Guide to Disneyland Magic Key Annual Pass: 2024 Prices, Perks, Blockout Dates & Discounts

Magic Key is the Annual Pass program at Disneyland & Disney California Adventure that requires park reservations. This guide covers everything you need to know: 2024 prices, blockout dates, when sales will resume, renewals, discounts, perks, and more! (Updated January 10, 2024.)

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 2024 pricing for those who are debating which to buy.

January 10, 2024 Update: There are a couple of major developments for the start of the new year. The big one is that Disneyland Magic Key Annual Pass sales once again resume TODAY (January 10, 2024). All 4 Magic Key Annual Pass types will be available for purchase. As always, they are subject to selling out and there’s likely to be a lengthy virtual queue when AP sales resume.

The Magic Key virtual queue waiting room is NOW OPEN. You can join here: disneyland.disney.go.com/passes

How long Magic Key sales will continue is anyone’s guess. The downside of trying to buy on January 10, 2024 is that you might be in a virtual queue for 8-10 hours versus ~15 minutes if you instead wait until the following morning. Those are actual examples of wait times from when Magic Keys went on sale last year.

The downside of waiting until then is that sales may have already concluded. The rational side of me says that there’s no way Magic Keys will sell out on January 10, 2024 and that it would be so much simpler and less stressful to simply purchase in the wee hours of January 11. That would mean way less friction and wasted time, taking a matter of minutes rather than hours.

But then there’s the emotional side of me who isn’t that much of a gambler. That side would win out, and I’d find myself in a 4+ hour virtual queue along with every other Disney fan not willing to take the risk. Given how quickly sales on most tiers of Magic Keys have been paused, you should absolutely join the virtual queue ASAP once it goes live. All of the predictions and speculation above are fun in theory, but that’s what I’d actually do if I didn’t already have a Magic Key.

It’s also worth noting that 2024 Magic Key Annual Pass prices at the Disneyland Resort have increased $50 to $150 depending on the pass type. Here’s a breakdown:

  • Inspire Magic Key: $1649 (was $1599)
  • Believe Magic Key: $1249 (was $1099)
  • Enchant Magic Key: $849 (was $699)
  • Imagine Magic Key: $499 (was $449)

Disneyland previously resumed new Magic Key sales last spring and winter–so it’s been a while. Reservation availability has been much better in the last several months than either of the past two years, which is likely a result of both increased capacity and the aforementioned exhaustion of pent-up demand.

The other big news is that Disneyland has settled a class-action lawsuit brought by Magic Key Annual Passholders that accused Disney of “deceptive business practices” in regard to its Disneyland annual pass program, according to a court filing. The lawsuit alleged that some of Disneyland’s Magic Key annual passholders were unable to make park reservations, despite the top tier AP promising “no blockout dates” for entry.

This lawsuit pertains to the now-discontinued Dream tier of Magic Key APs. This was the only tier of Annual Pass that advertised no blockout dates, and offered the ability to make theme park reservations 365 days of the year. Since the filing of the lawsuit, the Dream Key was retired and replaced by the top-tier Inspire Key. This AP has blockouts around Christmas and New Year’s Eve, meaning there is no longer a Magic Key AP that grants access to Disneyland all 365 days of the year.

Disney has agreed to pay $9.5 million to the class, which will likely amount to a $67.41 check for each member of the class-action suit, according to the filing. Magic Key Annual Passholders who were part of the class action should receive a notice of the settlement in the coming months, and that will indicate when to expect payment. The court will then set a hearing to finalize the terms of the settlement.

The bottom line is that if you were a Dream Magic Key Passholder, you should expect to receive an email in the coming months notifying you of your eligibility as part of the class, as well as settlement terms and instructions. Following that, expect to receive a check for about 70 bucks sometime in 2024.

Here’s everything else you need before buying a Magic Key Annual Pass…

Imagine Magic Key – $499 (Previously $449)

(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 – $849 (Previously $699)

  • 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 – $1,249 (Previously $1,099)

  • 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)

Inspire Magic Key – $1,649 (Previously Dream Key $1,599)

  • 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.

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 2024 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 vs. weekends. We’d expect this trend to continue in the months to come.

Park Hopping is also an option for Magic Keymasters. Magic Key holders who have a park reservation may cross over and switch between parks on the same day beginning at 11 am. This time has moved forward a couple of times, but we don’t anticipate it changing again until or unless Park Hopping rules are eliminated entirely. (And they’re probably kept in place for attendance forecasting purposes.) Regardless, 11 am is a good time for being able to bounce over to the other park for lunch.

When it comes to using your Magic Key, one thing to know is that Passholders 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.

This last part is significant because it means you cannot cancel same-day if you’re sick, there’s rainy or inclement weather, or your plans otherwise change. This may not seem like a big issue, but if you’re making park reservations a couple of weeks or more in advance, it’s not uncommon to have ‘life happen’ at the last minute. We’ve found ourselves visiting Disneyland on more than one occasion in the Magic Key era to avoid having no-show penalties. This is not unique to us, either.

Finally, there are 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 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 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.

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 are 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 is 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

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