The Disney Park Nerds love saving time and money and Global Entry lets us do both!
In this article, we’ll provide an overview of the Federal trusted traveler programs: TSA Precheck and Global Entry. These programs grant you access to special security lanes at airports that have benefits such as a faster check-in process or less intrusive screening procedures.
applying for either program usually requires some time investment and there are fees associated with each one; although many credit cards and frequent flyer programs will waive these costs. Even if you don’t fly frequently, being part of either of these programs is still worth it.
The difference between TSA Precheck and Global Entry
Before you apply for either of these programs, there are a few things you should be aware of:
- The United States Transportation Security Administration’s TSA PreCheck allows you to go through security checks more quickly while traveling from a US airport. The job of the United States Transporta Security Administration is to make it easier for people to travel. A yearly membership costs $85 per year.
- The Global Entry program offered by U.S Customs and Border Protection is much stricter than TSA Precheck, but members receive faster screening at airports when they arrive in the United States. The five-year membership costs $100 for all passengers in your party, and you will need your passport(s) as well as an interview when you enroll in the program to enjoy its benefits.
How do you know which program is right for you?
If you live near a center required for the Global Entry interview and plan to travel often, it may be more convenient for you. If not, the TSA Precheck program might be better suited for your needs.
Get your passport readyif you want to visit a Disney park soon. As you daydream about your upcoming trip, letting your mind wander off into fantasy land..
If you live outside of the Greater Los Angeles Area, be on the lookout for Global Entry interview locations near your home. If you don’t have a Global Entry interview coming up soon, pay attention to see if you’ll be passing through any airports that offer them. Perhaps you could utilize your trip to and schedule an interview at one of those airports. When returning to the United States from an international journey, take advantage of the Enrollment on Arrival program. This program lets you conduct interviews at many U.S. airports without making a reservation in advance.
Before your trip, anxiousness begins to set in as you think about the airport and all of its lines and crowds. And then, you start picturing yourself at the end of your trip as you deplane tiredly back in the U.S., having to wait again in a long line for passport control before getting your luggage and finally clearing customs. But then, you remember that Disney Park Nerds always has your back–as suggested, get Global Entry!
Global Entry vs TSA Pre-Check
The TSA PreCheck program is available for a one-time fee of $85 and offers several benefits to users, including the ability to zip through security without any issues at domestic US airports. Furthermore, the line is generally shorter than it would be otherwise and you will not need to remove items such as your shoes or jacket. This also applies to unpacking carry-on luggage; you can leave laptops and other electronics inside of their bags. Liquids are also allowed which makes the process much easier overall. Overall, this program is essential for anyone that travels frequently (even if it’s not too often) since the benefits outweigh the cost significantly.
The benefits of Global Entry last for five years and only cost $100. Not to mention, it provides automatic entry into the TSA PreCheck program; upon returning to the United States from a foreign country, you will be able to speed through passport control and customs.
Disney Park Nerds are certainly not experts, but we have made quite a few mistakes–and we’re planning on making even more. Luckily, you can learn from our screw-ups so that you don’t make them yourself. For example…
If you want to take advantage of the $15 TSA PreCheck discount offered by Global Entry, it’s worth paying an extra $3 for each year of your program. We didn’t realize this and had to pay the additional $85 for TSA PreCheck before being able to use our two memberships simultaneously for about four years.
Securing that TSA PreCheck or Global Entry Appointment
Fret not, Disney Park Nerds are here to help. We just used Appointment Scanner and were able to get two back-to-back appointments in a few weeks. Membership with Appointment Scanner costs $15 for three months and allows you to search for appointments at the facilities of your choice and receive alerts when new ones become available. It was really enjoyable!
How to get Global Entry or TSA PreCheck for FREE
There are a few different credit cards that give you one free credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck every five years. They cost between $95 and $550. If you’re looking for a good credit card with lots of perks, the Chase Sapphire Reserve is a great choice. For a detailed analysis of seven different credit cards that will cover the cost of your Global Entry / TSA PreCheck application, check out this article.
The cards are compared based on their benefits, such as sign-on bonuses and perks/disadvantages. Additionally, links to apply for the card are provided.
Global Entry and Shanghai Disneyland
Securing a Global Entry membership is simple and free, so there’s no excuse not to take advantage of it the next time you visit one of Disney’s parks globally.
Final thoughts on Global Entry for Disney travel
Children and family
Children 12 and younger can travel with an adult utilizing TSA Precheck or Global Entry without having their own Precheck clearance. However, Global Entry does not allow youngsters to go through faster customs processing without enrolling in the program themselves.
Keep in mind that the application fees for both programs are not refundable if your application is denied.
Traveling with others
The people you’re traveling with may have an impact on your security and customs processes. If they don’t have Precheck status, you could be waiting a long time for your family or friends behind the security screening area.
How to apply
However, if you’ve been meaning to get started at any time recently, I highly recommend that you read through the checklist below and then call for a consultation. If after reading through it all, you still have questions about how to complete your application, I’m more than willing to answer them!
Again, if you’re wondering whether TSA Precheck or Global Entry is right for you, there are two online applications available: