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Disneyland Trip Planning Guide
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Brian Bennett

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Forward
Forward  |  Why Travel to Disneyland?  |  My Favorite Things at Disneyland

Resources

Disneyland Trip Planning Phone List  |  Critique of Published Disneyland Trip Guide Books  |  Other Disneyland Resources on the Web

Planning Ahead

Planning Your Trip  |  What Time of Year You Should go to Disneyland  |  How Many Days Do You Need to "See It All?"  |  Other Attractions in Southern California  |  Estimating What Your Trip Will Cost  |  Rental Car Considerations  |  What You Should Pack to Take on Your Trip

Accommodations

Should You Stay On or Off Site?  |  Off Site Accommodations  |  Disneyland Area Campgrounds  |  Disneyland's "Good Neighbor Hotels"  |  On Site Hotels  |  Grand Californian  Hotel  |  Disneyland Hotel  |  Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel

Disneyland Resort Primer
A Disneyland / WDW Comparison  |  The Ins and Outs of Disneyland Reservations  |  How to Use Disneyland's Transportation System  |  Developing a Daily "Game Plan"  |  The Daily Afternoon Break Touring the Parks With Kids  |  Touring the Parks With an Infant  |  Touring the Parks with Disabled Guests

The Parks
General Issues
  |  All About Admission Media (i.e. Tickets)  |  General Park Operating Hours  |  "Magic Mornings", the Disneyland Resort's Version of Early Entry  |  Fastpass -- Disney's New "Virtual Queue"  |  Disneyland  |  Details-at-a-Glance  |  Touring the Park  |  Attractions  |  Shopping  |  Disneyland Shows and Entertainment  |  Parade of Stars  |  Believe: There's Magic in the Sky  |  Fantasmic!  |  Disney's California Adventure  |  Details-at-a-Glance  |  Touring the Park  |  Attractions  | Shopping  |  Eureka! The California Adventure Parade

Everything Else
Downtown Disney  |  Guided Tours of Disneyland

Disneyland Restaurant Resource

First, if you couldn't find it here, I would appreciate it if you would click on this link and send me a message to tell me what's missing.  I'll do my best to "fill in the blanks" as soon as possible.

 

All about Admission Media (Tickets) and When and Where to Buy It

Hot Tip:  The five-day flex pass, which is available ONLY at the Disney Store and local "partner" hotels around Disneyland (you can't even buy them at Disneyland's own ticket booths) are currently priced the same as the three-day flex pass that Disneyland sells.  It includes admission to the park for up to five (versus three) days and one "Magic Morning" early entry day.  With the opening of California Adventure, it is unclear whether or not this flex pass will still be available.

How to Get the Best Prices for Admission Media

If you want to get the very best admission media to meet your needs (both in terms of price and function), I suggest you follow this process:

  • Check with your hotel (onsite or not) about available ticket packages and plans.

  • After you have those prices in hand, check at your local Disney Store (or call the Disneyland information line) to see how those plan prices compare to the cost of buying the admission media without any extras.

  • While you're at the Disney Store, ask about Disney Club prices and the cost to join the club (if you're not already a member).

  • Last, check at your own AAA (or other car club, if you're a member) or with your travel agent to see if they can land you an even better deal.

The bottom line is that there is no substitute for doing your own homework.

Types of Admission Media:

There are four main kinds of Disneyland admission media:

  1. The first, is actually called a "pass" or simply a "ticket", which is accepted at the park for one day only.

  2. Second, a "Flexpass" which covers multiple days (the commonly available is for five consecutive days for the price of three, with an early entry on one day thrown in for good measure).

  3. Third, a "length-of-stay pass" is a special passport that is valid for the entire duration of your stay at one of the Disneyland hotels. Only Disney-owned and operated resorts offer "length-of-stay passes."

  4. The fourth admission media is an "annual pass", or AP, that permits entry for an entire year dating from the date of purchase.  There are actually two kinds of AP, the "Deluxe Annual Pass" that provides admission for a year, but with some dates blocked out (a special one-day pass for blocked-out days is available for about $20 for Deluxe AP holders), and the "Premium Annual Pass" which provides admission for a year with no restrictions.

MousePlanet's Disneyland Information Guide gives prices and complete descriptions of all admission media.  You can read it in detail by clicking here.

Purchasing your Admission Media:

There are several ways you can purchase your admission media for your trip. The things to keep in mind are convenience and line queuing. If you wait until the first time you go to the park to buy your passes, you will undoubtedly stand in a line for more time than you'll have patience for. After standing in the line to buy the admission media, you'll have to stand in line to enter the park, too. Double jeopardy, but it's you're own fault for not planning ahead.

Better ways to handle your admission media include:

  • Buying your admission media in advance directly from Disneyland. They will mail the passes to you before you leave home on your trip. Delivery time will be six weeks or more, so if you choose to do it this way, plan ahead. I'm not sure what fees, if any, are charged for this service.

  • You can purchase admission media at any Disney Store in the gallerias across the country. However, if the store is East of the Mississippi, you can't buy tickets at the store. Instead, you'll end up buying a voucher that must be turned in for a pass when you get to California. Save yourself the hassle and stop at a Disney store enroute.

  • You can purchase tickets and passports at either of the Disney-owned and operated hotels.

  • "Length of stay passes" can only be purchased directly through your Disney-owned and operated resort. Those arrangements can be made when you make your room reservations, or added later with a simple call to the resort.

  • You can also get admission media from many non-Disney hotels. Prices are actually better than Disney's normal prices if the hotel is a "participating partner" hotel.

  • AAA is now selling Disney admission media. You can buy the Flexpasses, for example, at the same rate as buying direct from Disneyland.

  • Go ahead and buy your passes at the park, but go over and buy them the evening before you plan to first use them. That way, you'll minimize the length of the lines you must wait in (the queues to buy tickets diminish greatly as late afternoon turns to evening). The only drawback is that you might, if you're not staying at a Disney-owned resort hotel, have to pay parking for the privilege.

No fees above and beyond the cost of the admission media itself is ever imposed by any Disney stores, resorts, or any other "official" Disney source when you are buying admission media in person. The single exception is that Disneyland does charge for mail orders.

 

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