Disneyland’s New Magic Key Program Replaces Annual Passes

The new Annual Pass, The Magic Key has finally been released and is promised to deliver more choices, flexibility, and value for park admission, special access to unique experiences, valuable saving opportunities, and more. There will be four options of Magic Key passes, to provide guests and their families with choices that fit various needs and lifestyle preferences for how they wish to visit the Disneyland Resort.

All four tiers of Magic Key feature a reservation system with a 90-day booking window, allowing lots of time for guests to plan their next trip. And the higher the tier the more reservations you can hold at one time. Disney has also taken the current conditions into consideration and will allow you to cancel your reservations as close as the night before your trip.

Take a look at the new Magic Key tiers and special offers, AP sales will resume on August 25th!

Block Out Dates?

Each Key will have block-out dates with the exception of the highest costing key, The Dream Key. What are block-out dates? Those are simply the days that your particular passes cannot enter the park. So, with The Dream Key, there are no block-out dates at all because this is the crème de la crème of passes. Whereas The Believe Key has a total of 48 days that are blocked out for the entire year. Not bad! And The Enchant Key has a total of 160 days blocked out for the entire year.

The Imagine Key is the lowest tier key and is just for California residence. As you can tell with that key, you aren’t going to get many days that are not blocked out. As I look at all these block-out dates, it’s clear Disney is trying to help with the overcrowding and after-school crews by limiting the days they can attend the parks. This will be nice for those visiting from out of town, as they aren’t going to have to push past a lot of teens making Disney their afternoon hangout.

I have copied the blocked-out dates that Disney has posted on their website for you to take a look at to help decide which pass is best for you.

The Dream Key

The Believe Key

The Enchant Key

The Imagine Key

Here’s How To Use The New Magic Key Pass System

If you had the Flex Annual Pass, this won’t be a big change for you. This is the exact same process for both the old Flex Pass and Disney World AP reservations.

There’s one big change worth mentioning here…

Notice where it says, “Magic Key holders, choosing both parks, can select which theme park to start their day at and may cross over and switch between parks on the same day beginning at 1:00 PM, subject to capacity”.

Due to COVID we no longer have the freedom to wander from park to park. You will have to choose which park to start out at and also that you are park hopping to the other park. As though you don’t have an AP at all. This is in place to help regulate the park compacity, we are hoping to see this go away as more COVID cases drop.

The Fine Print (Straight from Disney)

To enter a theme park, each Magic Key holder must have a theme park reservation in addition to a valid Magic Key pass. Park reservations are limited, and subject to availability, public health orders, and applicable pass block-out dates, and are not guaranteed for any specific dates or park. Magic Key pass block-out dates and admission dates that can be visited with a park reservation will vary by pass type and theme park. Additionally, park reservations may not be available on select holidays for certain theme parks. Park reservations for select dates and parks may be made available on a rolling basis. Check for updated availability. A Magic Key pass does not guarantee admission or access to any experience, attraction, offering, or park entry.

Magic Key holders who have a park reservation for both theme parks may cross over and switch between parks on the same day beginning at 1:00 PM. Please check the Park Hours calendar and the Disneyland app for the most up-to-date Park Hopper hours, as they could start earlier at a later date, depending on the day and park. Magic Key holders who have a park reservation for both parks must enter the first park as designated in their park reservation prior to visiting the other park. At this time, a park reservation is not required after visiting the first park; however, reservation requirements are subject to change. Please note that the ability to visit the other park will be subject to that park’s capacity limitations.

Some Magic Key benefits and features may not be available during periods of limited capacity and are subject to change or cancellation without notice. Certain attractions, restaurants, experiences, services, and other offerings may be modified or unavailable, have limited capacity, and may be subject to limited availability or even closure. Offerings are not guaranteed.

Now For The Perks!

With a Magic Key pass, you can:

Make theme park reservations for ongoing visits.

Hold more than one theme park reservation at a time for different dates.

Save up to 15% on select dining.

Save up to 20% on select merchandise.

Enjoy Special Offerings Just For Magic Key Holders

Magic Key terrace: a re-imagined reservation-based lounge just for Magic Key holders and their friends and family.

Magic Key Holder Month: a month-long celebration of Magic Key holders.

Special Experiences & Collectibles: access exciting, unique experiences and collectible keepsakes designed with you in mind—including special offerings during festivals!

First Access Opportunities: be among the first to have the opportunity to access exciting new offerings at the Disneyland Resort throughout the year, including select new merchandise collections.

Downtown Disney District: discounts at participating locations.

Magic Key Merchandise, Novelties, Menu Items, and More: Show your Magic Key pride! Opportunity to purchase Magic Key holder-themed popcorn buckets, sippers, and menu items throughout the year.

Magic Key Disney PhotoPass Opportunities: enjoy special photo spots and other opportunities sprinkled in throughout the year.

Magic Key embroidery: special options available for Magic Key holders at select locations in the parks.

Plus, enjoy periodic offers available throughout the year that only Disney can provide.

Purchasing a Magic Key Pass

Starting August 25, 2021 (no earlier than 10 a.m. PT), guests will be able to purchase their preferred Magic Key pass type. Guest will also be able to visit Disneyland or California Adventure Park with a theme park reservation that same day!

A monthly payment plan exclusively for California residents will be offered for California residents only. Magic Key passes start as low as $399/year or $19/month for 12 months (for Southern California residents, and after a down payment).

Guests will be able to purchase and manage their Magic Key pass through Disneyland.com and the Disneyland app. You will be able to access an interactive admission calendar for your pass type to view reservation availability and book their theme park reservations.

Not A California Resident and Want To Make Payments On Your Key?!

Not a problem! We’ve actually done this several times! Because Disney doesn’t allow out of towners to do payments, we’ve found a “loophole”.

You can buy your vacation package through Get Away Today, including room and ticket or you can buy just a 3-day park hopper. It doesn’t really matter which one you go with. We prefer going the route of a vacation package because Get Away Today allows you to put a down payment of $175.00 and then make payments toward your trip. So now that you’ve purchased your vacation package or ticket, go ahead and add that to the Disneyland app.

Another reputable website we use for purchasing discount tickets is Undercovertourist.com. They have the best crowd calendars and a wide variety of theme parks/tickets to choose from!

If you purchase a 3-day hopper pass for $344.00 now from a discount site, when you get to Disney you can upgrade your ticket to an AP Magic Key by paying the remaining $305.00 when you get there. Or you can upgrade through the app as well. This way you are making technically 2 payments for your AP Magic Key!

What We Think About These New AP Magic Keys

Honestly, I am really surprised the new passes are as cheap as they are. With park prices going up and the pandemic making travel harder to navigate. I was sure we would see steeper prices. Some of the Legacy Passholders such as myself were able to take a quick survey sent by Disney. The survey asked us to choose between more perks with a higher cost or fewer perks with a lower cost.

It looks like Disney was able to take that survey information and settle with a nice medium. We were really pleased with the Flex Pass which is basically equivalent to the Enchant Key. So, not really much has changed here for us! I think the new Magic Keys are a nice touch. We are excited to purchase our 3-day hopper park passes today. Once we get to Disneyland, we will upgrade them to the Enchant Key!

What About Disney World?

Disney World’s 50th anniversary is coming up in October, when will they resume their Annual Pass program? Rumor is, we will see those become available in time for the start of the 50th-anniversary celebration!

Planning a trip to Disneyland? To save money on meals and snacks check out our Easiest Snacks and Meals To Bring Into Disney Theme Parks. Our Items To Buy Before Your Next Trip To Disneyland post goes over what to buy and pack to save you time and massive money! Check out The New Avengers Campus, what to see, where to eat, and our review on the Web Slingers ride. Disneyland is now requiring you to wear face masks indoors. See our Mask Review for which masks worked best for us in the heat!

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