets (no Park Hopper) and plan to visit the water parks and/or DisneyQuest at least twice, adding the Water Park Fun & More option for $60.71 is cheaper than buying two water park or DisneyQuest admissions.
- If you will be spending a lot of time at the water parks or DisneyQuest, consider buying a specialized annual pass for that one option (i.e. Water Park Annual Pass). It may be cheaper than buying individual admissions, adding the Water Park Fun & More option or upgrading to a Premium Annual Pass.
The chart below lists the best place to buy the most popular tickets sold to the general public.
However, be sure to check all your options. You may be overlooking a special deal for which you qualify, such as Florida resident, military/civil service, Disney Vacation Club and corporate discounts, which are not included in this chart. There are also some special tickets for visitors from UK/Ireland that I don’t list on the chart.
|Ticket Type||Cheapest Sources|
|1-Day Magic Your Way Ticket||at the gate – there are no discounts for the general public|
|2-Day Magic Your Way Ticket||at the gate – there are no discounts for the general public|
|3-Day, 4-Day, 5-Day, 6-Day, 7-Day, 8-Day, 9-Day or 10-Day Magic Your Way Tickets||Undercover Tourist, AAA (rarely)|
|Seasonal Pass, Annual Pass, Premium Annual Pass||Auto Club South|
1-Day, 2-Day and 3-Day tickets are the least economical option because Disney “front loads” the cost of its tickets: the first 3 days on the Base Ticket are by far the most expensive, with a 1-Day Base Ticket now costing $94.79! After the first 3 days, the cost of adding extra days is much lower: only $14 + tax to add Day 4, $12 + tax to add Day 5, and $10 + tax to add each additional day after that (up to a total of 10 days). Obviously Disney wants you to stay for 4 days or longer.
So you’ll get the most value out of a 4-day or longer ticket, but perhaps you want a shorter ticket for one reason or another. Maybe two or three days in a major theme park is all you can handle during one vacation, for example. Here are some ways to stretch the value of the shorter tickets.
You can add the Park Hopper option.
If you want to “hop” between parks on the same day, you can add the Park Hopper option to your Base Ticket. It is true that at a flat rate of $35 ($37.28 with tax) for 1 day, or $57 ($60.71 with tax) for 2 days or more, the Park Hopper option adds quite a bit to the cost. But if you use it for admission to two or more parks per day, it can be a decent value.
Ideally you’ll be adding the Park Hopper option to your ticket on a day when one of the parks you want to visit stays open late. That way you get more hours to use the full value of the ticket. Depending on the season, you may be able to enter one theme park as early as 8:00 am and stay until the closing of a different park as late as midnight.
It is possible to “hit the highlights” of all four parks in two days if you travel during a time when the parks are open extended hours, and if you have a ton of energy. This is definitely not optimal for a first-time visitor, but it can be done.
With the Park Hopper option, some people have managed to hit all 4 parks (though only a few attractions in each) in one day. However, it’s a terrible idea for a first-time visitor or for anyone without superhuman endurance.
You can add the Water Park Fun & More option.
For a 1-Day or 2-Day Ticket, the Water Park Fun & More option adds two “visits” to the water parks and/or DisneyQuest (as well as other options, most of which are less valuable). For a 3-Day Ticket, it adds three water park or DisneyQuest “visits”.
The cost is a flat rate of $57 ($60.71 with tax). Two adult DisneyQuest admissions purchased separately would normally cost $93.72 with tax. Two adult water park admissions purchased separately would normally cost $110.76 with tax.
Here’s the best part: the Water Park Fun & More “visits” DO NOT have to be used on the same day as your main theme park admission! They are completely separate admissions and they are good for 14 days from the first use of your ticket. You can visit the theme parks and the water parks/DisneyQuest/etc. in any order.
In other words, you could buy a 3-Day Base Ticket, add the Water Park Fun & More (which gives you three water park/DisneyQuest/etc. “visits”) and use that ticket on up to six different days! For example, you could spend your first day at Epcot, second day at Typhoon Lagoon water park, third day at DisneyQuest, fourth day at Magic Kingdom, fifth day at Animal Kingdom and sixth day at Blizzard Beach water park. That’s a good deal for $318.44 per adult, tax included — you’re spending only a little over $53 a day. It also helps to break up your theme park days, which can be gruelling, with some more-relaxing water park and DisneyQuest days.
For more tips on getting the most value from the Water Park Fun & More add-on, click here.
You can add both the Park Hopper and the Water Park Fun & More options.
As of 6/3/12, Disney has actually REDUCED the price of the combined Park Hopper and Water Park & More options. You can add BOTH to your ticket for a flat rate of just $79 ($84.14 with tax).
You could buy a 2-Day Base Ticket, add the Park Hopper and the Water Park Fun & More options, and use that ticket on up to four different days, plus you could “hop” between the major parks on the days when you visit those. For example, you could spend your first day at Animal Kingdom in the morning and Magic Kingdom in the evening, second day at a water park, third day at DisneyQuest and fourth day at Hollywood Studios in the morning and Epcot in the evening. You could do all that for $271.58 per adult, tax included, which works out to $67.90 per day.
I would recommend this option only for people with a lot of energy who don’t mind cramming a few days full of activity.
- Best Deal for Repeat Visitors Who Take Short Trips
- Water Park Fun & More Hints
- Little-Known Tip for Childrens’ Tickets
- Upgrading Tickets
Two things to consider if you visit Walt Disney World regularly:
- The per-admission cost is much lower on the longer Magic Your Way tickets; in other words, the more days you buy, the less you pay per admission.
- Ticket prices have typically increased annually, at a rate higher than the rate of inflation.
If you know you’ll be visiting at least three times in the future, you may be able to save money by purchasing a longer ticket and adding the No Expiration option. Use some days now and some on future trips, and benefit from the discounted per-admission cost and the locked-in price.
The 10-day Magic Your Way tickets are usually the best deal for those who “buy and hold” tickets as described above.
- An adult 10-day Magic Your Way ticket with Park Hopper and No Expiration costs $692.25 including tax. (You can get one for quite a bit less through Undercover Tourist.) That is exactly the same cost as buying two 5-day Magic Your Way tickets with Park Hopper for two different trips. The value comes in if you use it for multiple short trips. For example, if you use it for three trips (two trips of 3 days and one trip of 4 days) those three tickets with Park Hopper would cost $970.23 at current prices. If you use it for five 2-day trips, those five tickets with Park Hopper would cost $1240.75 at current prices.
- For those who like to visit the water parks and/or DisneyQuest, an adult 10-day Magic Your Way ticket with Park Hopper and Water Park Fun & More plus No Expiration costs $715.68 including tax. (You can get one for quite a bit less through Undercover Tourist.) Compare this with two adult 5-Day tickets with the Park Hopper and Water Park add-ons, which would cost $739.12. It’s not much of a savings. However, two 3-Day and one 4-Day tickets with the Park Hopper and Water Park add-ons would cost a total of $1040.52. So again, it’s really not worth buying the 10-Day ticket unless you will get at least three vacations out of it. However, with the Water Park add-on, those three vacations could be longer, because you can have up to a total of 20 days of fun with the ticket (10 major theme park days + 10 water park/DisneyQuest/etc. admissions). For example, you could take one 6-day and two 7-day vacations on that one ticket! See below for tips on how you can get a lot of value out of the Water Park Fun & More add-on.
If a 10-day No Expiration ticket will not cover at least three vacations, it is not a good buy. If you will have to “supplement” it by purchasing another 1-, 2- or 3-day ticket for one of your vacations, it will cost you more than just buying separate tickets for each vacation.
Important note: it is difficult to find out how many theme park days and water park admissions remain on a ticket until you arrive at Walt Disney World and check with Guest Services, so it’s important to keep track of this information if you are going to use the tickets during multiple trips. I put a sticky note on each ticket and write down how many theme park days and water park admissions remain.
If you are a repeat visitor to Walt Disney World and you like to use “No Expiration” tickets over the course of multiple visits, I highly recommend buying them now, while they are still available.
I believe it is likely that Disney will be eliminating the “No Expiration” option on Magic Your Way tickets very soon, probably when the MyMagic+ system with RFID-tagged tickets/wristbands is rolled out.
The “No Expiration” option has already been removed from the new Walt Disney World tickets website and it has also been removed from the ticket booth signs, though you can still have the option added at the ticket booths if you ask for it specifically.
- For the best prices on No Expiration tickets, check out Undercover Tourist.
The Water Park Fun & More option gives you a certain number of “visits” to the water parks and/or DisneyQuest (as well as other options, most of which are less valuable). It can be added to any Magic Your Way ticket.
Water Park Fun & More “visits” DO NOT have to be used on the same day as your main theme park admissions! They are completely separate admissions and they are good for 14 days from the first use of your ticket (or forever, if you purchase the No Expiration option). For example, you could buy a 7-Day Base Ticket, add the Water Park Fun & More option (which gives you 7 water park or DisneyQuest admissions), and use that ticket on up to 14 different days! You can visit the theme parks and the water parks/DisneyQuest in any order.
MouseSavers.com reader Tim G offers a different perspective: he likes the Water Park Fun & More add-on because you can use the water park “visits” on the same day as the theme park admissions, so you can effectively “hop” (between a water park and a theme park, not between major theme parks) without buying the Park Hopper option. He points out that for some people it may make sense to visit a water park all day and when it closes (typically around 5:00 pm), “hop” to a theme park and spend the evening there. He particularly likes to schedule those post-water park evenings to correspond with showings of special theme park events that are only offered on limited dates, such as the Main Street Electrical Parade and Fantasmic!. He points out that since he’s already done those special evening events on his water park days, on a different day he can visit that theme park all day when the special event (i.e., Fantasmic!) is not showing, which means lower crowd levels that day.
Tip: if you use a “visit” from your Water Park Fun & More add-on for the Oak Trail golf course, you must make a tee time reservation in advance. Ask the front desk of your Disney hotel for a free cab voucher to and from the course. The Water Park Fun & More covers your green fee and kids under 18 can borrow clubs for free. Adults will have to rent clubs if they don’t bring their own. Oak Trail is a walking course, but a pull cart can be rented for a small fee.
A neat thing about leftover days on a child’s “no expiration” ticket: if the child has turned 10 since you bought the ticket, he or she will need an “adult” ticket to enter the theme parks. In these circumstances, the child’s ticket may be presented at any Guest Services location, in person only, to have it exchanged for the required “adult” ticket — at no additional charge! This only applies to partially used tickets that have not expired. Thanks to Lois H for the info.
You can apply the value of an unused ticket, or even a partially-used one with days left on it, toward the purchase of a higher-priced ticket or seasonal/annual pass, subject to some restrictions (see below). To upgrade a ticket, go to a Guest Services window, located outside of each major theme park and at Downtown Disney.
- If you haven’t used the ticket at all, they’ll apply the price printed on the ticket to any higher-priced ticket.
- If you have used one or more days of a DISCOUNTED ticket, they’ll apply the current gate price (which will be more than you paid) to any higher-priced ticket. (This is called “bridging” the price.) For this reason, if you’ve purchased a discounted ticket, be sure to use at least one day of your ticket before upgrading!
- As of 6/3/12, price bridging no longer applies if that ticket was originally purchased at full gate price from Disney (except for tickets you bought as part of a Disney vacation package). If you want to upgrade that ticket, you will be credited only for what you actually paid.
- You must upgrade partially used tickets within 14 days of first use OR before the admissions on the original tickets are used up, whichever comes first, even if you have the No Expiration option.
- Magic Your Way tickets cannot be upgraded beyond 10 days total (i.e. if you purchase a 7-day ticket and want to add 3 days, that’s fine, but you can’t add 4 days). Once a ticket has been maxed out at 10 days of admission, the only upgrade possible is to an Annual Pass.
- If upgrading partially used tickets with the Water Park Fun & More feature to an Annual Pass, you must purchase a Premium Annual Pass (which includes the water parks).
Besides adding days to a Magic Your Way ticket, you can also upgrade by adding additional options within 14 days of first use, OR before the admissions on the original tickets are used up, whichever comes first. For instance:
- You buy a Magic Your Way 7-Day ticket without any added options. On the second day of your vacation, you realize you would prefer to be able to “hop” between parks on the same day. You can add the Park Hopper option for $57 ($60.71 with tax) and “hop” for the rest of your vacation.
- You are in Orlando for a two week vacation. You buy a Magic Your Way 5-Day ticket without any added options. You visit the Disney theme parks on the first 4 days of your trip, go to Universal and SeaWorld for a few days, and on the seventh day of your trip, with only one day remaining on your Magic Your Way ticket, it suddenly gets very hot outside, so you want to spend a few days at the water parks. You can add the Water Park Fun & More option for $57 ($60.71 with tax) and get 5 water park admissions to use during the rest of your vacation.
- You buy a Magic Your Way 10-Day ticket and due to a family emergency you have to go home just three days into your vacation. Before you leave, you can add the No Expiration option to your ticket for $292.88 and use the ticket for a future vacation. (Upgrade cost is based on the total number of days you originally purchased, not on the number of days remaining.)
The old Park Hopper and Park Hopper PLUS tickets were no longer sold after January 1, 2005. However, Park Hopper and Park Hopper PLUS tickets that have already been purchased will be honored.
- Unused days and “plus” options on the old Park Hopper and Park Hopper PLUS passes never expire, except for a few very rare types, which will have an expiration date printed on them. So don’t waste them! Even though you may have paid much less per day for your admission, Disney will honor the remaining days without any upcharge. Really old passes may have to be traded for new ones with a magnetic stripe, but they’ll give you the same number of days that remained on the old pass.
- The “plus” options on a Park Hopper PLUS pass do not have to be used on days when you go to the theme parks. That means you can use a 5-Day Park Hopper PLUS (which gives you five days of theme park admission and two “plus” options good at the water parks) on a total of 7 days if you wish! The theme park days and “plus” admissions don’t have to be consecutive and they don’t have to be used in any particular order. For instance, you could spend 2 days in the theme parks, take two days off, visit the water parks on 2 other days and then use the final 2 theme park days.
Old Park Hopper tickets purchased prior to 1/2/05 can no longer be upgraded, or converted to Magic Your Way tickets. All you can do is use up the remaining days on them.
For some people an Annual Pass is the most economical choice. Generally speaking, if you will be going into the Walt Disney World theme parks for more than 11 days in a year, an Annual Pass is well worth considering.
An Annual Pass is good for 366 days. If you buy one on April 8, 2012, it will be valid through April 8, 2013! (Yes, you get an extra day, except in Leap Years.) So if you take an annual vacation to Walt Disney World, just make it a little earlier the second year, and you can use the previous year’s pass. For instance, if you bought and activated your pass on April 8 and vacationed April 8-14 this year, come back next year from April 2-8 and your passes will still be valid. Bingo – “free” admission on your second vacation!
Even for somewhat shorter stays, consider the substantial benefits that are often available to Annual Passholders: hotel discounts, discounts on entertainment, free parking and the opportunity to buy a Tables in Wonderland card that saves 20% on most of Disney’s full-service restaurants. You may find it’s worthwhile to purchase an Annual Pass for at least one person in your party, just for those benefits.
To learn more about buying Disney World Annual Passes, click here.
If you plan to visit Walt Disney World and Disneyland in the same year, it may be worth considering the Premier Passport, which is good for one year of unlimited admission at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World. It offers the same privileges and discounts as a Premium Annual Passport at Disneyland and a Premium Annual Pass at Walt Disney World.
While it’s expensive at $876.54 (including tax), in certain cases the Premier Passport is a great deal. If you would normally buy a regular annual pass on both coasts, or an annual pass on one coast and at least a 3-Day Hopper at Disney World or 4-Day Hopper at Disneyland within a 1-year period, you should definitely price out those options vs. the Premier Passport.
- Walt Disney World Annual Pass ($611.31) + Disneyland Deluxe Annual Passport ($469) = $1080.31.
- Adult 3-Day Walt Disney World Magic Your Way Ticket with Park Hopper option ($318.44) + Disneyland Premium Annual Passport ($649) = $967.44.
- Walt Disney World Annual Pass ($611.31) + Adult 4-Day Disneyland Park Hopper ($275) = $886.31.
In all of the examples above, it’s cheaper to buy the Premier Passport, plus it includes water parks and DisneyQuest at Walt Disney World and gives you better discounts and no blockout dates at Disneyland.
There are no additional discounts on the Premier Passport.
There is also a complicated way to save, which takes advantage of Disney World’s current policy of “bridging” the price of discounted tickets. Buy a Magic Your Way ticket from Undercover Tourist, use it at least once and then within 14 days (but before all days on the ticket have been used up), upgrade it to an Annual Pass. You will be credited for the current gate price of that ticket, as long as it has been through the gate at least once. Thus you retain whatever savings you originally got when you bought the ticket.
However, if the current gate price of that ticket exceeds the price of the Annual Pass to which you’re upgrading, you will not be refunded the difference. So you want to buy a Magic Your Way ticket that offers the biggest savings on the gate price BUT also has a current gate price that does not exceed the cost of the Annual Pass you want to buy. (Confused yet?)
Here’s an example:
- Let’s say you want a new adult Annual Pass. You check the Disney World ticket prices page and determine the current gate price of that pass is $611.31.
- Go to the Undercover Tourist site and identify the tickets with the biggest savings from current gate price.
- Starting with the ticket offering the biggest savings, use the current gate prices of Magic Your Way tickets and work your way down through the list by savings amount, until you find an adult ticket that is just under (or equal to) the current gate price of the pass you want ($611.31).
- I just did this process on 6/3/12 and worked my way down until I found a ticket offering over $79 savings (6 Day with Park Hopper and No Expiration), which has a current gate price of $532.50. Note that this is just an example: Undercover Tourist prices can change at any time and they are even lower if you use the MouseSavers Newsletter private link, so do your own math!
Note that this CAN be combined with Florida resident or DVC member Annual Pass and Premium Annual Pass prices! Technically those are not considered “discounts” but rather a specific ticket type. So you can upgrade from a discounted Magic Your Way ticket to those passes. Again, be sure that the current gate price of the ticket you’re buying will not exceed the discounted price of that Florida resident or DVC member Annual Pass you plan to buy.
One other possible pitfall: if you buy a Magic Your Way ticket with the Water Park Fun & More option, you can upgrade it to a regular Annual Pass ONLY if you have not used any of the Water Park Fun & More “visits” before upgrading. If you have used any of those visits, Disney will only allow you to upgrade to a Premium Annual Pass, which includes water park access.
I also recommend buying an adult Magic Your Way ticket if you plan to upgrade to an adult Annual Pass, or a child ticket if you want a child pass. Yes, the prices of adult and child Annual Passes are now identical, but the passes are still designated “adult” (requires finger scan) and “child” (no finger scan required). I think it’s less likely to create complications when you go for your upgrade if you have the same age group for both ticket and pass.
The math is tricky. Lots of people have done this successfully, but if you find it too confusing, I recommend skipping it. The biggest danger is doing your calculations incorrectly and ending up with a ticket that has a current gate price higher than the target Annual Pass you want to buy. You could end up losing value in that scenario.
Also, personally I would NOT do this if I didn’t plan to upgrade to an Annual Pass in the few months, since Disney could change its bridging policy at any time. However, if Disney discontinues bridging discounted tickets, the worst case scenario is that you’ll simply get credit for what you paid, so you shouldn’t lose any money on the deal.