Written by Gregg Condon
Today news broke that the Disneyland Annual Passholder Program has essentially been cancelled. We will try to outline this, what we know now, and what we think is going to happen in the future for any kind of passholder program.
The official statement is below.
So what does mean, and what can we decipher from this statement.
The words that pop out in that statement are "choice" and especially "flexibility". It's no secret that Disney has been seeking to roll out more Flex passes in recent years, that was our Annual Pass of choice when we got our new AP's in December 2019, after not having AP's for about 7 years.
Obviously we don't know, but don't be surprised if the Annual Pass program looks like a Flex Pass program when it returns. And honestly, for me personally, I'm ok with it. We're planners, we live 100 miles away from the parks, so for us it's not that big of a deal.
The people this is really going to impact are those who use Disneyland as a "hang out" or "babysitter", and these are the types of Passholders Disney has been trying to weed out for years, and they've finally come up with an excuse to do so.
It's also not any accident that this announcement comes approximately 10 months after the parks closed. This is something that's most likely been in the works for some time, but from an "agreement" standpoint, they probably had to wait for a certain timeframe for this to happen.
But it was inevitable.
So why do we think some sort of Annual Passholder program will come back in the future?
What likely isn't coming back? SoCal passes. Sorry. They're gone. Done for. Kaput. No more lower tier passes that caused the parks to be busier on a Tuesday in October than a Saturday in July.
Why does making all Annual Passes "Flex Passes" make sense.
Let's face it. Daily and resort visitors, you know, the people who spend money when they go to the parks, were getting hosed the past few years. Because the park was constantly packed with Annual Passholders who, let's face it, don't spend a whole lot of money.
When Universal Studios Hollywood opened Wizarding World, they discovered a few things. One, attendance was not as high as was anticipated during the first summer it was open. And two, guest spending was through the roof during that same time period.
Guess word spread that people will be more than happy to spend money on merchandise when they're not fighting through oppressive crowds all day.
As we get through the next couple of months, and the vaccine becomes more readily available, and there is a light at the end of this awful tunnel, I'd anticipate we will start to hear about the new program. They already have it, they just aren't saying yet. And that's smart.
There is pent-up demand for theme parks, and Disneyland in particular. By controlling the amount of people who will want to go to the parks ASAP they are setting themselves up for a smooth roll-out in a couple of months (we hope).
What are your thoughts on these changes? Pro? Against? Let us know in the comments below.
A reimagined fountain at the main entrance of EPCOT shines in front of Spaceship Earth at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., Dec. 22, 2020. The fountain hearkens back to the origins of EPCOT and is the next milestone in the park’s ongoing historic transformation. (David Roark, photographer)
Hey there readers, Renee was back out at Walt Disney World today for the CM preview of Disney's Hollywood Studios.
We should point out, this is a Cast Member preview. So your experience at the parks may not match what you see in the pictures below.
But I have to be honest, for the first time in almost 6 years of this website, I'm conflicted about posting a park update, and even if it's socially responsible at this point to do so. I'm 3000 miles away, our parks in CA won't be opening any time soon, and even if they did, I don't think I'd be visiting any of them as soon as they open.
Just know, you may not see too many in-park updates from us until things start getting a bit better. We are definitely conflicted.
Written by Renée Girard
Good morning from Disney’s Hollywood Studios!
Lines are long for temperature check but moving quickly.
Everyone else must be headed to Batuu.
I’ve never seen Toy Story land this empty!
Social distancing plexiglass at Droid Depot.
Chewie, we’re home.
Lunch at Docking Bay 7. Like all restaurants, your mobile order has to be ready before entering the building.
20 minute wait posted for Smuggler’s Run. Some sections of the queue have caution tape instead of plexiglass.
The preshow is running. Socially distanced, of course.
No cards are given out for flight positions and you can’t freely wander while waiting to board.
No one taking photos at the table today. You then are verbally told your position and each party has their own ship.
Socially distant storm troopers.
Not sure if this will continue to be the procedure, but we made an in person reservation for Oga’s Cantina this morning and was given a return time a few hours later, which we’re currently in line for.
Actually got a table at Oga’s for the first time ever. And there’s so much space! This is wonderful. The server also reminded us that masks need to remain on till drinks arrive.
Just enjoying some refreshing Toniray wine at Oga’s.
Mickey! I kinda love seeing him cruising around Studios in a car.
Currently in line for Rise of the Resistance, with a 90 minute wait posted. People are respectful and hopefully it’ll move quickly.
RotR went down for quite some time so we bailed and hopped over to Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway. Both RotR and MMRR have the longest wait times in the park. MMRR had some down time for cleaning, which is what we like to see!
No preshow and more plexiglass at Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway.
This ride is the cutest!
There she is!
Tower of Terror is walk on with no preshow running and only one side open. Still one of the best rides!
Empty Rock N Roller Coaster, no preshow, and plexiglass for days.
Back on Batuu to attempt RotR again.
The queue for Rise of the Resistance takes you indoors for a bit and then you’re next to the entrance of Muppet-Vision 3D!
So this is the extended queue for Rise of the Resistance.
I can’t wait to check out this new Star Wars ride.
Sadly Rise of the Resistance went down, so they finally dumped the queue and we didn’t get to ride. It was still great to spend some time at DHS today, and I wish them a safe and successful reopening this week.