Disneyland Ticket Question/Problem Due to COVID

lightguy

Active Member
Original Poster
I've answered peoples questions before, but I don't think I've ever ask one of my own. We've been to WDW many times but never to DL. We had a trip planned for the summer of 2020, but COVID took care of that. Unfortunately, we bought DL tickets through Undercover Tourist about a month before COVID hit and DL shut down. The tickets had an expiration date of January 2021, which Disney subsequently extended to December of 2021. Disneyland didn't reopen to out of state guests until mid June of 2021 and by then we had already canceled our rescheduled trip because no-one knew when the parks would reopen in the spring when we had to make arrangements. If you do that math, we only had a total of 7 months- 1 month before the park closed and 6 after it reopened to out of state guests- that these tickets were valid for us to use. The issue isn't that the tickets are now expired, it's that we need park reservations and can't book them without valid tickets.

We're trying to actually go to Disneyland this summer- June 2022- and so I've spent literally 10's of hours on the phone with DL and Undercover Tourist trying to straighten this mess out. Neither seems willing/able to do anything about it. Undercover Tourist said they they couldn't refund/exchange the tickets because Disney wasn't allowing it and Disney says that since we bought the tickets from undercover Tourist- which is a Disney Authorized ticket seller that we've used many times- they can't do anything with our tickets over the phone or by mail. Keep in mind that these are e-tickets, which they can and have verified in their system. It's not like they are physical tickets. They say that we need to physically go to a ticket booth at Disneyland to exchange/upgrade them for new tickets and there is no other option. I've spoken to at least 10 different cast members- including at least 2 managers- one of which hung up on me when she couldn't answer my questions- over the last year. We live in Virginia, so going to CA to exchange them before our trip isn't happening. I have no real issue with the actual exchange (or the additional fee I'm sure I'm going to have to pay), but since the parks now require reservations, and the park reservations are tied to your tickets, we can't make park reservations ahead of time. So it sounds like we're going to have to fly to CA without park reservations and hope they are available...for the week leading up to 4th of July... when we exchange the tickets. We are staying onsite at a Disney hotel, though so far that doesn't seem to make any difference to anyone.

So my questions is, do any of you have any thoughts, insight, experience with anything like this? Anyone know any workarounds for the park reservations? Is there any way to tie them to the hotel reservation? Does the hotel have a separate reservation calendar that might still be available even if the normal one isn't? Also, can anyone confirm that you can make dinning reservations without having tickets or park reservations (As far as I can tell you can, and yes, I understand I'll need tickets and park reservations to actually go to the restaurants). Thanks!!
 

aaronml

Well-Known Member
I've answered peoples questions before, but I don't think I've ever ask one of my own. We've been to WDW many times but never to DL. We had a trip planned for the summer of 2020, but COVID took care of that. Unfortunately, we bought DL tickets through Undercover Tourist about a month before COVID hit and DL shut down. The tickets had an expiration date of January 2021, which Disney subsequently extended to December of 2021. Disneyland didn't reopen to out of state guests until mid June of 2021 and by then we had already canceled our rescheduled trip because no-one knew when the parks would reopen in the spring when we had to make arrangements. If you do that math, we only had a total of 7 months- 1 month before the park closed and 6 after it reopened to out of state guests- that these tickets were valid for us to use. The issue isn't that the tickets are now expired, it's that we need park reservations and can't book them without valid tickets.

We're trying to actually go to Disneyland this summer- June 2022- and so I've spent literally 10's of hours on the phone with DL and Undercover Tourist trying to straighten this mess out. Neither seems willing/able to do anything about it. Undercover Tourist said they they couldn't refund/exchange the tickets because Disney wasn't allowing it and Disney says that since we bought the tickets from undercover Tourist- which is a Disney Authorized ticket seller that we've used many times- they can't do anything with our tickets over the phone or by mail. Keep in mind that these are e-tickets, which they can and have verified in their system. It's not like they are physical tickets. They say that we need to physically go to a ticket booth at Disneyland to exchange/upgrade them for new tickets and there is no other option. I've spoken to at least 10 different cast members- including at least 2 managers- one of which hung up on me when she couldn't answer my questions- over the last year. We live in Virginia, so going to CA to exchange them before our trip isn't happening. I have no real issue with the actual exchange (or the additional fee I'm sure I'm going to have to pay), but since the parks now require reservations, and the park reservations are tied to your tickets, we can't make park reservations ahead of time. So it sounds like we're going to have to fly to CA without park reservations and hope they are available...for the week leading up to 4th of July... when we exchange the tickets. We are staying onsite at a Disney hotel, though so far that doesn't seem to make any difference to anyone.

So my questions is, do any of you have any thoughts, insight, experience with anything like this? Anyone know any workarounds for the park reservations? Is there any way to tie them to the hotel reservation? Does the hotel have a separate reservation calendar that might still be available even if the normal one isn't? Also, can anyone confirm that you can make dinning reservations without having tickets or park reservations (As far as I can tell you can, and yes, I understand I'll need tickets and park reservations to actually go to the restaurants). Thanks!!
There is almost always reservation availability for DLR hotel guests until/on day of. Even if there isn’t, under extenuating circumstances a lead/manager can override availability and give you a reservation.

One thing I will say though is don’t go to the main entrance ticket booths. You can do this at the hotel front desk, as the normal ticket booths often don’t know about the separate reservation bucket for DLR hotel guests.
 

DrAlice

Well-Known Member
This whole thing is just... I have no words. (Other than to sarcastically repeat: The Disney Difference!) I'm not sure how you are remaining calm or even wanting to continue trip planning. I would be in scorched earth mode at this point.

I wish I had some words of advice, but I'm at a loss.
 

Wendy Pleakley

Well-Known Member
Not exactly the same scenario but I recently dealt with putting the value of an expired ticket towards a new one.

They technically don't do it as an exchange. What they had me do was, while on the phone with them, but a new ticket and provide the confirmation number. Once that was done they refunded the old ticket.

In the absence of Disney handling this properly, which doesn't seem to be the case, I would consider buying a new ticket in order to have the reservations, and then ask them to refund the old ticket once you're there.
 

TP2000

Well-Known Member
This whole thing is just... I have no words. (Other than to sarcastically repeat: The Disney Difference!) I'm not sure how you are remaining calm or even wanting to continue trip planning. I would be in scorched earth mode at this point.

I wish I had some words of advice, but I'm at a loss.

I thought it was just me. I want to help, but I just don't even know where to begin.

Obviously the normal Disneyland ticketing department or "Guest Service" (World Class!) phone lines are not helpful, and are sometimes just hanging up on this "guest". So my one thought is to call the Disneyland hotel that you are staying at directly, and ask to speak to someone in hotel Guest Services. Then go up through that food chain to see where you can get as a paying guest of that hotel. And jot down names and stats of the people who help you.

Otherwise @lightguy, I'm just at a loss for how to help or what advice to give.
 

lightguy

Active Member
Original Poster
There is almost always reservation availability for DLR hotel guests until/on day of. Even if there isn’t, under extenuating circumstances a lead/manager can override availability and give you a reservation.

One thing I will say though is don’t go to the main entrance ticket booths. You can do this at the hotel front desk, as the normal ticket booths often don’t know about the separate reservation bucket for DLR hotel guests.
Thanks. Any idea if it's true that I could have anyone go to the ticket booths and upgrade them for me- like if my brother was going out there for work? That's what I was told, but it seems really suspect to me that Disney is going to let some random person with the e-ticket codes, who isn't the one that bought the tickets or is named on any of the tickets, show up at a ticket booth and exchange them for new tickets.
 

lightguy

Active Member
Original Poster
Not exactly the same scenario but I recently dealt with putting the value of an expired ticket towards a new one.

They technically don't do it as an exchange. What they had me do was, while on the phone with them, but a new ticket and provide the confirmation number. Once that was done they refunded the old ticket.

In the absence of Disney handling this properly, which doesn't seem to be the case, I would consider buying a new ticket in order to have the reservations, and then ask them to refund the old ticket once you're there.
I thought about buying new tickets, but I need FIVE 5 day park hoppers, so that's $$$$$. WDW wouldn't be so bad since we go there regularly, but DL is a 6 hour flight, so who knows when we're gong back.
 

aaronml

Well-Known Member
Thanks. Any idea if it's true that I could have anyone go to the ticket booths and upgrade them for me- like if my brother was going out there for work? That's what I was told, but it seems really suspect to me that Disney is going to let some random person with the e-ticket codes, who isn't the one that bought the tickets or is named on any of the tickets, show up at a ticket booth and exchange them for new tickets.
This is actually correct. Tickets are only really tied to an individual person once they are used for the first time. Until that point, anyone with the ticket / barcode can use them, upgrade them, etc.

The one caveat is that once you upgrade a ticket at the ticket booth, it converts from an eTicket to a normal paper ticket. As soon as the upgrade is processed, it will print out a new paper ticket at the ticket booth that is now your ticket.

Technically, you can still scan into the park using the barcode in the app, but you won’t have a new paper ticket print out at the turnstile like you would when first using an eTicket.

Your brother would have to either mail you the paper tickets or give them to you in person.
 

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