Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Planning 101: Tickets

The first thing I researched for our great adventure was tickets. As I had mentioned before, we were going to be on our trip to California for nine days. Within these nine days, we would visit the Disneyland Resort, Universal Hollywood, and the D23 Expo.

For those of you who do not know, D23 is an official fan club created through Disney. The club was established in 2009 and is most known for sharing and involving the community in The Disney Company’s rich history. Every two years, D23 has an expo where many pieces of the company come together to showcase various aspects of what was and will come from The Disney Company and its affiliates. I have been part of this club since 2011.

In December, D23 began sending out the member ticket prices and early bird rates for this marvelous affair. I took advantage of their early bird offer and saved $102.00 (nearly 30% of the cost for general admission) for both or our tickets.

Gus, my husband, was the one who was responsible for the savings on our Disneyland Resort Tickets. He found out that our financial institution had a fantastic rewards program that offered Disneyland Park Passes. The best part was that these were Two-Day Park Hopper Passes. All we had to do was build up our points on our bank credit card. By using the credit card to pay bills and expenses, it would allow us to get 2 points per dollar spent (using their debit card would get us 1 point per dollar spent). So in terms of saving, we essentially got these tickets for free.

Finally, I want to talk about Universal Hollywood. I would like apologize just in case I offend any Universal enthusiasts. Unfortunately for me, they were terrible to deal with. Typically in Universal Orlando, there are tons of promotions available. This is especially true around the time of their Mardi Gras and Halloween Horror Nights events. Whether it has been through Coke-a-Cola promotions, Florida Resident Discounts and other promotions, Gus has ALWAYS been able to save on tickets when he has gone to this park.

Over the span of seven months, I was given various methods that would guarantee us a discount on our set of one day park tickets. I was also told that in order to receive any of these discounts, I would have to wait until the day of our arrival in the park to purchase the tickets. In a last attempt to get things settled before our trip, I called two weeks  before our adventure was set to begin to see if there was any way to purchase the tickets ahead of time. The representative delivered the news I expected and more. None of the discount methods I had been advised of would work.

When doors are closed, God opens another.

After feeling that I had been lied to for the past several months, I was not happy. I asked to speak to a supervisor and told him our story. I also told him how mislead I felt about all the information I was given. This supervisor was kind enough to give me a special discount at the gate. It would guarantee 25% off of our total for general admission. It saved us about $43 (my total included the lowest parking fee) on both our tickets.

The one thing I learned on this journey is that no matter what is blocking your way, you have to at least try to get around it. Asking about a discount or promotion will get you a lot farther than just assuming it isn’t possible.

What have been some of the best/worst experiences you’ve had with getting tickets for your vacation?

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