When Will Disneyland Resume Magic Key Annual Pass Sales in 2024?

When will new Annual Pass sales resume at Disneyland?” and “will Magic Keys be available again?” are common reader questions. Many locals are eager to purchase passes, having waited too long to buy before sales were paused, forgetting to renew, etc. We’ll share the company’s official position and speculate as to when APs will return. (January 11, 2024.)

If you want the short and not-so-sweet of it, Disneyland is not currently selling Magic Keys. Annual Pass sales last resumed on January 10, 2024 and by the end of the business day, the Enchant Key, Believe Key and Inspire Key had sold out. The Imagine Key (for Southern California residents only) remained available for new purchases when sales resumed on the morning of January 11, 2024 but was gone within a few hours.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that, if history repeats itself, Disneyland will resume Magic Key sales again at least a couple of times in 2024. Since you’re reading this post, you’re presumably wondering when–this offers our best guesses based on past precedent. If all you’re looking for is official news or an announcement, we don’t have that–but would recommend you subscribe to our free email newsletter for updates. We’ll give you a heads up when sales are about to resume again.

Let’s start with basic background to bring you up to speed. During the closure, Disneyland ended the AP program and cancelled all outstanding passes. When Disneyland and Disney California Adventure reopened, Annual Passes remained unavailable through the summer, but unprecedented ticket deals were offered for California residents.

By the beginning of August, Disneyland introduced that membership program: Magic Keys. This was/is really just Annual Passes by a different name, higher prices, and required reservations for all tiers. Demand was high from the outset, with a virtual queue and all-day waits to purchase Magic Key Annual Passes on release day. (At this point, a multi-hour virtual queue is the rule, rather than the exception.)

Late in October 2021, Disneyland paused sales on the top level Dream Key. Then in November, the Believe Key also sold out, leaving only the Enchant Key and Imagine Key available for purchase. At the beginning of Summer 2022, both of these had their statuses change to “Currently Unavailable” on Disneyland.com.

In November 2022, Disneyland Resort resumed sales of select Magic Key Annual Passes just as the busy Christmas season started last year. The Inspire, Believe and Imagine APs all resumed new sales, with the Enchant pass remaining unavailable for new sales. This was incredibly short-lived. After only a couple days of sales–complete with a virtual queue to access the sales page with a wait time of 8 to 10 hours–Disneyland suspended all Magic Key sales.

Disneyland once again resumed Magic Key sales on two separate occasions in January and April 2023. Within a week (both times), pass sales had once again been paused on the Believe, Enchant and Imagine Keys. Last year in mid-September, sales of the Inspire Key were finally paused after several months of sales–the longest duration of availability for any Magic Key since APs returned.

The saga of sales resuming in January 2024 is already laid out above. This is the second-fastest that Magic Keys have ever sold out, right behind when they were offered ahead of the Christmas 2022 season. As of January 11, 2024, all tiers of Magic Keys are now sold out and “available for renewal only.”

Even with AP sales often paused, crowds have been absolutely bonkers at Disneyland for much of the last few years, especially during the Halloween and Christmas seasons. We visit the parks weekly, including on numerous days that historically would’ve been shoulder or off-season only to find heavy crowds.

Diminished reservation availability has been exacerbated by the fact that Disneyland Resort still isn’t operating at 100%. It may seem minor, but there’s missing entertainment, Fantasmic is gone again, and not every venue in the park is fully efficient due to staffing shortages. Even attraction capacity is reduced because there’s been more Cast Member turnover than normal, and new employees aren’t as good as experienced ones at dispatching ride vehicles efficiently. All minor in isolation, but it adds up in the grand scheme of things.

In short, there’s currently more demand for Disneyland than there is supply or capacity, and it’s most advantageous for the company to restrict Magic Key sales in favor of single and multi-day ticket purchases. As we’ve explained before, Annual Passholders are advantageous to Disneyland, but not in a constrained capacity environment at the expense of tourists.

Statistically speaking, per visit spending is significantly higher among infrequent visitors than APs. Or as Disney now-infamously put it, more Magic Keyholders in the parks results in an “unfavorable attendance mix.” It thus makes sense that Disneyland would want to prioritize those demographics and not fill the parks with Magic Key Passholders at the expense of more lucrative vacationers during busier seasons. (All of this may seem like irrelevant or excessive ‘backstory,’ but we’ll be circling back to all of it in the analysis.)

Despite this, one popular fan theory is that the company is embracing the “Disney Vault” strategy of creating demand through scarcity, or rather, perceived scarcity. It’s possible that Disneyland has survey data showing a high dissatisfaction rating among Magic Key purchasers and low intent to renew or purchase because reservations have been frustrating and prices have increased. However, if these same fans believe they might not be able to simply purchase passes at their leisure down the road, they might err on the side of caution and renew when their time comes.

There might be some truth to this, but the simplest explanation is that the same underlying issue is causing all of this: crowds. More demand for admission and reservations to Disneyland than there is available capacity or supply. New Magic Key sales are suspended due to concerns about Disneyland’s ability to meet demand for regular tickets once Annual Passes are available again. It’s entirely possible that renewals help Disneyland fill the parks and meet attendance targets, but that internal projections show that ongoing new Magic Key sales would “break” the reservation system and lead to reservation shortfalls yet again.

Which brings us to the present question: when will Disneyland start selling new Magic Key annual passes?

Our expectation is that Annual Pass sales will resume at some point in April 2024. This is likely to occur after Los Angeles and Orange County schools go back into session following their Spring Breaks, and following the peak weeks around Easter. In other words, once the shoulder season between Spring Break and summer tourist season starts.

This year, Easter arrives early–on March 31, 2024–and many school districts have breaks earlier in March, with fewer in April 2024 as a result. We wouldn’t expect Magic Key sales to resume immediately after that, as it’s still the heart of Spring Break season.

Sometime around Tax Day (April 15, 2024) makes more sense. A week earlier or later really wouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Last year, the resumption occurred on April 11, and that was with Easter occuring later–so we’d be inclined to bet on Magic Key sales resuming in the first half of April 2024, not the second half.

Not to get too conspiratorial on you or anything, but I find it slightly suspicious that three tiers of Magic Keys sold out simultaneously right at the end of the business day on January 10. It would be a pretty big coincidence if Disneyland just so happened to run out of that trio at the exact same time at the conclusion of the normal 9 to 5 day.

It seems almost like a decision was made in advance to sell three tiers of Magic Keys for one business day, and then suspend sales again. It’s certainly frustrating for fans and those who spent hours in a virtual queue only to come up empty handed, but it’s also a strategy that creates a false sense of scarcity.

Regardless, we should have a pretty good idea based on how soon and how long Magic Keys are on sale again. If it’s in only a couple of months and sales remain open much longer, that would seem to corroborate this. If it’s further down the road and they sell out quickly again, we’re probably wrong.

I’m skeptical for a few reasons. Pent-up demand has largely exhausted itself, and the general economic environment has taken a turn for the worse with consumer spending starting to slow. Spending on travel and leisure is only likely to decrease in the coming months. If I were in charge at Disneyland, I’d want to resume Magic Key sales in 2024 to capture as much of that consumer spending now, rather than waiting and being hit harder by a recession or economic slowdown.

As economic conditions continue to normalize–the labor market, household savings, and staffing shortages–there could be less of an issue with reservations being unavailable. By then, it’s also entirely possible that the non-stop price increases and cash grabs alienate enough locals and tourists that Disneyland is once again in a position of needing to lure back locals. It’s entirely possible that this actually occurs sooner, perhaps during the second half of summer season (which is how things actually played out last year).

In any case, it’s safe to say that new Magic Key sales will resume at some point, and will not enter the “Disney Vault” for years. In normal times, Disneyland is dependent upon locals during the off-season when tourism to Southern California is low because the weather is colder or school is in session (or both).

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 much of the year. While those same locals cause attendance problems, Disneyland has not shown that it can subsist on travelers to the same degree as Walt Disney World.

The challenge is in finding a balance. Disneyland is a Southern California institution, but it’s also becoming a popular destination for families on the West Coast. While most Disneyland Resort guests come from somewhere in California, people travel from other states, more and more.

Utah and Nevada are chief among these, with Oregon, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, and Washington also heavily represented. For the last several years, we’ve observed crowd spikes when major districts in those states (especially Utah and Nevada) have breaks.

Disneyland also has a huge local population, with a high degree of disposable income. The collective population of Los Angeles and Orange Counties is nearly 14 million, which is higher (by millions) than the local population near Walt Disney World.

Once you throw San Diego and other areas into the mix within a reasonable driving distance of Disneyland, you have around 20 million potential guests that can easily do day trips to Disneyland. And Disneyland only has two parks.

Ultimately, our prediction is that Disneyland Resort does not resume new Magic Key sales again until mid-April 2024. Personally, I think there’s a good chance that the next time Magic Key sales resume is the last time they resume, with Annual Passes perpetually available throughout the remainder of 2024 and 2025.

At some point very soon, things will normalize. Staffing shortages will be fully resolved, pent-up demand will fizzle out, and consumer spending will fall back to normal levels. Walt Disney World is already seeing softer bookings, so the same might soon prove to be true at Disneyland. Of course, that’s just our guess from the outside looking in. So we shall see what happens next!

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!


When do you expect Disneyland to start selling new Magic Keys? Think sometime in mid-April 2024 is a safe bet for AP sales? Think we might not see new Annual Passes until September 2024 to ensure there’s ample capacity for more lucrative tourists during spring break and summer vacation? Would you purchase a Magic Key right now if you could? 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!

26 Responses to “When Will Disneyland Resume Magic Key Annual Pass Sales in 2024?”
  1. Coleen October 17, 2023
  2. Raychel Harrison August 20, 2023
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    • Theresa November 26, 2023

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