This is a great question! I am a Disneyland AP, and have been for years. My husband grew up 10 minutes from the parks and my parents used to take me over to Disneyland once a year for most of my childhood.
When my husband and I were dating, we made several trips out to Disneyland and rekindled our love for the parks! We live in AZ (about a 6 hour drive from Anaheim) and go over to SoCal every month or two. After a few years of frequent visits, we realized an Annual Pass was the best deal for us! Since we are not SoCal residents currently, our options were the Deluxe or Premium Annual Pass. The difference in these two choices is that the Deluxe has some blackout dates, no free parking and a lower discount on merchandise/food. We started out with the Deluxe pass for many years and it worked well for us. We do year round school here, so I was still able to work our quick and longer trips out around our kid’s school schedule, even with blackout dates. As the years went on, we realized that paying for parking was adding up, that the 20% off merchandise and 15% off of food and no blackouts offered by the Premium Pass might be a better option for our family.
In 2012, at renewal time, we upgraded our passes to the Premium. Premium Disneyland AP’s have no blackout dates, FREE parking (which currently is $17 per day), 20% off of merchandise and 15% off of food (at select locations) on property. These discount upgrades, along with no blackouts, meant I didn’t have to work around a calendar of unavailable days and the increase in price paid for itself within 2 trips. Another thing to keep in mind is that only SoCal residents have the option of paying for their AP’s monthly. When we initially bought, and every September when we renew, we must pay in full for our passes. Knowing that helps me save throughout the year for that big chunk I pay out at the end of the summer!
SoCal residents with photo ID and current local zipcode have the option of purchasing the SoCalPSelect Resident pass. This pass is good 170 days of the year and includes 10% off of merchandise and food (at select locations) at the Disneyland Resort This pass is also able to be paid monthly through auto debit.
I hope this helps those of you who are interested in being able to visit Disneyland on a more regular basis! Have a magical day!
I’m Stephanie – Disneyland writer for Chip & Co and Premium Annual Passholder, currently living in Arizona. I am a huge Walt Disney fan and entertainment junkie. I am an Independent Travel Consultant with World of Magic Travel, the preferred Travel Agency of Chip & Co. Contact me today for your FREE quote for Disney and other magical destinations at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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