Disneyland recently added a new Annual Pass option that is known as the Flex Pass. It allows guests to pre-book their arrival dates at the park, even on weekends. Here’s my review of the purchase and use of the pass.
Being born and raised in California and only being a 2 ½ hour drive, (well.. that mostly depends on Los Angeles traffic…) it is fairly easy for my family to visit the Disneyland Resort many times in one year. I never had a Disneyland annual pass growing up, but the new Annual Flex Pass quickly caught my attention as it allows visitors to visit on the weekends with a required reservation. No other California resident pass has ever offered the opportunity to visit on the weekends! So, I was quite intrigued and interested in learning more!
In May 2019, to help ease crowding, Disneyland Resort introduced its newest Annual Pass known as the Flex Pass, which allows visitors to visit on slow days, but requires reservations for weekends and other popular times.
Flex Pass can be purchased for $599 for the year and can be used with no restrictions on most Monday through Thursdays. On most weekends, and during high demand months, such as Christmas vacation and during the summer, Flex Pass holders must book their “reservation” by logging into the Disneyland website and/or by visiting the Disneyland smartphone app to book a reservation as late as the morning of their visit to Disneyland, California Adventure or both parks, again, depending on availability.
Flex Pass holders can make up to two reservations to visit Disneyland at a time, up to 30 days in advance. Each reservation is good for up to eight park-goers who also have Flex Passes. The pass does not include parking, but it does offer a 10% discount on food and merchandise.
You’ll be able to make another reservation once your first reservation date has passed or if you cancel an existing reservation. You may make reservations for yourself and other Disney Flex Passholders, if they’ve shared their passport ID number with you and you’ve linked their passport ID number to your Disney account.
The Flex Pass passport allows admission to one or both parks on any “Good to Go” dates. These dates are color coded in green on the Flex Passport calendar. This means that no reservation needs to be made. On days that are color coded in blue, these are indicated to be “Reservation Required” dates.
As each new “Reservation Required” date falls within the 30-day window, reservations will become available for that date around 7:00 AM Pacific Time.
If a pass holder abuses the system by failing to show up for three reservations in a 90-day period, Disney may block the pass holder from making reservations for a 30-day period. I purchased the Flex Pass a couple weeks ago but was not able to visit the parks until Saturday, the 29th of September.
Although the cost of the pass is $599.00 for the year, a $154 down payment per ticket was required. That brings the monthly payment to $37.09 per person, if you are a California Resident. For a non-Californian resident, you will need to purchase the ticket in full with no payment options. The pass is available for guests age 3 or older at the same cost..
After my purchase, I received an email with my confirmation number and further information that required me to print out the documentation to take with me to the ticket booth on my first day of use.
Since our visit was on the weekend, a reservation was needed. I attempted to make the reservation and I found myself surprised as all of the “reservation required” dates for the rest of September and into October were available and not listed as “reservation unavailable.”
It was quite easy to make the reservations, as I clicked on the button that reserved my date for both parks on the same day.
Saturday morning, my two daughters and I (my husband had surgery two weeks ago and could not go) ventured in the car for an adventure to visit Disneyland for the first time in two years! We had taken quite the liking to Disney World within that time. We were excited to see the various changes around both resorts such as Pixar Pier and the area around Adventureland.
With my printed emailed documents in hand, I stood in line at one of the ticket booths. Although my husband was not present with me, I relayed the information to the cast member and she informed me that she would be happy to process my husband’s annual pass card, even though he was not present, so we would not have to waste time on our next visit. When he arrives, he will need to have his photo taken at the turnstiles to identify him with his new pass. I was very thankful for this. Our passes will expire a year from the first visit to the park.
The only negative critique that I would offer is that after scanning in with our reservation, I was not able to immediately book another reservation. I had to wait until the following morning to be able to do so. It was not a big deal, as I had already reserved an additional date for October, (which was my 2nd reservation) but I was hoping, that I would be able to book another date after our park admission.
So far I’d have to say that I am very happy with the pass. While standing in line at the ticket booth, I began to talk to the guests in front and in back of me who asked me if I was familiar with the Flex Pass as indicated by the sticker that was in the ticket booth window. I started to explain that I had purchased one and what the pass entails. Both of them were surprised that it allowed weekends, even if it meant being based on reservations.
Another awesome perk, in addition to the 10% off of select food and merchandise, was the seasonal Annual Pass magnet that is offered to annual pass holders. Before our visit, I had come across the Disneyland website which provided information on extra ghoolish goodies for Annual Passholders:
Corner the Coolest Halloween Time Treats!
At the moment, my guess is that not too many people are aware of the benefits of this pass, as there is only one date in October that shows as “Reservation Unavailable.” I’m not sure if that has to do with the word not getting out, or people not understanding the pass, or if in fact, it has proven to ease the crowds at the Disneyland Resort. All in all, I’m excited to be going back again in a couple of weeks because I already have my reservation!
What are your thoughts regarding the new Flex Pass? Do you plan on purchasing one?
Written by: Marisol White
Follow me on Instagram @ marisolsmouseketools for daily Disney pictures and merchandise.