Guide to Disneyland Magic Key Pass: 2022-2023 Prices, Perks, Blockout Dates & Discounts

Magic Key is the reservations-based Annual Passholder program at Disneyland & Disney California Adventure. This guide covers pricing, blockout dates, renewals, discounts, and perks. Plus, comparisons to APs and everything you need to know! (Updated November 18, 2022.)

With a Magic Key Pass, you can make theme park reservations for ongoing visits and hold more than one theme park reservation at a time for different dates. Passholders also save up to 15% on select dining, save up to 20% on select merchandise, and 20% off purchases of the Genie+ Lightning Lane service (paid FastPass). Throughout the year, there are also special offerings just for Magic Key holders, exclusive photo ops, special venues, and more.

The Magic Key Pass program at Disneyland offers 4 types of passes featuring a variety of admission days and blockout dates, price points, reservation limits, parking, and discounts. You can select the Magic Key Annual Pass of most value to you. Let’s start with an update on availability followed by an overview of what each tier of Magic Key Annual Passes offers along with 2022-2023 pricing for those who are debating which to buy.

November 18, 2022 Update: In a surprise move, Disneyland Resort resumed sales of select Magic Key Annual Passes as the busy Christmas season has just gotten underway, and with Thanksgiving right around the corner. However, all of the available options sold out in less than two days. Here’s the message that now displays on the official Magic Key page:

“We have currently paused new sales of Magic Key passes. At this time, current Magic Key holders have the opportunity—during their renewal window (currently up to 30 days prior to the pass expiration date)—to renew into a pass made available within the program. The quantity of passes and pass types available for renewal or purchase may be limited, and passes or a pass type may be unavailable from time to time or at any given time.”

In any case, here’s everything else you need to know for when Magic Key sales resume again in 2023…

Imagine Magic Key – $449 (Previously $399)

(Only available for Southern California Residents living in zip codes 90000 to 93599)

  • Reservation-based admission to one or both theme parks select days of the year.
  • Hold up to 2 theme park reservations at a time
  • 10% off select merchandise
  • 10% off select dining
  • 25% off select parking

Enchant Magic Key – $699 (Previously $649)

  • Reservation-based admission to one or both theme parks select days of the year.
  • Hold up to 4 theme park reservations at a time
  • 10% off select merchandise
  • 10% off select dining
  • 25% off select parking

Believe Magic Key – $1099 (Previously $949)

  • Reservation-based admission to one or both theme parks most days of the year.
  • Hold up to 6 theme park reservations at a time
  • 10% off select merchandise
  • 10% off select dining
  • 50% off standard theme park parking (excluding blockout days, and available for purchase at Mickey & Friends Parking Structure, Pixar Pals Parking Structure and the Toy Story Parking Area)

NEW Inspire Magic Key – $1599 (Previously Dream Key $1,399)

  • Reservation-based admission to one or both theme parks except December 21 through January 1
  • Hold up to 6 theme park reservations at a time for different dates
  • Includes PhotoPass
  • Up to 20% off select merchandise
  • Up to 15% off select dining
  • Standard theme park parking included (excluding blockout days)

Some additional noteworthy details: A monthly payment plan is available exclusively for California Residents living in ZIP Codes 90000—96199. Twelve monthly payments based on remaining balance after one-time down payment on date of Magic Key pass purchase.

At this time, current Magic Key holders have the opportunity during their renewal window to renew into one of several passes that are being made available for the 2022-2023 Magic Key program. The quantity of passes and pass types available for renewal or purchase may be limited and passes or a pass type may not be available from time to time or at any given time.

The biggest consideration when choosing which Magic Key is right for you is the blockout dates. One thing you’ll definitely want to consult is Disneyland’s Magic Key Access Calendar. This shows blockout dates and dynamic reservation availability all in one handy location, for each tier of Annual Pass.

You’ll note blockouts across all three passes on weekends and high visitation holidays, such as Easter and Christmas. The two lower tiers also have most of the summer blocked out and more dates blocked out.

Once you’ve purchased a Magic Key, it’s time to start using it! The graphic above illustrates the process for making theme park reservations once you’ve already purchased a Magic Key Annual Pass. It’s a pretty easy process, but we have a guide here if you need it.

We’ve been following this since Magic Key Passes went on sale–and have visited Disneyland and Disney California Adventure countless times. Typically, weekends book up in advance, whereas weekdays have not. However, this dynamic is changing a bit as Disney is staffing differently for weekdays v. weekends. We’d expect this trend to continue in the months to come.

Park Hopping is also an option for Magic Keymasters. It’s possible to make a single reservation for each individual park or both parks, with either option counting as one reservation towards your total reservation count. Reservations for both parks are subject to availability and are not guaranteed. Obviously, the “both parks” reservations are going to be in higher demand (who would choose just one park if they have the option for both?), so you might not have that option if you’re booking reservations at the last minute.

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 pm. 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.

When it comes to using your Magic Key, one thing to know is that holders who are a “no show” for 3 reservations in a 90-day window will be unable to make new park reservations for 30 days. This probably is not a major detail as we don’t anticipate many Annual Passholders making “land grab” reservations given the limits on each, but it’s still worth knowing.

Existing park reservations at that time will not be cancelled. A Magic Key holder who enters the designated park any time before closing on the day of the reservation is not considered a “no-show.” Magic Key holders who timely cancel a reservation are also not considered a “no-show.” Cancellation of a reservation must be done on the day before the reserved date.

Finally, there will be Magic Keyholder benefits, including:

  • Magic Key Terrace: a re-imagined lounge just for Magic Key holders plus 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

Check out our Magic Key Terrace Restaurant Review if you want more info and our thoughts on that first perk. (Spoiler: it’s table service quality food at counter service prices!)

On a fun note, the name “Magic Key” is a nice nod to the past. Back in the E through A ticket book days, the Magic Key Coupon was valid at any attraction. You could use it on a bona-fide E Ticket like Country Bear Jamboree in Bear Country, an A Ticket like 20,000 Leagues, or anything in between.

We appreciate this deep-cut blast from the past and will use Disneyland’s new verbiage when necessary for drawing distinctions below. But most of the time, we’ll probably continue to call these Annual Passes. Disney is fighting decades of history, inertia, and common vernacular with this name change. I’ll be surprised if Disney itself doesn’t use the old terminology here and there.

Anyway, on with the commentary on why Disneyland is resurrecting its Annual Pass program with some new twists, our favorite Magic Key Pass option, why reservations are a good thing, and much more…

Commentary

None of this is particularly surprising. Back at the beginning of the year when Disneyland ended the AP program and cancelled all outstanding passes, we offered the “reassuring prediction” that Annual Passes were not gone for good. In that, we stated our expectation was that Annual Passes would be back in some form as soon as Disneyland and DCA can operate at full capacity.

That might not sound like a much of a bold prediction now, since Disney has been teasing a “membership program” for months. However, there were widespread fears that Disneyland was killing off its AP program permanently at the time.

From that January post: “In normal times, Disneyland is dependent upon locals during the off-season—the SoCal resident ticket deal is insufficient on its own. Although Disney has tried to make Disneyland Resort a standalone vacation destination (and moved it in that direction since the debut of Cars Land), it is still reliant upon Californians and not tourists for most of the year. While those same locals cause attendance problems, Disneyland cannot subsist on travelers like Walt Disney World.”

“It’s likely that significant ‘reforms’ will be instituted with the relaunch of Disneyland’s Annual Passholder program. Having the chance to reboot the entire program in the image of the Disney Flex Pass (which is essentially the framework for the Park Pass reservation system at Walt Disney World) should help address the crowd woes that have arisen at Disneyland in the last several years.” Nailed it? Nailed it.

As for the tiers and pricing, there are clear comparisons between past Disneyland Annual Passes and the Magic Key program. The Imagine Pass is most comparable to the Southern California Select AP. That pass offered 170 days of access (no weekends or peak season dates) nor did it have parking. One month before the park closure, Annual Pass prices increased and the Southern California Select Annual Pass jumped to $419.

This comparison is pretty apples to apples, with the Imagine Magic Key offering over 100 additional days of theoretical access. The drawback is 2 simultaneous reservations for those days, instead of open access as before. The big wildcard is availability, which is something we’ll address below.

Next, there’s the Enchant Magic Key, which seemingly replaces the Deluxe and Flex Passes (the Flex itself seemed poised to phase out the Deluxe pre-closure). The Flex Pass was $649 and the Deluxe Pass was $829. Neither included parking.

The Enchant Magic Key is directly aligned with the Flex Pass. The key distinction is that the Flex Pass had a calendar of both reservation-only and open admission days. However, Flex Passholders could make up to two reservations at a time up to 30 days in advance, whereas it’s 4 in a 90 day window for the Enchant Magic Key.

Replacing the Signature Annual Pass is the Believe Magic Key. The Signature Pass had minimal blockouts–essentially only starting the week of Christmas and running through New Year’s–and also included parking. It had increased to $1199.

Blockout dates are similar for the Believe Magic Key. The big drawbacks here are 50% off parking rather than it being included, and needing to make reservations (6 simultaneous ones in a 90 day window) rather than having open access. The big upside is that it’s cheaper–but the cost of even half-off parking adds up quickly for Disneyland locals!

Finally, there’s the Inspire Magic Key. (This was previously called the Dream Magic Key, but that has been replaced for 2022-2023.) This is the top-tier pass; it’s roughly equivalent to the Signature Plus, which had no blockouts, included MaxPass and PhotoPass, as well as parking for $1449.

The Inspire Magic Key still requires reservations (6 simultaneous ones in a 90 day window), doesn’t have MaxPass, and blocks out the weeks of Christmas and New Year’s. It’s an unequivocal downgrade, and one that costs more money.

Some Disneyland fans will view these prices as too high, but not anyone who bought an AP last year. These coming in at lower price points than their predecessors–even with the reservation requirements–is undoubtedly the biggest trick pulled by the Magic Keys. (Sorry, illusion. A trick is something a–can’t finish that reference on a family-friendly blog!)

Having to make reservations definitely lowers the value of the Magic Keys, we’re not trying to spin this and pretend that it doesn’t. However, existing Walt Disney World APs have been dealing with park reservations for the last year and never saw a price reduction due to them. Given that and Disney’s pricing trajectory, I think most fans probably expected these to cost more or offer less. Color us pleasantly surprised.

The clearest takeaway from all of this is that Disneyland very much values the ability the manage capacity and Annual Passholder attendance. This much should be clear based upon the price points and blockouts, especially for the Imagine, Enchant, and Believe Magic Keys. That plus the paid parking on most passes further suggests they want to limit the after work or school “drop in” visits that contribute to crowds but less guest spending.

Diehard former Annual Passholders are likely to disagree, but we think the Magic Key program sounds fantastic. In addition to being good for Disney, it’s good for regular ticket-buying guests as well as the overall “health” of the parks. On busy days, Disneyland could buckle under the weight of Annual Passholders, and their colossal numbers could make for nightmarish conditions. (I still have flashbacks to crushing crowds in the winter “off-season” a few years ago when Main Street Electrical Parade returned.)

Disneyland has a totally different vibe from Walt Disney World, and in many ways, that’s for the better. One way it’s not so great is in the sense that many Disneyland locals treat the parks as leisurely hangout spots. A laidback locals’ culture is great, but Disneyland should be special—not an alternative to visiting Irvine Spectrum or the Grove.

Limiting locals reservations will not just throttle and redistribute crowds. It’ll also create a greater sense of urgency and appreciation when visiting Disneyland, which is a good thing. This means less camping out for hours to see Fantasmic, monopolizing tables in restaurants, and just generally less loitering. (And I say all of this as someone who has been guilty of treating Disneyland and Disney California Adventure as hangout spots no different than a local mall.)

With the Magic Key program, there are some easily identifiable winners and losers. The clear-cut biggest winner is non-local Disneyland fans who do several long weekend or multi-day trips to Disneyland per year.

I suspect there are going to be a lot of fans from Northern California, Nevada, and Utah salivating at the Enchant Magic Key. The lack of parking is not a big problem for visitors who stay in nearby hotels, and moving from 2 to 4 simultaneous reservations will also be huge and make this a better option than the Flex Pass.

Ultimately, the biggest losers of Disneyland’s Magic Key Pass program will be locals who loved having the flexibility drop in for a few hours without any advance planning. Same-day reservations might be possible in the first few months or even year, but those will eventually dry up as more people purchase Magic Keys.

When we were Disneyland locals, there were so many times we’d spontaneously visit with zero advance notice simply because we had nothing better to do–or for some limited purpose, like a weird new culinary concoction debuting at Pizza Port. That era is effectively over, and it’s going to be an adjustment for many locals, even if it is a net positive for the guest experience at Disneyland.

Planning a Southern California vacation? For park admission deals, read Tips for Saving Money on Disneyland Tickets. Learn about on-site and off-site hotels in our Anaheim Hotel Reviews & Rankings. For where to eat, check out our Disneyland Restaurant Reviews. For unique ideas of things that’ll improve your trip, check out What to Pack for Disney. For comprehensive advice, consult our Disneyland Vacation Planning Guide. Finally, for guides beyond Disney, check out our Southern California Itineraries for day trips to Los Angeles, Laguna Beach, and tons of other places!

YOUR THOUGHTS

Will you be purchasing a Magic Key pass for Disneyland? Which tier do you anticipate buying? Excited to go from Passholder to Keyholder? Thoughts on the reservation limits, pricing, or anything else? How will these changes impact you personally? Setting that aside, do you think this will be a net positive or negative for Disneyland? Do you agree with our assessment of Disneyland’s Magic Key v. Annual Pass programs? Any questions we can help you answer? 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

69 Responses to “Guide to Disneyland Magic Key Pass: 2022-2023 Prices, Perks, Blockout Dates & Discounts”
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