Disney Considering Annual Pass Blackout Dates After New Attractions Open

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Walt Disney Parks and Resorts guest surveys often have some interesting questions for guests. Remember when they asked about a possible Uber style service? Or how about the infamous $15 resort fee? Well, now they are asking some annual passholders about the possibility of blackout dates after ride and shows open up and what they might do if they were not allowed into the parks after the debut of something new.

disney-survey-question

It would be intriguing to see what such a rule might do to the already confusing annual pass pricing structure at Walt Disney World, but this is still a very blue sky concept at this point.

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About the author

Tom Corless

Tom has been regularly visiting the Walt Disney World® Resort from the time he was 4 months old. While he has made countless visits in the last 28 years, he did not become a truly active member in the Disney fan community until the summer of 2007, when he decided to launch the WDW News Today website and podcast. Tom has since become an Orlando-local and is a published author on Walt Disney World.
Contact Tom at [email protected]

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  • That’s odd. It wasn’t that long ago they were offered Passholder previews for new attractions and now they don’t want to deal with the nuisance of so many guests? I wonder if this is just being considered for Florida residents?

    I hope I get to fill out one of these surveys, because I would be eager to share my opinions!

    • Last time Disney had a survey that was about cutting the experience for guests if they can profit from it has been exactly never. It’s a done deal. Maybe not in this fashion, but Disney has no love for annual pass holders now that they can get families $2000/day.

  • We probably would not renew. The biggest perk of an annual pass is to go whenever you want. Take away that then why buy it? We go to FL every 6 weeks from Iowa. Our trips would go down to one a year.

  • I do not feel this would be a good direction to go. I understand that this is just a survey question, but hopefully Disney is paying attention to sites like this as well.

  • It’s crazy that there isn’t a I wouldn’t go to Disney anymore option…I’m not paying for a day pass when I have an AP, and I’m not going to Disney without an AP because it’s too stressful/expensive for just a day for this local.

  • I work at the parks (as some here know). This isn’t a maybe. It’s a done deal. Additionally, fast passes soon to become more restrictive to higher paying guests. Stay at a Deluxe resort, and spend a lot in stores, you’ll be getting a lot of fast pass times whenever you like. If you’re a local annual passholder, your times will be few and far between. Disney does not want locals or pass holders, they don’t spend as much, thus we need them as much as they used to for the shoulder seasons. Sorry, but true.

  • There should have been a fourth choice on the survey. “If you do this I will not renew my pass and will start vacationing somewhere else”!

  • Announcing the new Super Value Annual Pass! Only $105 for adults, good for 365 days after purchase. Blackout dates apply January1, 2017 – March 31, 2017 and April 2, 2017 – Dec 31, 2017.

  • This will never work because people can’t organize but pass holders need to start complaining before they implement this horse shit every time you go to the park make it a point to stop by guest relations and vent

    • Disney has never cared about complaints though. They only care if they get bad PR. Being able to charge more for much less only makes them happier.

      • Disney always cares about complaints. They take each one very seriously so that they can make guests’ experiences even more magical. As for price increases, Pixie Dust isn’t cheap you know. Have a magical day!

  • This sounds pretty low. If Disney is going to offer an annual pass it should be an annual pass. They keep chipping away and decreasing the value. What if there were no annual passes? If you want to go, pay the price of admission. Never say never…

  • Wftv channel 9 just did a story on it said for seasonal pass holders that all ready have black out dates but would have up to two months of black out dates after a new section is open . So they could not go until two months after opening of places like starwar land or toy story land.

  • Honestly I’m not that surprised they would be doing this. Look at Disneyland, it’s $1,049 to go with no blackout dates compared to $649 for FL residents AND you get memory maker. Obviously once Star Wars Land and Toys Story Land open, Studios will be absolutely slammed. This is where I think the greediness comes in, you have all these out of state and foreign tourists that have avoided Studios until then. The amount they’ll make on hotel rooms, dining, and souvenirs fair outweighs what they’ll make off of APs coming. They’ll want the regular guests going home and telling their friends and families how amazing it was and how they need to go spend all this money there with them. I would hope that since they’re such large projects that they would hold a lengthy pass holder preview to ensure all APs got to enjoy it before any blackouts began. I just think we shouldn’t immediately freak out because it could always be worse.

  • With the crowds at Disney, and Disney obviously having little interest in making it larger or ‘better’, they only close areas to refurbish now, and areas to sell are their media franchise and merchandise purchases only refurbishment they do, I’m not surprised this will happen. And I believe it has to:

    I’ve felt in the last years since recession over that all ticket prices should go up until attendance goes down, and then improve the product. Our family hates most that they kinda raise prices, but so TERRIBLY cut service, cleanliness, quality of food, etc. Even to point yesterday at Food and Wine, 2 of 16 entrances to park were open. Huge lines to park, get in, spend money. People begging to spend $18 for 1 shrimp and salad on a plate. Rest, roped off. Long lines for no reason, other than Disney didn’t want to pay a couple more cast members minimum wage.

    Kill annual pass, they’re going away anyhow, just charge $300/day adult and $250 infant to 9 is not unreasonable (yes charge 0-3 y/o, the park can’t hold babies free anymore). Holidays and spring break, double price, Christmas Day 4th of July $1000/guest including infants with minimum spend of $1000/person…that is why they invested on Magic Band right? Wasn’t cuz they’re pretty. It’s so they can regulate spending and sell data to 3rd parties. Restaurants which can’t be booked busy should have cover charge. Until guests vote with their feet, it’s only getting worse at Disney, the place is a dirty construction zone, they’ve refused to build another park in the longest time history with largest attendance. I’d rather pay $1000 for great experience and fewer crowds, then $105 for what’s honestly becoming junk and dilution of the brand.

    • Good points larry. I’d pay more, if they cut the crowds, nonsense, and improved the quality of the parks. It’s gotten pretty seedy.

      • Congratulations Tonya! You’ve unlocked today’s Disney Fact of the day: Walt Disney’s famous dedication speech was actually much different in its original form, but due to audio issues, some of the words were actually cut out. Here is the full transcript of Walt’s original speech. “To all not seedy who come to this happy place: Welcome. Disneyland is your land as long as it’s not crowded. Here, age relives fond memories of the past before quality went downhill, and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future unless they’re an infant, in which case they have no reason to come here because they won’t remember it. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, that there is no nonsense, the dreams, that there will be less people so I can enjoy myself, and the hard facts that have created America, that places like Disney are only for people that Tonya find respectable, with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world that they will be more like Tonya.”

        Hope you enjoyed this fun Daily Disney Fact!

  • We’re here now visiting. The parks busting at seams and filthy with grumpy employees moving the thousands of strollers closer to park more. THEY GOTTA DO SOMETHING TO CUT ATTENDANCE AND MAKE THE PARK ENJOYABLE. FOR REAL. The place isn’t fun. Kids like it, but they get in free..which makes no sense. They should have built another park.

    • I couldn’t agree more! Lousy mooching 1 and 2 year olds taking up all the space having fun for free! Good thing you’re here to set them straight! I already had 3 jobs when I when I was 2 and 1 of them didn’t pay me, I just did it because I didn’t want to look like all these other mooching 1 and 2 year olds. They’re not even buying any food! They shouldn’t just be paying, they should be paying double for taking up space that could be used by an honest hard working American adult. Thank you for bringing this troubling situation to light Tonya, you truly are the Donald Trump of the Disney fan community. I say we build a wall around Disney World with a door built into it, that way the kids can’t get in because their little hands aren’t coordinated enough to open doors yet. Then it will truly be the happiest place on earth, Make Disney World Great Again!

    • Wow, do you have kids? Ages 3-9 pay child’s prices. Strollers? Are you kidding? We were just there in August and true, the parks were not as clean as they were in the past, but we had very friendly castmembers. As Guest Services always tell you, they want you to praise great castmembers as well as call them out. So if you’re not happy go to guest services. As you stated, THEY GOTTA DO SOMETHING TO CUT ATTENDANCE” well they raised the prices and even more for certain times of the year, they charge extra for parties, they charge a ton for food. They’ve done what they could at this time to turn people away from going. And what do you want, a Disney Adult Only Park? Adult Only Attractions? Adult Only Times? Sorry kids, but Peter Pan is only open this hour for adults only. It’s like an adult swim at a pool. Go wait to the side. Attention, Disney Animal Kingdom is only open today to Adults over 21. We apologize, but I know you go can vote and go to war at 18, but you cannot ride Kali River Rapids today.

      • Yea, I have 3 kids, but we don’t take the infants to the park who aren’t going to remember any of it. The older ones go, and it’s a bargain price…we just don’t like how low the quality and safety have gotten. Not sure where you’re getting an adult park idea…that wasn’t my idea….kids are great and a part of Disney…but now every inch matters most days as it’s packed, and why any admission to the park is free doesn’t make sense. Let alone the poor tiny ones are miserable in the heat, and parents look rather miserable. And Guest Services is not going to help much Jeff, they’re there if your ticket doesn’t work or something.

        • Yeah Jeff, she’s not saying you should ban infants, just you’re a horrible parent if you do bring them. She clearly knows how to use her inches at the park for more important things than babies, like churros and turkey legs. Besides, if w World was meant to cater to babies, they’d have an air conditioned child care center in every park that has darkened rooms with rocking chairs to rock an overheated child. Alas they don’t, so clearly it is no place for a baby. It’d be crazy and selfious for a family that’s been saving for 3 years to take a trip to Disney, the bargain capital of the world, to not immediately cancel their trip the moment they find out they’re expecting. Use those inches wisely Jeff, you never know when they can suddenly be taken up by babies!

          • Grumpy Old Man sounds like a grumpy old Nazi. I don’t see ANYWHERE the posts say what yours do. What a freak who’s trying to make a political statement. Go burn Nazi!

  • Wow I hope Disney reads this blog and all the comments. They are creating an environment that is not for the common person any longer. Charging for parking closer, charging premiums for different times of the year, charging way too much for a night-time party when you already had to purchase a $100 park ticket for the day, charging two meal tickets at higher end restaurants or “popular” ones, and now wanting APers to purchase the high end pass to see a new attraction. They didn’t say if you could go to other parks. When Avatar opens and there is a black out for two months, does that mean you can’t go to the other three parks? Now that would be insane. The average family will not be able to go on vacation there shortly. ”
    Hey kids you want to go to Disney for the day? Ok, which park? We can only afford one day and one park at $105. That’s over $400 for our family of four for one day. Oh, we are packing sandwiches and waters so don’t think of even asking to buy food. When we leave the park, we’ll stop off-site”.
    I’m was an APer (just expired), DVC member, and still I find it hard to pay for it all.

    • They have college interns for the most part who are reading it, and DO post here under different names, but usually saying things like “don’t whine, we love Disney”. Corporate Disney couldn’t give a rats ass about the parks division. Disney makes their coin on their media. One movie makes the parks profit look like pennies on the dollar. They care about their image and will pay minimum wage for stooges on forums. But they do not care about guests’ experience. Nor true value. Nor perception that they’re ‘greedy’. They are most unhappy when guests aren’t spending large sums of money each second of every inch they are on property. They have learn to like to say “No”.

      • Hi Yolanda,

        Would you mind giving me your work location and ID number? I would just like to contact guest relations and inform them of what a wonderful cast member you are and definitely not contacting your manager to start to termination process for talking badly about the company on social media. Have a magical day!

        • Hahahahaha, I was born, but not yesterday. It’s also called a perner number. And you won’t find a cast member who cares more about the product than I do. Most I work with look at guests as a struggle they have to deal with. I see trying to make guests the priority. My day is most magical, thanks! :)

        • Not Disney PR’s post sounds totally like Disney PR or a total nerd. As if guest relations could do anything or take any action from a whiny guest, beyond telling the guest they’d do something so they go away. What a joke. And I’m not seeing where Yolanda said anything that negative. Some people.

          • What a joke indeed! In fact it WAS a joke based on her statement about them having interns read these forums and post. I guess that part just went a little over your head though. Some people

          • Yea, they do have CPs read and reply on forums though. That’s the part that makes your statement not a joke and you sound kinda not so smart. Plus no way guest relations gives a rats ass what you’d report, even if she was dumb enough to give her information online.

  • It should not be ALL about the money. If the customer feels that the business cares more about their bottom line than the “customer experience”, then the customer loses that special experience and will go elsewhere. The Disney brand isn’t magical, the experience is. Lose this and you lose people like me who will go to Seaworld and Aquatica that also create amazing “customer experiences” and Universal studios.

    • I think stockholders would diagree that it shouldn’t be all about the money. Gotta keep the magic for the investors.

      • Screw what stockholders think. Disney should just ignore them and take either take all their rights away leaving them powerless, or just go private entirely with a sole owner. Disney would be perfectly fine if they took risks like Walt did to try to create a magical experience. I can see it now: shareholders like you are a bunch of stiffs who see the world in black and white and if Disney ignored them and managed to please the hardcore fans with risky ventures that succeeded, shareholders views of the world would shatter so much that they’d all jump off a bridge like Javert did because he couldn’t accept Valjean was a good man.

    • As a cast member, i completely agree. Its REALLY short sighted to be so cheap and cut corners that are so obvious to the guests. They have not so much competition (though Comcast has really stepped it up) and long lines of over-fed and nearly dead (meaning grandparents with fond memories paying for the entire family to come) are lining up with credit cards in hand…so it’s hard for them to have to try. I long for a day where Disney goes for LONG term profit, not short changing the product so much to try and make a quick buck.

  • I’m curious about whether you can go to another park during this type of black out. The way Disney opens new areas and attractions, an AP could be almost void for an entire year if this was to happen. They should have to add on the two months to the expiration date. Also, we live out of state and have an AP to allow us to visit more often. If they did this, we would simply find a new vacation spot and they would lose our AP money and all other money we spend while there. Even with AP discounts which are pretty much a joke, we spend quite a lot every time we walk through the gate.

  • Quite honestly I may be one of the few annual passholders who does not bust out to go to a new attraction etc. I have not even bothered to see FoF. I can come and go as I want so will get to it when I do. Disney has always made it known that AP’s are not their top financial source. Would I drop my pass no. Will just get the attraction later.

  • Here’s an idea to reduce attendance: Have Joel Schumacher direct and destroy the MCU with nipples and puns, killing the superhero genre and giving them an excuse to sell it off, sell off Lucasfilm, and ban Frozen entirely removing all traces of them from the parks, bringing back older attractions and then never adding anything new or changing anything ever again. Then the only people who come are the hardcore fans and purists.

  • I have to wonder what they think this will do to help. They already shut us out of FP+ with the 30/60 day thing. So all this would do is keep pass holders out of the standby line. But how many pass holders stand on any line, for anything, longer than a half hour.

    I’ll admit I’m not the most profitable guest. But I’m very low maintenance. Where they’d really lose out is on all the vacations my out-of-state family takes to spend with us at WDW. I’m sure they would love to try something else in CF for a change but they always do Disney because of us.

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