Ten months after Disneyland closed its doors due to COIVD, Disney Parks has abruptly announced that they’ll end their Annual Passports program and provide refunds to existing customers. A replacement for the popular unlimited pass has been promised, but is unlikely to be offered until the pandemic recedes.
Premier Passport, another type of annual pass that grants entry to parks on both coasts, is also cancelled, per WDW News Day, a Disney Parks-focused news site. Outstanding Premier Passports will remain active through March 31, 2021, for still-open Walt Disney World theme parks and perks, after which they will be cancelled. All Annual Passes valid as of March 14, 2020 will be eligible for a pro rata refund for the unused Disneyland portion of their pass, details of which can be found on this Disneyland website.
Over a million people have used the multitiered annual pass, which offered exclusive perks like after-hour ride times, special events, movie sneak peeks, and discounts. The end of the program shocked loyal fans, particularly those in California, where the two theme parks—Disneyland and Disney California Adventure—have become a viable daily or weekly hangout for locals. Many expressed their shock and dismay on social media.
Some perks still remain, however. Disneyland also announced that any passholders with active passes as of March 14, 2020, can still receive discounts on merchandise, food, and beverages at open locations in Downtown Disney District and Buena Vista Street. There’s also a 30% discount on select merchandise from certain stores, Mondays to Thursdays, through Feb. 25, per the Los Angeles Times.
When a new annual pass program might be offered again, or whether it will have the same perks, remains uncertain. The California theme parks can only reopen once COVID transmission rates reach minimal levels, at which point the park’s capacity would be limited to 25%, and likely require reservations. In the meantime, Disneyland’s dormant parking lots will be put to good use—as Orange County’s first massive vaccination site.