Disneyland's New Magic Key Annual Passes Going on Sale

August 24, 2021, 5:53 PM · Disneyland's new Magic Key passes go on sale Wednesday morning, no earlier than 10am Pacific time. Here is what you need to know if you are thinking about getting one of these new Disneyland Resort annual passes.

Magic Key passes differ from most of Disneyland's old annual passes in that they require you to make an advance reservation to visit the parks. Guests have had to make reservations to visit using regular tickets ever since Disneyland reopened in April, and the Magic Key program extends that requirement to passholders, as well. Magic Key is offered in four tiers, with more expensive tiers allowing you to make and hold more advance reservations at a time.

Disneyland will not sell out its Magic Key passes tomorrow, so there should be no rush to get one. However, there might be a rush to use them, which likely will result in people swamping Disneyland's online ordering system tomorrow.

Even though there is no limit on the number of Magic Key passes Disneyland could sell, there will be limits on the number of reservations that Magic Key holders may make for each date of park operations, so people who buy ASAP will get the widest choice of available dates. Magic Key reservations may be made up to 90 days in advance, so if you really, really want to make 100% sure you can visit with your Magic Key on some specific date before November 23, get your pass as soon as you can.

Or, you can just go ahead and buy a regular ticket for the first date you want to visit, then upgrade that ticket to a Magic Key when you are there. The ticket price will be applied to the price of your Magic Key pass. California resident discount tickets may not be upgraded, however.

People who buy a Magic Key within the first 66 days (for Disneyland's 66 years) will get some swag, though, including a limited-edition Magic Key pin, button, and magnet (coming to car bumpers throughout southern California soon!)

Magic Key passes must be purchased online and will not be available at Disneyland Resort ticket booths. You can purchase via Disneyland's website or through the official Disneyland app, which is the preferred way to upgrade while in the parks.

Here are the four tiers of Disneyland's new Magic Key pass:

Imagine Key - $399: Hold up to two reservations at once. Discounts: 10% off select merchandise, food and beverage. Available 147 weekdays. This one is available only to southern California residents.

Enchant Key - $649: Hold up to four reservations. Discounts: 10% off select merchandise, food and beverage. Available 218 days.

Believe Key - $949: Hold up to six reservations. Discounts: 10% off select merchandise, food and beverage, plus 50% off parking. Available 317 days.

Dream Key - $1,399: Hold up to six reservations at once. Discounts: 20% off select merchandise and 15% off select food and beverage. Free parking. Available all days of the year.

Monthly payment plans will be available to California residents for all tiers, after a $179 down payment. That makes the monthly payments $19, $40, $65, and $102 respectively.

You can cancel a reservation without penalty up until the night before, however, if a Key holder "no shows" three times in a 90-day period, their ability to make new reservations will be suspended for 30 days. You can read more about using the new Magic Key system on our How to Get the Most from Disneyland's Magic Key Pass page.

And if you are a sucker for Disneyland trivia, you can read more about Disneyland's original Magic Key ticket in this Theme Park Wayback Machine post.

Finally, if you are looking for other Disneyland ticket options, including discounts on regular tickets, please visit our travel partner's Disneyland tickets page.

* * *
We wanted you to read this article before we make our newsletter pitch, unlike so many other websites. If you appreciate that - and our approach to covering theme park, travel, and entertainment news - please sign up for our free, three-times-a-week email newsletter. Thank you.

Replies (10)

August 24, 2021 at 6:08 PM

I got a fast Internet service, a desktop, a tablet and a phone. Hopefully one of them goes through at 10am. I want to use it for this weekend.

August 25, 2021 at 10:54 AM

It's a shame that it doesn't sound like Disney will be limiting Magic Key sales. Obviously this "hard reset" and new reservation requirements will allow managers to better control AP attendance, but will not necessarily solve the basic problem Disney was having. Also, by theoretically allowing an unlimited number of Magic Keys, it will be impossible for Disney to ensure every tier can get appropriate value.

If I were planning to purchase, I would be extremely concerned about the blackouts and limited reservations on the lower tiers of the program, so I would be willing to pay extra for the "Believe" or "Dream" tier. However, I also think that a lot of former DL APs will be thinking the same way, which will create a HUGE pool of Magic Key holders with no blackouts, and turn the reservation system in the Wild West where it's worse than FP+ was at WDW with most days selling out to Magic Key holders within the first minutes of them becoming available.

The problem is that this system is not very transparent from the guest's perspective, so there's no way to know what's going to happen or how things will change over time (lower tier Magic Keys upgrading in the middle of their term to eliminate blackouts and increase the number of reservations). I think if there were hard caps on the number of Magic Keys available at each tier, it would set clear expectations for the guest and some peace of mind that if they do pony up for the highest tier that they will get some value for that $1,399. After all, if you have to get online at 8 AM every day to reserve a visit 90 days out and can only hold 6 reservations at a time, it will be very difficult to get enough visits in to justify the price (24 maximum visits per year).

August 25, 2021 at 11:37 AM

The top two tiers only allow you hold 6 reservations at a time. The enchant key, only 4 at a time. Even if I could afford it now, I have to plan my time off and 8 to 10 days at a time. It's like hot dogs coming in packs of 10 and buns coming in 8. Let's use that logic...

No one can really be assured they can come out for a week. So, as soon a you walk through a gate, you automatically have to book for the next day. Not my idea of fun.

So does anyone know why or did Disney explain why or what data they had to lead to those restrictions. Blackout dates are somewhat easier to grasp.

August 25, 2021 at 11:40 AM

What a rippoff! More money grubing from Disney.

August 25, 2021 at 12:52 PM

@davehr - Actually, compared to what APs cost before, the new options are comparably priced. Disney could have easily priced each tier of the Magic Key program 30-50% higher, and would still sell millions of passes. This new program is not about $$$, it's about CONTROL and crowd management, which should actually benefit EVERYONE (Disney and guests).

@leastinteresting - I think the issue here is that Disney is going about this the wrong way, and leaving too many of the details hidden from fans/future Magic Key Holders. Given that this is a completely new program, prospective buyers have absolutely no idea how easy or difficult it will be to secure reservations. Guests have no idea how many reservations are being released for any given day or whether additional reservations will be released closer to each date - i.e. if the allotted percentage of day-tickets are not sold within a week, will Disney release additional Magic Key reservations and if so, will they contact Key holders to let them know those days are available?

Also, since there's no way to know how many Key Holders there will be at each tier, it's impossible for a guest to evaluate which level is right for them. The blackout dates will probably be the biggest driver for most people, but if the blackouts aren't a factor say if I'm choosing between the "Dream" and "Believe" tiers ($450 difference), I want to know how hard it's going to be for me to get a reservation on those extra high-demand dates which will be a direct result of the number of Key Holders at the highest tier.

Obviously with any new system there's going to be some growing pains and adjustments, but the overall lack of transparency in how the system will work and how many other Key Holders will be competing for a limited reservation pool are huge variables being hidden from guests.

There are concerns from both ends of the spectrum...

Guests trying to buy the cheapest APs would be concerned that they would NEVER be able to secure a choice reservation despite paying $399. Those Key Holders end up trying to get reservations 90 days out, but are constantly missing out or simply are unable to commit to visiting with such an advanced notice.

Guests wanting to visit every day possible and are willing to pay for that privilege end up getting nowhere close to the number of reservations they feel they're entitled to for their $1,399 price, even if they just want to come into the park for an hour or 2 a day. In the eyes of the upper tier APs, not all visits are created equal, and paying extra was supposed to give you that luxury that you could walk into Disneyland whenever you wanted as if you were a member of the family. While the reservation system was necessary to avoid the overcrowding situation, the lack of transparency will make it difficult for Dream Key Holders to tell when they can pick up a reservation the day or week before or when they have to plan a 2-hour visit 90 days in advance.

August 25, 2021 at 2:16 PM

@Russell Meyer -

Always appreciate hearing your perspective. I have called ask to for more information twice and they took my information and still haven't returned a call. (Very polite and professional of course)

The thing that bothers me most is this: Let's say you plan hotels for 7-8 days (during one of there lowest attendance points of the year) and then have reservations for the first 4. After your day 1, day 5 isn't available and day 6 isn't available. Now what? This is the question Disney doesn't seem to be able to answer.

Let's also theorize that that based on staffing levels they were at a tipping point and did not open more reservations because all of the sudden, they have to schedule more staff???

What goes into that planning and could it box someone out from staying the amount of time they want to?

August 25, 2021 at 3:18 PM

It would not surprise me that at some point Dream Key holders will be able to hold as many reservations as they have nights booked at a Disneyland resort. I think it is more likely this to happen at Disneyworld once their new AP plan is officially announced (which will likely look a lot like Disneyland's Dream Key plan).

August 25, 2021 at 3:23 PM

As I've said before, I'm going to wait a couple months and see what happens before jumping on board this program. If reservations are plentiful and the parks aren't packed to the gills every operating day, I'll probably buy one for the holidays and use it throughout the next year. If, however, it becomes a challenge to get reservations a week or two out and/or the crowds create hour-plus waits for everything on a daily basis, I might just stick with day tickets once or twice a year.

August 25, 2021 at 7:22 PM

I got mine within 45 minutes of going to sale. Though I wasn’t able to do the payment option(It seems this option wasn’t available in the first 2 -3 hours.). Oh well, at least I can be able to use my Dream Key this Friday.

August 26, 2021 at 12:54 AM

This is awesome. I would love to visit. There should also be stalls for encouraging the vaccination and use of vitamins and probiotic supplements for the betterment of health in this era of pandemic.

This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.

Park tickets

Weekly newsletter

New attraction reviews

News archive