Disneyland Introduces New “Magic Key” Pass Program, Replacing Old Annual Passes

Earlier this year Disneyland ended their annual pass program, much to the annoyance of passholders. Disney promised a new program would come eventually, and now we know the details of these new passes.

 

Magic Key

Disney calls the new passes the “Magic Key Program”. Lots of the new program looks similar to the old annual passes. There are four different tiers at different prices, including a Southern California only version. Different tiers have different benefits, like fewer blackout dates and discounts on merch and food. Check out the details in the graphic below.

The main difference from old passes is that all of the Magic Key tiers require you to make reservations. This sounds pretty similar to the Flex Pass that the park introduced in 2019, although that had some dates that were just open and you didn’t need to reserve.

We sort of expected this might happen, especially since as of now all guests need to make a reservation. Unfortunately, while the flex pass had very few blackout dates and mostly had either “open” dates or “reservation required” dates, the new passes do have full blackout dates. Not surprisingly, the cheaper passes have more blackout dates – although it seems like not nearly as many as the old bottom tier passes did.

The top tier passes allow you to hold 6 reservation dates at a time. while the lower tier ones only let you hold 4 or 2 reservations (which is probably fine for most locals). For what it’s worth, in my half a year of having a Flex Pass, I never ran into a date where I couldn’t make a reservation.

Inside the Rise of the Resistance ride at Disneyland. A row of storm trooper animatronics with Imperial Officer cast members in front of them.

I was able to get reservations for Disneyland for two days on the opening weekend of Rise of the Resistance with my Flex Pass without too much planning ahead, so hopefully reservations aren’t hard to come by with the Magic Key Program

Magic Key holders will also get access to a few other benefits. Dedicated dining at the Magic Key Terrace (I assume the former pass holder dining terrace in DCA). A Magic Key holder celebration month, whatever that means. And, special offerings during festivals at the parks.

My Personal Thoughts On The Program

As for my thoughts on the passes, I think the $650 price tier is on the edge for where it might be worth it to me. A two day Park Hopper ticket for Disneyland and DCA is pushing $300. I go 2-3 times per year for a day or two, so it’s really close whether it’s worth it.

I usually go in the shoulder and low seasons anyway, so the blackout dates aren’t terrible. But, I wish there were a few Saturdays in Spring that weren’t blacked out at that level. I also don’t really need to be able to hold four reservations at once. I wish there were a $500 or $550 level with only 2 reservations held at once, that would make it an easy call for me.

Overall, I think this isn’t as bad as it could have been. I was expecting much higher prices across the board, and more restrictive blackouts. The reservation policy isn’t a surprise, and if getting reservations is as easy as it was with Flex Passes, then I don’t think it’ll be a problem.

On Sale August 25

Magic Key passes go on sale August 25. The four tiers range in price from $399 for Southern California residents, up to $1399 for the top tier. More details on all of the benefits, how to buy and make reservations, blackout dates, and much more can be found on Disneyland website. People who order in the first 66 days will get some special gifts as well, check out the parks blog post for more info on that! So, former Disneyland pass holders, think you’ll jump on a Magic Key pass? Let us know in the comments below!

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