Since returning to California, we made a big budget decision to purchase Disneyland annual passes. Our first year back, we utilized the Disney Premier passes for $1400/person because we were going on a 9-day vacation to Walt Disney World. It was worth it since we also used the passes a second time for our baby-free getaway later in the year. So for 14 days at Walt Disney World and 40+ trips to Disneyland, we got our money’s worth.
Disney Premier Perks:
- Entry to ALL the parks in California and Florida. This includes Disneyland, Disney’s California Adventure, Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, Disney’s Oak Trail Golf Course, and the two water parks.
- Standard parking is included.
- Top tier of passholder discounts, 15-20% off dining (15% off at California parks and 20% off at Florida parks) and 20% off merchandise.
This year, we scaled back. The Disney Premier passes went up by A LOT. Probably in anticipation for the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Instead of the Disney Premier, we chose to purchase the Disney Signature for $999/person and added MaxPass for $100/person. (Though I believe the prices of our passes have gone up again…)
- We still get the top tier of passholder benefits, such as 15% off food and 20% off merchandise.
- Standard parking is included.
- With MaxPass, we can select FastPasses from our phone and easily download any of our PhotoPass photos.
- There are blockout dates! But they’re during Christmas and New Years. As Disney-veterans we know that the parks are PACKED during the holidays so we forgo heading there anyway.
Are passes worth it?
We think so, especially if you visit the parks more than once a month. As the single-day ticket prices go up and up and up, it makes sense to pay the upfront costs of a pass. And with the option to pay monthly, why not? Our monthly payment is around $180 for both of our passes. That’s the price of 1 peak park-hopper ticket. ONE! JUST ONE! Now, when Lil Bean turns 3, we may have to revisit which passport to purchase. But for now, we’re happy with our choice.
But aren’t the parks packed and busy all the time?
Yes. The parks are busy. And yes, there’s even chatter out there that Disneyland’s trying to limit the amount of passholders by increasing their prices. But the beauty with a pass, you’re not confined to time. If you don’t get a chance to go on Radiator Springs, no big. Try again the next visit. If the park is feeling too cozy and cramped for your style, no worries. Head out and come back again. The more you visit, the more you become attuned to the busy times.
Our Visit Tips and Tricks:
- We rarely visit on Fridays.
- Parks are less crowded when they first open, and around 3pm people start piling in. Probably because it’s after school/work.
- We don’t go on Saturdays, unless it’s a special day (birthdays and anniversaries).
- Mid-week is the sweet spot. So are rainy days. If you don’t mind California rain (ahem, drizzle), then grab your poncho and head to the parks.
- If you do a weekend visit, pick Sunday. Since folks are either at church or have work the next day, it’s less crowded than Saturdays.
- Winter Holiday season is the worst time. But there’s something magical about Christmastime at Disneyland. If you like the Christmas decor (like E), you can head to the parks after Thanksgiving when the decorations are first up. OR another time would be the week after New Year’s Day, right before they take them down.
Well that’s a rundown of our Disneyland passports. Which passport do you have? Why did you pick that passport?
To infinity and beyond,