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Don't Get Scammed -- How to Avoid Buying Fake Tickets to Walt Disney World

Feb. 18, 2019
7 min read
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We all love a great deal but, as the saying goes, some deals are too good to be true. When talking about discounts at Walt Disney World, this saying holds as true as ever as fake Disney World tickets trick some would-be visitors each year.

Given that one-day Disney World tickets cost over $100, people naturally look for ways to save money on their visits to the House of Mouse. While there are some legitimate ticket discounts to Disney World available, they're often small discounts. When you see a big discount on Disney tickets, you should be very cautious.

(Photo by Gary Hershorn / Getty Images)

Fake Disney Tickets Are a Real Problem

Pretty recently, a Florida woman was arrested for selling fake Disney World tickets on a site called Offer Up. Where a single-day ticket to Disney World costs more than $100, this woman was selling tickets for $30 each. I've been taking my kids to Disney World for almost a decade now and have never seen a price even close to that low. Typically, you'll save a few percent if you buy tickets through places like Undercover Tourist or hunt around on sites like MouseSavers. And, for shorter one- and two-day tickets, authorized sellers are even less likely to offer discounts. A 70% discount on single-day Disney tickets should be a big red flag that something is likely amiss.

Even today, I see another website has Disney tickets listed for less than $20 apiece. Here's hoping nobody takes a chance on those offers!

How to Avoid Fake Tickets to Disney World

To avoid being scammed in your pursuit to take your family on a more affordable trip to Disney World, common sense is your best weapon -- followed closely by your credit card's charge dispute feature. When buying tickets to Disney World, we recommend sticking to major company names you have heard of and that will still be around if you have problems with your tickets. Buying from a random seller on the internet or person standing outside of a store in Florida isn't nearly as good of an idea as buying via a site with years (or decades) of experience selling Disney tickets.

In addition to authorized Disney ticket sellers (such as Undercover Tourist), there are Orlando-area Walmarts, AAA clubs and even very nice military discounts legitimately available, but again, those are largely household names. If MickeysBestFriend99 is offering you $25 Disney World tickets on Craigslist or eBay, they are likely as real as the Givenchy bag and Ray-Ban aviator sunglasses being sold off a towel on a Manhattan sidewalk.

However, if you have done your homework and decide to spend a chunk of change on discounted Disney tickets from a site you trust is (most likely) legitimate, let your credit card be your insurance policy. There's no guarantee that your card will 100% have your back if things go wrong, but it is a potential layer of protection. If the discount ticket seller is running a "cash only" sort of operation, we recommend running -- not walking -- in the other direction.

Image courtesy of Walt Disney World

Helpful Hints to Save Money on Disney World Tickets

Thankfully, there are legitimate ways to save money on Disney World tickets. Again, you won't generally save a fortune. But, given the price of a Disney World trip, every penny counts. Along with Undercover Tourist, here's a few ideas to consider:

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  • Purchase discounted Disney gift cards to use on tickets. Sam's Club carries discounted Disney gift cards all year long in denominations of up to $500. You'll generally save 4% on the purchase of the gift cards, though you can sometimes stack that savings with Amex Offers and apps like Dosh. If you use a credit card that awards a bonus/cash back at warehouse stores, you're in an even better position.
  • Save on Disney gift cards at Target. Target has very few sales nowadays that can be stacked to take advantage of discounted Disney gift cards. But, if you have a Target Red Card you can save 5% on your Target purchases (including Disney gift cards) every day.
  • Buy Disney gift cards at your grocery store. You probably won't find discounted Disney gift cards at your grocery store. But, you can buy them at full price and use a card like the American Express® Gold Card to earn 4 points per dollar at US supermarkets (up to $25,000 per calendar year; then 1x). When buying gift cards at the grocery store, sometimes you can also rack up fuel points or similar, too.
  • Use points for your Disney tickets. Yes, it is possible to legitimately use your points for Disney tickets -- here's how.
  • Buy a Disney World annual pass. This might seem counterintuitive if you aren't a super regular visitor to Disney World. But, purchasing Disney annual passes can be a great way to save money -- not only on tickets, but on many other Disney World expenses. As we detailed recently, even having one Disney World annual pass in the family makes it possible for savings on parking, meals, buy-up experiences (like Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween and before/after hours special access) and souvenirs: four big expenses for most families bound for Disney World.

Bottom Line

Disney World doesn't discount its tickets very often, and certainly not to the tune of 50% or more. If you find a way to shave 10% off your ticket price, you're doing a great job. If an available discount is much bigger than that, it should make the hair on the back of your neck stand up. Play it safe, buy Disney World tickets from a reputable source and look for other areas of your trip to save big.

Planning a Walt Disney World vacation? Here are some more resources:

Featured image by Summer Hull / The Points Guy

Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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