Going to Disney World or Disneyland can be a fun experience for the whole family. The tickets may cost quite a bit, but for many people, it’s money well spent. But what if you have Disney World tickets but are unable to go? What can you do with your tickets? Can you use your Disney World tickets at Disneyland, even though they are on opposite coasts?
You cannot use your Disney World tickets at Disneyland. Though both resorts belong to the Walt Disney Company, they are not related to the extent that their tickets are interchangeable, and their pricing is different. But you can transfer ownership of your tickets to someone else via the app.
It’s frustrating to spend money on something you cannot use. Whether that’s the case, or even if you won the Disney World tickets or got them as a gift, it would have been great if you could use them interchangeably.
Unfortunately, that’s not possible. But why can’t you use the tickets at Disneyland, and what other options do you have? Let’s investigate.
Why Can’t You Use Disney World Tickets At Disneyland?
In the past, you could use unused and unexpired Disney World days to enter Disneyland, but not the other way around. This made sense since access to Disneyland is cheaper than entry into Walt Disney World.
However, as of December 2013, this has changed completely, and you can no longer use Disney World tickets to access Disneyland. Disney cites three reasons for this change.
1. The Two Resorts Are Run Separately
Even though both resorts belong to the same company, the Walt Disney Company appointed separate management teams and organizations to each resort.
The two businesses are run differently but belong to the same company.
It makes sense for the resorts to have separate financials because they are different businesses. This means having separate bank accounts, different accountants, and different management.
So, if you pay for access to one resort, it makes sense that that payment would go towards the running costs for that particular resort or business.
Yes, a percentage will go back to the Walt Disney Company, but only after the running costs of the resort have been covered, including maintenance, salaries, taxes, etc.
It would not make sense to make a payment at one business and expect that business to pay the running costs of another business entirely.
Even though it is the same company at the top (the Walt Disney company owns 100% of both resorts), it would skew financial records and visitor numbers if they made the tickets fully interchangeable.
2. Different States Mean Different Laws, Taxes, Etc.
Walt Disney World is located in Florida, on the East Coast of the United States. Disneyland, on the other hand, is on the other side of the country in California, on the West Coast. This has consequences that reach further than just distance.
California has a much higher tax rate than Florida. California’s sales tax is the highest in all of the United States, at 8%. Florida’s sales tax is quite a bit lower, at 6%.
It may seem irrelevant; that’s only a 2% difference. But when you look at the size and scope of each resort, with the sheer number of visitors they get (Disney World received 52 million visitors in 2015, and Disneyland had 27.7 million), 2% is quite a large sum of money.
It makes sense that the tax differences between the two states would cause particular problems in terms of the allocation of taxes if someone paid for a service in one state but used the service in another.
Indeed not an insurmountable challenge for a business of Disney’s size, but still an inconvenience that the corporation decided to avoid.
3. Inconsistencies With Other Disney Resorts
The Walt Disney Company has expanded its resorts considerably over the last few decades.
There are no longer just two options, namely Disney World and Disneyland. There are now also Tokyo Disney Resort, Disneyland Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland, and Shanghai Disney Resort.
This begs the question, if you can use tickets from Disney World at Disneyland, why not at any of the others?
Though this would also make sense, it gets complicated considering that the Walt Disney Company doesn’t own 100% shares of any of the Disney resorts outside of the US.
It only has 80% ownership of the one in Paris, 48% of Hong Kong, 43% of Shanghai, and 0% of Tokyo (that’s right, Disney does not own Tokyo Disney Resort at all, it only gets licensing income).
Imagine the amount of confusion and administrative headaches it would cause if you could use tickets from Disney World at any of these other resorts.
Rather than deal with the accounting nightmare that travel could bring, Disney decided against it.
So, What Can You Do With Your Disney World Tickets?
You have three options to choose from, and it all comes down to what best fits your needs.
1. Transfer Ownership Of Your Tickets
The Walt Disney Company made it easy to transfer ownership of any unused days you have left on your account. So if you know of any friends or family who will be in or around Florida and want to visit Disney World, this is an ideal option.
If you download and install the My Disney Experience app, you can reassign unused tickets to someone else’s account. Just have them also install the app and create a Disney Experience account, then you can quickly transfer your unused Disney credit to them.
2. Keep Your Tickets
One of the great features of Disney World tickets is that you can keep them forever, and they will always be valid (to some extent). Of course, this applies not only to Disney World tickets but also to Disneyland tickets.
Even though there may be an expiration date on the tickets, you can go to the resort in question even years later and use those same tickets.
The only difference is that the tickets may be worth less than what entry costs at that point. But if the current entry fee is higher than the price you paid, Disney World will only charge you for the difference and grant you entry.
So keeping your tickets for another day is an entirely viable option.
3. Get A Disney Incredi Pass
If you haven’t purchased your Disney World tickets, you can buy a Disney Incredi Pass instead. This annual Disney pass will give you access to any of Disney’s resorts five times per year if you pre-book.
As with all Disney’s annual passes, the Incredi Pass was frozen during the Covid-19 pandemic.
But this is slowly changing as the world is getting back on its feet, and renewals have already re-opened. So you should be able to get a new Disney Incredi Pass soon.
Even though Disney allowed you to use Disney World tickets at Disneyland for many decades, the company decided that the administrative headaches were not worth it and stopped it completely.
Luckily you have other options if you’re stuck with some Disney World tickets that you can no longer use, and these tickets will always be valuable.
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