Saturday, April 9, 2011

Reader Email: Upgrading a free ticket.


This question comes from Kathy, who writes:

Can I use a free ticket that I got from Disney to pay for my annual pass?

Thanks

Kathy, thank you for your question. I've seen this question a lot lately, possibly due to the recent "Kids Free" promotion where children ages 3 - 9 where given free park admission with their resort stay.  For most of these tickets, whether they are part of this or some other Disney promotion (such as press events) you can't upgrade to an annual pass because it's considered a gift.  This is a departure from promotions such as the Give-a-Day/Get-a-Disney Day promotion where you could take that ticket and use the value of it towards a multi-day park admission or even an annual pass. 

Make sure you read the fine print on any special event ticket.  Here are a few scenarios you may encounter:

  • If you buy discounted park tickets through  Disney when you register to run a Disney half-marathon (such as the Princess 1/2 or the Wine and Dine 1/2), those tickets will have an end date on them, usually around 90-days after the event.  You can't upgrade those tickets and you, or someone else, will need to use that ticket before it expires.
  • Press event tickets usually expire that day.  Essentially, the ticket is "swiped" before you even use it, so if you have an annual pass, the ticket is essentially worthless to you.
  • Tickets under the "Kids Free" promotion are good indefinitely, so if your children have annual passes, you can just save them until you need them. As noted above however, their value can't be applied to an annual  pass renewal.  Those tickets also don't have to be used by your children; you can give them away.  They are good indefinitely.
  • Make sure you don't accidentally "swipe" tickets that you can use later.  For example, with the "Kids Free" promotion, you can have those tickets taken off your room keys so that one of your children doesn't accidentally use it for park admission. Make note of the serial numbers and put it in a safe place until you need it. 
  • Guests sailing out of  New York City on the new 8-day Bahamas cruise will be able to take a day trip to Disney World when the ship docks in Port Canaveral. They'll be given a free ticket that is good only for that day; no upgrading or applying to your annual pass. So far, I haven't heard if there will be any sort of accommodations made for AP holders who've already paid for park admission.

Please send your questions to ChrisW@pixievacations.com.  I'll answer them by email or on the site. Thanks!

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