Disneyland ends annual pass program, will issue refunds

Posted | Contributed by BrettV

Disneyland Resort announced Thursday that the theme park planned to end its current annual passport program and issue "appropriate refunds" for eligible passholders.

Read more from KNBC/Los Angeles.

Jeff's avatar

I hope it goes better than it has here in Florida, because after at least a dozen calls and hours on the phone over nine months, we still don't have Diana's refund.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog

The Disney superfans on the Disney sites are losing their minds over this, making the assumption that the only option will be single or multi day tickets forever and ever. With the pent up demand after a year+ closure when the CA parks do reopen, I could see this being the case for the first few weeks or months. But there will be plenty of options for a pass style membership once we get far enough removed from the closure.

Wow. That really surprises me. We had purchased the Florida Resident Passes about this time last year. I think we bought four day tickets and got 3 days in (or may 3/2) before the lockdown. Once we hit summer we thought we were out of luck.

At some point they announced that they had extended the deadline for Florida residents to use those unused tickets. I missed that announcement. When we decided to go to Food and Wine September I realized I had missed the new cutoff for use by a couple of days. I called them up and I was quickly offered four one-day tickets at no cost. I really didn't expect it (so they exceeded my expectations).

It is due to my experience that I am surprised they are not more responsive to season AP holders.

"You can dream, create, design, and build the most wonderful place in the world...but it requires people to make the dreams a reality." -Walt Disney

Jeff's avatar

I love when fan sites lose their minds. It's satisfying to see them come to grips with the realization that they are not the center of the universe.

This is just accounting. They need to give money back to people because they can't provide the service. When they're able to reopen and eventually transition to unrestricted capacity, they'll ramp back up to something that looks like normal. It does give them a reset point though. They went too passholder friendly in the recession and had to dig their way out of having a park full of low-per-cap-spending people.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog

I had always heard about the sheer number of passholders at DLR before I went and didn't truly appreciate it until I saw it for myself. We went mid-week in late July when that area was having a pretty bad heat wave and I thought that it couldn't possibly be that busy. We were tricked on day 1 by going to DCA and seeing a park that was well attended but far from packed. And the crowd thinned out in the evening like I expected. We did 14 hours at DL the next day and I was floored by the crowd. We had a fast pass strategy that worked and we managed to get on everything but the monorail, Roger Rabbit, and Peter Pan. That said, I couldn't believe the crowd for a Wednesday in late summer. The place was packed by noon and just got busier as the evening went on. I'm not one to complain about waiting in lines on vacation because that's what you have to do sometimes, but 90 minutes into waiting for the Nemo submarine ride I remember thinking "what is this place like on a weekend or a holiday?"

you should see the absolute madness that is a Friday evening during HalloweenTime. Gridlock in the areas surrounding the resort, as the entire world of passholders descend on the resort after school/work.

Last edited by CreditWh0re,

I'm sure they've done the sums, but – I never understood the economic case for season passes somewhere like Disney where the demand for day tickets is absolutely enormous.

Jeff's avatar

Disneyland, perhaps, but it makes a ton of sense at WDW. There's a reason they have an Epcot-after-5 offering.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog

bigboy said:

"what is this place like on a weekend or a holiday?"

Sheer madness during the Christmas holiday. My wife and I honeymooned at DLR right after Christmas in 2005. This was before I was smart enough to google things before making plans. All but one day we were there Disneyland hit capacity. Surprisingly they didn't hit capacity on New Year's Eve, but that was likely because of the constant rain all day. That's the only day we had less than an hour wait for anything, including hot dogs.

A few years ago a good friend planned a trip to Disneyland on a New Years weekend. (I openly questioned his judgment but he was bound and determined to go) Anyway, he said it was so crowded in the park that a couple of times it was frightening. Like, slowly crushed by a crowd that wasn’t moving in any direction. The good news was that he got just about everything in.
But that would not be for me.

ApolloAndy's avatar

At DL in particular, I feel like the walkways are really bad choke points and with decent FastPass/MaxPass strategy, lines aren't even that bad. Last time we were there in 2017, they had to restrict traffic to one-way through many of the narrow paths (specifically the one in front of Star Tours and the one in front of Jungle Cruise) but aside from the daily break we took from 1-3 pm, lines were never "give up and go home" levels.

Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

That's a good point about the walkways. From my experience the stretch from Jungle Cruise to Pirates was by far the most crowded area. But I think part of that is the queues sometimes take over the walkway, especially Pirates. Considering there isn't much interior queue space it makes the crowds and lines look worse than they probably are. WDW has the advantage of a larger area / attraction ratio and better queue design.

I wonder if that's at least partly because by the time the Magic Kingdom was built there were signs in the industry that the park would eventually be P-O-P. And of course the other Florida parks were all P-O-P from the beginning.

The observation is that when Disneyland is able to re-open the pent-up demand for people to go there will be enormous, but they are going to have to start the park almost from zero. They will probably need to have capacity limits in place initially whether the State requires them or not just because of the limits to their ability to ramp up the operation. And the State will probably demand capacity limits anyway. To accomplish that means they probably can't accommodate pass holders at the beginning anyway. I have no doubt that some kind of pass program will be back, sooner rather than later, but canceling it altogether before re-opening is a whole lot simpler than trying to work out the logistics of accommodating passholders. Plus, they are getting close to the point where under normal circumstances all passes sold before the shutdown would be expired anyway.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

    /X\        _      *** Respect rides. They do not respect you. ***
/XXX\ /X\ /X\_ _ /X\__ _ _ _____

ApolloAndy said:

At DL in particular, I feel like the walkways are really bad choke points ...Last time we were there in 2017, they had to restrict traffic to one-way through many of the narrow paths (specifically the one in front of Star Tours and the one in front of Jungle Cruise)

It is almost standard procedure to make the circuit from hub to Frontierland > Adventureland > past Jungle Cruise > back to hub One-Way when Fantasmic was prepping/running/exiting. Tomorrowland often becomes one way only on the right (past star tours) into the land, and one way only on the Buzz side to exit on most busy days.

There has been lots of work in Adventureland and New Orleans Square to move flow blockers (planters, stroller parking etc) out of the walkways and reconfigure a lot of the area in Adventureland. it has helped, but it's still a problem area. They even modified some indoor retail into dining area to clear more path space at the choke point of Bengal BBQ./Indy/Treehouse

Last edited by CreditWh0re,

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