Disney World Tickets - The Truth About DiscountsNOTE: There are no affiliate links on this page, nor have I chosen any ads if they appear on this page. That means that I have no financial incentive to recommend any company for Disney tickets.
I'm writing this page because after doing a lot of research, I was misled into thinking I had found the best deal on Disney World tickets, as recommended by MouseSavers (using a secret link, no less!). Fortunately, I found out the truth before Disney raised the prices on me as I waited for the 'secret link.' I became suspicious when a book referred to the MouseSavers recommendation as a "Sweetheart deal."
Summary - Just Read ThisAuthorized sellers of Disney World tickets only get a small price break, and have their own costs. As a result, there normally are not big discounts. For a 5-day ticket, I was seeing a discount ranging from 2.3% to 4.9%. However, there was one major exception: a company that averaged a discount of over 8%.
The reason for that was pretty simple: they were not located in Florida, and do not have to pay the 6.5% Florida admission tax' -- and pass much of that savings on to you.
If you don't want to read further, go to Park Savers and save about 8%. If you have a bit more time, compare their prices to some others (be sure to add in any taxes/fees). As I write this, for 4 adult 6-day Park Hopper passes, you'll save $77.28 over the MouseSavers 'secret link' deal (and $142.64 off Disney prices).
The Bonus 6.5% Discount - TaxThe key is that most Disney World ticket resellers are located in Florida, and have to pay the Florida 6.5% 'admission tax' (technically not a sales tax).
So if Disney sells a ticket for $100 ($106.50 after tax), the reseller might pay $93 for the ticket. But, like Disney, they have to charge you the 6.5% tax. So if they sell you the ticket for $95, you pay $101.12 with the tax.
But, if the ticket seller has no presence in Florida, they have no obligation to pay any taxes to the state. So they buy that $100 ticket for $93 like the Florida-based reseller, charge you $95, and you only have to pay $95. And you save an extra 6.5% or so.
What About Use Tax?For the people out there that are both knowledgeable and honest, you may be wondering about 'use tax.'
'Use tax' is a tax charged by states when you buy something out of state and pay no tax or less tax than you would if you bought it in your own state. So if your state charges 5% sales tax, and you go to the next state over and buy something tax-free, you are may be required to pay a use tax on it.
However, there are several reasons this may not apply here (it likely varies from state to state). The first is that this likely only applied to sales tax (the Florida tax is a 'taxable privledge' tax, different from sales tax), and second, your state may exempt admissions (as is the case with Massachusetts).
The Bum MouseSavers DealWhen I did my research, I quickly came upon MouseSavers -- and it looked like they were out to save people big bucks. And to an extent, they do (I found out about an Orbitz coupon to save on a Disney hotel room). But their 'sweetheart deal' with Undercover Tourist is good for MouseSavers and Undercover Tourist -- but not for you.
To get their 'secret link' price, you have to sign up for a newsletter, and wait until the 15th of the month. Meanwhile, during this time, there's a chance the Disney prices could go up (wiping out any potential savings). They don't tell you what the extra discount is, so you have to wait to find out. That secret link? It only saves about $1 per ticket. Better than nothing, but far from the best deal out there. MouseSavers likely makes more than that $1.