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Disneyland Launches New (Super Complicated) Pass That Gets You Into The Parks On More Days

The new passes mean more Disney magic (and no, you don't have to go to It's A Small World, though you may have to listen to it somewhere in the parks). (Courtesy Disney)
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Disneyland's introducing a new annual pass, which promises the chance to visit the parks with Mickey, Darth Vader, and friends on way more days than many other passes. The pass goes on sale shortly before the new Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge land opens.

Crowds have always been a problem at the Disney parks, and that's expected to be a bigger issue than ever before with the Galaxy's Edge's opening at the end of the month (the new land has been using its own reservation system for its first month). Annual passes have traditionally come with blackout dates, with the more expensive higher levels of passes allowing visitors in on more days (yes, the class system exists in the fantasy world of Disneyland, too).

The new Disney Flex Passport looks similar overall -- including a number of "Good To Go" days, largely on Mondays through Thursdays. That includes 142 days at Disneyland and 157 at California Adventure.

But the key difference is those other days -- instead of being blocked, out like they otherwise could be for other passholders, Flex Passport holders be able to make reservations on weekends and other busy days/times.

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Flex Passport pass holders will able to reserve up to two days at the park, up to 30 days in advance, in addition to going without reservations on the Good To Go days. You can also make another reservation as soon as you use one of those two.

The only days you're completely blocked out are around the Christmas holidays, from Dec. 21 through Jan. 4 (sorry, Santa fans). Reservations are limited, but the rest of the year, you'll have the chance to make a reservation.

You can watch this video from Disney to see how the reservation system works in action:

These passes cost $599 -- more than the $399 Southern California Select passes, but less than the $799 Disney Deluxe Passports that keep you out of the park most of the summer (and a lot less than other passes, like the Premiere Passport, which tops out at $1,949 a year for access to the parks here and in Florida).

The new passes include some other benefits, notably a 10% merch discount. Southern California parkgoers get the added bonus of a payment plan option. But the new passes also come with a warning -- if you make a reservation and don't show up three times in a 90-day window, you'll be blocked from making reservations for 30 days.

Disney's continuing to expand, with a superhero-themed land set for California Adventure opening next year, so they're going to need to control crowds more than ever. They're hoping this pass might be one way to start doing that.

You can vew the full calendars below, showing which days won't require reservations (green), which days will (blue), and which days are blocked out (gray).

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