Recently, Disneyland dropped some major news when they announced that they were “sunsetting” their Annual Passholder program. Following the news came, understandably, many questions regarding what would be in store for the future of Disneyland’s most loyal fans.
While no replacement program has been announced at this time, one is in the works, and Disneyland has begun the process of surveying their previous Passholders, now coined as “Legacy Passholders,” to get a sense of what components may or may not work.
Orange County Register reported that Disneyland may be considering dropping the monthly payment plan option, which experts say “was the tipping point for Disneyland’s crowding issues.” Experts claim that the surge in Passholders came about once passes were more affordable thanks to monthly payment installments.
Blooloop’s Lance Hart commented that “Crowd levels at the California theme parks had now surged to the point where there was really no longer a slow season for Disneyland or California Adventure. Tourists arriving from afar who may have tried to plan a trip to visit in what they thought was a slower season were often shocked at how crowded the park was, no matter what time of year they would visit.” Dennis Spiegel from International Theme Park Services added, “I don’t think the industry has control over their season passholders.”
Disneyland had an estimated one million Annual Passholders by the time the parks closed in March of 2020, making up roughly 50% of the resort’s attendance. If Disneyland is aiming to create a new program where less people are signed up than before, they would need to make significant changes which either disincentives guests from purchasing, or places stricter limits on how often guests can visit.
Disneyland could also be considering passes based on times of day guests would be visiting, like daytime or evening-exclusive access. Other components being considered in the new passes include parking, discounts, blackout dates, and overall frequency of visits in a certain period of time.
We’ll keep a close watch on Disneyland in the coming weeks and months to learn more about this replacement program. Disney has stated that a new plan will be announced once we know more about the parks’ reopening timeline, so stay tuned!
Did you have a Disneyland Annual Pass? Would you still purchase a new pass if the monthly payment option no longer existed? Let us know in the comments!
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