Combined 2020 and 2021 have been filled with bad news, but for some of us, the Disneyland Annual Pass news that was released today hit hard. If you haven’t heard, Disneyland has canceled its annual passholder program. You can read the full press release here.
My husband, daughter, and I became Disneyland annual passholders a few years after moving to southern California. Prior to that, we would visit the theme park for a week every other year. We choose to become passholders because of my chronic illnesses. You can learn more about my illnesses and how I enjoyed the theme park despite them on my other blog.
With an annual pass, we didn’t have to worry if I began flaring in the middle of a visit. If and when my pain level became too much, we just went home. Whereas when vacationing, I missed out whenever I had to go back to the hotel to rest.
My annual pass was more than a way to avoid wasting money on a daily ticket should I not be able to make it through a day. It gave me something to look forward to on the days my illnesses demand I spend bedridden. It also provided me with joyful memories to think about until I was strong enough to go again. My pass also served as a form of physical therapy. It was in the parks that I learned a lot about pacing and how to better manage my pain. I learned what my body was and was not capable of.
As you can see, having an annual pass was an important part of my life.
With that said, let’s take a look at what Disneyland has planned from this point on.
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Disneyland Annual Pass News
Remember that this news is for the original Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California. It does not affect Walt Disney World in Orlando Florida, with the exception of the Premier Passes. The Premier Pass gave guests access to both Disneyland and Walt Disney World. This pass has been canceled. Holders of the premier pass have the option to transfer to a Walt Disney World only pass. Contact Guest Services for details.
Why You Do It Disney?
There’s a lot of speculation going on in every Disneyland fan group out there. The most common being that it had to be done for crowd control when the park does reopen. My husband and I disagree. They already have a reservation system in place at WDW in Florida that worked just fine. In fact, Disneyland was using it before the pandemic with their Flex Level passes.
Our theory is that that having been closed for almost a year has produced more work than Disney needs to deal with. Had they been able to reopen within a few months as they first expected, it would have been easier to deal with. But with rumors of them not reopening until fall and all passes will expire on March 15, 2021, it really makes more sense to begin with a new system rather than try to accommodate the loss of time per varying levels with extensions and such while also rolling out a new reservation system.
You could argue that WDW did just fine without changing their passholder program, but there is no comparison. The parks differ more than by size and attractions. They have different passholder programs and Florida allowed WDW to reopen on June 22, 2020. We do not believe there would have been any changes had Disneyland reopened at the same time.
With that said, we would love to hear your thoughts on why the Disneyland annual pass program was cancelled. Share your thoughts in the comment section below!
Hang on to your annual pass! Passes that were active as of March 14, 2020 are still good for receiving discounts at select Downtown Disney and Buena Vista Street stores and restaurants for the discount that came with your level of membership. Better yet, bring your pass and save 30% on select merchandise and in select Downtown Disney and Buena Vista Street stores Mondays through Thursdays from January 18, 2021, through February 25, 2021. Now is the time to do some serious shopping!
In the email we received from Disneyland today, they tease about future membership options. What the new program will include, cost, or when it will be available is all unknown at this point. However, we do know that those of us who had active passes as of March 14, 2020, will be the first to hear about any new program.
We want to hear from you!
What do you think about this decision, how do you feel about it,
and what do you think will replace it?