Mom and daughter shopping
  • On Apr 5, 2023
    Sandra from BC Asked Please note that experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    i have just purchased some Disney Gift Cards in Canada. The envelope they came in says "Card not valid until activated" but I don't see where to do this? Also, can these be added as a payment method in the WDW app ahead of time? TY

    Hi Sandra,  

    I’m so excited for your family to be looking forward to a Walt Disney World Resort vacation this September! I’m glad to hear that you are planning your purchases in advance with Disney gift cards – this is a great way to budget and put money towards your vacation. I’m happy to help you figure out what’s going on with your recent purchase and how to apply it.

    In my experience, most gift cards purchased at retailers with a display of various brands (such as inside a grocery store or pharmacy) are packaged with this disclaimer of “card not valid until activated.” This indicates that the activation occurs at the point of purchase and discourages theft of the gift cards because they have no value when on display. I’ve had the unfortunate experience of paying for a gift card that was not activated properly by a cashier, so I always save the “activation receipt” now when purchasing any gift card in person. I suspect your Disney gift card was activated by default at the time of your purchase, but you are smart to read the fine print! I’m a chronic double-checker, so let’s be sure your card has the value you expect.

    Sandra, there is a handy website that allows you to check the balance and manage your Disney gift cards. I suggest you navigate to the Disney Gift Cards website and click on “Check Balance,” then enter the account code and EAN number from the back of the gift card to confirm the value. If you see a monetary value associated with your card, consider it activated and ready to go! If you are purchasing several Disney gift cards for this trip, you can combine the balances of many cards to one on this site. This is very useful so that you don’t have to physically keep track of multiple gift cards while on vacation. Always be sure to save any gift cards used for purchases in the event of a refund, which often goes back to the original payment method and would re-load that card.

    Unfortunately, you cannot add the gift card to your My Disney Experience account as a form of payment in advance. I do have a few tips and ideas for using this card for your Disney vacation:

    • If you haven’t paid for your Walt Disney World Resort vacation in full, you may apply the gift card as payment in advance of your trip.
    • If you are staying at a Disney Resorts Collection hotel, you may present the gift card at your resort to apply the value to your purchases charged to your room folio. When you charge purchases using your MagicBand or Disney MagicMobile Pass, this gift card value will be deducted before your credit card on file is charged.
    • You can use the gift card at locations throughout the Walt Disney World Resort for individual transactions at the point of sale.
    • You can use the gift card for purchases within the My Disney Experience App while onsite – use this form of payment for things like Mobile Food Orders, Genie+, Individual Lightning Lane, and more.
    You can scan the barcode of your Disney gift card right in the app when adding it as a form of payment for a purchase, which is super-fast and easy too!

    I hope this clarifies any confusion over your recent Disney gift card purchase, Sandra. Please come back to us with any additional questions to help you make the most of this special trip! 

    Wishing you a magical vacation, 
thumbnail image for Amy

Meet the Panelist: Amy, Virginia

Hi friends! I'm Amy, a lifelong Disney dreamer from horse-and-wine country, Virginia. My family of three is BIG on fun and treasures every adventure together. We've been making memories at the Walt Disney World Resort and aboard Disney Cruise Line since my son was a toddler; we love our family traditions balanced with "what's new" each visit. I have a passion for Disney details, a love of digital tools, and an eye for practical planning. I can't wait to help you make the MOST of your magical vacation! Learn More About Amy

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