Ready to talk about Disneyland tickets?
You’ll have several ticket lengths and a couple add-ons to choose from so it is important to know exactly what you need to avoid wasting money on something you may not use.
Here’s everything you need to know…
UPDATE: Disney has announced several updates regarding purchasing tickets for Disneyland upon reopening, along with a brand new park reservation system. Please visit our Disneyland reopening guide for the most up-to-date information.
Disney Genie to replace FastPass & FastPass+
FastPass+ (at Walt Disney World) and FastPass (at Disneyland) have been discontinued. A new system, called Disney Genie (free) and Disney Genie+ (pay-to-use) will debut later this year at both parks.
- Disney Genie –> Complimentary in-app service that helps you plan your day.
- Disney Genie+ –> Basically, it is a paid FastPass that costs $15 per ticket, per day (Walt Disney World) & $20 per ticket, per day (Disneyland). This service replaces the old FastPass service and allows you to choose the next available time to arrive at a variety of attractions. It works very similar to MaxPass at Disneyland.
- Lightning Lane –> New name for FastPass line. You use this with Genie+.
- Lightning Lane Select Experiences –> The most high-demand attractions are not available in Genie+; however, you can select up to 2 of these high-demand attractions per day to ride via an individual Lightning Lane selection. These selections will cost you extra (they aren’t included with the price of Genie+), and the prices are dynamic, meaning they will vary based upon the time of the year and attraction.
- Read more about the new Disney Genie system.
Types of tickets
Unlike Walt Disney World where tickets can last anywhere from 1-10 days, at Disneyland the maximum length for a ticket is 5 days long.
1 Park Per Day (base ticket)
These are the least expensive tickets available and allow you to get into 1 park (either Disneyland or Disney California Adventure) each day.
Park tickets vary in price, where busier times of the year are reflected in higher ticket costs but start in price at about $104 dollars for a 1-day adult ticket during a less-busy time of the year, all the way up to about $360 for an adult 5-day ticket.
For exact ticket prices for your trip, you’ll want to check out the Disneyland website.
Magic Morning (which happens only at Disneyland Park) allows guests to select 1 “Magic Morning” of their trip to enter the park early with access to select attractions, stores, and shops all before the park opens to the general public.
Unlike Extra Magic Hour which happens at both parks and is available to only guests staying at one of the 3 onsite Disneyland Resort Hotels, to be eligible for Magic Morning you must:
- have a ticket that is at least 3 days long, and
- purchase your ticket online (you can’t purchase it at the park).
That’s it. If you meet those requirements you’ll be allowed in for 1 Magic Morning during your trip.
Magic Morning does not happen every day but you can use the official Disneyland calendar to track the early admission options.
Park Hopper tickets at Disneyland work exactly the same as they do at Disney World.
These tickets allow you to enter either park – as many times as you want – each day your ticket is valid.
But, unlike Disney World where we don’t always recommend them, we (very strongly) do recommend Park Hopper tickets for Disneyland, and here’s why:
The Disneyland Resort area is very small, and quite compact making it easy to walk from the gates of Disneyland over to the gates of California Adventure in just a minute or 2.
And, with the way the FastPass system works out in California, you can easily go back and forth between the parks to hit all of your favorites.
Park Hopper Cost
The cost to add-on the Park Hopper option is about $55 per ticket.
Disneyland offers its own version of FastPass. However unlike at Walt Disney World, you can’t pre-select your FastPass options and you “pull” your FastPasses by physically going to kiosks that are spread throughout the parks near FastPass eligible attractions.
But, if the thought of running around to kiosks to snag FastPasses doesn’t sound fun, you can choose to upgrade to MaxPass.
MaxPass allows you to use the Disneyland app to select your FastPasses from your phone.
Plus, when you purchase MaxPass you’ll also get all your PhotoPass photos included.
You can purchase MaxPass for $20 per day, per ticket.
On Aug. 3, Disneyland announced a new Annual Pass program called “Magic Key.”
There are four tiers, which offer a variety of admission days, pricing options, experiences, and discounts on food, beverages, and merchandise. This program offers reservation-based admission to one or both Disneyland Resort theme parks.
Magic Key goes on sale beginning Aug. 25, 2021 (no earlier than 10 a.m. PST).
Here’s a breakdown of the keys:
Price: $1399 ($102 per month for 12 months for California residents, after $179 down payment)
This is the highest tier. Here’s what it includes:
- Price: $949 ($65 per month for 12 months for California residents, after $179 down payment)
This is the second-highest tier, which includes:
- 50% off parking (excluding blockout days, and available for purchase at Mickey & Friends Parking Structure, Pixar Pals Parking Structure, and Toy Story Parking Area)
- Up to 6 theme park reservations at a time during a 90-day window (based on availability)
- 10% discount on select merchandise and select food and beverages
- Reservation-based admission to one or both theme parks most days of the year (view Believe Key blockout calendar)
- Price: $699 ($40 per month for 12 months for California residents, after $179 down payment)
This is the second-lowest tier and features:
- Up to 4 theme park reservations at a time during a 90-day window (based on availability)
- 10% discount on select food, beverages, and merchandise
- Reservation-based admission to one or both theme parks select days of the year (view Enchant Key blockout calendar)
- Price: $399 ($19 per month for 12 months for Southern California residents, after $179 down payment)
This is the lowest tier, is for Southern California residents only (zip codes 90000 to 93599), and includes:
- Up to 2 theme park reservations at a time during a 90-day window (based on availability)
- 10% discounts on select merchandise, food, and beverages
- Reservation-based admission to one or both theme parks select days of the year (view Imagine Key blockout calendar)
Important: There is a “no show” policy. Magic Key holders who are a “no show” for 3 reservations in a 90-day window will be unable to make new park reservations for 30 days. Existing park reservations at that time will not be cancelled. The 30-day period begins the day after the third “no-show,” and will continue even if the pass is upgraded to another pass during that time. Cancellation of a reservation must be done by 11:59 pm. PST on the day before the reserved date.
How long are tickets valid for?
Multi-day tickets must be used within 13 days of first use.
What is great about that is how easy it makes it to spread your visits out over a longer Southern California vacation by alternating park days with non-park days.
This is different from Disney World where your ticket window varies greatly by ticket length and can even vary depending upon where you stay.
Where should you buy Disneyland tickets?
There are lots of options for purchasing tickets, but you need to be smart about it because there are lots of ticket scams out there.
For the safest and most hassle-free option, we recommend you purchase your tickets directly through Disney.
3rd Party Vendors
You can usually save a few bucks if you purchase your tickets through a 3rd party vendor. But, before you do, here’s a few things to keep in mind if you plan to purchase your tickets from a source other than Disney:
- If you do decide to use a 3rd party vendor, you’ll want to make sure that you are working directly with an official authorized ticket reseller. Definitely do your research ahead of time!
- While you can save a few bucks, the savings aren’t usually that big (and often not worth the hassle).
- Make sure you understand how you’ll get your tickets (mail? email?) and don’t forget, you’ll need to link those tickets to your Disneyland App if you want to use MaxPass.
Never (ever) buy your tickets here
Used ticket re-seller
Used ticket resellers are a hot thing.
You can find them on websites like Ebay and even on street corners near theme parks.
If a price is too good to be true, it isn’t. Ever.
Every year, used ticket resellers scam countless families out of their vacation dollars by selling them tickets that won’t work at the parks.
Remember: once a ticket has been used it is non-transferable.
You will have your picture taken when you enter the parks the first time, and each time you enter after that your photo will be checked.
If they don’t match, you won’t be allowed in.
Please don’t try to save a few bucks by buying one of these used tickets – it will have somebody else’s profile attached to it and when you try to use it, you’ll find out quickly (and likely with a lot of embarrassment) that it won’t work.
Stick to an authorized reseller or even better yet, purchase directly from Disney.
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