The lines at the “Happiest Place on Earth” could soon be getting a lot longer. Disneyland is discounting tickets for California residents this summer, as Disney looks to boost attendance after reopening to light crowds and short lines. The park is also making more reservations available — and it’s already starting to get more crowded.
The special ticket promotion, valid only for residents in California, slashes the price of visiting Disneyland or Disney California Adventure to as little as $83 per day. Here’s what the pricing looks like:
California Resident Ticket Offer
- 3-Day, 1-Park Per Day Ticket – $249
- 3-Day Park Hopper Ticket – $304
Disney says the California Resident promotion is a limited-time offer and sales are limited, so it’s recommending that fans purchase their tickets now and then visit 3 times anytime between now and September 30, 2021. Unlike past promotions, there are no blockout dates for this one, but you’ll still need a reservation to visit each park.
Here Come the Crowds
The launch of the new ticket offer comes as Disneyland struggles to attract the big summer season crowds that it used to. Theme parks in California have been allowed to fully reopen with no restrictions since mid-June, but Disneyland has been taking things slow. The park is still requiring reservations and has been operating at well below full capacity. So, while other parks like nearby Knott’s Berry Farm and Universal Studios Hollywood are largely back to normal, parkgoers at Disneyland have been enjoying a summertime rarity: short wait times and very little crowds. In fact, it’s been slow enough to earn a “Ghost Town” rating on the Disneyland Crowd Calendar over multiple days last month — but the park is already showing signs of reversing the trend.
Following the announcement of the ticket promotion, Disneyland also quietly relaxed limits on the number of reservations available, effectively increasing capacity at both parks. Reservation availability had previously been in short supply for many dates, usually booked full for 2-3 weeks in advance. Now, all days are showing as available through the end of October — and parkgoers are already feeling the difference.
Average Daily Wait Times (in minutes)
Source: Disneyland Crowd Tracker
Wait times at the parks have been trending higher since last week. At noon on Tuesday, the average wait time for attractions at Disneyland climbed to 50 minutes, with some of the longest lines since the park reopened back in April. It’s not good news for Disneyland fans who were hoping the short lines would last through the end of the summer, as the increased capacity and ticket promotion is only expected to make things worse.
How Crowded Will It Get?
Disneyland is no stranger to summer ticket promotions. The park announced a ticket offer back in 2019 after the lackluster debut of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, lifting attendance numbers to end the summer season. These promotions typically prove to be extremely popular, and we think this one will be no exception. Noticeably absent from Disneyland this summer are annual passholders, as the beloved program was discontinued in January. Disney hopes that the ticket deal will sway locals, and many former SoCal passholders, to swing by the parks again — or at least hold them off until a replacement AP program is announced.
For now, we’re expecting crowds to pick up at Disneyland through July before tapering off starting around mid-August (when local schools start to go back in session). It’s still too early to tell exactly how bad the lines will be, but we’d be prepared for 30-40 minutes waits on average, with popular attractions like Space Mountain, Indiana Jones Adventure, and Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run pushing 60+ minutes. If you do purchase tickets through the promotion, we recommend holding on to at least one of your three visits until September (after Labor Day) to take advantage of what is historically the least crowded time of the year to visit Disneyland. Another plus: Halloween Time traditionally starts in September (usually the Friday after Labor Day).
What do you think about the new California Resident Ticket offer? Are planning on purchasing tickets? If so, when are you planning on visiting Disneyland? Be sure to let us know in the comments below!