Annual Passes for Out-of-State Disneyland Fans

by Megan Walker, contributing writer
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It's no secret that ticket prices at the Disneyland Resort are getting pretty outrageous these days, with the latest price hike, a one-day one-park ticket has now reached $95 on "Value" days and $119 on "Peak" days. If you'd like to park-hop you're looking at $155 for a 1-Day ticket on "Value" days and a whopping $169 on "Peak" Days. With prices continuing to increase and no end in sight, many people have had to seriously think about whether trips to Disneyland are feasible financially anymore.

These trips can also get even harder to take if you are a Disney fan living out of the state of California, like me (I'm in Oregon). We Disneyphiles have a hard enough time living too far away from Disneyland, but looking at ticket prices makes it even harder. However, if you are someone who likes to visit Disneyland multiple times a year, but you live out of state, it might be beneficial to consider purchasing an Annual Pass.

I, along with my entire immediate family, have had an Annual Pass for quite some time now, and it has afforded us a better chance to visit the parks multiple times a year. There are three types of Annual Passes available for out-of-state residents to purchase for the Disneyland Resort:

Disney Deluxe Passport - $599
Disney Signature Passport - $849
Disney Signature Plus Passport - $1,049

If you break down the daily ticket prices that are valid right now, after just two or three visits on a "regular" daily or multi-day ticket, you're getting close to it being the same as the price of the lowest Annual Pass. As you can see, numerically, it becomes a better option to purchase an Annual Pass rather than daily tickets every time you visit. Not only will the price end up being a better option, but you get to reap the benefits of having an Annual Pass, including: discounts on merchandise, food, hotels, special events at the parks throughout the year, and special Annual Passholder-only events.


Disneyland Resort Ticket Booths. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

Of course, if you're living out of state, tickets to the resort aren't the only expense. However, airfare and hotel payments can easily be lessened if you take measures early on in your planning processes. Every airline, and most hotels, offer reward programs that will greatly benefit you in the long run. Try to stick with a single airline or hotel chain on your vacations when possible, and soon you'll rack up enough rewards to help you with airline and hotel costs down the road.

The other trick that I use is signing up for an airfare watch program (there are many different ones out there). I put in a search for any flight from my home airport to any of the four local airports in the Greater Los Angeles/Orange County area (Orange County, Los Angeles, Burbank and Long Beach) and it will automatically email me when low airfare becomes available. With this method, I can watch and wait and when a low airfare pops up, then I can try to plan something.

Now, this kind of planning process may not work for everyone. Understandably, everyone's situation is different. Hopefully this gives you a different perspective on an option you might have considered to be unrealistic. Annual passes for out-of-state visitors might seem like an unlikely solution to saving money on your Disneyland trips—but if you take a second look and do some more research, you might find that it can be feasible and will allow you more magical visits to the Happiest Place on Earth.

 

Comments

  1. By amyuilani

    I agree that if you are planning to visit the parks two or more times in the span of a year, an annual pass is probably the best way to go. I live in Portland, OR, and it's not unusual these days to find flights on JetBlue into LGB for as low as $59 each way, or Southwest into SNA for around $79 each way. For a getaway to Disneyland weekend, that's a great airfare. If you are lucky enough to have friends and family who also have APs down here (as I do), then it's the best way to do it.

    Unfortunately it also means that you have to have the money to put down for a pass all at once, for you cannot finance the pass on monthly installments if you live outside of their zip code range. If you tend to budget your trip pretty tightly, it may not be feasible to drop $600 on a pass in the hopes you'll find those $150 RT flights often enough to make the pass worth it.

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