Some theme parks outside the United States, such as Universal Studios Singapore, sell tickets tied to a specific date of use, but for the most part in the U.S., once you buy a theme park ticket it advance, you can use it on any date. On extremely busy days, parks might stop selling tickets at their on-site ticket booths, but we can't remember a park declaring a date "sold out" in advance. So there's no incentive to buy a theme park ticket more than a few days in advance... unless you are trying to beat a price increase.
Have you bought your theme park tickets yet, whether they be Disney, Universal, or some other theme park? Or do you have an annual or seasonal pass to a theme park?
How many of you, right now, are holding a valid theme park ticket? It could be a multi- or single-day pass you've bought in advance of a trip at some future date... or unused days on an old Walt Disney World ticket with the "no expiration" option... or an unused comp ticket... or an annual or seasonal pass... anything that you can use to go straight into the park without having to go online or to a ticket booth to buy a ticket first.
Right now, I have annual passes to Disneyland and Universal Studios Hollywood, as well as some unused days on an old 10-day, no-expire Walt Disney World ticket. But, hey, this ismy job. ;^)
Tell us in the comments what you're holding now. And, how far in advance do you tend to buy your theme park tickets? While there's not much incentive to buy day passes early (except, as we said, to beat the price annual increase), many parks offer discounts on seasonal passes when you buy them far in advance. Have you taken advantage of any of those deals? Or is it not worth it to you to offer a park what's essentially an interest-free loan by buying your tickets way in advance of your visit?
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As for when I buy tickets, I generally purchase them a couple days before visiting or leaving on a trip. This prevents issues such as tickets expiring because they aren't used or losing the ticket, and it also allows sufficient time to account for any potential processing delays. If a price increase was announced and I was 100% sure I would be using a ticket, I would purchase early, but otherwise I'd rather pay a few dollars more than risk having something happen and not be able to use the ticket.
In the past, we held San Diego Wild Animal Park AP's, which we usually got for Christmas, because we enjoyed going to the Sunday afternoon concerts during the summer. When they started charging extra for the music, we asked that those pass presents be discontinued.
We come to Florida every year just before Christmas and use a day and sometimes two (if someone comes with us) to see the Christmas festivities.
The last set of 10 day park hopper no expiry lasted us for 7 years.
We are doing pretty good with beating out the yearly increases.
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