Dear Lifehacker, I recently booked a family holiday to Tokyo and thought I’d play Super dad by showing my boy Disneyland for his birthday. My question is this: In this day of online discounts and virtual coupons, is there a cheap way to get in the park? We’re there end of August.Thanks, Itchy and Scratchy Money
You’re going to Tokyo and want to take your son to the Japanese Disneyland? Interesting.
As the world’s most popular and iconic theme park chain, Disneyland is often filled to capacity. There are plenty of eager Mouseketeers willing to pay top whack for tickets, which makes worthwhile discounts few and far between.
While Tokyo Disneyland regularly throws sales on its website, most of the ticket deals are linked to additional purchases such as staying at one of their resorts. Unless you’re planning to go all out, these promotions usually aren’t worth it.
One thing you should definitely avoid is the scalper market: park goers often attempt to resell multi-day passes to recoup costs after a single day in the park. Unfortunately, Disneyland has been known to take photos of customers when their passes are being scanned. In other words, a second-hand ticket is likely to get you turned away at the gates.
A completely left-of-field option is to apply for courtesy tickets through the Disneyland media accreditation process. To pull this off, you’ll need to build a well-trafficked blog about travel and theme parks from scratch in less than three months. Not impossible, but probably not worth the time and effort.
A more sensible option is to hit up the park after 3pm. This will entitle you to a “Starlight” pass which is around 30 per cent cheaper than a regular one-day ticket. (There’s also an even cheaper “After 6” pass, but that only gives you a scant four hours to spend in the park.) Just be aware that these passes are only available on Saturdays, Sundays and national holidays.
Incidentally, Tokyo Disneyland probably isn’t as expensive as you’re thinking; especially if just you and your son are going. A single full-day pass for one adult and one child will set you back a total of 11,400 Yen, which works out to around $135. That’s actually cheaper than taking your son to Wet N Wild Sydney!
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