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Mama_of_3_Kids posted 1/1/2014 14:34 PM

I know this topic has come up before, but we're finally going to be able to do our WDW trip (and see some SI'ers along the way), this summer. We're going to be able to do the majority of the trip for under $1500 (including gas, food, lodging, etc). The main part, that we aren't sure on, is how to get our tickets for a better price than what's on their site. Any discount sites or ways to get tickets for less? We're only going to do MK for one day (our kids want to do the beach and other activities that we don't have access to in the Great Arctic North), but even that is almost $500. Tips, ideas, etc would be greatly appreciated TIA!

Lucky2HaveMe posted 1/1/2014 16:18 PM

AAA offers discounts - or at least they used to.

metamorphisis posted 1/1/2014 17:54 PM

When are you going?
Onsite or Offsite?
If you are staying offsite and doing day trips I have one set of discount advice and if you are staying onsite I have others.

Disney rarely discounts their tickets but there is a way. They offer the Disney Youth Education Series. It's for groups but they do offer individual enrolment classes at certain times of the year. Through those classes your kids get to take a class (My kids did Ocean Wonders in the Living with the Seas pavilion but there are several different ones. Again, limited to the time of year (off season) but they are fun, only a few hours and offer discounted tickets for the whole family.

You can price them here and see the terms and conditions..

Select Disney World instead of Disneyland and you can see the offerings and dates The deepest discounts will be offered if you select the waterparks and more tickets, and then you'll get entry into the waterparks a few days too.

Mama_of_3_Kids posted 1/1/2014 18:22 PM

Thanks, Meta. I'm looking at either option, for lodging (there are some great lodging rates in the Downtown Disney area)...I was hoping you would see this, since you're like the SI Queen of Disney

jrc1963 posted 1/1/2014 19:23 PM

Technically Mama... you're looking in the the Lake Buena Vista area... Downtown Disney Hotels would consist of the Hotels on Hotel Plaza Blvd only and are within walking distance of Downtown Disney itself. (Which is actually on Disney Property and run by Disney)

But the ones you showed me were pretty decent and not unreasonably far from the Disney Property.

PS: If you guys wanted to do a Waterpark while you're here... I recommend Typhoon Lagoon and DS and I have annual passes so we could meet you there!

ETA: I don't know how to type anymore!

[This message edited by jrc1963 at 7:24 PM, January 1st (Wednesday)]

20Hopeful16 posted 1/1/2014 19:52 PM

I have bought through a website called Mapleleaf Tickets and one called Undercover Tourist for less than gate prices. I don't think its a huge discount for single day tickets, but better than nothing.

homewrecked2011 posted 1/1/2014 19:55 PM

I took a trip to disney several years ago and went thru a travel agent. Please go in and see one --- do they still have offices? LOL Even if you have a Sams card, I think they have a travel agency.

Anyway, they got so much for us for really cheap, including a rental car for a week, because I didn't want to be stuck on the road with a broken down vehicle, free food vouchers, and a coupon for 1 free thing for each person ---like a free boat ride or free picture, etc.

Try to go EARLY in the summer -- like the first week school is out if you can,,,very few people go then.

If you stay off Disney property, you will have a LONG line in the morning getting into the park. The plus side is, your hotel will have drink machines and you can go out to eat relatively cheap. If you stay on a Disney property, there are NO vending machines on Disney property, but bring your own drinks /food and you can come to your room in the heat of the day and chill out with a swim, then ride the bus or rail or boat to the firework show at night, and you get extended hours to be in the park.

We stayed at the Yaucht and Beach club,remember a travel agent can probably get that resort really cheap for you.....

Hope yall have a great time!

jjsr posted 1/1/2014 21:21 PM

If your hotel room has a fridge, I would hit up a local supermarket and get some lunch meat or something for sandwhiches to save some cash on meals. Also buy packs of water in the bottle. You can take them into the parks. Also they have Blizzard Beach which is a great way to spend the day in the water. Also if you stay at one of the hotels in Downtown Disney they are cheaper then Disney resorts. We stayed at the one and got a coupon out of one of the coupon books you can pick up along the highway and had a great room that slept 5 for $60 a night.

I think I can posted 1/2/2014 08:36 AM

my top three tips--hard to narrow down!

1. Have a list of what you truly must see. Let everyone have a chance to weigh in. But one person has to be in charge of what ORDER you see them in. No just wandering around until afternoon. Get everyone on board with this plan.

2. Get there at least one hour before the gates open. You will see twice as much this way, and spend 1/2 the time doing it.

3. If you have a smart phone, get the Lines app--it will arrange the attractions in the most efficient order depending on the day and time you visit. Trust the program. If you don't have a smartphone, let arrange your day for you. Tell it what you want to see, and it will tell you what order to do it in.

Oh yeah, bonus tip--if you plan to eat at a sit down restaurant, make reservations 60-90 days in advance. You can blow off the reservations later if you want to.

purplejacket4 posted 1/2/2014 16:32 PM

If you want your kids to do a character dinner you need to reserve six months in advance. Kids only up yo 8 or 9 generally enjoy this.

Mama_of_3_Kids posted 1/2/2014 16:59 PM

Thanks, everyone. We're planning on going in mid-May; it looks like prices for everything are better then. None of the kids really want to do the character dinner (DD would be the only one who would think it was cool). We're thinking of actually staying at a KOA for the majority of the trip (on the way down, near Orlando and then on the way back). Y'all have some really nice (and economical) KOA's in the southern states! Our KOA's are just as expensive (for a cabin) and don't have the partial kitchen or personal bathroom (with a shower) We like camping, so this seems like a good compromise. When we go toward the ocean (not sure where, just yet), we'll stay in a hotel for two nights. Since we'll have a partial fridge (or at the very least a mini-fridge and micro), we will plan on eating at the cabin pretty much every meal (except for maybe the last two nights). I'll have to look into the Typhoon Lagoon. We attend church with a travel agent, so see if she can help us with anything.

vcr1995 posted 1/3/2014 09:29 AM

We live about an hour away and have had year passes for 18 years. A little magic you can do for your Dr (mine was amazed by this) if you can go to Michael's and buy a few individual jewels slip them hidden in a pocket. At Magic Kingdom go on Philarmagic (it's a 3d movie) and in the scene where jewels are floating in the water pretend to grab the out of the air.

Make sure to figure out fast pass before you go and utilize it.

Look into Gatorland. My 8 year old dd adores this place. If it was Disney or Gatorland she'd choose Gatorland. She loves animals. It is low cost compared to other places.

If someone is willing to meet you there, they usually offer a Fl resident special play 3 days for around $130 dollars or $160 for 4 days. Adults have to have proof or residency but they could buy the tickets for the kids.

homewrecked2011 posted 1/5/2014 08:41 AM

May is a fantastic time to go to Disney!!!

It's not crowded and the weather is usually beautiful!

One of the disney resorts is a campground, I believe.

homewrecked2011 posted 1/5/2014 08:45 AM

Also, I'm not sure where you live, but if you are coming down 95 from up north,,,,Myrtle Beach is on your way and it is loaded with campgrounds directly on the beach!

We stay at Ocean Lakes, but there are many. Pool, game room, playground, and it sits directly on the beach. Camping and rental campers are available.

Kajem posted 1/5/2014 09:00 AM

St. Augustine is along I95 and Anastasia state park campground is located in the hammock just off the beach. You have access to the beach after the park closes. St . Augustine is the oldest city .

Have fun!


Mama_of_3_Kids posted 1/5/2014 09:37 AM

We will be taking I75 and will be stopping in Kentucky (to see an SI'er) and will also stop (for the night) in Chattanooga.

survivingslowly posted 1/6/2014 11:03 AM

We just booked to go to Disney World for Feb. We are staying on site and with the booking, get a 3 day hopper pass.

My question is: Once inside the parks, do you still need to pay to get into events, rides etc.?

I've been doing research on their website, but it is soo massive that it gets confusing.

We are taking our 3 kids, ages 10, 12, and 14.

The 12 year old hates rides. Will their be other stuff to do?

Thanks, didn't mean to threadjack, but reading this is very timely to my situation that I thought I would just add my question here instead of start a new thread.


TrulyReconciled posted 1/6/2014 11:29 AM

There's always the *real* hopper pass ...

Lyonesse posted 1/6/2014 11:43 AM

My question is: Once inside the parks, do you still need to pay to get into events, rides etc.?

No. That is why the tickets are so expensive - you have already paid for the entertainment and rides. However, meals and souvenirs are not included and can be very expensive!

The 12 year old hates rides. Will their be other stuff to do?

Yes, there are lots of shows and movie experiences. But there are really a variety of rides - I am not a big amusement park person (roller coasters, etc.) but the Disney rides are entertaining - 12 yo will probably enjoy some based on films he/she knows.

You might want to get the Unofficial Guide to Disneyland/World from your library or AAA - it breaks down how to best "do" the Disney parks. It's a major investment to take your family, so it is worth figuring out how to make the most of it.

neverendinghurt posted 1/8/2014 02:42 AM

Mama - you intend to do Magic Kingdom and no other park right?

Then make sure you only pay for a 1 day base ticket not a hopper.

To get the most out of the the ticket price check opening times before you go for each day you are in the area and go on the day with the longest opening hours, that way you will fit more in and get the most out of your ticket.

Get up early that day and eat a good breakfast, take snacks to the park with you. Wear comfy clothes and shoes (all of you).

What is important to you and your family? Riding rides, seeing characters, watching the parade, seeing shows? Think about it and try and plan your day accordingly.

If you only intend to do that one park there is no point staying on property.

Do not under any circumstances be tempted to buy tickets on ebay/craigslist or similar - there are a lot of fakes out there.

One thing we have benefited from is having a Disney Credit Card, we use it to buy gas and food and pay the balance every month, we earn points to spend at Disney, the points can be used for tickets, hotels, food, or purchases.

I am not here at SI very often any more but I will check back in a day or so, if you have any more questions.

ETA: With one day in a park I would forgo a sit down meal and go with quick service.

[This message edited by neverendinghurt at 2:44 AM, January 8th (Wednesday)]

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