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How to Buy Discount Disneyland Tickets (2021) – Top 11 Cheap Ways

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.

I list reliable Disney 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.

TICKETS GO ON SALE TODAY!

April 12: Disneyland Resort will open theme park reservations no earlier than 8am PT for California residents who already have theme park tickets.

April 15: New Disneyland Resort tickets will be available for California residents. Reservations will also be available for Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa. These are expected to go live at 8 a.m. PT.

April 22: Dining and Savi’s Workshop reservations will be available

I’m a Disney Travel Agent who helps people plan Disneyland vacations. 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 cheap Disneyland tickets that are best for your situation.


What to Know About Buying Disneyland Tickets Now

There are helpful tips in this section, but you can jump to where to look for Disneyland tickets discounts.

There is even more to know now before you buy Disneyland tickets.

Expect Enhanced Health and Safety Measures

The parks will have enhanced health and safety measures in place that you agree to abide by when purchasing admission.

Face coverings for ages 2 and older are required as are temperature screenings and adherence to proper distancing will in the parks.

Only California Residents May Purchase Tickets

Currently, due to state regulations, only California residents can visit the park. Proof of residency may be required when entering the parks. Groups can consist of no more than three households.

Reservations Are Required — Check Dates Before You Buy

Availability for your preferred date should be checked before buying tickets. You can check dates here (this link will open in a new window so that you can have it ready for when you look at cheaper options below).

After purchasing Disneyland tickets, you will need to link the tickets to a Disney account for access to the reservation system. You can link your tickets online.

Offerings Will Be Modified

Parades and nighttime spectaculars that draw larger groups will be paused. Character greetings will be modified. Expect some rides and attractions to be closed.

1-Day Tickets Are Almost Never Discounted

Sadly, 1-Day Disneyland tickets are rarely discounted. Usually, the best place to buy a 1-Day ticket is directly through Disneyland Resort. Teachers, students, military, and a few other groups may be eligible for discount 1-Day passes through various organizations.

If it’s too good to be true, it probably is. Super steep discounts on authentic Disneyland Resort tickets do not exist, especially on 1-Day passes

Kids Under Age 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.

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. Check 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?

Also, when purchasing tickets you are agreeing to abide by the health and safety measures in place.

Five Initial Decisions to Help You Find the Right Ticket Type

Already know which ticket to buy? Jump to cheaper Disneyland ticket options.

A printed Disney California ticket held up against the Main Street U.S.A. train station facade.
A paper ticket I received after my eticket was scanned at the park entrance on my mobile device.

Several decisions are necessary to make before buying Disneyland tickets, especially if it’s your first time in the parks.

1. Can you be flexible with dates?

The following information is TBD. 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 to 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. Tickets for 3 days and longer if bought through certain authorized sellers can also include Magic Morning (more on this below).

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. Magic Morning is temporarily on pause.

A sign for Extra Magic Hour and Magic Morning, a perk of some  3-day or longer Disneyland California tickets.
A sign for Magic Morning and Extra Magic Hour at Disneyland in California.

3. Should you buy Park Hopper© tickets?

Park Hopper tickets will be available at the Park’s reopening! Park Hopper tickets provide entrance to both parks on the same day. At reopening, Park Hopper hours start at 1 p.m. and end at closing time.

The park entrances are 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.

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. 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 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).

Make reservations for the first park that you intend to visit with your Park Hopper ticket.

4. Know that FASTPASS and MaxPass will be unavailable

Disney MaxPass allows pass holders to make Disney FASTPASS selections, for entry into shorter ride queues, through the Disneyland app on a mobile device.

Neither MaxPass or FASTPASS will be available at the park’s reopening.

This is instead 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.

5. Which Authorized Ticket Seller to Use for Disneyland tickets at a discount? 

Now that you know what ticket type you need, you have one final decision. Which reliable method for buying cheap tickets for Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park should you use? You’ll have that answer after reading through my options.

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. Like many high-value goods, they can be subject to counterfeiting and unfair pricing. Also, do not ever buy a partially used pass or “rent” a pass.


1. Discounted Park Hopper and 1-Park Per Day Tickets

I work with aRes Travel, a San Diego based, Disneyland Authorized Ticket Seller where you 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.

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.

(Normally, all 3-Day, 4-Day, and 5-Day tickets purchased through them include one-day access to Magic Morning but Magic Morning will not be available during the park’s reopening.)

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 that were on offer before the parks closed include:

2. Combo Tickets with Nearby Theme Parks

These are expected to return shortly after the launch of California resident Disneyland tickets!


3. Book a Disneyland Vacation Package

Temporarily not available. 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.


4. Disneyland California Resident Tickets

Disneyland California Resident Tickets will be the only ticket options for sale at the park’s reopening.

During normal times, the parks do offer special Disneyland California resident tickets discounts. 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.


5. AAA Disneyland Tickets

Temporarily not available. 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.


6. 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.


7. Costco Disneyland Tickets

The cheap Disneyland tickets Costco sells aren’t available anymore but they instead offer Disney vacation packages.


8. 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.


9. 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.


10. 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.



11. Credit Card Rewards Programs

Every once in a while, 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.


What About Annual Passports?

After four decades, Disneyland announced that they are retiring Annual Passports. These are Disneyland annual passes that provided passholders with entry to both parks, discounts, and other coveted perks.

If you were an Annual Passport holder as of March 14, 2020, like me, you will be issued an “appropriate refund.” There is nothing you need to do as it will be processed automatically.

The reason why they are stopping annual passes is due to expected park capacity limitations when it reopens. Annual passholders are among the most enthusiastic of guests and I suspect would take up much of the available reservations and might be the most disappointed should they not be able to secure reservations.

Annual Passport holders will enjoy some merchandise and dining discounts in Downtown Disneybeginning January 18 through February 25, 2021. Get the details.

What does this really mean? In Disney’s letter to Annual Passport holders, they stated that a new membership program is being considered. We’ll have to wait to see what happens.


Special Disneyland Resort Experiences: Upgrades & Holidays

Extra Magic Hour

Temporarily not available. 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).

See also: Theme Park Luxe: Disney’s Grand California Resort and Spa

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.

Guests take photos in front of the Millennium Falcon inside of Disneyland's Star Wars: A Galaxy's Edge.
Millennium Falcon at Star Wars: A Galaxy’s Edge inside Disneyland Park.

VIP Packages

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.

Holiday Celebrations

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.

See also: 10 Reasons to Visit Disneyland Resort During the Holidays

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. Y

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.


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.

Temperature Screening and Face Coverings

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. All guests and Cast Members will be required to wear face coverings.

You Will Need to Make a Reservation

All guests will need to use a reservation system to enter the parks. This helps the parks monitor and limit theme park capacity. Information regarding how to make a reservation at Disneyland will be available when theme park ticket sales resume.

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.

Offerings Will Be Modified

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

This section will be updated after tickets go live on 4/15 and we know more details. These are the questions about discount Disneyland tickets and park happenings that land in my inbox the most.

When is Disneyland reopening?

Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park reopen on April 30, 2021 to California residents only.

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.

Unused promotional 1-Day tickets that are set to expire on December 31, 2020 or March 31, 2021 will have their expirations extended to December 16, 2021.

Wholly unused, non-promotional multi-day tickets that expire on January 12, 2021 or April 13, 2021 will also have the expiration date extended to December 16, 2021, and the ticket will expire 13 days after first use or on December 16, 2021, whichever occurs first. 

If you had a multi-day ticket and used your first visit between February 28, 2020 and March 13, 2020 but did not reach the ticket’s maximum number of uses, you will have the 13-day expiration period of their ticket extended to December 16, 2021.  

What happens to my annual pass while the parks are closed?

The Annual Passport program is being retired. Eligible annual passholders will receive refunds. There is not need to contact Disney for a refund as it will be processed automatically.

Can I use my Disney World annual pass at Disneyland?

No. You can’t use a Disney World annual pass or ticket at Disneyland. They are two separate resorts with their own ticketing systems.

How do I make a Disneyland reservation?

Details for how to make reservations for guests will be available when the park reopens.

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?

Before purchasing, check availability for your desired dates. Purchase your discount Disneyland tickets and then link them to a Disney account to get access to the reservation system.

Then, you’re all set!

Can you buy Disneyland tickets at the gate?

When the park reopens, Disneyland tickets will not be sold at the gate.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. How many days you choose to visit the parks (choose one through five days).
  3. Whether you choose 1-Park Per Day or Park Hopper tickets.
  4. 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? 

Annual passes are being retired so, currently, there are no annual passes available for Disneyland.

Disneyland Resort calls its annual passes “Annual Passports.” There were 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 had its unique perks, including discounts on dining and merchandise. 

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 is a Park Hopper ticket for Disneyland? 

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.

Park Hopper hours are reopening are 1 p.m. to closing. Make reservations for the first park that you intend to visit.

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.

Can you buy Disneyland tickets at the Disney store?

You can buy Disneyland tickets at select Disney Stores. Availability varies by location. You’ll need to check with yours to make sure that you can purchase in-store.

Will there be a price increase in 2021?

The price of Disneyland tickets over the years has done nothing but go up. Price increases usually happen in January or February.

I strongly suspect that tickets will be issued differently when the park reopens. This means that the pricing structure will likely change.

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:

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