Here's How To Give Yourself The Best Shot At Getting Disney World Tickets For Your Vacation Dates

Visiting Walt Disney World is a goal many people share, but it is no small feat to accomplish. The four theme parks that compose the Floridian attraction are all major crowd drawers. In fact, each theme park takes a spot in the 2022 TEA/AECOM Theme Index Report when it comes to the number of visitors. Magic Kingdom gets the highest rank with 17 million-plus sightseers, Hollywood Studios follows at No. 6 with 10.9 million guests, Epcot in the ninth spot with 10 million visitors, and Animal Kingdom in the 10th with 9 million tourists.

So, yes, getting a ticket at any of the parks can be challenging, especially if you're looking at peak days. Fortunately, it's not time to throw in the towel on your dream Disney World vacation just yet. Follow these pieces of advice to get the best shot at getting a hold of tickets to the park on your preferred vacation dates.

Purchase Disney World tickets in advance

Planning really is the name of the game when it comes to a successful Walt Disney World vacation. Without a plan, you'll be hard-pressed getting tickets for your preferred dates. So many questions need to be answered, and you really have to take some time to process them. These include your trip date and whether it will be a peak season, as well as creating a park visitation schedule and identifying your must-visit sites. You'll also have to account for the crowds, and using tools such as a crowd calendar can make for an effortless trip.

The number of days you'll be spending in the park and the parks you'll be visiting will help you decide if you should get a multi-day ticket, a Park Hopper or an annual pass, and so on. Disney offers 8-day, 9-day, and 10-day tickets, where you'll pay less as the number of days increases. However, Disney tickets are limited to 10-day passes only, so if you will spend more than 10 days at Disney World, you'll need to buy more tickets. A Park Hopper allows you to visit another park after 2 p.m., though an annual pass provides this benefit too.

There's also whether you should stay on-site or off-site. Booking a resort might be the answer to a blocked-out date for day tickets. On the Disney World website, simply pick "Select Resort Hotels" to see if your preferred dates are available for booking at a Disney property.

Buy your Disney World tickets from legitimate sources

The Disney website is just one of the legitimate sources to get park tickets. Why are we even saying this? It's because there are plenty of places — online and even offline — where you can buy Disney World tickets, but buyers beware. You should avoid these shady operators if you don't want to add frustration and disappointment to your weather woes when you arrive at the gate. Buying from these illegitimate sources is a surefire way of not getting the dates you want or any form of park admission.

Some reputable Disney World ticket brokers include Costco Travel, Sam's Club, AAA, Parksavers, and Undercover Tourist. A few things to keep in mind when buying Disney tickets: First, they're non-transferable, so someone offering two days worth of their four-day ticket is very likely a scammer. And Florida law doesn't allow the resale of such tickets, i.e., partly used. Stay away from Craigslist, eBay, any website with "Disney" in the URL, or any online ticket broker that only wants to get paid via Western Union or cash.

Check the Disney World calendar frequently

Sometimes getting the ticket dates you want requires patience — or maybe a lot. But one thing's for sure: If your preferred dates are sold out, try checking again. As in, come back to the site later or refresh the page. Chances are you might just see an opening. People's plans can change, and so does ticket availability. A last-minute cancellation may be your ticket to, well, a ticket. Note, however, that this tip only applies to multi-day tickets, as with 1-day, 1-park tickets, you're paying for a specific park entrance without room to change dates.

A neat trick from Nerd Wallet that you may not have heard before can be used by those who speak a different language. If you speak Spanish, French, Japanese, or Portuguese, try switching the Disney World website to that language; you just might see available dates open. It's not clear why this is the case, but hey, we'll take it.

Add on a Park Hopper

Another way you can visit your favorite Disney World park is by paying extra for a Park Hopper. This option allows you to visit one more park other than the one you made a reservation. It works like this: After 2 p.m. and after entering the park you bought the ticket for, you can make your way to another park and enjoy the rest of your day there.

This is more of a last resort tactic in the worst-case scenario that there isn't any availability for the dates you prefer. Chances are another park will have space for you, so you book a reservation there. When park hopping hours start, i.e., after 2 p.m., you can head over to the other park without reservation. However, remember that this isn't a perfect tactic; you may still not be admitted to the second park on days when it's too busy. If you can live with that, then go ahead and get that Park Hopper option.

But, if you bought a multi-day park ticket, park hopping might not be for you. Perhaps you should skip this option as you can certainly allot one full day for one park and enjoy your time there. It's really up to you, though.

Consider a travel planner

Disney World tickets can be bought as part of a vacation package or through a travel agent. If you have your heart set on your preferred dates but can't book them on your own, perhaps it's time to ask the help of a travel agent. Having the assistance of a travel agent can be a lifesaver, especially for those who'll be going on this trip for the first time.

There are tons of details that go into a Walt Disney World vacation, and perhaps you just don't have the capacity or energy to deal with it all. You certainly don't have to. A travel agent has more resources and the network to get you tickets to the theme parks on your desired date than you do, plus a sprinkle of additional perks. If you leave it up to them, you can focus on preparing for your trip and being on vacation mode once you arrive.