Disneyland Magic Key Pass: The Ultimate Guide From an Avid Park Goer and Pass Holder

A colorfully-dressed barbershop quartet standing outside on Disneyland's Main Street.

TL;DR: After trying out the Disneyland Magic Key Pass, we recommend it for locals who want to visit the park often, and travelers who plan to visit at least three times within a year. Here are the key takeaways from my article:

  • As a Magic Key holder, our experience has been very positive. The pass makes casual and frequent visits easy and affordable compared to one-day tickets.
  • The pass tiers are Inspire, Believe, Enchant, and Imagine (when available), with Inspire being the highest tier.
  • Benefits include park reservations, discounts, park hopping, parking, and more depending on the tier.
  • Maximize your pass benefits by making park reservations in advance, utilizing discounts, arriving early or late to avoid crowds, and using fast passes strategically to maximize time in parks.
  • Each pass tier has certain blackout dates when the parks cannot be accessed. The highest tiers have the fewest blackouts.

As someone who has been a Disneyland annual pass holder for over five years, I find myself close to all Walt Disney Company news. 

I’m a fountain of Disneyland knowledge, including nuanced details about the Magic Key program and the Disneyland park reservation-based admission system. 

Magic Key Pass holders receive a lot of special benefits, but with multiple tiers, limited availability, block-out dates, and other restrictions, things might get confusing. 

This is especially the case if you’re new to the world of the Disneyland Magic Key program. 

With all the different Magic Key passes and Magic Key tiers, I know how daunting it can be to look through the Magic Key Program options and determine which pass types are worth springing for. That’s why I wanted to write this article. 

Read on for all my tips on navigating Magic Key benefits to get the most out of a pass to the Happiest Place on Earth.

People, who may have used the Disneyland Magic Key Pass, walking through Disneyland under an overcast sky.

What is the Magic Key & How Does it Work?

A view of Disneyland from afar and slightly above, showing roller coasters, palm trees, and a light sunset in the background.

The Magic Key program is the new Disneyland annual pass program! Think of it like a Disneyland season pass that also gives you VIP benefits and discounts.

With Magic Keys, you can reserve days to visit the parks and get select Magic Key merchandise, parking, and dining discounts, (currently $30 per car or motorcycle) and services like Genie+ and PhotoPass. 

Simply put, select Magic Key passes allow for different levels of park access. 

The pricier Magic Keys have fewer block-out dates throughout the year and more benefits. 

The less expensive keys come with more block-out dates, meaning you’ll only be able to visit the theme parks select days out of the year.

Maybe you plan on making day-long or week-long trips to visit several times throughout the year. 

Or you’re a local (like me) who likes to pop into the parks for a few hours here and there. Regardless, you can make this annual pass program work for you. 

If you opt for a higher-tier Magic Key passes, you’ll need to ensure the Disneyland annual pass price will be worth the number of visits you plan on making. 

Luckily (or not), that’s easier to accomplish nowadays, as costs add up quickly without a Magic Key. 

For example, a single-day ticket for a single park starts at $104. You can also add the Park Hopper option for $65 to visit both Disneyland Resort and Disney’s California Adventure. 

With a Magic Key, you can visit both parks in one day when you hold a Magic Key Park reservation, which is a $169 value. And that’s not accounting for food and merchandise, which you can find in the Downtown Disney District.

Another important thing to note is that Disneyland Resort Magic Key program passes aren’t always freely available. 

Due to the park’s capacity limitations, new sales for these Disneyland annual passes are available periodically to limit overcrowding, and they sell out quickly. 

At any given time, you won’t be able to purchase certain tiers unless you’re already a Magic Key holder.

Still, if you’re considering a new Magic Key pass, it’s a good idea to do your research ahead of time, and then keep your ear out for when your desired annual pass becomes available.

Below, I’ve laid out all the benefits and differences between each tier.

Planning a Disney trip? Make sure you have the best shoes for Disneyland for walking all day.

What Does the Magic Key Disneyland Pass Give You? What are its Key Benefits? How Much Does it Cost?

An outdoor eating area in Disneyland with trees forming a canopy of leaves overhead.
Anaheim, Ca / USA – 12/24/18 Empty dining area next to Goofy’s Fly School

Inspire Key [Previously Called the Dream Key]

Cost: $1599
Benefits:

  • You can hold up to six theme park reservations at a time.
  • It has the fewest block-out dates of all Magic Keys, currently just December 20th, 2023 – January 2nd, 2024. 
  • Discount of 20% Genie+ service on days you use your pass for park admission.
  • Discount of up to 20% on select merchandise.
  • Discount of up to 15% on select dining locations.
  • Unlimited Disney PhotoPass digital photo downloads, including photos taken on rides AND posed photos taken by PhotoPass photographers (even with characters!) at different locations in the parks.
  • This Magic Key includes standard theme park parking at the Mickey & Friends Parking Structure, Pixar Pals Parking Structure, and Toy Story Parking Area.

Believe Key [Currently Available For Renewal Only]

Cost: $1099
Benefits:

  • Hold up to six theme park reservations at a time.
  • Block-out days on some peak weekends, weekdays, and holidays, including April 1st – 9th, 2023, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Thanksgiving, and a more significant chunk of December 20th, 2023 – January 3rd, 2024
  • Discount of 20% Genie+ service on days you use your pass for admission.
  • Discount of up to 10% on select merchandise.
  • Discount of up to 10% on select dining locations.
  • Discount of up to 50% on standard theme park parking at Mickey & Friends Parking Structure, Pixar Pals Parking Structure, and Toy Story Parking Area.
  • Disney PhotoPass digital photo downloads, including photos taken on rides AND posed photos taken by PhotoPass photographers (even with characters!) at select locations in the parks.

Enchant Key [Currently Available For Renewal Only]

Cost: $599
Benefits:

  • Hold up to four theme park reservations at a time.
  • The same block-out dates listed above for the Believe Magic Key, plus most Saturdays, almost the entire month of June, all of July, and August 1st-13th.
  • Discount of 20% Genie+ service on days you use your pass for admission.
  • Discount of up to 10% on select merchandise.
  • Discount of up to 10% on select dining locations.
  • Discount of up to 25% on standard theme park parking at the Toy Story Parking area.

Imagine Key [Currently Available For Renewal Only] 

When available, only applies to Southern California Residents living in zip codes 90000 – 93599.

Cost: $599
Benefits:

  • Hold up to two theme park reservations at a time.
  • The same block-out days listed above, plus most Fridays – Sundays, the entire months of June and July, and most of August, October, and November, as well as the entire month of December.
  • Discount of 20% Genie+ service on days you use your pass for admission.
  • Discount of up to 10% on select merchandise.
  • Discount of up to 10% on select dining locations.
  • Discount of up to 25% on standard theme park parking at Toy Story Parking.

Types of Magic Key Passes

A crowd of people moving through Disneyland on a sunny day, with a blue Disneyland sign in the background.

Some benefits are available to all Magic Key holders, which you can find on the Magic Key Portal in your Disneyland app. 

These benefits include park hopping ability between Disneyland Resort and Disney California Adventure theme parks and entrance to an exclusive Magic Key Terrace dining area.

With the Magic Key program, you’ll also get access to special experiences, discounts, and collectibles, such as pins and PhotoPass opportunities.  

Inspire Key [Previously known as the Dream Key]

The Inspire Key Pass is the top tier pass and highest tier option at $1,599 annually or $118.34 each month after a $179 down payment when using the monthly payment plan.

This option offers the most flexibility for visiting with the fewest Magic Key block-out dates and theme park restrictions. 

It also includes parking at the theme park parking structures. 

Knowing that you’re not paying $15-$30 to park each time takes some stress out of your regular visits. 

If you know you have parking paid for, it’s one less thing you have to shell out for during your day.

Another perk of the Inspire Magic Key is that you’ll be the best host to out-of-town visitors who need an expert Disneyland Resort-goer. 

You can drive them to and from the parks, show them around, and treat them to discounted Disneyland merchandise and dining. 

If you’re within driving distance from Disneyland and plan on making at least nine visits per year, this is a great option.

It takes care of some costs upfront and makes your park days feel more all-inclusive. 

Believe Key  

The Believe Key is the next Magic Key tier at $1,099 annually. 

It’s an excellent option for frequent visitors who will be making at least seven day-long trips throughout the year or want the flexibility to come more often for shorter days. 

Suppose you’re a local with a schedule that makes traveling outside of holidays and peak times possible. 

In that case, you can visit anytime during operational hours on the many days still available for park reservations and have some discount perks on parking, dining, and merchandise. 

Enchant Key 

The Enchant Key is the middle tier for available season passes. The Enchant Key will run you $699 annually, but it’s currently unavailable for new purchases. 

Current Magic Key holders can renew their Enchant Key at this price point for another year during your renewal window. You can do this on the website, or on the Disneyland app.

Imagine Key

The Imagine Key is the most affordable pass at $449 annually, but it’s also currently unavailable for new purchases. 

Current Magic Key holders can renew their Disneyland Imagine Key if it’s within 30 days of the pass’s expiration date. 

When the Disneyland Imagine Key is up for sale, it’s only available to residents of California in the zip codes 90000-93599. 

This option is great if you’re a local who wants to skip the more crowded weekend days in favor of casual weeknight visits. 

Or if you want to play hooky from work for a few full-day excursions a year. 

Note: You can compare the benefits of all the passes side-by-side here

Magic Key Pass Calendar, Block Out Dates & Reservations

Crowds of people waiting in line for the Pirates of the Caribbean ride in Disneyland.

You can view block-out dates and Magic Key reservation availability on the Magic Key Calendar. This dynamic calendar shows the day-to-day availability. 

You can access the calendar and make theme park reservations with your Disneyland app.

If your desired park is unavailable for reservation on a particular day, but the other park is, you may want to go ahead and snag the reservation. 

As of February 4th, 2023, you can park hop beginning at 11 am. 

How does that work, exactly? 

Well, say you had your heart set on going to the Avenger’s Campus in the Disney California Adventure park (DCA) but made a reservation for the Disneyland park. 

Now, you can still enter DCA starting at 11 am, regardless of whether you choose to scan into Disneyland beforehand.

If you’re planning on going to the Disneyland Resort and there’s no reservation availability for your designated park, check back on the days leading up to your desired date. 

You never know when other pass holders might cancel their existing park reservations.

If you can’t make it to the park on a day you previously reserved, you can timely cancel a reservation by 11:59 pm Pacific Time the day before to avoid being considered a no-show. 

You can also avoid one of these “strikes” by entering a park before closing. 

I occasionally see people scanning in before hanging a U-turn as I’m leaving for the evening, so they’re not considered a no-show.

If you’re a no-show for three Disneyland reservations in a 90-day window, you’ll end up in a timeout, and you’ll be unable to make new park reservations for 30 days. 

However, if you had an existing park reservation for those 30 days, they won’t cancel it, and you can still visit Disney as planned.

Where & How to Purchase the Magic Key

You can make new purchases of select Magic Key passes on the Disneyland website and the Disneyland app, but they aren’t always up for sale. 

In order to limit overcrowding, Disneyland limits Magic Key sales, making them available in limited quantities for limited times. 

If you’re on the lookout to purchase new Magic Key passes, I have some suggestions for snagging one as soon as it becomes available:

  • Follow Disneyland’s social media accounts and blogs. These are the first places I see news about pass availability. 
  • Let your Disneyland-going friends and family know you’re looking to purchase. The more eyes you have to alert you, the better.
  • Be ready to use multiple devices. When select Magic Key passes become available, there’s usually a virtual queue system. The more devices you have in the queue, the more chance you have of snagging a pass. 
  • The same goes for your friends and family too. If they can jump in the virtual queue when you’re unable to, you can use their spot in line to purchase a pass, so you don’t miss your chance.

It’s much easier once you snag one since renewing the Magic Key pass online is possible for current key holders even when new passes aren’t for sale.

Magic Key Pass Discounts & Coupons

The Walt Disney Company isn’t currently offering any sales or discounts on new Magic Key passes. 

However, you could effectively save a little money by purchasing a discount ticket to the parks and then upgrading to the Magic Key program. 

In the past, you’ve been able to apply the total value of your day ticket (even if you purchased it at a discounted rate) to the purchase price of an annual pass. 

If you want to go this route, check with one of the helpful cast members at guest services in person or online for more information before purchasing. 

I’m not sure if this is still a possibility now that Magic Key sales have moved to be online only instead of also having the option to buy in-person.

Monthly payment plan options are also available for residents of California. However, you must be logged into your Disneyland Resort account to see this option. 

You’ll have to make a down payment at the time of purchase, regardless of which Magic Key pass type you choose to purchase or whether you’re paying upfront or monthly. 

Also available to residents of Southern California is the special Resident Ticket, which allows 3-Day, 1-Park Per Day Tickets for just $219.

Please note that reservations are still required for this ticket, and theme park admission is only available on specific days of the year, and only weekdays. 

This deal is only eligible for those with a zip code falling within 90000-93599, and Northern Baja California residents with a zip code that falls within 21000-22999. You can click on the link above for more details.

FAQs About the Magic Key Pass

Crowds of people with the pink and blue Disneyland magic castle in the background.

Are Magic Keys coming back? Why did Disneyland stop selling them?

New Magic Key pass sales are available from time to time as Disneyland sees fit. 

The Walt Disney Company reportedly paused the sale of new Magic Key passes due to high demand “to help protect the experience for Magic Key holders and the value those passes provide.” 

Annual pass holders used to be able to visit Disneyland Resort without restrictions, which resulted in huge crowds.  

Because of this, Disneyland decided to make some changes to its annual pass program.

The pauses on select Magic Key passes, along with the reservation-based admission, have helped cut down on crowds. 

Is the Magic Key the same as the annual pass?

The Magic Key Pass Program replaced the previous Disneyland Annual Passes Program.

Do Magic Key Passes sell out?

Yes. Due to purchase availability and high demand, Magic Key passes sell out quickly. New sales of Disneyland Resort Magic Key annual passes are limited to curb the crowds.

Which Magic Key Pass is the best?

The best Magic Key tier is the one that works best for your anticipated frequency of visits to the Disney theme parks. 

Key holders who live locally might want to spring for a higher-tier pass, while those who want to make the most of their few yearly visits might benefit from a lower tier.

Can you bring a guest with the Magic Key Pass?

No, Magic Key passes are only valid for the Magic Key holder. 

With that said, pass holders can bring guests to the Magic Key Terrace if the guest already has a valid theme park ticket. 

Can I let someone use my Magic Key Pass?

Once you activate your Magic Key, you’ll have your picture taken so they can verify you when you scan for entry into the park. Magic Key passes are non-transferable. 

You can, however, bring guests to the terrace as long as they have valid theme park tickets and a reservation on the same date. 

Each Magic Key holder can bring one guest to the terrace.

Can you go to both Disneyland Resort theme parks with the Magic Key Pass?

You can park hop between Disneyland and DCA starting at 11 am each day with a valid Magic Key pass. This benefit is available to all Magic Key pass holders.

Can you use the Magic Key Pass for Walt Disney World? How about at Disneylands in other countries?

The Magic Key Program is valid for entry to Disneyland and the Disney California Adventure Park theme parks. 

Currently, there’s no universal Walt Disney Company annual pass program that gives you combined entry into Disneyland and Walt Disney World or any of the Disneyland locations abroad. 

Which Magic Key Pass is the cheapest?

When it’s available for purchase, the Imagine Key costs $449/year, making it the least expensive of the Disneyland Magic Keys.

How many times can you go to Disneyland with the Magic Key Pass?

You can visit the parks as often as you like as long as you have a theme park reservation, which is subject to availability and the block-out dates of your pass type.

How do you renew your Magic Key Pass?

If you’re within your renewal window 30 days before your pass expires, you can renew on Disneyland.com/renew. 

You will need to sign into your Disney account, and then you can renew your current pass, upgrade, or downgrade to one of the different pass types, subject to availability.

The Dream Key wasn’t eligible for renewal when that expiration window came up. Instead, Magic Key Holders could choose to renew to the Inspire Key, which is now the top tier.

Does the Magic Key Pass include parking?

The Inspire Magic Key includes standard theme park parking. 

The Believe Key offers 50% off, and the Enchant and Imagine Keys offer a discount of up to 25% on standard theme park parking at just Toy Story Parking.

What’s the difference between the Magic Key in 2022 vs 2023?

In 2023, the highest-tier pass changed its name from the Dream Key to the Inspire Key. 

This change comes with block-out dates during the popular Christmas holiday season, whereas the Dream Key previously had no block-out dates. 

So, is the Magic Key Pass Worth it?

If you’re willing to make it work for you, the Magic Key is definitely worth it. 

As someone local to Disney parks, I love the flexibility of going for a quick morning visit, leaving before lunch, or popping in for a dinner date and a ride or two on a weeknight. 

The reservation availability and block-out dates for the Believe Key (the pass I have) make it easy to go for same-day or casual visits. 

And it also gives me the ability to easily join friends or family on their vacations to the Disneyland Resort. 

If you’re coming from out of town once or twice a year and won’t be driving to the parks (maybe your hotel has a shuttle or is within walking distance), the Magic Key pass price may not make financial sense. 

You’d have to do some calculations based on how many people are visiting in your group. 

If the dining, merchandise, and Genie+ discounts provide enough savings based on your priorities for the day(s) you’re visiting, the pass will still be worth it.

The bottom line is that the Magic Key program is worth it for the right candidates. 

I personally love having the Believe Key Pass, but it just depends on how often you want to take a Disneyland vacation and if you’ll take advantage of the benefits thebe pass offers. 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

A light-haired woman smiling and wearing Minnie Mouse ears.

Wendy Mehra

Wendy is a park-lover based in Southern California. Whether it’s national, state, or theme parks, she enjoys exploring them all! As a Magic Key Holder and regular park visitor, she gets all the new info on Disney news and has lots of tips and tricks for enjoying your day at the Happiest Place on Earth.


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Hi, I'm Mimi! I'm an outdoorsy Californian who has spent over 28 years immersed in the incredible natural beauty that California has to offer. My goal is to inspire others to get out and find their next adventure in California. Whether it’s escaping to an alpine lake in the Sierras, finding peace among the giant redwoods, or road tripping down the PCH, there’s always more to explore in this beautiful state.

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