I was recently asked buying tickets for a Disney trip - where/how/discounts/etc...
There are few different ways to buy tickets, but I'll say that the discounts are given sparingly.
- Annual Pass - I've heard the break-even amount for an annual pass is about 10 days - if you're considering free parking and hotel discounts. But, that was before they seriously upped the price. I'm not sure of the break-even point now, but if you're going for more than 2 weeks, it's definitely the way to go.
- AAA discounts - if you're a member of AAA, the old favorite for roadside assistance, they generally offer discounts, both room and resort. I'm not sure of the specifics, but if you're a member, definitely check it out!
- 3rd Party Vendors - There are several different places that sell official brand new Disney World park tickets. The trick? My understanding of 3rd parties is that they purchase tons of tickets and hold on to them, so they paid for them in 2008 at the 2008 price, can mark them up now, and still save you a LOT of money from WDW directly.
- Walt Disney World - Another option - if you're willing to pay the money up front, consider buying a 10 day WDW ticket with the no expiration option. Instead of $80 per day, you end up around $30 per day. The problem is paying for the money up front.
- Along the same lines - consider buying multiple tickets to save for later on! Ticket prices will always go up, but until you start a ticket (unless you pay extra for no expiration), it remains valid!
- Buy before you go so you can avoid standing in line at the TTC (or any entrance of the theme parks)
- Special deals -
- Military Discount - WDW has been offering amazing Disney discounts for military service men/women and family for the past few years. As a member of the Army, I'm hopeful they continue this.. but if they don't offer the special amazing salute...
- Military ticket booths - Sell tickets, similar to 3rd party vendors. Disney's Shades of Green also offers discounts as well.
To find the best option for you, Touring Plans has a "best ticket calculator" that helps you figure it out, included in your Touring Plans subscription! Make sure to click my link to take you over to Touring Plans (and if you've been listening to recent episodes of WDW Today, they've been giving out 20% discount codes almost every episode!)