Walt Disney World reopened last July, but the same has not happened at Disneyland in California. The parks there also closed in March, but they remain closed ten months later. The State of California has released strict guidelines on reopening any of the theme parks, and it is unlikely that they will reopen anytime in the next few months. Some food and merchandise locations have reopened, but capacity is limited and from what I understand, food cannot be eaten on property. This has caused Disney to have to make some tough decisions.
One of those decisions affects Annual Passholders. The current program is being suspended. This was announced on Twitter, and emails have been sent to those who are affected. Passholders are instructed to go to Disneyland.com/PassportRefund to calculate the amount that they will be refunded. It’s also been promised that information on new “membership offerings” will soon be released. You can read the information on the Disneyland website here.
I’ve seen a lot of concern since the announcement about Annual Passes at Walt Disney World in Florida. After all, they are not currently being sold. There are a few big differences, though. The most important one is that Walt Disney World is open once again. By the time Disneyland reopens, WDW will probably have been open at least for a year. The passes at Disneyland will all have expired by the time that the parks reopen. Also, even though new Annual Passes are not being sold at Walt Disney World, Passholders are able to renew. A final consideration is financial. A much larger percentage of guests at Disneyland are Annual Passholders than at Walt Disney World. When Disneyland reopens, some of the losses will need to be made up. Sadly, one of the ways to do that is to try to get locals to buy day tickets instead of Annual Passes.
It’s going to be interesting to see what is offered for the new “membership offerings”. While I’m sure that these new offerings will make money for Disney, I have a feeling that there will be some nice incentives. One thing that Disney is doing that they don’t have to is that they are allowing current Disneyland Annual Passholders to continue to use their merchandise discount at Downtown Disney. From January 18 through February 25, the discount will be boosted to 30 percent. That probably will not soften the blow too much, but at least it’s something.