Your Guide to Disneyland Theme Park Reservations

by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix, staff writer
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April 15 is the day Disney fans have been waiting for, the day the Disneyland Resort resumes sales of tickets to Disneyland and Disney California Adventure. Both theme parks have been closed since March, 2020 due to the global pandemic, and are slated to reopen on Friday, April 30.

Even though ticket sales are currently limited to California residents due to a travel advisory from the California Department of Public Health, we still expect strong demand from locals and former passholders who have been itching to get back into the parks for more than a year.

We hope you're reading this before 8:00 a.m. Thursday morning, which is the earliest Disney says ticket sales will begin. However you can expect the virtual waiting room to open much earlier—check the Disneyland website around 7:00 a.m.

Our partners at Get Away Today said they will have multi-day Disneyland Resort tickets available no later than 8:00 a.m. on Thursday, so it's definitely worth checking to see if they've opened sales a bit earlier than the official site.

If you're among those hoping to snag tickets on Thursday, here's a step-by-step guide to the theme park reservation system.

Step 1: Log into your Disneyland.com account

If you have not already created an account on Disneyland.com, you need to do so ASAP. You will need that account to purchase tickets and make theme park reservations. If you already have an account with another division of the Disney company, like ShopDisney or Disney+, you will use the same login.

Step 2: Buy your tickets

Are you buying a one-day ticket, or a multi-day park hopper? Each has different rules.

One-day tickets

Disneyland Resort uses a seasonal flex pricing structure, with the price of one-day tickets based on a five-tier calendar. Tier 5 tickets are the most expensive, starting at $154 for a one-day, one-park ticket. The tier 1 "value season" ticket starts at $104 for a one-day, one-park adult ticket. 

Disney published an updated ticket tier calendar, showing which dates fall under which tier for the first 60 days the parks will be open. Before you purchase a ticket, check this calendar to determine what type of one-day ticket you need - there's no sense paying Tier 5 prices for a Tier 2 day. All new Disneyland Resort tickets are valid for travel through 12/31/2022

For much more detailed information about the tiered ticket system, or for help making a theme park reservation with an existing one-day ticket, read Decoding Disneyland's Tiered Ticketing Structure.

Multi-day tickets

The tiered pricing system applies only to one-day tickets, so if you're buying a multi-day ticket you should ignore it entirely.

Multi-day tickets are sold in 2-, 3-, 4- and 5-day versions. Regardless of which type you purchase, they all have a 13-day fuse, which means they expire 13 days after your first entry. All new multi-day Disneyland Resort tickets are valid for travel through 12/31/2022, and have no blockout dates.

Ticket prices

Ticket prices remain unchanged from the February 2020 increase, and the following schedule is still accurate. Note: Magic Morning is no longer offered with three-day or longer tickets.

Disneyland Resort Tickets – Prices Effective February 11, 2020

Ticket & Season Adult One-Park Adult Park Hopper Child One-Park Child Park Hopper
One Day – Tier 1 $104 $159 $98 $153
One Day – Tier 2 $114 $169 $108 $163
One Day – Tier 3 $124 $179 $117 $172
One Day – Tier 4 $139 $194 $132 $187
One Day – Tier 5 $154 $209 $146 $201
Two Day $235 $290 $220 $275
Three Day $310 $365 $290 $345
Four Day $340 $395 $320 $375
Five Day $360 $415 $340 $395

 

Step 3: Link your tickets

If you purchased your tickets through Disney, you should be able to go straight to the reservations system to begin booking your date(s). If you purchase through Get Away Today or another third-party vendor, you'll need to link your ticket(s) to your Disneyland.com account before making reservations.

In either case, you need to assign a name to each ticket, and you can not change that name later.

Step 4: Make a Park Reservation

The Disneyland website has a handy tool where you can check the availability of reservations for the date(s) you want to visit, even before you purchase tickets. However, the website also warns "given the limited availability of park reservations, it is recommended that you make your theme park reservations immediately after purchasing your admission," because availability can change in an instant.

Once you're in the reservation system you will first "create your party" by selecting from the tickets you have now linked to your account. Once you've formed the party, you pick the first date and theme park you want to visit.

If you are using a multi-day ticket, the system will prompt you to select each additional date and theme park. Again, multi-day tickets have a 13-day fuse, so those are the only dates you will be offered to select from.

If you purchased a park hopper ticket, you will make your reservation(s) for the park you want to start each day at. Visitors with park hopper tickets can hop to the other theme park starting at 1:00 p.m. each day, subject to availability. Keep in mind that it is possible–not likely, but possible–that park hopping will not be available on a given day, or will begin later than 1:00 p.m.

Reservations are only open for the first 60 days of park operation, or through June 28. If you're planning to visit after that date, you will have to wait until 60 days before your visit to make a reservation.

Step 5: The COVID waiver and residency agreement

The state of California requires theme park operators to obtain "an attestation that when visiting the park, the guest’s party size will not contain more than three households and the guest, and all members of the guest’s party will be in-state visitors," and to collect the ticket purchaser's name and phone number for possible future contact tracing. The last step of the process is to complete the required documentation for the state.

Next up: Hotel and dining reservations

Once you've confirmed your theme park reservations, it's time to book a hotel room if you need one. Reservations open April 15 for Disney's Grand Californian Resort and Spa, which is the only Disneyland Resort hotel opening at this time.

There are also a number of Good Neighbor hotels in the Anaheim area already open or planning to reopen with Disneyland. Again, we highly recommend our partners at Get Away Today, because they've been in touch with the local operators and know all of the available options.

Visitors with theme park reservations can start booking dining and activities on Thursday, April 22. These experiences can be booked on a rolling basis, around 60 days in advance.

With regards to restaurant reservations, the Disneyland website says "we recommend Guests book in-park dining and other experiences at the park where they have a theme park reservation," and goes on to say "Guests can make dining reservations or add their party to the walk-up list at select table-service restaurants via the Disneyland app after their Park Hopper ticket is used to enter the second park, subject to availability."

In our article Answers For Your Theme Park Reservation Questions, a reader asked if visitors with park-hopper tickets could only make dining reservations at the first park they reserved, or could they make advance dinner reservations for their second park?

Disney says visitors with park-hopper tickets may make reservations at either park, but should only make reservations before 1:00 p.m. at the park they plan to start the morning at. Park hopping is permitted after 1:00 p.m., so you could switch parks for a late lunch or dinner, but that's subject to park capacity. If park hopping has been suspended due to capacity limits, your reservation won't work to get you in the gates.