Disneyland in Anaheim, California is one of the oldest of theme parks (opened in 1955), and remains one of the most popular (the second most annual visitors, behind only Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida).
The standard price for a one day ticket to Disneyland is $76 ($68 for ages 4-10; free for age 3 and under). There are plenty of ways, though, to pay less.
If you’re a member of the AAA auto club, contact them about possible Disneyland discounts.
If you’re only going to Disneyland one time all year for a couple days, there’s no point in looking into an annual passport. But if you’ll be coming a significant number of times, you could potentially save a lot of money.
There are many different annual passports available, for different prices ranging from $184 to $459. How much you pay depends on whether you are a southern California resident, whether you want parking included, and whether you want an unrestricted pass good every day or one with blackout days during the park’s most popular times.
ARES travel is an online travel agency that gives you small discounts when you buy your Disneyland tickets through them. You can also use them to book character breakfasts.
If you get a Southern California CityPass package deal for Disneyland and other southern California attractions (Universal Studios, Sea World, San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park), the total discount is about 30%.
When you purchase tickets online directly from the Disneyland website, you’ll do a little better than buying in person at the gate. They’d rather have you committed ahead of time for a certain period of time than have you come to southern California with its myriad attractions and realize you want to divide up your time and not spend your whole trip at Disneyland.
Be sure to check for temporary additional specials that might be running on the website. You are more likely to find such discounts during offseason. (Disneyland’s slowest periods are roughly January, February, most of March, October other than late in the month for Halloween, November other than late in the month for Thanksgiving, and December other than late in the month for Christmas.) For example, Disneyland might sell adult tickets for the kid ticket price, or add free days to a multi-day ticket.
Disneyland often gives discounts to southern California residents. Check the website for specials if you have ID showing a residence in zip codes 90000-93599.
Disneyland had a nice special for part of 2010 where people who did a day of volunteer work received a free one day ticket to Disneyland. That ended, but that’s the kind of thing you might see if you check the website.
Some large corporations and government agencies have worked out deals for discounted Disneyland tickets for their employees. Check with your Human Resources department.
If you’re going to be staying at a hotel in the area when you go to the park, some hotels will offer discounted Disneyland tickets with a room rental.
Though they’re not nearly as common as for some other southern California attractions, Disneyland coupons are sometimes available at stores such as Costco, Ralph’s and Von’s.
If you are active duty, reserve, National Guard, Department of Defense employee, or retired military, show your military ID at the gate for a discount. Check with your base Morale Welfare and Recreation (MWR) office for specific information of what discounts are available.
If you’re going to be at Disneyland for more than one day, it’ll be cheaper to get a multi-day ticket than to purchase each day’s ticket individually.
One way to reduce the cost of admission is to use your time more efficiently so that you can do as much or more in fewer days, and thus pay admission for fewer days.
A very helpful accessory for achieving this is Ridemax. Ridemax is software that takes all the available data about wait times and gives you a suggested itinerary to hit all your desired attractions in the least possible time. It costs $15 for a 90-day subscription, and $25 for a full year.
Don’t forget that Disneyland also uses the FastPass system for most of its attractions, which is another way to save time (and thereby save money by coming to the park fewer days). FastPass allows you to reserve a spot for a certain time and then come back, rather than stand in line that whole time.
TSA California teachers
If you’re a member of ACSA, CTA, CRTA or First Financial Credit Union, check the TSA Special Services website for Disneyland discounts.
Some southern California universities have discounted Disneyland tickets available for their students. Check at your Student Union.
One way to save money that you should be wary of is if you see offers on places like eBay and Craigslist from people who’ve used part of a multi-day ticket and want to sell the remaining days at a discount. Disneyland tickets clearly state “Not For Sale. Non-Transferable. Must be used by the same person, all days.” You can gamble that they’ll never know, they’re not going to check, etc., but this is risky and not recommended.
Betsy Malloy, “Disneyland Discount Tickets.” About.com.
Betsy Malloy, “Disneyland Tickets.” About.com.
“Disneyland Discount Tickets.” Family Vacation Getaways.
“Disneyland Vacation Discounts and Deals.” MouseSavers.