More Magic Key Questions and Answers

by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix, staff writer

[Updated 8/26/21]

The Disneyland Resort began sales for its new Magic Key Pass program this week. Magic Key is the much-anticipated replacement for the annual passport program the company ended in January 2021, and it's no secret that thousands of Legacy Passholders are eagerly waiting for the opportunity to once more rejoin the regular visitor ranks.

In anticipation of the on-sale date, Disney published a set of answers to questions it has been fielding from potential passholders, and you can read those comments on the Disney Parks Blog. But MousePlanet readers came to us with just a few additional questions and requests for clarification, and we went straight to the source for answers.

Q: I bought a 4-day park hopper ticket, and want to upgrade to a Dream Key. Can I still take advantage of the monthly payment plan for the balance?

The Disney Parks Blog says "most theme park tickets are upgradeable to a Magic Key pass." However, the Magic Key Terms and Conditions also state, "The difference in prices must be paid in full at the time of the upgrade,"

A: Good news, California residents! Disney says an eligible California resident upgrading from an eligible ticket to a Magic Key pass may choose the monthly payment option for the difference in price. However, if you upgrade from one Key level to another, you must pay the upgrade value in full – that amount can not be rolled into a monthly payment plan.

Q: Do I need to have a theme park reservation to use the parking benefit on my Dream or Believe pass?

Readers who posed this question through the chat on the Disneyland app sent us screen shots of conflicting answers received from cast members, so we wanted to clear this up.

A: No, you do not need a theme park reservation to use the free standard parking benefit of the Dream Key, or the discounted parking benefit of the Believe Key. However, the Believe Key is subject to blockout dates.

Q: Will using my parking benefit activate my Key, even if I don't go into a theme park?

A: Using the free parking benefit of the Dream Key will activate your key, and start the 365-day countdown. Using the discounted parking benefit of the Believe Key will not activate that key.

Q: Is there a discount for Disney Vacation Club members? If so, how do I get it?

A: Disney Vacation Club members receive a $20 discount on purchase of a new Dream, Believe or Enchant Key. The DVC discount does not apply to the Imagine Key. However, some DVC members may just want to forgo the discount and buy the Key online, because Disney hasn't made this transaction easy.

Disney Vacation Club members can only receive their discount when they purchase a new Magic Key in person at the Disneyland Resort ticket booths. This is one of the very, very few Magic Key transactions which will be handled at the ticket booths. Of course, getting to a ticket booth probably means paying the $25 fee to park at Mickey and Friends structure, or paying the $24 fee to park in the Downtown Disney parking lot for two hours – and Disney will not refund your parking fee as they used to do. 

If you are buying new Magic Keys for your entire family, or you are a hotel guest and have already paid to park, then purchasing your new Key in person to get the $20 per-pass discount might make sense. But if you're just buying one pass, you'll actually spend more time and money trying to take advantage of this "discount" vs. just buying the new Key online. 

Magic Keys are now on sale, and most purchases and upgrades must be made through the Disneyland smartphone app or website. The main entrance ticket booths will only sell Magic Keys in very specific situations, including the DVC discount noted above. If you believe you have a unique situation, it's best to contact Disney directly before driving to the resort to avoid being turned away.

You can make a same-day reservation and visit the park on the same day you purchase your Magic Key (subject to capacity and blockout dates). There are no benefits to being "first" to buy a Magic Key, and you actually have a full 66 days to purchase and be eligible for the special charter member welcome package.

Are there any more last-minute questions? Drop us an email, or reach out via Twitter or Facebook.