Everything You Need to Know Before Buying a Disneyland Annual Pass (Video)
Thinking about investing in a Disneyland annual pass? Here's everything you need to know, plus COVID-19-related pass updates.
Editor’s Note: Travel might be complicated right now, but use our inspirational trip ideas to plan ahead for your next bucket list adventure.
Considering splurging on a Disneyland annual pass? There’s plenty to do at the "Happiest Place on Earth," and having the ability to visit whenever you’d like for a fixed price is tempting. It’s worth taking a moment to figure out which pass works for you and when you’ll actually be visiting the California theme park resort. Thankfully, we’ve outlined all the details about Disneyland annual pass blockout dates, payments, and even the Disneyland annual pass discounts that make visiting the parks even easier and cheaper.
The parks are currently closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so Disneyland is changing their annual pass policies to accommodate guests who already have passes. Passholders who have paid in full can have their pass extended or partially refunded to account for the closures, and payments will be waived while the parks are closed for those on a payment plan. For up-to-date details, check out the Disneyland website.
Here’s everything you need to know about enjoying the magic of Disneyland year-round.
Related: More Disney trip ideas
Pros and Cons of Having a Disneyland Annual Pass
With five different kinds of Disneyland annual passes for sale, the perks and pitfalls can vary between them all. Still, the best part of having a Disneyland annual pass is having so much access to the two theme parks, Disneyland and Disney California Adventure, throughout the year. Instead of trying to ride everything in one park visit, locals and passholders — often referred to as APs — can swing by to hop on a few rides, eat dinner, or simply see the fireworks. It’s a major convenience factor — especially considering some Disneyland annual pass prices are equivalent to a few days of standard admission.
As Disneyland tickets continue to increase in price, Disneyland annual pass prices could be justifiable for a guest who plans to visit a few times per year. They’re especially worthwhile for those hoping to “park hop,” or visit both parks on the same day, which typically costs extra. (Just be sure to check the Disneyland annual pass blockout dates calendar beforehand, as some passes allow entry into one, not both parks, on certain dates.) However, if you tend to visit on major holidays — or when school is out of session in summer and at the end of December — you may be better off purchasing tickets, as most Disneyland annual pass blockout dates won’t allow you in then.
And, with Disneyland annual pass discounts inside the theme parks and across the resort, passholders can save money on the purchases they make, whether for soft-serve or souvenirs, along with other additional perks like savings on event tickets and discounted hotel stays. Additional Disneyland annual pass benefits, including passholder-exclusive food for sale and exclusive keepsakes like buttons and magnets, have been made available throughout the year.
Disneyland Annual Pass Discounts
Disneyland annual pass discounts are offered on food and merchandise at both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure parks, as well as throughout the shops, restaurants, and entertainment within Downtown Disney and the hotels of Disneyland Resort.
Disneyland annual pass discounts will vary depending on which type of pass you have. A Disney Southern California Select Passport, Disney Flex Passport, or Disney Deluxe Passport will provide up to 10% off select dining and merchandise. A Disney Signature Passport or Disney Signature Plus Passport offers up to 15% off dining and 20% off select merchandise.
Passholders are also eligible for seasonal hotel discounts at Disneyland Resort’s three hotels — Disney’s Grand Californian Resort & Spa, Disneyland Hotel, and Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel — as well as occasional Disneyland annual pass discounts for Aulani, a Disney Resort in Hawaii. A Disneyland annual pass also provides 15% off guided tours of Disneyland Resort and discounts on seasonal event tickets, like Oogie Boogie Bash.
Types of Disneyland Annual Passes
The main difference between different Disneyland annual passes is when you can visit the park — but more expensive ones can include perks like complimentary parking, MaxPass for digital FASTPASS booking, and complimentary Disney PhotoPass downloads. Disney Parks admission for guests under 3 years old is always complimentary, but Disneyland annual pass prices are the same for both kids and adults.
Five different Disneyland annual passes are currently for sale. The Disney Southern California Select Passport, which at $419 per year is the least expensive, is only available for residents with home ZIP codes between 9000 and 93599. The $649 Disney Flex Passport, the newest Disneyland annual pass, is best known for allowing visitors to make reservations on typical Disneyland annual pass blockout dates. The Disney Deluxe Passport, a middle-of-the-road pass which offers admission outside of holidays and peak weekends, costs $829.
Disneyland annual pass prices are highest for the Disney Signature Passport and Disney Signature Plus Passport, which cost $1,199 and $1,449, respectively. Both include theme park parking, which retails for $25. The main difference is that the costlier Disneyland annual pass includes MaxPass — which costs $125 annually — and park access over the holiday break, when single-day admission to one park over Christmas and New Year’s break can cost over $150.
If you visit the Florida theme parks often as well, there is one additional Disneyland annual pass that may be useful. The Disney Premier Passport grants admission to any Disneyland or Walt Disney World Resort theme park or water park any day of the year, as well as complimentary parking, discounts, and other worthy perks. It costs a whopping $2,199 and can only be purchased in-person at either resort.
Disneyland Annual Pass Prices
As mentioned, Disneyland annual pass prices range from $419 to $1,449 per year, and generally, pricier admission allows for wider access to the parks. More expensive passes, like the $829 Disney Deluxe Passport, offer more days to visit Disneyland and Disney California Adventure, particularly on weekends, while the $419 Disney Southern California Select Passport is often restricted to weekdays.
Disneyland annual pass prices can change, too, depending on if you choose to add Disney MaxPass. The add-on feature costs $20 for one day, but can be added to any tier of Disneyland annual pass for $125 per year. Disney Signature Plus Passport is the only Disneyland annual pass that comes with MaxPass.
Monthly payments are available for all tiers of Disneyland annual passes to residents with ZIP codes between 90000 and 96199. These Disneyland annual pass payments are offered without interest, and they require a one-time down payment of $179 upon purchase.
Before purchasing a Disneyland annual pass, be sure to take note of the cancellation policies and current changes in the wake of COVID-19 park closures. Disneyland plans to extend all annual passes an equivalent amount of time to the parks’ temporary closures or partially refund pass holders who have prepaid, with finalized details provided upon the park’s re-opening.
Disneyland Annual Pass Blockout Dates
Disneyland Resort provides an easy-to-understand annual blockout calendar to know when passholders can visit Disneyland, Disney California Adventure, or both parks on the same day. Disneyland annual pass blockout dates are different from park to park — and can vary greatly from pass to pass.
The Southern California Select Disneyland annual pass offers limited access to the parks. It’s ideal for guests who plan to visit on weekdays in spring, fall, and winter, as it offers no access over the summer, on holidays, or on any weekends throughout the year. It’s why some locals are opting for the Disney Flex Passport, which has the same Disneyland annual pass blockout dates as the Southern California Select pass, but passholders can make reservations in advance for days throughout the year that would usually be unavailable. We think this makes the Flex Passport a great option, since even with restrictions, it’s less than the cost of two park-hopper tickets for extra access to the parks year-round.
The Disney Deluxe Passport has some of the most reasonable Disneyland annual pass blockout dates, with access on select weekends throughout the year. But, for limitless access, the only Disneyland annual pass without blackout dates is the Disney Signature Plus Passport. (The Disney Premier Passport, which also allows access to Walt Disney World, has no blockout dates at either.) Disney fans who have the Disney Signature Passport, which is a couple hundred dollars cheaper, are only blocked out December 21, 2020 through January 4, 2021.
(Note: There are also Disneyland annual pass blockout dates listed for the Southern California pass, but it is not currently sold.)
Disneyland Annual Pass Renewal
Disney annual pass renewal can take place up to 40 days prior to the pass’ expiration. Guests can renew their Disneyland annual passes at the park ticket booths, on the Disneyland website, or by phone at 714-781-7277. (Note: Disney annual pass renewal is only available online for some passes.)
Sometimes, certain Disneyland annual passes will no longer be available for sale but can still be renewed. Be sure to pay attention to the fine print — Disney annual pass renewal is subject to availability.