Exchanging Old Disney World Tickets

My whole family saved for an entire year to afford our first trip to Disney World. It was 1987 and I was six years old. It was the first time I ever flew on a plane. Our family still talks about my younger sister walking into Magic Kingdom as a three-year old and calling out, “Mickey, I’m here!”

It was a magical trip… until my brother ruined it by getting sick. Three days into our five day trip, we had to fly home. We left two wonderful days in the parks on the table. And, since it had taken so long to save up, we never got back to Disney World as kids.

But, there was something important my mom knew. You see, before 2004 all Disney World park tickets had no expiration. If you didn’t use the tickets, they were good forever. Even 31 years later in 2018, they were still good. My brother finally paid me back for getting sick all those years ago. Just last week, my wife and I used the last two days. Here’s some things we learned using our old tickets at Disney World.

Disclaimer: These are our experiences exchanging our tickets from 1987. You likely have different tickets and may have a different experience.

Pre-Verifying Tickets

Before we flew all the way to Orlando from Seattle, we wanted to verify that these old tickets would still work. We emailed pictures to Guest Services and called ahead as well. No one could or would give us a definitive answer. This added a layer of risk that made us nervous. It’s tough to plan a vacation without knowing whether your theme park tickets are paid for or not. I was nervous about this all the way up until I got our new tickets.

Youth Vs Adult Tickets

We were able to exchange two youth tickets for two adult tickets at no extra charge. This is because I was a child when these tickets were issued. Since tickets don’t expire, I could still use these child’s tickets even though I’m now an adult.

My Wife’s Ticket

My parents gave me all five tickets from 1987, two adults and three children. I went to Guest Services at Magic Kingdom with two child’s tickets, told them they were from my childhood, and asked if I could exchange them. Now, my wife was standing there with me. The cast member at Guest Services didn’t ask who she was or whether she was my sister. She just pulled out a notebook with pictures of every Disney World ticket ever issued, found ours, scanned our Magic Bands, and boom… two Park Hopper tickets with two days left.

When I asked the Guest Services cast member if she ever saw tickets that old, thinking I had brought in a rare antique, she said, “All the time.” Have you exchanged any “rare” tickets at Disney World?