To start 2020, Disneyland and Disney California Adventure have new discounts for hotels and kids, plus a return of the popular SoCal resident ticket deal. In this post, we’ll share info & details about these limited-time offers, plus commentary about the intersection of these promos and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance’s opening.
Let’s start with the Southern California residents ticket deal. This is allows locals the chance to visit Disneyland and Disney California Adventure for $67 per day with the purchase of a three-day, one-park per day ticket. The tickets are available for purchase through May 18, 2020 and are valid for use through May 21, 2020. Eligible guests may purchase up to five tickets per person, per day, and prices are the same for adults and children.
The SoCal resident ticket also includes one Magic Morning, which gives early admission to select attractions at Disneyland on certain days one hour before the park opens to the general public. Park Hopper tickets and MaxPass is also available via the promo. The Southern California resident ticket deal can be purchased directly from Disneyland, or via Get Away Today.
For families visiting from outside of Southern California, there’s a special promotion for kids. Also for purchase through May 18, 2020 and for use through May 21, guests can purchase 3-day tickets for children ages 3 to 9 for $67 per day, which amounts to a savings of $86 per kids ticket.
As with the SoCal resident deal, Park Hopper tickets are also available, as is the MaxPass add-on. Likewise, this special ticket also includes one Magic Morning. These special tickets may be purchased from Disneyland directly or via Get Away Today. As we’ll cover in the commentary below, we highly recommend Park Hopper and MaxPass for these ticket deals.
Next, there are room discounts for the hotels of Disneyland Resort. Guests can save up to 25% off select rooms, Sunday-Thursday nights, based upon availability through April 16, 2020 when booked by March 16, 2020. Here are the options for this discount, which can be booked via Disneyland:
Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa
Save up to 25% on Premium rooms
Save up to 20% on Standard rooms
Save up to 25% on Premium rooms
Save up to 20% on Standard rooms
Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel
Save up to 10% on Premium and Standard rooms
Hotel guests will have access to Extra Magic Hour at both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure with valid theme park admission, which could be crucial for experiencing Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. (No other on-site perks are particularly noteworthy at Disneyland Resort.)
However, multi-day tickets also make guests eligible for Magic Morning at Disneyland, so there’s no need to stay on-site if you only plan on getting to the park early once, and only care about doing so at Disneyland and not Disney California Adventure.
It’s also worth noting that you can book a discounted hotel + ticket vacation package via Get Away Today for even better savings, especially on off-site hotels. In addition to the package discount, some hotels have ‘4th night free’ promos, and there’s currently a ‘5th day free’ promo on park tickets. On top of that, you can save an extra $10 by using code TOURIST at checkout.
While we like Disneyland Hotel and Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, the prices for these resorts are astronomical even with discount, and it’s hard to say that they’re worth it. We typically stay off-site (and will be for the opening of Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance!), and find that to be perfectly fine at Disneyland Resort, which is a totally different beast than Walt Disney World.
Spring 2020 Disneyland Deals Commentary
In terms of commentary about the deals themselves, there’s not a ton that needs to be said. The Southern California resident ticket deal is the same thing that is offered to locals every year as an attempt to buoy off-season attendance. It’s slightly more expensive than in previous years, but ticket prices have gone up, so the discount is more or less comparable.
Locals who are not Annual Passholders will likely disagree with this, but I was holding out hope that Disneyland Resort would not offer this deal for 2020. Not because I have any sort of disdain for locals, but because Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance opens in roughly one week and between that and the upcoming Magic Happens daytime parade, Disneyland didn’t need any special offers to boost attendance.
To the contrary, attendance will likely be naturally-occurring this spring, and crowd levels would have been above average (at a minimum) from January 17, 2020 on thanks to that blockbuster new attraction, special events, and that parade. Adding a Southern California resident ticket discount to the mix is like throwing gasoline on a fire.
We’ve been trying to withhold our predictions for the opening of Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance at Disneyland until more details about protocol are announced (or it’s clear that they will not be announced). After getting things so wrong last summer, we’re hesitant to make that same mistake again.
So too is Disneyland, it would seem. Instead, Disney is intent upon substituting the “problem” of low crowds and the narrative of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge being a ghost town with the problem of overcrowding and chaos–but the narrative that Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is drawing huge numbers.
This is disappointing and concerning, but not surprising. How Disney has handled Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Walt Disney World was a pretty good indicator; it’s reasonable to expect more of the same at Disneyland. If not in the same exact protocol and procedures, at least in the same type of messaging and goals.
As we’ve pointed out in other posts, most specifically our January 2020 Disneyland Crowd Calendar & Info, it seems the winter off-season at Disneyland vacillates between ghost town and bonkers, with almost no moderate middle ground. While this winter could play out exactly like the opening months of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, which felt like the off-season despite being in the heart of summer, the smart money is on “bonkers.”
The last time we saw bonkers was back when the Main Street Electrical Parade made its second most recent Farewell Run. That coupled with a nostalgia-soaked market blitz and great Southern California resident ticket deal proved to be catnip for locals, who turned up in full force and made that January through May far and away the busiest in recent memory.
Just something to consider if you’re a local on the fence about the Southern California resident ticket deal. Before making any bold or comprehensive predictions about the opening weekend/month of Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, we’re going to wait and see what, if anything, Disneyland announces. Either way, we’ll have something by next week at the latest–and then again once the ride actually opens and we have a chance to spend a few days/weeks in Disneyland to see how things actually play out. So stay tuned for that!
What are your thoughts on these new Disneyland ticket and hotel discounts? Do you plan on taking advantage of the Southern California resident ticket deal, or the kids offer? Are you likewise concerned about crowds at Disneyland this winter and spring once Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance opens and the Magic Happens parade debuts? Do you think worries about crowds are overblown, and it’ll be a redux of last summer? Agree or disagree with our assessment? Any questions? Hearing your feedback—even when you disagree with us—is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!