Disneyland launches ‘Magic Key’: What to know about the new annual pass replacement program

Entertainment

Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland is seen in this photo distributed on Aug. 3, 2021. (Disneyland Resort)

Months after sunsetting its popular annual passports, the Disneyland Resort on Tuesday unveiled a new replacement program: “Magic Key.”

Like the old passes, Magic Key offers a variety of tiers, giving Disney fans the flexibility to essentially choose how often and when they can go to Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park. And, for the most part, the choices are cheaper.


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However, unlike the old system, there are fewer pass options — and all of them require park reservations, which is the biggest difference between the now-retired annual passports and Magic Key.

Under the previous system, only the Flex Pass required reservations to visit one or both of the Anaheim theme parks, and even that was only on days the passport would have otherwise been blocked out — that is, days that the pass couldn’t be used for admission.

Sales will begin on Aug. 25 and reservations can be made the same day after purchase.

Magic Key options:

Level: Imagine Key pass (Southern California residents only)
Price: $399 (or $179 down payment + 18.34/month)
Blockout days: Select dates (see calendar)
Park reservations held at once: 2
Discounts: 10% merchandise, 10% dining
Parking: Not included

Level: Enchant Key pass
Price: $649 (or $179 down payment + $39.17/month)
Blockout days: Select dates (see calendar)
Park reservations held at once: 4
Discounts: 10% merchandise, 10% dining
Parking: Not included

Level: Believe Key pass
Price: $949 (or $179 down payment + $64.17/month)
Blockout days: Select dates (see calendar)
Park reservations held at once: 6
Discounts: 10% merchandise, 10% dining
Parking: 50% off on valid dates

Level: Dream Key pass
Price: $1399 (or $179 down payment + $101.67/month)
Blockout days: No
Park reservations held at once: 6
Discounts: 20% merchandise, 15% dining
Parking: Included

(Note: The monthly payment installments are only available to California residents)

While the Magic Key holder can only hold a certain number of reservations at a given time, they can make another after one is used.

But like the old Flex Pass, the holder must cancel their reservation by 11:59 p.m. PT on the day before the reserved date if they can no longer go to the park — or risk receiving a “no show.” If the person has three “no shows” in a rolling 90-period, they won’t be able to make a new reservation for a 30-day window starting after the third one.

Full details of the new Magic Key can be found here.

The Disneyland Resort discontinued annual passports back in January as the COVID-related shutdown of the theme parks reached 10 months. Eligible passholders received some type of refund to make up for unused time.

Before the program was canceled, annual passes were in existence for almost four decades, offering fans a variety of options and prices, depending on how often they wanted to go and when. As ticket prices soared, the passes ended up being a good deal for most repeat visitors.

At the low end of the spectrum was the Southern California Select pass — available only to Southern California residents — which cost $419. But it also had the most blockout days — including holidays and weekends.

The most expensive one was the Signature Plus pass, which cost $1,449. That option, however, included parking, PhotoPass and the since-suspended MaxPass, and could be used to get into the theme parks every day.

The Flex Pass, a $649 option that was first introduced in May 2019, had the same admission dates as the Southern California Select Pass, but with the added bonus of allowing the holder to reserve other days in the theme parks.

All passholders also received some type of discount for most concessions and merchandise, something Magic Key continues.

The new program will also likely still provide value for fans who plan to visit multiple times a year. By comparison, adult tickets are currently priced from $104 to $154 for a single day at one park under Disney’s five-tiered system. Plus, guests must pay an additional $55 for a park hopper ticket, which allows them into Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park on the same day.

The theme park also offers multi-day tickets that brings down the daily admission cost to as low as $72 per day for up to five days. And last month, Disney unveiled a limited-time discount for California residents, allowing them to purchase three-day tickets for as low as $83 per day.

Since reopening in April, Disneyland has made some major changes to their admission policy — most notably requiring ticket holders to make a reservation before going to theme parks.

The resort has also imposed some COVID-19 health measures, including a recent mandate that all guests and cast members, regardless of vaccination status, wear masks indoors. The requirement came after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its guidance on facial coverings amid a nationwide uptick in cases and the continued spread of the highly contagious delta variant.

Disney also recommends — but does not require — guests either be fully vaccinated or receive a negative coronavirus test before entering the resort.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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