2020 ticket prices for Disney California Adventure and Disneyland have risen on 1-day, multi-day, and Annual Passes. Beyond the price increases, Disneyland Resort has expanded the tiered tickets from Value, Regular, and Peak seasons to 5 unnamed tiers. In this post, we’ll share price change info and offer some commentary.
First of all, none of this is even remotely surprising. If you’ve read our 2020 Discount Disneyland Ticket Buying Guide, you’re familiar with fact that Disneyland raises prices annually, with January or February when prices normally rise.
The good news here is that Get Away Today, our recommended third party ticket seller, still has tickets at the “old” prices through February 20, 2020. By purchasing your Disneyland park tickets between now and then, you can save up to $75 per ticket!
This is a clever move on Disneyland’s part, as it allows them to tout current special offers and hype upcoming additions to overshadow the price bumps.
The February 2020 price increase follows last year’s “Star Wars Surge,” which occurred in January and saw price jumps ranging from under 10% on single day tickets to nearly 25% on APs with no blockouts during Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge’s grand opening. Some of those price increases were the largest in Disneyland’s history.
Here’s how the latest Disneyland ticket price changes stack up, with some comparisons in the old versus new prices…
1-Day Park Hopper now $159, $169, $179, $194, $209 (previously $154, $179, $199)
This is a clever move by Disneyland, as the base price doesn’t increase ($104 before and after), so they can still tout prices “starting at $104 per day.” I’m honestly slightly surprised they didn’t move to 6 tiers and sprinkle in a few $99 dates to be able to advertise that.
Increasing the number of tiers is also a savvy decision from a crowd management perspective. In the past, there were pronounced attendance spikes when one season ended and the next began (particularly in August), and these graduated tiers with more incremental differences shouldn’t have that same issue.
At present, the Disneyland ticket calendar only goes through June 2020. It’s thus possible we haven’t seen the full extent of pricing tiers. However, Easter and Spring Break would be among the top dates, and those are “only” $154. It’s unlikely anything aside from the period around Christmas and New Year’s Eve could potentially eclipse that.
2-Day Ticket up to $235 from $225
2-Day Park Hopper up to $290 from $280
3-Day Ticket up to $310 from $300
3-Day Park Hopper up to $365 from $355
4-Day Ticket up to $340 from $325
4-Day Park Hopper up to $395 from $380
5-Day Ticket up to $360 from $340
5-Day Park Hopper up to $415 from $395
Most prices here are increasing by $10, with some of the longer duration tickets receiving a $15 or $20 bump. Percentage-wise, these are significantly lower than last year, with most tickets up by around 3-5%. Removing last year from the equation as an obvious outlier due to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, and these are fairly average changes.
It’s worth noting that multi-day tickets that are purchased this year must be used within 13 days of first use or by January 12, 2022, whichever occurs first. In other words, the downside to buying today is it’s after a price increase…but the upside is that you could lock-in prices for the next two years, and there are inevitably more price jumps on the horizon.
Southern California Select up to $419 from $399
Disney Flex up to $649 from $599
Deluxe up to $829 from $799
Signature up to $1199 from $1149
Signature Plus up to $1449 from $1399
Premier up to $2199 from $2099
Pretty insignificant gains here with the exception of the Disney Flex Annual Pass, which debuted last year, and the Premier (coast-to-coast) Annual Pass. The disproportionate jump on the Premier Pass is unsurprising–it’s had several jumps like this and it seems like Disney’s mentality is, “let’s push this as far as we can and see just how crazy these diehard fans truly are!”
The jump on the Disney Flex Annual Pass is also unsurprising. Anecdotally, it seems incredibly popular with locals, and like a much better value than the Deluxe AP. The locals we know who have this pass seem to really like it.
This Disneyland ticket price increase follows the debut of Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, which has been popular but seems to have had a negligible impact on weekday attendance. However, it’s tough to gauge the true impact of that blockbuster ride given the boarding pass and virtual queue system being used due to reliability, uptime, and capacity issues. The attraction is undoubtedly being well received by those who experience it.
The increase also follows lower than expected attendance last summer following the debut of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Disney CEO Bob Iger attributed this drop to aggressive Annual Passholder blockouts and people postponing trips due to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and fears of crowds at Disneyland.
We covered that phenomenon at length in our Why Are Star Wars Land Crowds So Low?post. It’s the underlying causes for the declines that have our interest. Speaking to this, Iger said: “we do not feel that we have a pricing issue at our domestic parks.”
We generally agree with some of Iger’s purported rationales (fears of crowds, AP blockouts, people postponing trips until the entire land is open) for the lower than anticipated crowds last summer, but this has remained a lingering question. Iger was asked about it again on the Walt Disney Co. Q1 2020 earnings call, and seemed generally unconcerned.
In light of typically high crowds from last October through December during the popular Halloween and Christmas seasons, it’s likely that Iger is right–for now. However, we’ll be paying close attention to summer attendance and Anaheim hotel occupancy, which should paint a better picture of how Disneyland is doing as a tourist destination.
Increasing attendance among non-locals is the main impetus behind significant spending on Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and other upcoming park expansion–plus intended hotel development. As such, it’s imperative (from Disney’s perspective) that visitors from nearby states like Utah and Nevada are not dissuaded from visiting by prices, congestion, etc.
The increase comes ahead of the Magic Happens Parade, Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival, and the return of Soarin’ Over California. More notably, it comes before the debut of Avengers Campus, which is the new Marvel Land debuting at DCA.
As a recap, Avengers Campus will feature the recently-announced Stuntronics Spider-Man flying above rooftops. The land will be anchored by the Worldwide Engineering Brigade, which will house the new Spider-Man interactive web-slinging attraction.
Avengers Campus also feature Pym Test Kitchen, an all-new eatery, where Pym Technologies Researchers are using Ant-Man and the Wasp’s growing and shrinking technology to create super-sized and super small foods. In addition to that, there will be meet & greet locations with Spider-Man, Black Widow, Doctor Strange, Guardians of the Galaxy, Black Panther and the Dora Milaje, Thor and Loki, Iron Man, and Ant-Man and The Wasp.
It’ll be interesting to see whether Avengers Campus is a big enough draw to justify the higher prices to guests. With other new things coming this year, plus Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance already here and the sustained popularity of Disneyland as a Southern California institution, maybe it doesn’t need to be. Regardless, it’s going to be an interesting year at Disneyland, and ticket prices are just one of the many things that you can expect to change. We’ll be following everything, and trying to provide you with advice to navigate it all.
What do you think of the 2020 price increase on Disneyland tickets? Surprised by anything? Angered or understanding about the price bumps? Do you 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!