Details of the new Disney Flex Passport

by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix, staff writer

A $600 annual passport with just 15 blockout days? No, this isn't 2012—it's the new Disney Flex Passport, and it's poised to completely change the way you visit the Disneyland Resort.

This new pass has the same blockout dates as the Disney Signature Pass that sells for $1,149. The rest of the year is divided into "Good to Go" days, depicted in green on the new blockout calendar, and "Reservation" days, depicted in blue.

Good to Go days are exactly what they sound like: days you can just walk into Disneyland and/or Disney California Adventure with no prior planning. These are mostly Monday through Thursday and off-peak dates.

Reservation days require advance planning. These include those traditionally blocked out to the lower-priced passes, off-peak weekends, and the entire summer.

Passholders will use the Disneyland website or smartphone application to make reservations to visit Disneyland, Disney California Adventure, or both parks, subject to availability. Passholders can hold up to two reservations, up to 30 days in advance, and reservations are available starting at 7:00 a.m. each day. Passholders can link to friends or family members who also have a Disney Flex Passport, and make reservations for the entire group at once.

We don't know how many reservations are available for each date, and the number will likely fluctuate daily based on things like projected sales of single-day and multi-day tickets, hotel occupancy rates and special events.

Disney released the access calendar for this pass through June 2020. For Disneyland, there are 147 Good to Go days and 229 Reservation days, along with the 15 blockout dates. For Disney California Adventure, there are fewer Reservation days, but even more Good to Go dates.

The Disneyland admission and blockout calendar for the new Disney Flex Passport. Photo © Disney.

The admission and blockout calendar at Disney California Adventure under the new Disney Flex Passport. Photo © Disney.

With the Disney Flex Passport, you can visit on a weekend, during Spring Break or on a school holiday. You can visit on the 4th of July, Labor Day, or Black Friday. You can go when it fits your schedule—you just need to plan ahead. That advance planning also allows Disney to better project attendance and staffing needs, creating a better experience for everyone.

Passholders must also use the website or app to cancel reservations prior to midnight the day before their visit, or incur a no-show penalty. The first no-show is free, after the second you'll possibly get a warning, and after the third, Disney will cancel any future reservations and suspend your ability to make new reservations for a period.

The Disney Flex Passport is eligible for the monthly payment plan offered to California residents, and includes dining and merchandise discounts. In fact, the biggest downside to this new pass is that current Deluxe passholders can not downgrade to this pass, even if they forfeit the $200 price difference. Had it been an option when I purchased passes for my family, I would have opted for the Disney Flex Passport over the Deluxe pass, as this new pass gives me the option to reserve visits during the summer blockout period.

If the new pass is as popular as I think it will be, I can see Disney expanding the reservation system to all pass levels, possibly giving each tier of pass a greater allocation of reservation days to hold at once, and/or a longer window in which to make reservations.

In a year that has seen a number of major changes to the annual passport program, the Disney Flex Passport is the biggest of them all. Disney will begin selling the new pass on Tuesday, May 21, just 10 days before Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge opens to the public.