It would be an understatement to say that many people are upset with how Disney has handled the parks recently at both coasts. The tram has not come back to DLR since the reopening of the parks in April, leaving an almost-mile walk back to your car after a long day at the parks. The Magical Express will be departing its last bus in 2022, taking away a very helpful and stress-free method of transportation from MCO to their hotel. The free FastPass system at both coasts is being taken away to adopt a pay to ride system. Prices for tickets and passes continue to increase. Disney’s continual use of the reservation system.
The newly released magic keys (annual passes) for both resorts are a shell of the original APs. If you compare Disneyland's Magic Keys to the original passes the resort used to offer, you can see how they have increased in price and decreased in overall value. The new passes are structured around the reservation system. With a higher-priced pass comes more reservations and more days to choose from (less block out dates). There is almost no difference between the first three magic keys other than this factor, with the discounts all being the same and the very last magic key having free parking (which is $1,400).
A feature on the original passes was that an AP could purchase maxpass for $100. Now (at least as of writing this), magic key holders will basically have to buy maxpass (Genie+) and purchase an additional lightning lane for the huge e-tickets, but I won’t rant on about these smaller features. A bigger problem is at play that made me write this piece.
It’s funny. Even though I dislike the new system, I actually considered purchasing one. The little kid inside me was excited at the fact that I could go to Disneyland a lot for a year. I looked into it and saw that... there is almost no availability to go. Even with all of these decreases in features, with Fantasmic and World of Color not back yet, with the tram not back yet, with less characters walking around the park, with fast passes not being free, the monorail not operational, etc... the whole point of a pass is kinda gone. The spontaneous feeling of having the day off so you go to Disney for a few hours is gone. Heck, even if I got any of the first three passes right now, I couldn't go until October 25th! Wanna spend $1,400 on the best pass? Gotta wait until October 21st, and once that date is filled up, the next one is October 25th. Wanna go during Veterans day weekend or Thanksgiving week? You better start reserving fast because it's almost all out too. Not to mention every weekend in November is sold out on every pass too, with weekends in December being taken up also. At this point, why even pay the money for a pass when I can't go for almost a month. This brings me to the million-dollar question:
Why pay all this money for a pass to plan my Disneyland trip a month in advance?
I had a Disneyland pass from 2017-2018 as well as back in the mid 2010s. I loved going after school or randomly during a weekend. I loved having a few hours to kill, so I'd walk around the parks and ride an attraction or two. I loved the feeling of being able to go to Disneyland whenever I wanted (given I wasn't blocked out). That feeling is officially gone now.
Disneyland has a serious Magic Key reservation problem and it needs to be fixed.
I did figure out a tip if I ever did buy a pass that I could share with y'all. Buying a pass does not mean that you can have a reservation when you use it on the first day. (Some have gotten confused because you used to be able to use your pass, even if it was blocked out, on the first day of use.) In order to get around this, use a ticket. Tickets have, and always will, have more reservations available than passes. You can upgrade your ticket to a pass online. So, buy a ticket and get a reservation, then upgrade your ticket to a pass by the end of the day on your phone and immediately reserve the next day you want to go. Also, people cancel reservations occasionally. If you have a pass, just keep checking the reservation page and hope that something will come up. No one likes to always check a page for nothing to happen but I guess that's the only option left.
So, what do you think of the new system? Do you have a Magic Key and if so, do you feel like it has a good value?Tweet