Disneyland parks and Disney Adventures in California, which have closed for nearly a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, are ending their annual pass program as we know it.
The popular multi-level ticket system, which changed the culture of parkers in Anaheim in such a way that it became a daily, weekly or monthly hangout for many Southern California residents, has been canceled. Ken Potrock, president of Disneyland Resort, told reporters Thursday that the annual pass program will eventually be replaced by new membership offers.
Potrock did not provide any timeline for future shows, citing the unpredictability of the current environment. The increase in coronavirus cases sweeping southern California is preventing parks from knowing when to reopen or the restrictions they will face once they do.
In ending the annual pass program – refunds will be made automatically for those who paid for days after the parks closed last March – The Walt Disney Company is looking to operate the parks with reduced reservation capacity only when California allows them to reopen.
But the move leaves the parks’ most loyal and loyal fans uncertain. Although Disney does not publish attendance numbers, the annual traffic program has long been believed to hover around a million people. Those fans who had wanted and expected to “fix Disneyland” now face the prospect of not prioritizing access when the park reopens, and hold their breath to see what the reimagined membership program would look like.
An alternative program to the annual pass program is not expected until the epidemic has receded enough for the Disneyland resort to receive guests at or near pre-coronavirus attendance levels. In the long term, Potrock said, he believed the move would be a “silver lining” for the pandemic for Disney – an opportunity to shape a program more suited to many Disneyland fans, whose financial circumstances may have changed recently, while also potentially having more resilient levels for those who They don’t necessarily consider themselves regular in the park.
“A nice part of this is creating a variety of different ways for people to get to the park,” says Potrock. “If they want to come every day, do we have a program that allows them to do that? If they want to come in the middle of the week, do we have a program that allows them to do that?”
The change will not affect Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, but visitors who hold a Premier pass that grants entry to parks on both coasts will forfeit the California theme park admission benefits and receive refunds if possible.
Those who obtained an annual pass that was active after the park closed on March 14 last year will continue to receive discounts on food and drinks for the foreseeable future at Downtown Disney’s restaurant and shopping district adjacent to Anaheim Parks and in Buena Vista, California. St. Hoping to encourage existing pass holders to continue visiting downtown Disney restaurants, they will also be given a 30% discount on select items from certain stores Monday through Thursday through February 25th.
Thursday’s move echoes Twico Disneyland, which is run by Oriental Land, which ended its annual traffic program in October.
Through most of 2020, Disneyland executives, along with other California theme park operators, pressured Governor Gavin Newsom to allow the parks to reopen. But in the fall, Newsom issued guidelines that linked the reopening of parks to infection rates and the number of cases of coronavirus infection per 100,000 residents in counties that include parks, in addition to Equity standard. Disney laid off or laid off more than 100,000 workers last year, in some cases Blame California Epidemiological Safety Rules.
Although Disney parks are reopening in some parts of the world, the pandemic has hit the company’s theme park sector hard. In the most recent fiscal year, which ended on October 3, the sector recorded an operating loss of $ 81 million, compared to $ 6.76 billion in operating income the previous year.
The re-opening of Disneyland will likely still be several months away. The timing depends in part on the ability of local residents to take precautions that slow the spread of the coronavirus and on how quickly the vaccine is distributed. Many of these vaccinations will be done at a Disneyland parking lot, which this week designated Orange County First “super” vaccination site.
Disneyland has been reforming its annual traffic program in recent years in an effort to meet demand without affecting the parks’ capacity limits too much.
In 2019, for example, the resort added a $ 599 Flex Pass that allowed entry on traditionally low demand days and required passport holders to make reservations in advance at other times. Annual Disneyland and Disney California Adventure passes are priced as low as $ 1,399 for the Signature Plus, which allows access to the park every day of the year.