You’ve chosen your dates, and you’re all set to go. The plan is to show up on the first day of your visit and buy theme park tickets at the gate. Right?
While you can buy Disneyland tickets at the Main Entrance Ticket Booths on the Esplanade between Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park. However, buying your tickets at the gate is not a good idea.
Although Disneyland has always allowed people to buy park tickets at the gate, I recommend purchasing them in advance (especially if you’re visiting during the peak season) since guests now need a park reservation in addition to a theme park ticket in order to visit a Disneyland theme park.
📍 Pro Tip: Disneyland park reservations can currently be made four months in advance.
Once you have your park tickets, park reservations are free. However, park reservations can only be made with a park ticket. As such you can’t reserve a space in the park and then purchase your park ticket.
Without both a park ticket and a park reservation you will not be permitted entry into the park. This is an easy fix if the park still has reservations available during your visit.
However, if park reservations have sold out then you will not be able to enter the park even with a Disneyland theme park ticket.
It’s not uncommon to see one of, if not both of the Disneyland Resort theme parks sell out of reservations, especially during the peak season.
As such it’s highly recommended that you purchase your tickets and subsequently make your park reservations as far in advance as possible to avoid disappointment.
Where To Buy Disneyland Tickets?
There are a number of different places you can purchase genuine Disneyland theme park tickets;
- Disneyland Website
- Select Third-Party Sellers
- Disneyland Mobile App
- Selected Disney Stores
1. Official Website
Personally, I think that for those based in the US and Canada, the best way to buy tickets to the Disneyland Resort is via the official Disneyland website (especially if you’re going to Disneyland for the first time – just to keep things as simple as possible).
You can purchase Disneyland tickets on the Disneyland website by;
Step 1: Visit Disneyland’s official website.
Step 2: Hover your cursor over the “Parks & Tickets” tab. This is right below the address bar, next to the logo for Disneyland Resort.
Step 3: Wait for the drop-down menu to appear.
Step 4: Click “Theme Park Tickets” under “Tickets & Passes” on the drop-down menu.
Step 5: Wait for the page to finish loading. The page has all the details about the tickets.
2. Third Party Sellers
There are a number of selected retailers who have been authorised to sell tickets to Disneyland.
If you’re based in the UK then I’d recommend AttractionTickets.com
However, if you’re based in the US or Canada then I’d recommend UndercoverTourist
Both of these websites are ones I have personally used to purchase theme park tickets across the US multiple times.
Sometimes these sites have promotional offers and discounts that result in park tickets being lower price when compared to the official Disneyland website and these tickets can still be used to make a park reservation quickly and easily.
📍 Pro Tip: I do not advocate purchasing Disneyland tickets via Craigslist, eBay, or Anaheim roadside kiosks. Buying partially used tickets or "renting" tickets is fraud.
3. Disneyland Mobile Application
Another way to purchase Disneyland tickets is via the Disneyland mobile application which is available for both Apple and Android devices.
Personally, I find my phone screen (iPhone 13 Pro Max) to be too small to see everything I want to see in one place so opt to purchase tickets on a laptop or desktop computer instead.
However, one pro of purchasing Disneyland tickets via the Disneyland mobile app is that they instantly sync with your Disneyland account on the app and therefore don’t need to be manually linked together.
This means you don’t need to carry several confirmations for all your reservations to the entrance gates, and instead can save time when entering the Disneyland parks.
Here’s how to purchase tickets to Disneyland using the Disneyland mobile app;
Step 1: Download the official Disneyland app for iOS or Android.
Step 2: Launch the app after installing it.
Step 3: Enter the login information. For new users, create a new Disney account.
Step 4: Click the little plus (+) icon at the bottom.
Step 5: Click on “Buy Tickets and Annual Passports.”
Step 6: Choose “Theme Park Tickets.”
Step 7: Choose the number of days.
Step 8: Choose the number of adults and kids.
Step 9: Check out to finish the transaction.
4. Official Stores
Sadly, there are very few Disney Stores left around the world.
However, if you do happen to live close to one of the remaining Disney Stores or Disney Outlets then you can often purchase Disneyland theme park tickets here.
To complete the transaction, you must present a government-issued photo ID and a card or cash payment. The tickets are in the form of actual cards, and they must be shown at the gate for valid admission.
Please remember that Disneyland tickets purchased via the Disney Store are priced the same as those purchased at the park gates. No discount is offered, so you have to pay the full price.
Also, you can use Disney Gift Cards when buying at Disney Stores. But after purchasing, you may be asked to bring an activation slip to the entrance gate.
Speak with a Cast Member at the Disney Store for instructions on redeeming your tickets.
Which Disneyland Ticket To Buy?
Disneyland in California features various facilities, including a shopping, dining, and entertainment centre, two theme parks, and three hotels.
How you make the most of your time at Disneyland depends on what you want to do most and how long you are there.
Ticket Types (Single Park or Park Hopper)
There are two different types of Disneyland tickets:
- One-Park Per Day Tickets
- Park Hopper Tickets
One-Park Per Day
The one-park per-day tickets are the most affordable option.
This means you decide which park—Disneyland or Disney California Adventure Park—you want to spend the entire day in.
Each park offers various sights and activities, so you could easily spend a single day without seeing or doing everything.
With a Park Hopper ticket, guests can go back and forth between Disney California Adventure and Disneyland Park.
Guests are currently required to make a park reservation for the theme park they would like to start their day at and are then free to move between parks from 11am.
Because the two Disneyland theme parks are so close to each other, going from one to the next is easy and takes between five and ten minutes depending on how busy the resort is.
Park hopper tickets cost an additional $65 for one day or $60 per day for multi-day tickets so this flexibility doesn’t come cheap.
Ticket Duration (Single or Multi-Day Tickets)
You can purchase a Disneyland ticket for admission into the theme parks for one to five days depending on your preferences.
Both single-day (one day) or multi-day (two to five day) park tickets are available in both a one-park per day and park hopper format.
Tickets to Disneyland are sold on a dynamic pricing model with the ticket prices for 2023 currently set at between $104 and $179 per day.
If you visit during the off-season then you’ll likely be looking at $104 on weekdays and up to $139 on weekends. However, if you visit during the peak season then expect to pay that higher tier price of $179 per ticket, per day.
The cost of visiting Disneyland per day decreases as you purchase more days. Subsequently, the more days you stay, the less you pay for each day.
Currently, Disneyland offers multi-day tickets for between 2 and 5 days. However, this once again works on a dynamic pricing model.
Thankfully, the dynamic pricing model for multi-day tickets isn’t as frequently done when compared to one-day park tickets.
For example, in the screenshot above you can see that tickets for the 5th, 6th and 7th of May retails for $129, $159 and $169.
If you were to buy those three days as one-day park tickets then the total cost would be $457.
However, when you look to buy those three days as a multi-day ticket the price is fixed at $120 per day and therefore the total cost is just $360.
No dynamic pricing changes have been applied for the multi-day tickets, despite the dynamic pricing changes being applicable on single-day tickets for the same price.
There’s no denying that tickets to Disneyland are incredibly expensive, and sadly there are very few ways to save money.
That being said, there are some discounts you may want to be aware of in case you are eligible.
- AAA/CAA Tickets
- Costco Tickets
- Southern California Residents Tickets
- Military Ticket Discounts
Not all of these programs run consistently and therefore may be temporarily or permanently suspended for select dates or a select period of time.
How To Make A Disneyland & California Adventure Park Reservation?
The Disney Park Pass reservation system was introduced in 2020 to manage theme park attendance.
To enter both parks, all guests aged 3 and above must now have a theme park reservation and a ticket to enter the parks.
This means that when you purchase Disneyland park tickets, you must also make a park reservation to ensure you are permitted entry into your selected park.
Failure to have both a park ticket and a park reservation will result in you being unable to enter the Disneyland parks.
How To Reserve Your Park Admission
If you purchase your ticket via the Disneyland website or mobile application then scheduling your reservation is part of the ticket-purchasing procedure.
However, if you purchase your ticket through a licenced third-party vendor, then, in that case, your park reservations must be made separately.
To make a reservation for Disneyland with third-party tickets you will need to;
Step 1: Log in to your current Disney account online or create a new one.
Step 2: Input a valid theme park entry ticket number for each group member to connect their park admission with your account.
Step 3: Enter each ticket holder’s name.
Step 4: Choose the ticket you wish to create a new reservation at the theme park.
Step 5: Choose the desired day and theme park from the available reservation options.
Step 6: Review your reservation for the theme park.
Step 7: Accept the “Terms and Conditions”
Step 8: Choose “Confirm” to finalize your reservation for the park.
Step 9: Enter an email address to get your reservation confirmation.
Step 10: Confirm via your email account that you have received your verification and QR code.
Please be ready to show your valid ticket and the QR code that goes with it (if there is one) when you go to the chosen park.
In case you have a multi-day ticket, you must make Disneyland theme park reservations for each valid day. Repeat the steps for 1-day tickets to reserve a spot for every day of your visit.
Park Hopper Tickets
Park Hopper guests only need to make Disneyland park reservations at the first park they want to start their day at, given availability. And beginning at 11:00 a.m. (subject to availability), they can switch between parks.
Park Hopper hours vary by day and park, so check the Disneyland app for the Park Hours calendar.
Access to the other park is not assured. It will be constrained by the park’s occupancy caps, open / close times, and other rules.
As such I highly recommend checking the other park’s capacity before leaving your original park, otherwise, you could be left stranded waiting to get back inside either park. For the majority of the year, this is rare, however, over Thanksgiving and Christmas it’s sadly not uncommon.
Do You Get Printed Disneyland Tickets?
Sadly, printed Disneyland theme park tickets are very much a thing of the past.
Instead, Disneyland theme park tickets, whether bought ahead of time or on the day of the trip, are electronic tickets (e-tickets) which can be scanned with a mobile device at the park’s entry points.
If you purchase them on the day of your arrival using the official app or website, you will have the same options. You may either print them or show them on your phone’s screen.
If you purchase through third-party sellers, your tickets will be emailed to you before you visit the parks. However, these are not required to be printed out.
Can You Upgrade Disneyland Tickets At The Gate?
Upgrades are available only for qualified Disneyland Resort theme park tickets. But any requested upgrades on the following tickets might not be granted:
- Fully used tickets
- Partially used, expired tickets
- Complimentary tickets
- Special event tickets
- Tickets stating they are ineligible for an upgrade
An expired ticket that has yet to be used can be modified at any time.
📍Pro Tip: Please remember that upgrading your ticket will cancel your reservation to get into the theme park on the day you initially chose.
As tickets and reservations are linked, you’ll receive a new ticket, which is why this is the case. So after upgrading, you’ll need to make reservations for those days, which might be filled.
When, Where & How To Upgrade Your Disneyland Ticket?
With the Disneyland app, you can upgrade qualified Disneyland Resort theme park tickets by doing the following easy steps:
- Go to the Tickets and Passes page
- Link the ticket to the Disney account
- Upgrade the one-day tickets before midnight on the day of the visit to Disneyland
- Upgrade the multi-day ticket before midnight on or before the final valid day of the ticket
If your Disney tickets are found to in ineligible for an upgrade via the mobile app then you can still go to the ticket booths at the Disneyland Resort and speak to a cast member who may be able to help you further.
Note that availability is a consideration for this update as such I suggest checking the theme park reservation calendar to see if the changes you want are available on the date of your visit.