You may have heard people say that you can’t really save much money on Disney World park tickets. That’s mostly true except for this one particular method that can save you nearly half on your park tickets.
Disney Youth Education Series provides educational classes in the parks for kids on various topics – animation, chemistry, physics, history, marine biology – and when you buy tickets for the program, you can buy park tickets for your entire trip at deeply discounted rates.
Here’s how it works:
When classes are offered
Y.E.S. classes are only available on some days in January, February, June, July, August, September and October. You can view all of the dates on this site (scroll down to view the list).
January and February class schedules are normally announced in October or November of the previous year. All other classes for the year are announced around February. Sometimes additional slots open up after classes appear to be closed so keep checking back if you’re interested in a class.
Many classes fill up very quickly so they should be booked as soon as possible.
Who can use the tickets
The discounted park tickets are only available for the child enrolled in the Y.E.S. class and his/her siblings and parents. If the child will be visiting Disney World with somebody other than a parent (such as grandparents) then those adults are eligible in place of the parents.
For each order, there can be a maximum of 6 kids and 4 adults but the number of adults cannot exceed the number of children (except in the case of only children where 2 adults are allowed for 1 child).
You can see the prices of regular vs. Y.E.S. tickets below.
- Y.E.S. tickets are only sold for 3-8 day lengths.
- There appears to only be one price on the Y.E.S. tickets for both kids and adults.
- The nomenclature varies slightly between buying tickets from Disney vs. Y.E.S.
- Disney’s “Base Tickets” are called “Starter Package” by Y.E.S. This type of ticket allows you to enter one park per day. When you attend a class, park admission is required so that must be the park you choose to attend that day. For instance, if your class is at EPCOT, you will need a ticket to get in the park for the class and you can’t visit another park that day with this type of ticket so you’ll just be able to visit EPCOT on your class day.
- Disney’s “Park Hopper” tickets are called “Hopper” by Y.E.S. This type of ticket allows you to visit more than 1 park each day.
- Disney’s “Park Hopper and Water Park Fun & More” (such a mouthful!) is called “Premium” by Y.E.S. This type of ticket allows you to hop parks and also allows you to visit the water parks, DisneyQuest and ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. The number of visits you can make to these extra places equals the number of days you purchase. A 5-day Premium ticket allows you 5 visits to any of those extra places (and you can do them whenever you want – even visit all 5 in one day if you’d like).
- Each Y.E.S. ticket package includes admission to one Y.E.S. class. You can attend additional classes for $28 each.
|Ticket Type||Regular Price||Y.E.S. Price||Savings|
|3-Day Starter/Base Ticket||247.08||150.38||96.70|
|3-Day Premium (a.k.a., Hopper and Water Park Fun and More)||357.08||186.55||170.53|
|4-Day Starter/Base Ticket||258.80||154.25||104.55|
|4-Day Premium (a.k.a., Hopper and Water Park Fun and More)||368.80||188.58||180.22|
|5-Day Starter/Base Ticket||267.32||164.27||103.05|
|5-Day Premium (a.k.a., Hopper and Water Park Fun and More)||377.32||198.38||178.94|
|6-Day Starter/Base Ticket||275.84||175.41||100.43|
|6-Day Premium (a.k.a., Hopper and Water Park Fun and More)||385.84||209.27||176.57|
|7-Day Starter/Base Ticket||284.36||182.08||102.28|
|7-Day Premium (a.k.a., Hopper and Water Park Fun and More)||394.36||215.81||178.55|
|8-Day Starter/Base Ticket||292.88||186.55||106.33|
|8-Day Premium (a.k.a., Hopper and Water Park Fun and More)||402.88||220.16||182.72|
The best savings are available on the Premium tickets which is what our family would typically get anyway.
Here’s how the savings would look for us:
|Regular price:||$402.88||x 4||= $1611.52|
|Y.E.S. price:||$220.16||x 4||= $880.64|
|Savings: $730.88 (46% savings)|
- Once you purchase your tickets, they are not refundable and not upgradeable. For this reason, trip insurance is recommended from a company like Allianz who will insure kids for free and generally costs around $50-$100 per trip.
- These tickets are available through a third party vendor so they can’t be purchased with Disney gift cards and aren’t eligible for Disney Visa financing or rewards.
- If you don’t show up for the class, Disney has the ability to void the transaction and you could be charged for the full amount and prevented from participating in any future classes.
- When you buy your park tickets separately like this, it is not considered a package (with a package, you can have a Disney Dining Plan, including free dining when it’s offered). You can still use room-only discounts when booking your hotel.
- Y.E.S. classes aren’t available to Annual Passholders.
Other ticket info
- The Y.E.S. site says that tickets are valid starting 7 days before your arrival and extending to 7 days after your trip. Emails from Y.E.S. indicate that the tickets are valid from the starting day of your trip until 14 days later. (Update 6/9/2012: current information suggests the tickets are valid starting on the day you said your trip will begin and they last until 7 days after your trip ends.)
- You must pick the tickets up at Guest Relations in one of the parks or at the location near DisneyQuest in Downtown Disney. You’ll need to do this before attending the Y.E.S. class and before entering any of the parks. You will have to print out the email sent to you by Y.E.S. and show your ID when picking up the tickets.
- Some classes take place very early. If Disney transportation isn’t running at that time, you’ll need to arrange a taxi to get you there on time. Typically, it costs around $10 (including tip) and can be arranged from your hotel room phone or by asking your hotel concierge to arrange it for you.
- When you book a package, your park tickets are on your hotel room key known as your Keys to the Kingdom card. When you buy tickets (such as the Y.E.S. tickets) separately, you are given tickets that are not on your room key and are made of Tyvek (not plastic but more durable than paper). With this type of ticket, you don’t have to do the finger scan when entering the parks, but you also have to keep track of both your park tickets and hotel keys.
Q: Can my spouse and I both attend the Y.E.S. class with our child(ren)?
A: Y.E.S. only allows one adult to sign up for the classes even if there are multiple children. If you have more than one child, you do have the option of booking two transactions – one to include you and one child, the other to include your spouse and the other child – separately. With this method, you run the risk of the class filling up between transactions.
Q: When will dates for classes in March, April, May, November and December be released?
A: Y.E.S. classes aren’t currently available during those months.
Q: How do I prove my child’s age?
A: You don’t have to prove your child’s age but you will need your ID to pick up your tickets.
Q: Can I enroll my child in a class even if they aren’t in the age range?
A: Y.E.S. says they are very strict about ages and that is because each class is designed for a specific age range. However, there are no requirements to prove your child’s age, so you may elect to enter their age differently on your Y.E.S. order form. For instance, if a class says it’s for ages 11-18 and your child will turn 11 a week after your trip, you may choose to say that they are age 11. If your child is obviously too young for a class, they will probably not be allowed to participate.
Q: When will the schedule of classes be posted for my trip dates?
A: January and February classes have typically been published in October or November. The dates for the rest of the classes came out in February.
Q: Can I get the Dining Plan and the Y.E.S. tickets?
A: The Dining Plan is available to people who book packages. Buying Y.E.S. tickets means you’re buying things separately rather than in a package. You could book a package and buy a 2-day ticket (the minimum ticket you can get in a package) and get the Dining Plan plus buy Y.E.S. tickets separately but that would just about negate the savings of the Y.E.S. tickets. You’ll need to do the math to see if it makes sense for you. (Note: you could use the 2-day tickets on your package at a later date.)
Q: The classes for my dates are closed. Will more classes open up?
A: This year, the classes were announced in February and many sold out right away. In April, additional spots were opened up. Just keep checking to see.
Q: What are the classes like?
A: Read about all of the classes here, but be sure to check the “Walt Disney World” box and hit Go so you’re only viewing classes available at WDW.
Q: Do I have to stay with my child in the class?
A: If your child is under 13, you must stay with them. For older kids, you must sign them in and remain in the same park but you don’t need stay with them in the class.
Q: Can the parent who isn’t attending the class take the child’s ticket to get FASTPASSes?
A: Yes, after the child has entered the park, you can take their ticket to obtain FASTPASSes for them to use later.
Q: If I have 2 children but only 1 of them attends a class, can I still get discounted tickets for my other child?
A: Yes, you can. There needs to be at least one child enrolled in a class and the number of adult tickets cannot exceed the number of children. Discounted tickets are available for siblings, even if they aren’t enrolled in a class.
Q: Can I pay for Y.E.S. classes with a gift card?
A: Y.E.S. classes are offered through a third party vendor and Disney gift cards cannot be used. Disney Visa financing and rewards are also not available.
Q: I’m staying at a hotel in the Boardwalk area but my class says to meet at the front of EPCOT. Will I be able to get in through the International Gateway?
A: No, you won’t. You’ll need to take a taxi to the front gate.
You can contact Y.E.S. Student Guest Services at 407-472-4676 ext. 12 or leave your comment below.
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