Disneyland Hopeful of Launching New Annual Pass Membership Program When Allowed to Open
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Disneyland Resort has been closed since March 2020. With no definite schedule to reopen, Disney Parks announced the suspension of its Annual Pass program earlier this month. A new Annual Pass “membership” program is expected to launch upon the reopening of the resort. However, as the global pandemic is unpredictable and complex, so is the answer to the question of when Disneyland will roll out its new Annual Pass program.
The four factors that will determine the timeline for the program are:
When Disneyland reopens
When COVID-19 vaccines are widely distributed
How quickly the state loosens theme park attendance capacity limits
How long pent-up visitor demand lasts
Disneyland and Disney California Adventure are unlikely to fully operate until the spring or summer under COVID-19 health and safety reopening guidelines issued by the state.
Disneyland and DCA can’t reopen until Orange County reaches the most-restrictive yellow/minimal tier 4 of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s four-tier Blueprint for a Safer Economy— which isn’t expected to happen until spring at the earliest. That makes a reopening date for Disneyland uncertain — and the launch of the new Disneyland membership program even more uncertain.
Disneyland Resort president Ken Potrock hopes to launch the new membership program when Disneyland reopens.
“Our hope is to be ready for this whenever we’re allowed to open. That is our hope,” Potrock said. “It’s hard to pinpoint that because I don’t know what the direction from the state will be. But we are working all hands on deck to develop this as rapidly as we possibly can… The rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine offers a light at the end of the tunnel…That will allow us to pick those capacity limitations up faster and faster and fulfill the desire of our fan base to come back to the park.”
Dennis Speigel, an industry expert with International Theme Park Services, expects there to be tremendous pent-up demand once California theme parks reopen:
“When we return and things reopen it’s going to be like the Roaring ‘20s. The dam is going to break…Everybody is going to be at capacity — Disney, Universal, SeaWorld, Magic Mountain, and Knott’s Berry Farm. They’re all going to be at capacity because we certainly know there are enough people to fill them up.”
Speigel added that ending the old Passholder program will allow Disneyland to add reservation requirements to the new membership program.