Can You Get a Refund if You Cancel Your Disney Tickets?

Have you ever planned that dream Disney vacation, bought your park tickets, made all the fun reservations—only to have something come up that forces you to cancel your trip? It happens, and it’s the worst.

You’ve likely spent a small fortune on those Disneyland or Walt Disney World tickets. So it’s only natural to wonder: can you get a refund on Disney tickets if your plans abruptly change?

The short answer is_ generally no, Disney tickets are non-refundable. But there are some exceptions and options that can help you recover some money or value from your purchase.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explain:

  • The standard Disney ticket refund policies
  • Exceptions like the Disney hurricane policy
  • Options when you buy discount Disney tickets
  • How to transfer or modify your unused tickets
  • Policies for other Disney purchases like hotels
  • Tips for minimizing lost money

Plus plenty more details you’ll want to know before your next Disney trip!

Are Disney Theme Park Tickets Refundable if You Can’t Go?

First, let’s start with the basics. Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort officially state that all theme park tickets and packages booked directly with Disney are non-refundable.

Once you hand over money for that Disney World ticket, you won’t get cash back in your pocket if plans change. It stinks, but that’s the general policy.

For example, straight from the Walt Disney World tickets FAQ page:

“Tickets and packages at Walt Disney World Resort are nontransferable and nonrefundable.”

You’ll find similar language when buying Disneyland tickets directly.

So if you imagine it’ll be easy to just cancel your 4-day park ticket and get a full refund when your brother-in-law schedules his destination wedding the same week (rude), think again. In most cases, no refunds.

It’s all part of Disney’s strict policies to manage huge theme park reservation numbers, operating capacities, staffing, and more. Still, just because Disney tickets are non-refundable doesn’t mean your money has to go to waste…

When Can You Get Your Money Back for Canceled Disney Vacation Plans?

Alright, so while a cash refund is very unlikely for cancelled Walt Disney World tickets, you do have some options to recover value from unused tickets. Here are some of the most common Disney ticket refund exceptions and policies.

1. Changing Dates on an Unused Disney Ticket

Used tickets cannot be changed or transferred at Disney. But if your ticket is completely unused? You should be able to push back the dates to align with a future trip.

For example, if you have 6-day Disneyland tickets for next month that you can no longer use, you may be able to reschedule them for September dates without losing all the money you paid this year.

There are a few nuances with modifying Disney ticket dates:

  • Tickets have set expiration timeframes after first use
  • Pay difference if new dates have higher ticket prices
  • Change before original start date
  • Link tickets to Disney account beforehand

But as long as your unused ticket hasn’t yet expired, changing the dates is better than letting it go to waste!

Through the My Disney Experience website and mobile app, modifying ticket dates is thankfully pretty straightforward.

2. Applying an Expired Ticket to Future Purchase

Okay, what if you can’t make it to a theme park before your unused Disneyland or Disney World tickets expire?

You still have an option to salvage the value!

In this case, take your expired but totally unused ticket and purchase code to Disney. They will let you apply the full original amount you paid towards new tickets at current prices.

You can use this credit the next time you rebook a Disney vacation for the future. Essentially trading in old unused tickets for new valid ones.

The catch here is that your new ticket must be equal or greater value to the expired ticket credit you have. But at least it’s a way to avoid totally losing money!

3. Hurricane Exception for Refunds

While virtually all Disney ticket purchases are super strict “no refunds allowed” policies, there is one notable exception: hurricane impacts.

If a hurricane is headed for Florida and projected to affect travel, Disney may provide refunds or rescheduling of theme park tickets if:

  • The National Hurricane Center issues a hurricane warning for the Orlando area (where Disney World is located)
  • They issue a warning for your place of residence
  • The warning comes within a week of your scheduled arrival dates in Orlando

In these cases only, call Disney ASAP about canceling, and they provide options without the usual fees.

Of course, this Policy only applies to the Disney components like tickets and resort hotel packages. You would need to manage airfare, rental cars, etc per those company’s cancellation policies.

But it’s good peace of mind for some travelers who may run into hurricane trouble during the June-November storm season!

4. More Cancellation Flexibility with Packages

When you bundle Disney hotel stays and tickets together into a full Disney vacation package, you typically get more flexible cancellation policies.

There are still cancellation fees. But hotel/ticket packages let you get some money back in cases when tickets alone would be 100% non-refundable.

Generally, if you cancel a Disney package:

  • 30+ days before trip → full refund, minus fees
  • 2-29 days before → partial refund, minus $200 fee
  • Less than 2 days / no show → nothing refunded

Of course, read all fine print carefully as exceptions apply! But when possible, book travel as part of a Walt Disney World or Disneyland package.

5. Buy Refundable Disney Tickets from Undercover Tourist

A great money-saving tip for Disney trips is buying discounted park tickets from authorized third-party sellers like Undercover Tourist.

You can typically save $5-10 per ticket per day over Gate prices. And unlike Disney, Undercover Tourist sells refundable Disney World tickets!

Of course there’s still a catch—you need to process the refund within a year and pay a 5% fee. But 5% back is better than nothing if you have to unexpectedly cancel Disney plans.

So when ticket costs really add up for bigger groups or trips, go through this reputable seller instead of Disney itself.

Just beware that modifying or transferring those third-party tickets has its own restrictions with Disney’s systems. So consult the experts if any changes come up!

Can I Transfer or Sell My Unused Disneyland Tickets?

This is a super common question—and area of confusion—when plans change after buying pricey Disney vacation tickets.

Transferring Unused Disney Tickets

The key distinction Disney makes is whether tickets have been used at all vs fully unused.

  • Used Disney tickets, even just for 1 day of a 4-day passport, cannot be transferred to another person. The ticket entitlements are locked to the original ticket holder in the Disney systems.
  • Unused Disney tickets—without a single park entry—can be transferred to another family member or friend. These wholly unused tickets have no name/person attached yet in Disney’s systems.

So if little Susie unfortunately comes down with the chicken pox right before your trip, Uncle Jake can use her untouched Disneyland tickets instead.

But if Susie enters Disneyland Park on Day 1 before getting sick for the other 3 days, only she can use the remainder of that ticket when she goes back. Make sense?

Reselling Disney Tickets

While unused Disney tickets can be transferred between friends/family as above, reselling them for cash is not permitted.

All standard Walt Disney World and Disneyland ticket terms & conditions clearly state tickets are non-transferable.

So places like eBay, Craigslist, etc officially cannot be used to sell off Disney park tickets (new or used). Don’t risk fraud penalties!

If you truly end up with valid unused tickets you can’t use, best to transfer to family and friends rather than strangers on the internet.

The bottom line?: Plan carefully, as unused Disney tickets really can’t be resold without violating the rules agreed upon at the time of booking.

Other Refund Policies: Hotels, Dining, Experiences

Beyond just theme park tickets, your Disney plans likely include reservations and money paid for hotels, dining, certain attractions, etc. What are the cancellation and refund policies on those components?

Disney Resort Hotel Cancellations

As mentioned briefly above, Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort hotel bookings have:

  • Full refund when cancel 30+ days before check-in
  • Partial refund for 2-30 days notice
  • No refund within 48 hours of arrival

Disney Vacation Club properties and other special hotels may have distinct cancellation policies to look for as well.

Dining Cancellations and No-Shows

Disney dining reservations are best practice for popular restaurants at both Disneyland and Disney World. But what if those plans change while on your trip?

If you need to cancel a Disney dining reservation, be aware:

  • Less than 24 hours notice: $10 no-show fee per person
  • Special dining events can charge full meal amount!

Best to cancel ASAP if an expensive experience. And there’s no harm changing reservations as your vacation plans shift!

Other Walt Disney World Experiences

Between water parks, tours, recreational rentals, etc—there are so many add-ons at a Disney trip these days!

Cancellation and rescheduling rules vary widely for these experiences.

General guidance is that within 48 hours, you may get a credit instead of refund. Beyond that depends on the specific activity terms and conditions.

So read all policies carefully at time of Disney purchase for your peace of mind later!

Key Things to Know About Refunding Disney Plans

While the bulk of this article has focused specifically on whether you can get a refund for Disney tickets after a cancellation, there are some key broader takeaways:

Understand All Policies Upfront

Disney makes it clear – tickets and packages are generally non-refundable! But other experiences have their own rules.

So read up on change/cancellation fine print when booking anything for these resorts.

Having set expectations will help make swift decisions if life happens and you must reschedule part of an upcoming Disneyland or Walt Disney World vacation.

Act Quickly to Maximize Options

If an unforeseen change in travel plans comes up, act fast!

Get on the phone with Disney cast members ASAP to review all options for changing reservation dates, transferring tickets to family/friends, credits for future bookings, etc.

Timeliness gives you the best chance working with Disney policies if a refund itself isn’t possible.

Look for Special Exceptions

As we reviewed in this article, there are a few one-off cases where Disney tickets or packages may be refundable even when generally considered non-refundable.

Big examples are hurricane warnings near trip time affecting your personal travel.

But other emergencies or unavoidable delays could potentially warrant special exceptions too if the circumstances are extreme enough.

So when in doubt, still ask Disney nicely about refunds in your unique cancellation situation!

Enjoy Magical Trips Without Financial Burdens!

Booking that Disney dream vacation takes time, planning…and a whole lot of money!

So when unexpected life challenges arise and force rescheduling – it can feel devastating.

Hopefully this guide better prepared you to face Disney ticket cancellation issues with smart policies, reasonable exceptions, and some wise backups.

The key is keeping your personal magic intact even when Disney magic must wait a bit longer!

With flexibility and some friendly persistence, you can likely reclaim some value from cancelled Disney plans. Allowing everyone to reschedule those theme park memories for another sunny day!

Final Thoughts

Canceling or changing Disney park plans can be a major disappointment. But with the right policies and options, you can make altered travel arrangements work out.

To recap, key things to remember are:

Buy refundable tickets from third parties when possible – Authorized sellers like Undercover Tourist offer refundable Walt Disney World tickets at a small fee. This gives peace of mind if a cancellation becomes necessary.

Understand expiration and transfer rules – Wholly unused Disneyland and Disney World tickets can be changed to future dates or transferred to friends/family in some cases. Know these specifics before your vacation.

Look into package and hotel cancellation flexibility – You typically get the best rescheduling and refund flexibility when booking full Disney vacation packages instead of lone park tickets.

Act FAST if plans must change – Contact Disney as soon as you know of cancellations or date change needs. Timeliness gives you the maximum options for rebooking travel, transferring tickets, securing credits, etc. Don’t delay!

While paying customers wish that Disney ticket refunds were a bit more generous, they do aim to give guests options to postpone the magic. Hopefully your next fantastic family vacation goes off without a hitch! But if not, use this guide to make the best of any cancelled plans.

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