Disneyland Opens Two New 'Magic Key' Experiences

September 1, 2021, 4:50 PM · Disneyland has set aside two locations in its parks exclusively for its new Magic Keyholders. Magic Key is the Disneyland Resort's new annual pass program and these two locations are just a couple of the perks available to program participants.

Disney invited me and a few other local reporters for a first look this morning before opening to all passholders. In Disneyland, the old Starcade in Tomorrowland is now the Magic Key Starcade Experience ("don't call it a lounge"). Inside, you will find Instagram-ready photo backdrops, as well as occasional physically distanced appearances by Mickey Mouse and other Disney characters.

Minnie Mouse with Halloween Magic
Minnie Mouse in her Halloween outfit at Disneyland

But the real attraction might be the sofas, air conditioning, and phone charging stations.

Phone charger

The Magic Key Starcade Experience is open daily from noon to 6pm, through October 30.

Over at Disney California Adventure, the resort has converted the former Alfresco Tasting Terrace into the Magic Key Terrace, a permanent new sit-down dining location exclusively for Magic Keyholders.

Executive Chef Jeremiah Balogh talked us through the new menu. Here's the link to browse it yourself.

In addition to what you will find on the menu, Chef Balogh introduced a secret menu drink. The Nutmeg (named for a feral cat that once lived behind the terrace), includes Meyers dark rum, apricot liqueur, and Bailey's Irish cream, with a little bit of Frangelico.

Nutmeg secret menu drink at Disneyland

Almost all food and drink menu items lean into past locations names from Disney California Adventure. For example, here are the Pizza Oom Mow Wow! cocktail (Bloody Mary with Tito's handmade vodka and flavors of pineapple, pepperoncini, and mushroom - $17) and the Bountiful Valley Charcuterie ($18).

Pizza Oom Mow Wow! and Bountiful Valley Charcuterie

And the Mulholland Madness Meatballs, stuffed with cheese and served with spicy creamy tomato sauce, charred broccolini and orange segments, pickled red onions, whipped burrata, and crostini ($16).

Mulholland Madness Meatballs

My favorite was the Seared Scallops & Potato Fritters ($22), served with roasted carrot purée, fresh greens and citrus turmeric gel. (No fancy name yet?) Clearly, the menu here aims at higher-end restaurant dining and not theme park snacks, despite the cute names. We will see how Disneyland's most loyal fans react to that, in the weeks ahead.

Magic Key Terrace is now available to Magic Keyholders through digital walk up via the Disneyland app. It opens for advance reservations starting tomorrow, September 2.

In addition to the exclusive locations, Disneyland will be introducing a new Magic Key popcorn bucket and embroidery options (including on Mickey ears) for Magic Keyholders in the weeks to come. Check out our original post, Here's the Scoop on Disneyland's New Annual Pass Program for more information on Disneyland's Magic Key program and how to order one.

Ticket Icon Right now, Disney is offering California residents deeply discounted tickets to Disneyland and Disney California Adventure, but our authorized partner has even bigger discounts available on its Disneyland tickets page. Other discounts are available to non-Californians, as well.

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Replies (3)

September 1, 2021 at 9:34 PM

Man, I'd pay $1000 to bring back the arcade that used to be in Starcade. While I'm at it, I'll also pay to bring back the arcade at the Grand Californian (they turned it into a work out room?!? Who works out at Disneyland?) and, of course, the motherlode, the arcade at the bottom of the Contemporary at WDW, at once time one of the greatest arcades on the planet . . .

But yeah, sure, whatever, Magic Key people can sit down.

September 2, 2021 at 9:37 AM

I'm curious how busy these lounges will be. The Chase and other member lounges at WDW (and AMEX lounges at UO) are pretty well-kept secrets that naturally keep attendance very manageable because most people don't know about them. However, given that these lounges are a specific perk for Key holders, I would worry that they would be at capacity (with a line to get in) virtually all hours of the day.

I also wonder how many Key holders see the benefit of an exclusive restaurant. It sounds like they're trying to replicate Club 33, but will this just be seen as a cheap knock off by Key holders?

It's nice that Disneyland is at least giving loyal guests some tangible perks for their considerable financial contribution to the parks (unlike what WDW has done).

September 2, 2021 at 10:49 AM

I wonder if restricting the Terrace to Key holders will allow Disney to get away with a more ambitious menu. If there's no pressure to serve day visitors, will that mean less pressure to dumb down the menu to burgers and chick strips? I don't know. But as a long-time passholders (haven't bought a Magic Key yet, though), I would love to see some of these dishes stick around.

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