2022 Magic Key Renewal – Looking at the Numbers

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The dates that many Disneyland Magic Key holders have been waiting for has finally arrived! Disney announced the new Magic Key tiers, prices and inclusions/exclusions and blockout dates today. You can find basic data about this information release pretty much anywhere. But here are TouringPlans we love analyzing all of the data and figuring out what this news means from a numbers perspective.

The Basics

Rule number one: These are Magic Key renewals, not Magic Key sales. You’re only eligible to purchase if you have an existing Magic Key. You have a 30 day window before your Magic Key expires in order to renew to one of the four options. Or, if your pass expired before August 18th, you have until August 31st to renew.

Rule number two: If you want to purchase the Imagine Key (pre-2021 Becky would’ve never guessed that I would have ever typed that combinations of words together – I’m just going to let that sink in for her), you must be a resident of Southern California

Rule number three: Renewals begin on August 18th and will use a virtual queue system. Expect LONG waits, especially on that first day.

Rule number four: No complaining about anything in the comments (I had to try …)

Magic Key Options

Inspire Key ($1599) – this used to be the Dream Key. It’s more expensive, has blockout dates for the first time, but gets a few new perks.

Believe Key ($1099) – this one is mostly unchanged, with a price increase and a few new perks.

Enchant Key ($699) – again, mostly unchanged, with a price increase and a couple of new perks.

Imagine Key ($449) – Southern California only, with a price increase and a couple of new perks.

The Math

Inspire Key

The new top tier of access is significantly different this year, after being mostly unchanged from the AP program to the Dream Magic Key. First, the price has gone up by $200 (14%, more than the rate of inflation). Those who renew at this level will also have blockout dates for the first time – from December 21st through January 1st.

But, they do get two “bonuses” that they haven’t had – PhotoPass and a discount on any daily Genie+ purchases. So if you were at the Dream Key and were purchasing Genie+ during every visit, just the Genie+ discount will make up for the price difference after … fifty visits. Totally reasonable and probably something you were purchasing every time.

Believe Key

The Believe Key also has some interesting changes this year. At a first glance of the blockout calendar, it appears that this tier may have a few additional days of availability. But it could’ve just been miscounting, or transient changes. And like the Inspire Key, this key now includes PhotoPass and that same daily 20% Genie+ discount.

The price here went up by $150 (16%, again higher than the rate of inflation). But you can “make up” for it by purchasing Genie+ … thirty-eight times. Or something like that.

Enchant Key

The Enchant Key is the most interesting value proposition compared to last year. Its price has “only” gone up by $50 (8%, which is less than the rate of inflation), and its availability has stayed mostly the same with a couple of new perks.

First, there is a new potential parking discount for Enchant Key holders. If you’re willing to park in the Toy Story lot, you should get a 25% discount. And, you are eligible for the same 20% daily discount on Genie+ purchases. That means on a daily visit you could save $7.50 on parking and $4 on Genie+. So you’d “pay” for the $50 increase in cost in 5 visits assuming you pay to park and you buy Genie+.

Imagine Key

For the cheapest Magic Key, you must be a Southern California resident in order to renew. That shouldn’t be a problem unless you moved since you purchased it last year. Or if you want to “downgrade” from one of the other tiers. The price here also increased by $50, just like the more expensive Enchant Key (12.5%, more than the rate of inflation). But you do once again get the new bonus perks of a potential parking discount and a discount on daily Genie+ purchases.

What Does This Mean For You?

  1. The big winners here are the Enchant Key holders. If you account for inflation, the price of this pass actually went down. And it didn’t have any significant removal of availability. Plus it got a couple of potentially helpful perks.
  2. The big losers are the previous Dream Key holders. You can pay significantly more and attend the park less!
  3. The discounted purchases of Genie+ are an interesting addition, since that’s the first time we’ve seen any sort of official recognition of the need to offer some sort of Genie+ discount or packaging to AP or Key holders. I’ve emphasized many times in this blog that Genie+ is a totally worthwhile purchase for normal Disneyland visitors, and this discount makes it a better options for Key holders as well.
  4. To be honest, Disney could’ve increased the prices WAY more. If you remove inflation, most only went up in cost by 4-8%, and some got significant perk increases. And we saw from the original sales last year that demand is WAY higher than supply right now thanks to limited reservation availability. Would I want Disney to increase prices more? No. But given the crazy demand, and the whole “unfavorable attendance mix” line, I’m just shocked that they didn’t.

What are your initial thoughts about the newly-announced Magic Key renewal information? Will you be renewing your pass? Let us know in the comments!

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Becky Gandillon

Becky Gandillon was trained in biomedical engineering, but is now a full-time data and analytics nerd. She loves problem solving and travelling. She and her husband, Jeff, live in St. Louis with their two daughters and they have Disney family movie night every Saturday. You can follow her on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/becky-gandillon/ or instagram @raisingminniemes

7 thoughts on “2022 Magic Key Renewal – Looking at the Numbers

  • August 16, 2022 at 5:15 pm
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    Great analysis. Thank you! However. I believe you are in error stating that you can renew until 30 days after your Key expiration. The email I received from Disney clearly states ” you can renew your Magic Key pass up to 30 days before your current pass expires.” That means renew between 30 and 0 days before your expiration date.

    I’m undecided on whether to renew, as Disney makes it very, very clear, repeatedly, in the terms, that they have total freedom to put as many or as few reservation spots out there as they choose. To avoid the “unfavorable attendance mix”, I believe they intend to limit spaces for pass holders until they see that the regular tickets are not filling up the parks. I fear they will use the pass holders to fill at the last minute, which is great if you are local, but not if you must travel, arrange hotels, and time off from duties. I am concerned owning a pass may become like owning a timeshare: good luck on finding a time to go that suits you. While they are only doing renewals right now, what is to stop them from opening it up to everyone later, when they have already warned us in their terms that it may be “difficult if not impossible” to get the dates you want?

    Reply
    • August 16, 2022 at 9:02 pm
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      I think you’re correct. It’s a 30-day window, but it starts before your pass expires, not after. I’ll edit with the appropriate language 🙂

      Reply
  • August 16, 2022 at 5:52 pm
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    Signature Plus had Maxpass w/ Photopass included as part of the pass prior to the shutdown. You also might want to include Signature w/ your analysis of the Dream and Inspire keys. Signature (2020) did not have Photopass included, had the same discounts as Signature Plus, included parking, and had same the 2 weeks blocked out that Inspire does.

    Reply
    • August 16, 2022 at 6:17 pm
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      Agree Inspire is much more akin to the old Signature pass. But thank you for this post, which is a great breakdown of the new offerings vs. previous Magic Keys.

      Reply
    • August 16, 2022 at 9:03 pm
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      Yeah, I didn’t want to get things too bothered up – but it does seem like a blend between the two.

      Reply
  • August 16, 2022 at 11:28 pm
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    Thanks for the analysis! Even though corporate Disney has made me cranky lately, I will probably renew my Believe pass. Hopefully Disney magic will outlive Bob Chapek! For me as an out-of-state Disney fan, the pass pays for itself if I visit three times a year (figuring three days per trip). I avoid holidays and big crowds, so the Dream blockout days don’t really affect me.

    I was actually pleasantly surprised by the mere $150 price increase, which shows how brainwashed I am. Being a Disneyland passholder (first time was 2018) has literally been the realization of a life-long dream and I can’t see myself giving it up now.

    Reply
  • September 29, 2022 at 8:40 pm
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    Very helpful. My wife live in Texas and we upgraded from Enchant to Believe. We went 4 times this past year. On our last trip last week, we talked with several long term key pass holders who were not renewing bc the spontaneity had died and they felt like Disney wasnt being loyal to long term enthusiasts. I understand that. The limited reservations are annoying but since we are out of state, we get to plan months in advance and have had a great experience. I completely understand how long term DL people feel frustrated, but there is a part of me that wonders if they have gotten a bit spoiled over the years. I love DL so much more than Disney World bc we can easily hop over to a nearby brewery or restuarant any time we want and then come in and out of the parks. No shuttles. Less tourists. Less Karens. Less entitlement. Less families spending their entire savings on one trip and being stressed out. Maybe if I had been going to Disneyland for decades, I’d be upset, but as a newer Disney fan (since 2014), Im really happy with the key pass experience. However, our Enchant was 700ish, with the Believe at 1100 and if it goes up much higher than that, I could see myself letting it lapse in the future. I also have quite a few shares of Disney stock, so I know that they have been hemmoraging money via pandemic losses and Disney plus slumps post covid. Im hoping that these hikes are a temporary fix to keep investors happy.

    Reply

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