Disneyland© Resort in California is a truly magical place and a bucket list destination for many. It is possible to buy discount Disneyland tickets to save money for the excellent character dining, famous desserts, and souvenirs. It’s important to follow some general guidelines to avoid scams.
Initial Decisions to Make
Several decisions are necessary to make before buying Disneyland tickets.
How many days will you need a ticket? Disneyland Resort is home to two theme parks: Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure. While it’s possible to see both theme parks in one day, it’s rushed. A minimum of two days will allow for a better experience.
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. Whether you opt for Park Hopper tickets depends on what suits your traveling companions best. Typically, for more extended visits Park Hopper provides much-needed flexibility and allow people to re-ride favorite rides on a whim. If you do buy a one-park ticket and decide to upgrade it, you can do this at the park. Park Hopper tickets do not need to be used on consecutive days, but they do need to be used within 13 days of first use (be sure to read all terms and conditions).
Where to buy discount Disneyland tickets? I’ve detailed reliable methods for buying discounted tickets for Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park below.
Important Disneyland Tickets Purchasing Tips
Buy ONLY from a Disneyland Authorized Ticket Seller
One of the most important things when buying Disneyland tickets is this. Buy only 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. Do not ever buy a partially used pass or “rent” a pass.
Read All Terms and Conditions
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 how you’ll receive the tickets. For example, will you need to pick them up at the ticket booth, can you print and go or will they be snail mailed?
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.
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. Upgrade pre-purchased parking for an extra $15.
1-Day Passes 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 significant benefit usually added to 3-day, 4-day or 5-day Tickets. Magic Morning allows ticket holders entry to Disneyland Park one hour before it opens to the general public. Current Magic Morning days are Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday but please check the calendar for details.
1. aRes Travel (Top Pick)
aRes Travel is a San Diego based, Disneyland Authorized Ticket Seller.
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 if need be. aRes Travel ticket holders go straight to the gate without a need to go to the ticket booth first.
Note that aRes Travel charges a $2 convenience fee per ticket, but you will still likely come out ahead. Tickets are now available with Disney MaxPass which allows pass holders to make Disney FASTPASS selections via the Disneyland app on a mobile device, among other benefits.
NEW: Purchase the Southern California resident Disneyland tickets at an even lower price!
The current Disneyland tickets deals are:
2. Book a Disneyland Hotel Package
It’s also possible to save even more money by bundling your hotel with discount Disneyland tickets. There are many, many hotels near Disneyland to choose from including the Good Neighbor Hotels that are Disney approved.
3. Disneyland California Resident Tickets
NEW: Purchase a variety of 3-Day Disneyland California Resident tickets by May 18, 2020 for use up until May 21, 2020! Save $101 per ticket!
Also, for a limited time only, Southern California residents receive preferred pricing on annual passes to one or both Disneyland and Disneys California Adventure parks on select dates.
However, MANY blockout dates apply (like the majority of summer and all weekends) and vary by park.
You’ll also receive 10% off select dining and merchandise. Prices start at $399 for ages 3+ and you can also break that up into monthly payments.
Disneyland Resort offers slight discounts of $8–$14 to AAA members on 2-day, 3-day, 4-day, and 5-day tickets.
5. Military Discounts
Disneyland Resort offers several substantial, special military discounts for active and retired U.S. military personnel. The current offer is for 3-day and 4-day tickets.
Costco used to sell discounted Disneyland Resort theme park tickets but now only offers vacation packages.
7. Canada Resident Discount
Canada residents receive a 20% discount on 3-Day or longer tickets when purchased by February 16, 2020. The good news is that these tickets are valid through December 31, 2020.
8. Australia and New Zealand Resident Discount
Australia and New Zealand residents receive discounted 4-Day tickets through participating travel agents in each country. Purchase by March 31, 2020 and use the tickets by January 13, 2021.
9. 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.
The Disney Youth Program also offers discounts for groups of kids ages 3-22.
10. Annual Passports
Annual Passports (annual passes) to Disneyland Resort theme parks start at $599 and go up to $1,399, 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 via 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 $399 per person (ages 3 and older).
Special Disneyland Resort Experiences
Extra Magic Hour
If staying overnight in Anaheim on a Disneyland vacation, I am a big advocate of choosing a Disneyland Resort hotel.
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.
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 park and much more.
Frequently Asked Questions / FAQ About Disneyland Resort
Where is Disneyland located?
Disneyland Resort is located in Anaheim, California which is roughly 25 miles southwest of Los Angeles.
Where can I find cheap tickets to Disneyland?
La Jolla Mom provides tips on finding discount Disneyland tickets through trusted sellers. You may find discounted tickets through suppliers such as aRes Travel, Costco, and AAA. Some guests may qualify for a military discount or resident discount, too.
How much are tickets for Disneyland?
The cost of admission varies on the date and number of days you plan to visit, as well as the kind of pass you decide to purchase.
How much is a one-day ticket to the park?
If you want a one-day pass, you have the choice of peak, regular, or value season dates. The price will vary based on which ticket you choose and where you purchase it.
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.
What is Disney FASTPASS?
The Disney FASTPASS enables you to make reservations at certain park attractions so you don’t have to waste time waiting in line. The free service lets you reserve a time to access the ride and provides you with a special ticket to present at that specific time. Disney MAXPASS allows you to make FASTPASS selections on your mobile phone.
Can you buy tickets at the gate?
Yes, you can purchase tickets at the gate, but you will save time and money if you buy in advance.
How much are tickets when you go through AAA?
AAA members receive slight discounts, often $8-$14 off the regular price.
What is a Park Hopper ticket?
Rather than making you purchase two different tickets, a Park Hopper ticket grants you admission into both Disneyland Park and Disneyland California Adventure Park on the same day.
When is the best time to go to the theme park?
Because Disneyland is a beloved attraction, it’s busy nearly every day of the year. The park tends to be the busiest around summer and winter vacations and major holidays. We recommend managing attraction wait times through Disney MAXPASS.
What is the cheapest way to get from LAX to the park?
LAX airport provides shuttles that go straight to Disneyland Resort. Some shuttles offer shared rides for as little as $10 a person. Public transportation is most likely the cheapest option, but you will have to make several transfers between trains and buses to get there.
Where can you park for free?
General 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.
What are the most popular attractions at the park?
There are too many to choose! At Disneyland, the Matterhorn and Space Mountain are perfect for those who like thrills. You can cool off on Splash Mountain, see the spooky Haunted Mansion or take a mellow worldwide cruise through “it’s a small world.” Disney California Adventure Park is home to Radiator Springs Racers (what many believe to be the best Disney ride ever), Guardians of the Galaxy — Mission: Breakout!, and more. See Disneyland vs. Disney California Adventure Park.
Where can I find characters at the park?
Characters venture throughout the parks during the day. You can see them during their performances and their scheduled meet-and-greet times. It’s also a good idea to know where your favorites like to spend time. For example, princesses tend to frequent the Royal Hall in Fantasy Faire. To track down your favorites, download the Disney Mobile App and check the Characters tab, or ask the park staff wearing buttons that say, “Ask me about characters.”
What are the different areas of the park?
Both parks are split up into themed areas. Some of the original areas at Disneyland include Main Street USA, Adventure, and Frontierland, while Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is the park’s newest addition. At Disney California Adventure, Cars Land and Pixar Pier are both very popular and a new Marvel-themed land is under construction. It’s easy to navigate through the lands with the Disneyland Resort app.
What kind of restaurants are at the theme park?
Whether you’re craving something sweet or savory, light or heavy, chances are, you’ll find it in the parks. Over 120 restaurants, including fine dining, themed dining, buffets, bars, and quick services are spread out across Disneyland and Disney California Adventure. You can even book Disneyland character dining.
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