Disneyland© Resort in California is a truly magical place, a bucket list destination for many, and an investment to visit which is why buying discount Disneyland tickets is important.
IMPORTANT ALERT: Sales of Disneyland tickets have been temporarily paused. The state of California has reissued strict reopening guidelines that will likely not be reached in Orange County until the summer (or a vaccine). Some of the ticket information in this post will still apply when sales resume. And, I do have good park reopening information and advice on how to choose the right ticket when the time comes.
I’ve listed reliable ticket discounts, special offers, and top deals, here so that you can save money and don’t have to search the internet for promo codes and coupons that don’t work.
When you do buy cheap Disneyland tickets, it’s important to follow the general guidelines below to avoid scams and to use authorized sellers like the ones I list here.
I help people plan Disneyland vacations so I will also walk you through the five things you need to decide to choose the right tickets, what to be aware of before you buy, and where to find the discount that is best for your situation.
Five Initial Decisions to Help You Find the Right Ticket Type
Already know which ticket to buy? Jump to what to know before you buy.
Several decisions are necessary to make before buying Disneyland tickets, especially if it’s your first time to the parks.
1. Can you be flexible with dates?
Tickets are now categorized into three tiers: peak, regular, and value. Disneyland value dates are the least expensive so it is wise to choose these if possible. However, many guests can’t be flexible with dates and that is okay.
2. How many days will you need a ticket?
Disneyland Resort is home to two theme parks: Disneyland and Disney California Adventure. While it’s possible to see both theme parks in one day, it’s rushed but it can be done. Two days is best if you can swing it so that you can enjoy one park fully each day. You can choose 1-Day tickets or multi-day ticket options include 2-Day, 3-Day, 4-Day, or 5-Day.
3. Should you buy Park Hopper© tickets?
The park entrances are right next to each other, so it doesn’t take long to walk from one to the other. Park Hopper tickets provide entrance to both parks on the same day. Whether you opt for Park Hopper tickets depends on what suits your traveling companions best.
You can look at it in a couple of ways. If all you have is one day and there are rides and attractions you’d like to experience at both parks, buy a 1-Day Park Hopper. If you are staying for two days, a 2-Day 1-Park Per Day ticket will allow you to spend a full day in each park. For those of you on longer visits, either visit one park per day or bounce between them to re-ride favorite rides on a whim for the entire ticket duration.
If you do buy a 1-Park Per Day ticket and decide to upgrade it, you can do this at the park. Also, multi-day tickets do not need to be used on consecutive days, but they do expire if not used fully within 13 days of first use (be sure to read all terms and conditions).
4. Should you include MaxPass?
MaxPass allows pass holders to make Disney FASTPASS selections, for entry into shorter ride queues, by using the Disneyland app on a mobile device. This is in lieu of going to a physical FASTPASS station to pull a ticket. Another benefit of MaxPass is that it includes PhotoPass, which is the ability to download photos taken by professional Disney photographers who are stationed throughout the park. I am a huge fan of MaxPass on peak days, which has a retail price of $20 per ticket per day.
5. Now, where to buy Disneyland tickets at a discount?
Yes, this is why you’re here. Now that you know what ticket type you need, you can take advantage of the below reliable methods for buying cheap tickets for Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park below. But, first, we need to talk about what to be aware of before you buy.
Before You Buy: Important Disneyland Tickets Purchasing Tips
There are helpful tips in this section, but you can jump to where to look for Disneyland tickets discounts.
Unfortunately, many ticket offers, coupons, deals, and promo codes can lead you down the wrong path and potentially be problematic.
You Will Need to Make a Reservation
While we don’t know exactly what will happen when the theme parks reopen, I’m confident that measures similar to those in place at Walt Disney World will be enforced. All guests, including Annual Passholders, will need to use a reservation system to enter the parks. This is because they will reopen at a limited theme park capacity, which needs to be strictly monitored. Information regarding how to make a reservation at Disneyland will be available when theme park ticket sales resume. You can be sure that the theme park reservations will be subject to availability.
Buy ONLY from a Disneyland Authorized Ticket Seller
The most important thing to do when buying Disneyland tickets is to make sure that you are purchasing from a Disneyland Authorized Ticket Seller. Tickets to “The Happiest Place on Earth” are an investment and like many high-value goods, they can be subject to counterfeiting and unfair pricing. Do not ever buy a partially used pass or “rent” a pass.
Read All Terms and Conditions (Especially Important Now)
Read all terms and conditions before purchasing Disneyland tickets. Be sure that they do not expire before your visit. Check refund and transfer policies. And most importantly, check on how you’ll receive the theme park tickets after you buy them. For example, will you need to pick them up at the ticket booth, can you print and go to the gate, or will they be snail mailed?
In today’s world, you may also notice some new language that is also on the Disneyland website. It states, in summary, that they can’t guarantee that you won’t be exposed to illnesses when you visit the resort. You will also likely be required to undergo temperature checks before entering and to wear a face covering—these measures are in place in the Downtown Disney District, which is open for shopping and dining.
If It’s Too Good to Be True …
It probably is. Steep discounts on authentic Disneyland Resort tickets do not exist, especially on 1-day passes.
1-Day Tickets Are Almost Never Discounted
Sadly, 1-Day Disneyland tickets are rarely discounted so usually the best bet for a 1-Day ticket is to buy directly from Disneyland Resort. (Teachers, students, military and a few other groups can be eligible for discount 1-day passes through various associations.)
Kids Under the Age of 3 Are Free
You do not need to purchase a ticket for children under 3. Children ages 3–9 need a child ticket while ages 10 and older require an adult ticket.
Magic Morning Is a Big Benefit
Magic Morning is a significant benefit usually added to 3-Day, 4-Day, or 5-Day tickets. Magic Morning allows ticket holders early entry to Disneyland Park one hour before the park opens to the general public. Current Magic Morning days are Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday but please check the calendar for details.
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is currently not available as part of Magic Morning. However, as a Magic Morning guest, you will have a head start on seeing this new land (it’s awesome) because you’ll be in the park already when the gates open. And you’ll want to get in line for Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run. (Rise of the Resistance requires a reservation.)
Tips for Disneyland Parking
There are various parking options offered for guests visiting the Disneyland Resort(s), all detailed on the Disneyland website. At the time of this writing, the fee for self-parking a standard car for the day is $25, and preferred parking (closer to the elevators and escalators) for a standard car is $40. You can upgrade pre-purchased parking at a parking lot toll booth for an extra $15 if you change your mind and would like preferred parking.
Okay, NOW let’s get into how to save money on tickets.
1. aRes Travel (Top Pick)
Temporarily unavailable. aRes Travel is a San Diego based, Disneyland Authorized Ticket Seller where the public can purchase discounted tickets without a membership or belonging to a special group. They often have the best prices when it comes to discount tickets on theme parks across the United States.
All 3-Day, 4-Day, and 5-Day tickets purchased through them include one-day access to Magic Morning. aRes Travel is also known for excellent customer service as they have agents that you can call. Ticket holders go straight to the gate with an e-ticket or printed ticket (your choice) so you can skip the ticket booth.
There is a $2 convenience fee per ticket, but you will still likely come out ahead with their cheap ticket prices. I work with aRes Travel to offer these deals to readers and may be compensated should you purchase through these links.
The Disneyland ticket deals are:
2. Book a Disneyland Vacation Package
It’s also possible to save even more money by bundling your hotel with discount Disneyland tickets in a vacation package. There are many, many excellent hotels near Disneyland to choose from including the Good Neighbor Hotels that are Disney approved.
3. Disneyland California Resident Tickets
Right now, there are now no Disneyland California resident tickets discounts on offer. These tickets were available at the beginning of 2020 and if you purchased them prior to the park closure, the deadline to use them has been extended to December 16, 2021.
Some blockout dates apply that include November 21-28, 2020, December 19, 2020–January 10, 2021, March 26–April 11, 2021, July 4, 2021, November 28-17, 2021.
4. AAA Disneyland Tickets
Disneyland Resort offers slight discounts of $8–$14 to AAA members on 2-day, 3-day, 4-day, and 5-day tickets. Ticket prices offered by others methods on this list might be more advantageous.
5. Military Discounts
There are several substantial, special Disneyland tickets with military discounts for active and retired U.S. military personnel. The current offer is for 3-day and 4-day tickets and they do not include Magic Morning. Check your U.S. military base ticket office as what they offer might be less than what you can buy directly through Disneyland.
6. Costco Disneyland Tickets
The cheap Disneyland tickets Costco sells aren’t available anymore but they instead offer Disney vacation packages.
7. Group Ticket Discounts
Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park offer discounts for groups of 15 or more from qualified nonprofit organizations. You’ll need to call to secure the discount.
8. Disneyland Student Discounts
College students can check with their Student Union to see if there is a Disneyland tickets discounts available to them. Sometimes college students can receive small savings on 1-Day tickets.
The Disney Youth Program also offers discounts for groups of kids ages 3-22 that are tied to themed educational programming. We have done this with my daughter’s Girl Scout troop. The kids spent about three hours behind the scenes with Disney chefs learning about the culinary side of Disney California Adventure. They then were able to spend the rest of the day enjoying rides and attractions as if they had a 1-Day 1-Park Per Day ticket. Parent chaperones also received a Disneyland tickets discount but did not need to attend the class.
9. Teacher Discounts
Check your state’s education association to see if park discounts are available to you. These tend to come and go. The California Teacher’s Association, for example, will occasionally offer Disneyland ticket deals for its members.
10. Annual Passports
The sale of Annual Passports is also temporarily paused.
Annual Passports (annual passes) to Disneyland Resort theme parks start at $649 and go up to $1,449, depending on how many days of access you’d like (some Annual Passports are subject to blockout dates). The percentage of in-park discounts on dining vary by the pass. They can be purchased in full or California residents can opt for monthly installments.
The Disney Southern California Select Annual Passport is a viable option for Southern California residents who visit the park multiple times per year. It starts at $419 per person (ages 3 and older).
You can actually upgrade your Disneyland ticket to an Annual Passport while still in the park, which is nice! To avoid having to repurchase MaxPass, do this when you leave the park unless the in-park discounts your AP might have outweigh repurchasing it or sorting it out at the gate (this happened to me).
11. Credit Card Rewards Programs
Every once in awhile, major credit card companies like Chase offer cardholders the ability to use Ultimate Rewards points to purchase Disneyland tickets and vacations. As a Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholder, I can tell you that this offer hasn’t been available in some time. The same goes for American Express Platinum, another of my favorite travel credit cards.
However, frequent visitors to Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort may want to consider a Disney Premier Visa Card. Cardholders earn Disney Rewards with purchases that can be redeemed for Disneyland tickets and vacation packages. Be sure to read the terms and conditions to understand how to earn and redeem.
Special Disneyland Resort Experiences to Consider
Extra Magic Hour
If staying overnight in Anaheim on a Disneyland vacation, I am a big advocate of choosing a Disneyland Resort hotel especially if you are not staying long enough to enjoy a Magic Morning (3-Day tickets and longer).
One of the main reasons is Extra Magic Hour. Registered guests of the Disneyland Resort hotels enter Disneyland Park or Disney California Adventure Park one full hour before the parks open to the general public on select days. This means that if you’re staying one night, you’ll get to enjoy Extra Magic Hour on the day you check-in and the day that you check out. Select rides, dining, and attractions in one park per day are open for Extra Magic Hour.
I do advise checking the calendar in advance of booking a hotel so that you know which park is open early on which day. Star Wars: A Galaxy’s Edge is not available for Extra Magic Hour, but again, you’ll already be in the park when it opens so will have a head start on other guests.
For those looking for a VIP experience, Disneyland Resort now offers various packages that include a concierge to plan park itineraries, priority ride access, reserved seating, and more.
One of the best times to visit Disneyland Resort is during the holiday season, including Halloween. Several rides including the Haunted Mansion and Jungle Cruise take on a Christmas or Halloween theme, special treats become available throughout the Disney parks and much more.
What to Expect at Reopening
The information below is already listed on the Disneyland Resort website. It’s based on state requirements and already successful health and safety measures in place at Walt Disney World.
As you might expect, and as mentioned already above, all guests and Cast Members will be required to wear face coverings.
Theme park capacity will be limited so that guests and Cast Members can maintain suitable physical distancing between each other while at restaurants, queuing for rides, and enjoying the attractions.
Select attractions, experiences, services, entertainment, and amenities will be closed or modified to monitor capacity. Parades and large gathering events will be temporarily unavailable. There will also be no character meet-and-greets.
Guests are encouraged to forego cash and to use contactless payment methods such as Apple Pay or credit cards. You can read more about what to expect during your visit.
FAQs About Disneyland Tickets
These are the questions about discount Disneyland tickets and park happenings that land in my inbox the most.
When is Disneyland reopening?
Disneyland Resort began a phased reopening that abruptly paused. Downtown Disney District reopened on July 9. Starting November 19, guests will be able to shop and dine on Buena Vista Street in Disney California Adventure. No park admission is required to enter, but capacity will be restricted to control attendance.
Otherwise, Disneyland Park and the rest of Disney California Adventure closed until further notice. Disneyland Resort hotels are also closed.
What if I bought tickets before the parks closed?
You can learn more about how Disneyland is handling current ticket holders. Rest assured that park ticket expirations have been extended but your ticket may have blockout dates. Multi-day ticket expirations have been extended to expire 13 days after activation or on January 12, 2022.
What happens to my annual pass while the parks are closed?
You have several options really depending on how you paid for your AP. If you paid in full, your expiration date will be extended.
If you are on a monthly payment plan, you probably noticed that your billing stopped in April and that your March payment may have been refunded. Payments made between March 14–April 4 were refunded. If you take no action, your billing will resume when the parks reopen and your expiration date remains the same.
Alternatively, you can have your annual pass payments postponed instead by calling Annual Passport Member Services at (714) 781-4567. This will extend your expiration date because you will pay for an entire year. The upshot to having your payments postponed is that it may insulate you from a price increase at least for a few months.
How do I make a Disneyland reservation?
Details for how to make reservations for guests and Annual Passholders will be available soon.
Where can I find cheap Disneyland tickets?
You can find 2-Day or longer Disneyland ticket discounts through authorized ticket sellers that are available to the general public. You may have certain memberships that offer cheap tickets such as Costco or AAA. Alternatively, some guests may qualify for a military discount or resident discount, too.
How do I use my aRes Travel Disneyland ticket?
Print the ticket that you received via email and take it straight to the gate. Or, simply pull the ticket up on your phone so that the gate attendant can scan it. Here, you’ll quickly have your photo taken and be given a paper ticket that you will need to hold on to.
Once you receive the paper ticket, scan it into your Disneyland app so that you can begin to make FASTPASS selections.
Can you buy Disneyland tickets at the gate?
When the park reopens, Disneyland tickets will likely not be sold at the gate. This is likely to be temporary, and the duration of the current ticket sale pause isn’t yet known.
You can buy Disneyland tickets at the gate during normal times, but gate prices are not discounted. If you choose a 3-Day ticket, please note that only online ticket purchases include Magic Morning.
How do I get free Disneyland tickets?
Free Disneyland tickets are difficult to come by. Members of the media are eligible for two free Park Hopper tickets every 12 months (with some date restrictions) for journalistic purposes. If you know a Cast Member with courtesy tickets, you might be in luck.
Disneyland Resort does occasionally give out free tickets via radio, news, and other media promotions in its primary markets. You can also redeem Disney Rewards points earned with the Disney Premier Visa Card for free tickets.
How much are tickets for Disneyland?
There are four things that influence the price of Disneyland tickets:
- The date that you choose to visit matters as there are now three pricing tiers tied to anticipated occupancy. You’ll choose peak, regular, or value dates.
- How many days you choose to visit the parks (choose one through five days).
- Whether you choose 1-Park Per Day or Park Hopper tickets.
- Whether you add MaxPass to the cost of your ticket.
How much is a one-day ticket to the park?
If you want a one-day pass, you have the choice of peak ($154/ages), regular, or value season dates. The price will vary based on the day you visit and whether you choose a 1-Park Per Day ticket (starts at $104/ages 10+) or a Park Hopper ticket (starts at $154/ages 10+).
How much does a three-day ticket to the park cost?
The cost of a three-day ticket will depend on where and when you purchase it. If you purchase your three-day ticket online in advance, you may receive the added perk of Magic Morning early entrance. Three-day tickets purchased the day of at the gate do not offer early admission.
What kind of annual passes are available?
Disneyland Resort calls its annual passes “Annual Passports.” There are currently five different passports available: Disney Southern California Select Passport, Disney Flex Passport, Disney Deluxe Passport, Disney Signature Passport, and Disney Signature Plus Passport. Each one has its unique perks, including discounts on dining and merchandise.
How much is an annual pass?
Prices vary depending on which pass you choose and the age of the pass holder. You can pay in monthly installments or cover the entire cost upfront.
How much are tickets when you go through AAA?
The AAA Disneyland tickets discount is slight, often $8–$14 off the regular price for members only.
Does Disneyland offer senior or AARP discounts?
Unfortunately, Disneyland does not currently offer senior discounts or AARP discounts.
What are Disneyland Park Hopper tickets?
A Park Hopper ticket grants you admission into both Disneyland Park and Disneyland California Adventure Park on the same day so that you do not need two separate tickets. Your Park Hopper ticket will be scanned by gate attendants every time you enter a park, which can be as many times as you please throughout the duration of your eligible ticket.
How else do I go to Disneyland for cheap?
Purchasing discounted tickets is a start, however, I have additional advice for ways to save money at Disneyland that include dining, souvenirs, budget management tips, and more discounts.
Where can you park for free?
General Disneyland parking costs $25. If you’re looking to save on parking, see if your hotel offers a free shuttle to the park. Also, some Annual Passport types include free parking.
How do you buy cheap Disneyland tickets? Be sure to read my full Disneyland Resort Guide.
See also how to buy: