You've saved up just enough money for a weekend visit to your favorite theme park, and all you need is to buy your discounted student ticket. But, the red sign reading "unavailable" on the Student Government Association Ticket Center's website threatens your plans.
The SGA Ticket Center, located in the Student Union, sells discounted tickets to students, faculty and staff. There you can purchase a maximum of two, one-day, one-park Disney passes for $73, every 30 days. However, tickets may not always be available.
"My boyfriend is visiting this weekend, and we were planning on going to the Food and Wine Festival at EPCOT, and we made plans to do that probably a month ago and looked to see if there were tickets available," said Melissa Murray, a senior radio-television and broadcast journalism major. "There weren't any at that time."
Murray said that she has purchased tickets successfully in the past and that this was the first time she had an issue. She tried emailing the Ticket Center for details about when new tickets would be on sale, but said she didn't receive a response.
"The sign on the window that says they're out of tickets doesn't really help anyone because that doesn't tell us when they're getting them back in," Murray said. "A little communication with students would have been helpful."
Murray was able to acquire tickets after checking the website early on Oct. 10, and she said she feels like she just got lucky. Her boyfriend was visiting from Pennsylvania for their anniversary, and they would have had to commit to spending the extra money in order to go.
Richard Phillips, the SGA Ticket Center coordinator, said that it wasn't normal to have to wait up to a month for tickets.
"It depends on a number of things, but the process usually takes seven to 10 working days," he said.
Phillips said that Disney and Universal Orlando do not limit how many tickets can be made available to the UCF population for purchase at a given time, but their contracts limit the number of tickets each individual student, faculty or staff member can purchase. According to the website, only students are able to buy discounted Universal Orlando passes.
"They're very popular tickets, so they sell relatively quickly, and we replenish them as often as we can to make sure they're in stock whenever possible," Phillips said.
Though Phillips said the process is usually shorter, other students also acknowledged longer wait times.
When the Ticket Center runs out of physical tickets, they have to wait on the vendor to receive more. An exact number of tickets ordered at a time were unavailable.
"When we sell out, we contact Disney … and it takes a couple weeks for a new batch," said Kendra Weaver, an employee at the Ticket Center.
Alyssa Barratt, a junior psychology major, experienced a similar wait time as Murray. However, she was unable to purchase tickets for friends in time for their planned trip.
"My friend lives in North Carolina and she was coming down with her boyfriend and we were going to go, so I was going to buy those tickets, and I went to try to get them and they said they were sold out," Barratt said.
She said that she experienced this previously and wasn't concerned, but was told to wait about two weeks. After checking online for two weeks, she called and was told to wait another two weeks.
"My friend would've had to already get the tickets by then, so she had to get them from somewhere else," she said.
As of Oct. 22, Disney one-day passes and all Universal Orlando pass options are available for purchase and expire at the end of the year.
"We maintain up-to-date information about ticket availability and ticket pricing on our website," Phillips said. "That would be the best place for a student to go to see what the current ticket availability is and also what the pricing is for the various tickets."