TMSM Explains: Ticket Exchange AKA What To Do With Your Old Park Tickets
We often get asked “Can I still use this old ticket” when people have found older Disney Park tickets in their homes, or the homes of family members. Quite honestly, converting old Walt Disney World tickets depends on a number of things.To ensure I was receiving proper information on this topic I called Disney Ticketing directly and spoke to a wonderful Cast Member named Jim just to double check some facts. We also wanted to address this topic because there has been a rise in the number of people selling fake tickets online, this is very concerning and we will get into that a little later in the article.
Prior to 2005, park tickets were valid until each day on the ticket was used. In 2005 Walt Disney World introduced the “No Expiration” add-on option. There was an exception to this rule though, select special event and convention tickets did have a life span and were marked with that information. Once Magic Your Way tickets and their add-on “No Expiration” option were introduced in 2005, Walt Disney World tickets automatically expired 14 days after their first use.
What exactly do I get when I exchange an park older ticket?
There is no cash value on valid older tickets, Disney will only do an even day for day ticket exchange. Meaning you can not exchange the value of an older ticket for a Disney Parks Gift card, but it also mean you won’t be paying the difference between the original issue price and the current price. For example if you exchange a 1-day Magic Kingdom ticket purchased in 2001 for $48, for a 1-day 2015 Magic Kingdom ticket that now sells for $105, you will not pay the price difference.
Is there a fee to exchange old tickets?
Yes and no.
If an adult ticket being used by an adult is deemed “exchange-able” to a new MYW ticket there is no fee to exchange an older tickets.
If a children’s ticket is deemed “exchange-able” to a new MYW ticket, if the person using the ticket is over 9 years of age you will have to pay for the difference between the original purchase price and the current adult ticket price.
I have old E-tickets, will these be exchanged the same way 1-day park tickets are?
Unfortunately no. Prior to 1980 guests didn’t pay a flat fee to enter the Magic Kingdom and access all the rides and shows. Instead they purchased a lower priced general admission ticket ($3.50 for an adult in 1971) and separate Adventure books. In 1971 an adult “7 Adventure Book” cost $4.50 and contained 1-A, 1-B, 1-C, 2-D, and 2-E tickets. These older E-ticket vouchers have an option for exchange at face value. Quite honestly, since they are also usually collectors items you may want to consider putting them in a shadow box instead of exchanging them.
How do I find out if my ticket can be upgraded?
You can call Walt Disney Ticketing and ask, but really all they can do is look up the ticket and see if it is still valid and unexpired.
To get the answer you really want, how many days are on the ticket and can it be exchanged, you need to email Disney directly. Disney requests you email them several compressed attachments so that you keep you email at a size less than 2MB, or that you send multiple emails under 2MB in size. Email the following Information to firstname.lastname@example.org. For Disneyland tickets email email@example.com.
- Photograph or scan of the front and back of each ticket
- Photograph or scan of a government-issued ID
- Your full name
- Phone number where you can be reached during the day
Once Disney receives your email they will research the tickets and email you back to let you know how many days, if any, are left on the ticket and if you can exchange the ticket.
Disney emailed back and said I can use my old tickets, now what do I do?
When you arrive at the parks you will take the old tickets to any ticket window, where a cast member will reconfirm your tickets. Once they have done this the old ticket will be exchange for a new RFID card, and the original paper ticket becomes the property of Disney. You can then add this ticket to your MDE account.
Can I use another person’s old ticket Walt Disney World Ticket that I found laying around my new house or that a friend gave me?
Technically no, older tickets should have the original guest’s name written on the front or back of the ticket depending on the ticket style and they are nontransferable. The ticket even notes as much on the back.
But, in many cases the name isn’t on the ticket. At that point it is Disney’s call on how they choose to handle ticket exchange.
Am I allowed to buy a ticket someone is selling on Facebook, Craigslist etc?
No. Older Walt Disney World tickets actually address this issue on the back of the ticket by noting that reselling or transferring of tickets “could result in criminal penalties pursuant to Florida Statue 817.361.” Yes Main Streeters, it is illegal to resell used park tickets in Florida. This law was put in place to protect park goers, because nothing is worse than thinking you got a great deal on some old tickets, than when you get to the ticket booth to exchange and use them, only to realize you bought a ticket that no longer has admission left on it.
In California Disneyland and the local media have actively started a campaign warning potential park guests that they shouldn’t buy tickets from unauthorized resellers. They have been warning these guests of scammers selling “used tickets with days left on them.” Guests will buy these tickets, without confirming with Disney the amount of days the seller says is on the ticket. The buyer will then meet the seller at a agreed upon meeting place and pay cash for the tickets, only to get to the parks and find out they are invalid and have no entry options left on them because the seller actually sold them used-up, voided or worse yet counterfeit tickets.
What if I have a Magic Your Way Ticket, instead of the older tickets where you wrote your name on it, that a friend gave me? Can I submit it and exchange it?
This, like all exchanges, is honestly up to Disney. Along with getting rid of the “ticket for life until you use it option”, several security features were introduced to Walt Disney World tickets after Disney went to the Magic Your Way ticket system. The Magic Your Way ticket system just made it a bit harder for people to illegally resell used park tickets. Bar Codes became customized, prior to this they were a general bar code that basically just told what kind of ticket you had. Biometric systems were improved to help better associate the ticket with it’s original owner. The chances of exchanging Magic Your Way tickets that were purchased and used by another guest are rather slim.
In 2013 Walt Disney World once again changed their tickets by introducing the RFID enabled Magic Your Way tickets and Magic Bands. This change saw the number of physical tickets being issued to park guests drop dramatically because resort guests tickets were now data coded into the My Disney Experience app. In Spring of 2015 Walt Disney World started testing a photo system for those whose tickets were not working at entry. This test has led many to wonder if Walt Disney World would start incorporating Disneyland’s facial photo system into it’s entry process due to some MagicBand abuse issues.
For those wondering about Disneyland’s security features, they still use hand stamps for re-entry and park hopping. As of January 2013 in an attempt to help curb the reseller ticket scams, Disneyland started using a facial photo system. Upon entering the park for the first time with a multi-day ticket, Cast Members take each guests photo with an iDevice. From that point on each time a guest enters the park on that ticket Cast Members compare the photo that comes up on their iDevice with the guest’s face. If that picture doesn’t look like you, you’re not getting into the park.
A special thank you to all the Main Streeters who shared photos of their old tickets today!