Disneyland has announced that they are ending their Annual Passport program. The theme park has been shut down for 10 months, due to the ongoing public health crisis. When the park first shut down in March of 2020, many were under the assumption that it was only going to be for a few weeks. Those weeks have turned into months, and we're now only two months away from it being a full year since Disneyland closed its doors.
Back in October 2020, Disneyland Tokyo announced that they were canceling their Annual Passport program, and many speculated that the California park wasn't too far behind. Ken Potrock, Disneyland Resort President, sent out an email to current passholders, alerting them of the changes and addressing refunds for people who are still paying for their passes. Potrock says, "Due to the continued uncertainty of the pandemic and limitations surrounding the reopening of our California theme parks, we will be issuing appropriate refunds for eligible Disneyland Resort Annual Passports and sunsetting the current program."
While the Disneyland Annual Passport program is coming to an end, after nearly 40 years, Ken Potrock is optimistic about the future. "I know that sunsetting the Annual Passport program will be disappointing to many of our passholders who are just as anxious as we are to reopen our gates and welcome guests back when the time is right," he said. He went on to say, "We are also very excited about what's ahead. We plan to use this time while we remain closed to develop new membership offerings that will utilize consumer insights to deliver choice, flexibility and value for our biggest fans." As to what the new membership offerings will be, that is unclear at this point in time. No further details were made available, but one can assume that they are working hard behind-the-scenes to figure out an alternative.
Current passholders will be able to get their discounts at Downtown Disney for the time being, but those benefits will come to an end on March 14th. Southern California residents have enjoyed the Annual Passport for decades. Families could come early in the morning, ride a few rides, grab a bite to eat, and come home, as opposed to spending the whole day there. Over the years, Disneyland has been criticized for raising the prices on their annual passes, even as they added new options to combat overcrowding.
For now, Disneyland will remain closed indefinitely as the Florida park remains open. However, the park is currently a mass vaccination area, where local residents can go, much like Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. When Disneyland is able to reopen its doors, they will not be able to have full capacity for quite some time, and strict health guidelines will have to be adhered to for the foreseeable future. The Annual Passport news was first announced by the official Disneyland website.