Disneyland's Annual Pass Replacement Has Been Announced, And There Are Some Big Changes

Sleeping Beauty's castle in Disneyland at night
(Image credit: (Disney))

Disney started 2021 with some grim news for big fans of its theme parks when it was announced in January that the Annual Passholder program would be ending. The popular option often filled Disneyland with locals who had the option to take their weekends off and spare evenings back to the Happiest Place on Earth. But following the COVID-19 pandemic, it has had to make many adjustments including this premium perk. Six months later, Disney’s replacement has been announced, and it’s called the Disneyland Resort Magic Key Program.

The Walt Disney Company has unveiled a brand new way to enjoy Disney Parks for longer than a single trip with the Magic Key Program coming this August. It’s a lot different than the Annual Passholder program fans remember and includes four pricing tiers to pick from. Oh, and say goodbye to spontaneous Disney trips!

What Is The Magic Key Program?

The Magic Key Program will offer its customers to pay up front to experience Disneyland Parks admission throughout the year, along with perks such as discount merchandise, dining and parking that varies depending on which tier of “key” they pick. It’s the company’s replacement Disneyland Annual Pass program by another name and does include a number of changes from the Passholder program fans knew before COVID-19 hit, most notably in terms of how you reserve your time at Disney Parks.

What Magic Key Options Will Be Available?

There are four tiers to the Magic Key Program. The most expensive is called the Dream Key: it costs $1,399 per person and will allow its members to reserve any day of the year to go to one or both of California’s Disney Parks as long as they reserve in advance. Dream Key is the only tier that offers free parking, along with 20% select merchandise and 15% off select dining.

The second option is the Believe Key, and it costs $949. Believe Keyholders can go most days out of the year, but there are blockout dates, most notably through much of the holiday season. They will receive 50% off standard parking fees, along with 10% off merchandise and dining.

The Enchant Key costs $649 and includes more blockout days than the previous two tiers, also including most of the summertime. Enchant Keyholders will need to pay for their own parking, and they will receive the same 10% discount as the Believe Key.

The lowest priced Magic Key price goes to the Imagine Key, which costs $399 and is only available to Southern California residents living the zip codes 90000 to 93599. Imagine Keyholders have the most blockout days, which includes all weekends and also receive the 10% discounts.

How Do Magic Key Reservations Work?

The biggest change facing the Magic Key Program is a new reservation system that Disney Parks has been using since reopening this year following the COVID-19 pandemic. Before each visit to the parks, Keyholders will need to go on the Disneyland website and look at the ‘Magic Key access calendar’ and find a date that has availability. Once they find their desired date, they will be able to choose which park or parks they want to visit. One feature for choosing both parks is deciding which of them you will start your day with.

Keyholders will have to accept Disney’s terms & conditions before each visit, including signing a COVID-19 liability waiver to comply with safety precautions, like mask-wearing. Depending on which tier of Magic Key they obtain, they can reserve more tickets at one time. Dream and Believe Keyholders can hold up to six dates at one time, Enchant Keyholders can hold up to four and Imagine Keyholders can hold up to two.

The Magic Key program goes on sale on August 25, 2021. Are you interested in the Annual Passholder replacement? Vote in our poll below!

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Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

YA genre tribute. Horror May Queen. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.