Disneyland is still closed and we have no idea when the park will reopen, but that hasn't stopped Disneyland Resort from making massive changes to the way the park functions. Disneyland has announced that the incredibly popular Annual Passport program is ending, and while it will be replaced by something down the road, there's no information on what that will be or when we will see it. However, when the park reopens, whenever that happens, it will do so without most, if not all, of the people who had annual passes.
The news of the end of the annual pass program comes from the Los Angeles Times, which reports that the program is sunsetting, as of now. When the park closed down in March guests with one of the various flavors of annual pass were given the choice to either get a refund for their unused days, or to have their pass extended by however many days the park was closed. This was done when the expectation was the park would only be closed a matter of weeks, not months.
Now, those people who paid for their extra time will be given refunds of that money. Meaning that, since at this point it looks like Disneyland could remain closed for a full year before it reopens, basically anybody who had an annual pass when the park closed will have received a refund and seen theirs end when the park reopens.
Disneyland President Ken Potrock told the L.A. Times that a new plan won't be unveiled until Disneyland is open and with attendance at or close to pre-pandemic levels, which means we can expect at least a year if not more without any sort of program.
This is going to hit the most dedicated Disneyland fans hardest. The people with annual passes are the people most passionate about the park. Many Southern California residents would visit the park weekly or even daily thanks to their passes. Now, that won't be an option for many.
As far as trying to guess what the future may hold, the most recent annual pass offering was called the Flex Passport, and it gave guests access to the park on most days, with the caveat that they had to make reservations ahead of time in some cases. Considering that some sort of reservation system will be implemented when Disneyland does reopen, something along these lines would seem likely. Having said that, with a year or more to plan, Disneyland could come up with something quite creative to serve the guests.
As a frequent guest to Disneyland who wasn't even a local, the annual pass was an incredibly simple and fun way to access the park. Even if you got into town late, the pass let you stop by the park in the evening for a couple quick rides or a nice dinner without wasting one of your ticket days. Hopefully whatever replaces it allows some degree of similar access.
CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.
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