The least expensive Disney park tickets you’ll ever buy are just 13.1 miles away. If you enter certain Disney half-marathons (and Disney 5Ks), you’re eligible to buy discounted park tickets for you and your party. It works this way. When you sign up for a marathon, you’ll get a code emailed to you that allows you to buy these tickets by calling 407-WDW-IRUN. These tickets are a huge savings. For example, for the upcoming Princess half-marathon weekend in February, runners can purchase a two-day park hopper for $129; a three-day hopper costs just $174. These tickets for adults usually run $230.04 and $296.07 respectively.
These tickets are an especially good deal when you consider that Disney rarely makes deeply discounted tickets available. For example, if you buy from a discount broker authorized by Disney (the only way you should purchase tickets outside of buying from Disney or your travel agent directly, by the way), you’ll save $10 to $20 on a seven-day park hopper. To save any more than that, you’re probably looking at dealing with an unscrupulous broker selling used tickets, something you obviously want to stay away from. This is why marathon tickets are such an extraordinary deal and the great news is that since you can purchase tickets for your entire group, the savings really add up. The only kicker? One of you is going to have to run. But remember that most 5K races are included in this offer, so you won’t have to run an entire half-marathon. These tickets are a good way to push you if you’re a runner looking for a reason to visit but were intimidated by the price of park admission for your whole family. They can also motivate casual runners to sign up for a race and–literally–go that extra mile.
Tickets are available for most Disney marathons except the January marathon weekend. You can also reserve discounted rooms at certain resorts, however make sure you also look for general public and annual pass discounts as well, as they are sometimes a better deal. Remember that you can make these room reservations under one discount code and change it later if a better one becomes available.
Should you purchase a ticket and not be able to use it, you can give it away or keep it to use at another time. Tickets are valid for 90 days from the date of the race, but this can always change so make sure you verify this. I bought a 3-day hopper in October and then ended up buying an annual pass. I wasn’t allowed to take the value of my discounted ticket and upgrade to the pass, as you would with a normal park ticket, but they did tell me that I could give the ticket to someone else, as it is good until the end of the year. If you plan on doing this, make sure you don’t use the ticket while you’re there, because like most Disney park tickets, they are only valid up to 14-days from the first day of use.
Finally, one very important point. You must purchase these tickets before you leave. You can’t buy them at Disney World. Disney will mail your tickets to your home or you can pick them up at any will call window once you arrive.
Photo copyright Walt Disney Company.