June 22, 2024

Disneyland Resuming Magic Key Sales in March 2024!

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Disney has announced that Magic Key Annual Pass sales will once again resume for Disneyland and California Adventure in March 2024! This post covers changes to the virtual queue, starting date & time, pricing details,

Disney has announced that Magic Key Annual Pass sales will once again resume for Disneyland and California Adventure in March 2024! This post covers changes to the virtual queue, starting date & time, pricing details, past precedent, and everything else you might want to know.

As a quick recap, Disneyland Resort has resumed sales of Magic Keys several times in the last year–but it’s usually just ‘select’ tiers of Annual Passes. Last winter, sales briefly resumed and there was instantly a flood of demand and a virtual queue to access the sales page with a wait time measured in hours.

A few months later, Disneyland again resumed Magic Key sales. Within 5 days, AP sales had once again been paused on the Believe, Enchant and Imagine Keys. Even though those tiers sold out, demand was noticeably lower with the virtual queue not being nearly as bad. Most significantly, sales of the Inspire Key weren’t paused until last September–the longest duration of availability for any Magic Key since APs returned. Since then, all tiers of Magic Keys have been sold out and “available for renewal only.”

We mention these two specific times because, like clockwork, Disneyland resumed Magic Key sales again on January 10, 2024. That’s the most recent time they’ve gone on sale. The virtual queue wait time on day one was several hours long (3-4 hours seems like around the average), and the Inspire, Believe, and Enchant Keys all sold out around 6 p.m. Pacific, leaving only the Imagine Key available for purchase to Southern California residents–it sold out shortly after sales resumed again on January 11.

Fast-forward less than 3 months later, and Disneyland is once again going to resume sales of Magic Keys. All 4 Annual Pass types will be available for purchase on Tuesday, March 5, 2024. The online queue opens no earlier than 8:45 a.m. Pacific Time and sales begin no earlier than 9:00 a.m. PT.

Here’s a breakdown of current 2024 prices vs. 2023 costs:

  • Inspire Magic Key: $1649 (was $1599)
  • Believe Magic Key: $1249 (was $1099)
  • Enchant Magic Key: $849 (was $699)
  • Imagine Magic Key: $499 (was $449)

As always, they are subject to selling out and there’s likely to be a lengthy virtual queue when AP sales resume.

For everything else you need to know about Disneyland’s Annual Passholder program before you purchase, see our comprehensive Guide to Disneyland Magic Key Annual Pass: 2024 Prices, Perks, Blockout Dates & Discounts.

For reference, in When Will Disneyland Resume Magic Key Annual Pass Sales? we predicted that sales would resume sometime around Tax Day (April 15, 2024): “A week earlier or later really wouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Last year, the resumption occurred on April 11, and that was with Easter occuring later–so we’d be inclined to bet on Magic Key sales resuming in the first half of April 2024, not the second half.”

We were off by over a full month…not exactly a great prediction! With that said, I’m honestly shocked that Disneyland is resuming Magic Key sales right before Spring Break season kicks off at Disneyland. We’ve been in the parks fairly regularly this winter–most recently spending a couple days there this weekend for the start of the DCA Food & Wine Festival.

If you asked me to revise my prediction for Magic Key sales resuming based on current crowd levels, I would’ve been much more inclined to move the date back than forward. And this was all in what’s normally a lull between Mid-Winter Break and Spring Break. Crowds are likely to get worse, not better, in the near-term.

About the only conceivable explanation for resuming Magic Key sales now is the end of the Kids’ Ticket Discount at Disneyland on March 10, 2024. That offered $50 tickets for kids and we’ve heard it was incredibly popular. Still, I wouldn’t have expected (and still don’t) a drop-off in crowds heading into Spring Break season. Perhaps Disneyland’s forward-looking projections in April and beyond aren’t great, and they want to capture revenue now?

Another potential explanation is that Disneyland is employing a ‘Disney Vault’ strategy and plans to resume Magic Key sales for a very short time on March 5, 2024.

Not to get too conspiratorial, but I did find it slightly suspicious that three tiers of Magic Keys sold out simultaneously right at the end of the business day on January 10. It would be a pretty big coincidence if Disneyland just so happened to run out of that trio at the exact same time at the conclusion of the normal 9 to 5 day.

It seemed almost like a decision was made in advance to sell three tiers of Magic Keys for one business day, and then suspend sales again. It’s certainly frustrating for fans and those who spent hours in a virtual queue only to come up empty handed, but it’s also a strategy that creates a false sense of scarcity.

Don’t be surprised if a similar tactic is used when sales resume on March 5, 2024. This could be the new ‘optimal’ approach for sustaining demand and also keeping the parks as close as possible to capacity. I guess we’ll know if multiple tiers sell out simultaneously again on the same day that sales resume.

Given the lengthy virtual queue and how quickly sales were paused in January 2024, you should absolutely join the virtual queue ASAP once it goes live. All of the predictions and speculation above are fun in theory, but that’s what I’d actually do if I didn’t already have a Magic Key.

In reality, how long Magic Key sales will continue is anyone’s guess. The downside of trying to buy on March 5, 2024 is that you might be in a virtual queue for 8-10 hours versus ~15 minutes if you instead wait until the following morning at 6 am. The downside of waiting until then is that sales may have already concluded.

The good news is that Disneyland is going to once again use the ‘notify me’ feature for the virtual queue, so you don’t need to have your eyes glued to a screen all day long, waiting for your turn to come up. Here’s how that’ll work, according to Disneyland…

You Can Be Notified by Email When It’s Your Turn for an Opportunity to Purchase (Optional) – If you choose to submit your email address and opt in to being notified by email when it’s your turn, you’ll receive 2 separate emails containing a unique link. Be sure to confirm the receipt of the first email before closing your browser window. If you don’t receive that first email, check your spam folder for it. If you still don’t see it, re-enter your email address again from the waiting room page.

  • First email – Selecting the link in the first email will allow you to check your place in the queue until it’s your turn. You can use the link multiple times to check your status in the queue before it’s your turn.
  • Second email – You’ll receive a second email notifying you that your turn for an opportunity to purchase a Magic Key pass is approaching.

From the time your turn begins, you’ll have 10 minutes to use the link to return to the site or you’ll lose your place in line and will need to rejoin the queue. When it’s your turn, you’ll only be able to use your unique link once. The link will no longer work after you use it, whether you purchase a pass or not. So, please be prepared to select your Magic Key pass and check out once you open the link. If you miss your turn, you’ll need to rejoin the queue.

Editorializing, I tested out this system when it debuted for Disneyland After Dark: Star Wars Nite tickets. It worked as advertised. Nevertheless, the big issue, at least from my perspective, is that I don’t always get instant email notifications on my phone when I receive an email. Perhaps this is a personal problem, but this system would be far more useful for me if it offered a text-message notification. Here’s hoping that feature debuts by the time Oogie Boogie Bash tickets go on sale!

Ultimately, it’ll be interesting to see what happens with Magic Key pass purchases going forward. Will there be another virtual queue lasting well into the evening ? Or, have many locals gotten their Disney “fix” (or were most able to purchase APs when they were on sale last year)? Will the higher prices result in a significant number of people being priced out, or is there an insatiable desire for all things Disney among locals? Will former Magic Key Passholders take a wait and see approach, or will the ‘Disney Vault’ perceived scarcity strategy spike sales even further?

As we’ve said in countless posts, it’s still our belief that things aren’t too far from normalizing. (You might call it wishful–or delusional–thinking!) After learning from the drop-off in demand at Walt Disney World last year after revenge travel ran its course, Disney has done a good job of avoiding a repeat of that same scenario at Disneyland in 2024. (If you’re wondering about the year discrepancy, it’s due to pent-up demand lagging at Disneyland by about a year as compared to Walt Disney World. That’s in turn due to California “reopening” later than Florida. This is all according to Disney’s earning calls, not speculation by us.)

This is probably precisely why Disneyland proactively offered that kids ticket deal, is bringing back Pixar Fest this summer, and pulling other “levers” to keep packing the parks. Nevertheless, we’re still expecting a return to normal (or closer to it) at some point. Disneyland probably just will avoid the lull experienced at Walt Disney World between late spring and late summer last year, as the company has learned from that mistake and is being more aggressive with Disneyland–which includes the more regular resumption of Magic Key sales.

Planning a Southern California vacation? For park admission deals, read Tips for Saving Money on Disneyland Tickets. Learn about on-site and off-site hotels in our Anaheim Hotel Reviews & Rankings. For where to eat, check out our Disneyland Restaurant Reviews. For unique ideas of things that’ll improve your trip, check out What to Pack for Disney. For comprehensive advice, consult our Disneyland Vacation Planning Guide. Finally, for guides beyond Disney, check out our Southern California Itineraries for day trips to Los Angeles, Laguna Beach, and tons of other places!

Your Thoughts

Surprised that Disneyland is resuming Magic Key sales right before Spring Break season? Will you buying an Annual Pass or not? If so, which one? If not, why not? If you’re an existing Magic Keyholder, have you had difficulty making Disneyland park reservations? Do you agree or disagree with our assessment? Any questions? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!

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