We've long warned bargain-hunting theme park fans that a deal that looks too good to be true probably is. Don't bother looking for discounted theme park tickets on Craigslist and other online communities. Your best bet is to buy your tickets directly from the parks or authorized resellers. (A bit on that in a moment.)
Why should you avoid buying Disney or other theme park tickets from someone else? Because there's just too much risk that the tickets you buy won't work. Here's the latest case.
The California Highway Patrol is investigating the theft of 8,000 Disneyland tickets in the Sacramento area this week. The tickets were stolen from a Future Farmers of America parking lot and had been intended for people attending an FFA leadership conference in Anaheim this weekend, local media reported.
Disneyland has cancelled the tickets and issued replacements, authorities said. But that might not stop whoever stole the tickets from trying to make quite a few bucks by selling them. After all, these are going to look like legitimate Disneyland tickets because, up until Disney cancelled them, they were legit Disney tickets.
That's why you can't trust the "look" test when buying Disney or other theme park tickets from anyone other than the park or an authorized retailer. Multiday Disney and Universal tickets are associated with the original user's finger scan or photo the first time they go through the gate. Those tickets cannot be used by anyone else for their unused days. Unused days on legit theme park tickets also often expire after a certain amount of time, too. And even legit tickets can be cancelled by the park, as we see in this case.
So where can you safely buy discounted theme park tickets? We recently surveyed our readers, and in addition to buying tickets directly from theme parks' official websites (where many parks offer advance-purchase discounts), our readers recommend checking with your local AAA or CAA auto club, Costco, your employer's human resources department, or going to official online resellers such as Visit Orlando and Undercover Tourist.
Because the last thing you want on a theme park vacation is to get stopped at the gate and hauled into a police investigation.Tweet
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