Thursday, June 9, 2011

The facts about sharing Disneyland tickets

This is one of the most popular topics when it comes to purchasing Disneyland tickets so I thought I would create a blog where you could get all the facts you would need to know about sharing Disneyland tickets. So here it goes:

What is Sharing tickets?
Sharing tickets is a term used when someone buys a Disneyland park hopper ticket, uses some of the days on the ticket but not all, then hands it over to someone else whether it is gifted or sold. For example, Joe buys a 6 day park hopper and uses 3 of the days. With 3 days left on the ticket Joe sells it to Lisa who in turn uses the last 3 days.

What is the benefit?
Since Joe spent $216 on his ticket but only used 3 of the 6 days he's now going to sell it to Lisa for $110. Joe saved $110 dollars and Lisa saved $106.

Is sharing tickets okay to do?
Though it is not illegal to sell or buy a used Disneyland ticket, it is frowned upon by the people at Disney. Each ticket clearly states on the back that they are non-transferable, cannot be re-sold, and must be used by the same person each day.

What are the positives of sharing tickets?
As stated above, saving money is the main reason people share tickets. You can save up to half price on tickets when bought and sold this way. For families with children this can add up quickly and in a lot of cases, make trips possible for families to afford.

What are the negatives of sharing tickets?
Even though it is not illegal to buy or sell tickets, Disney reserves the right to do what they want with the ticket as it is their property. If a shared ticket is used and they know about it they could: deny you access to the parks and or confiscate or revoke your ticket.

How do they know the ticket is being shared?
Disney has a team of Cast-members dedicated to stopping you from using a shared ticket. They can track more information about a ticket than most people think. Everything from who purchased it and where to the time, date, and gate number each day on the ticket was used. Tickets are flagged when they believe they have been shared. So when a Cast-member scans your ticket at the gate and it has been flagged, security is notified and you may be subjected to questioning and in ALL cases, deny access to the parks unless new tickets are purchased. Not only is this embarrassing but it can turn out to be very expensive as you just spent money on shared tickets and now must fork out money for new ones as well. 

Can Disney do anything for me as a buyer in this situation?
Disney will absolutely not do anything for you. Disney does not feel bad for buyers of shared tickets who are denied access to the parks. They assume that you know and understand the terms and conditions of the tickets before purchase and use. They know that in most cases the buyers know that they should not buy from 3rd party sellers.

What about sellers?
Sellers may end up losing a lot of money, especially the ones who do this for a living. When Disney denies a buyer access and confiscates their shared ticket and they are forced to buy new ones or not attend at all, they go right back the to seller for their money. If the seller is required to refund the buyer in cases such as a charge-back from a buyers credit card company or though auction protection like eBay, they could lose a lot of money. Not only that but they may have contributed to ruining a families hard earned vacation if they are denied access to the parks. In some cases a seller may be selling a buyer a completely used up ticket that is no longer usable.

What happened in early Spring 2011?
Around this time, Disney decided that they would start checking the history of their 6 day park hopper tickets (these were being shared the most) and make the customer print their name on the back of the ticket (as is required). When guests with shared tickets got to the gate and were asked the exact days the tickets had been used previously, most had no idea and were denied access. A lot of people including buyers and sellers lost a lot of money. Disney still checks their 6 day park hopper tickets to this day and will continue to do so until a new secure identity system is installed (like the thumb scanners found at Disneyworld). This course of action along with an ID check may be passed along to the other tickets as well.

So should I buy shared tickets?
At this point in time there is a lot of risk involved in purchasing shared tickets from someone else. You just never know for sure if the ticket is valid or not or if it has been flagged by Disney. There is NO WAY of checking whether a ticket is good or not before using it at the gate. Disney does this for a reason. If you as a buyer are willing to take the risk that you may lose your money and or be denied access to the parks then buying shared tickets may be right for you. You could estimate that 45% of people using shared tickets are being caught. That number is on the rise.

Should I sell my ticket/tickets?
Disney is not going to sue you for selling your ticket. Again, it is not illegal because Disney's terms and conditions are not legally enforced nor are they laws, they only apply to their property. The biggest risk for a seller is receiving a charge-back or a dispute from the buyer. In these cases the buyer will most likely win and you will be forced to refund their money and take the lose. Even cash transactions can go wrong when police are involved in what may seem like fraud whether you meant to or not.

The over-all picture.
The over-all picture is this: Disney is a business and needs to make money in order to keep all of your favorite rides up-to-date and running as well as building new ones that you can enjoy in the future. Yes they make a killing on food and merchandise and it seems outrageous to pay their prices but this is something that should be planned for in advance. There is ALWAYS risk when buying or selling shared tickets.

This information was compiled by current and former employees.