Disneyland annual passes, premium, deluxe, save money
Disneyland Logo

SEE NEWEST ANNUAL PASS ARTICLE HERE BY CLICKING THIS BLUE SENTENCE. Growing up in California and regularly frequenting Disneyland as a child as well as being a Disney Annual Pass holder for the past 13 years as an adult, Disneyland holds a special place in my heart.  I have seen the price continue to go up each year for annual passes.  The biggest jump ever was when the Premium passes went from $479 to $600 and I started to question if being a pass holder was really worth it…Since Disneyland has been such a special part of my hubby and I’s relationship and has been somewhere we have regularly went since we met 14 years ago, we definitely decided to continue being pass holders. 

Disneyland annual passes, premium, deluxe, save money
1985 October Disneyland

Just recently I was talking to a friend on facebook messenger about Disney Annual Passes and he was telling me about the difficulty of affording annual passes for he and his wife and how if he could afford any pass it would only be the Deluxe Pass or the Southern California Select Passport (Southern CA Annual Passports are no longer for sale and have been discontinued until people’s passes run out as of last month.)  I started to explain to him that it was so much more worth it to buy the premium pass and that the costs would definitely come out to be the same.   He was dumbfounded by my explanation and said, “Wow, I never thought of it that way!”  I have decided to write this article to share with others why they may as well purchase the premium pass instead of the deluxe and get more days and benefits and still pretty much the same price or even less money!!

Disneyland annual passes, premium, deluxe, save money
Cars Land – Dani at Disneyland

First off, when Disneyland introduced payment plans a few years back, Disney Passes became much more economical to purchase for a large portion of the population because there is no interest fee and you can simply break your pass payments into 12 monthly payments!  In order to do the ”Monthly Payment Plan” for Disneyland, you must make a down payment of a 1 day, 1 park ticket which is currently $96! I honestly cannot believe it costs nearly $100 to go to Disneyland for one day at this point…so these passes make so much more sense to me!

Disneyland annual passes, premium, deluxe, save money
Halloween Time at Disneyland

My husband and I loved this idea because we love to travel regularly and the idea of paying for 2 premium passes up front each year was like paying for a Las Vegas Weekend getaway in full which can be pretty intimidating…But once it was broken down into roughly $100- $120 a month for two annual passes to Disney it suddenly became like an extra cell phone payment and it is a fun place we enjoy to go 2-3 times a month! 🙂  We enjoy doing what we call “Adult Disney” in which we bring our own wine to enjoy at 4 of the different restaurants in Downtown Disney that charge NO wine corkage fees!! 🙂  You can read about No Corkage Fees at Disney & more here –>  NO CORKAGE FEE RESTAURANTS

Disneyland annual passes, premium, deluxe, save money
Christmas Time with Friends at Disneyland

Why did I decide to get the Premium Annual Passport instead of the Deluxe Annual Passport?  Good question you ask!  Well, in my opinion it is cheaper and I can go anytime I want…except for some days around Halloween…honestly that part makes me angry that they close the park early to pass holders  to charge people extra to trick or treat…but don’t even get me started on that one!  Let’s first take a look at the price and benefits of each pass below.

Annual Pass Type Premium Deluxe So Cal Select
Price $699

$603 after down payment $96 makes this ($50.25/month)


$423 after down payment $96 makes this ($35.25/month)


$193 after down payment $96 makes this ($16.08/month)

Days of Admission 365 (no blackouts) 315 days 170 days
Dining Discounts 15% 10% 10%
Merchandise Discounts 20% 10% 10%
Parking INCLUDED $17 every time you go $17 every time you go

*All passes above get admission to Disneyland & California Adventure theme parks, special hotel rates, & discounts on guided tours.

Disneyland annual passes, pre
True Love Display – DIsneyland

The difference between premium and deluxe passes monthly is a  $15 difference, but you also have 50 days taken away on the deluxe pass that are basically all of the Saturdays during the summer and all of Christmas & spring break.  In addition to the 50 days, you do not receive with your pass; you also have to pay $17 every time you visit the parks for parking.  If you calculate the amount of money spent on parking, in addition to the lesser discounts, the premium pass is really the best option for your money and your time! The price honestly levels out if you look at the parking fees & the monthly payments. I mean honestly…if you go to Disneyland one time a month and pay the parking fee of $17 on your deluxe pass monthly fee, you will be paying $35.25 (your monthly rate plus $17 parking) and that makes your fee for the month ($52.25) which is actually more expensive than the premium pass and that is going only one day a month…It honestly does not even make sense to purchase a deluxe pass…

Disneyland annual passes, premium, deluxe, save money
Disneyland Holidays Castle

I hope I have helped you see why it makes more economical sense to purchase a premium pass instead of the Deluxe pass. Disney will only be making more money out of you if you purchase the deluxe pass and you will have fewer days you are able to go. I hope I have helped some of  you with your annual pass holder decision and do not forget, you can always upgrade any Disney ticket, whether it is a day pass or an annual pass.:)

Disneyland annual passes, premium, deluxe, save money
Dani in a Teacup at Disneyland

If you are planning to travel to both Disneyland and Disneyworld, there is a premier passport that allows you into all Disney parks in Florida and California for $1,029.  I have heard it is cheaper to get individual passes in Florida though. I know that when I traveled there, I was able to get  a sweet hotel deal that included a meal plan and a pass for all of the parks, but I guess that would be a whole new article.:)  To read more about Premier passes, see the Disney link here –> Disney Premier Pass .

Disneyland annual passes, premium, deluxe, save money
Disneyland – Making Chocolate Nut Treats Main Street

I hope I have answered any questions you may have about the differences between the Premium and Deluxe Annual Passes.  If you have any other questions or thoughts to add, please share in the comment section below! Have a magical day!!

For other Amusement Park deals see my articles about Sea World, Universal Studios, and Knott’s Berry Farm by clicking blue links. Also if you happen to visit Disneyland during the winter holiday season, make sure you check out my Disneyland Holiday Season post as well! 🙂

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