Annual Passes have been difficult to come by for both Walt Disney World and Disneyland since the onset of the pandemic in 2020, with many fans wondering when (or if…) their go-to passes will ever return. One fan recently asked Bob Iger himself, and the answer may surprise you.
Prior to the shakeups in 2020, Disney offered several different options of Annual Passes, including Passes with varying levels of block-out dates for Guests visiting both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure in Anaheim, California, and all four Parks near Orlando, Florida; the Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
Back then, blockout dates were really all Annual Passholders needed to worry about when it came to planning trips to the theme parks, and they would already be aware of which days they were blocked out based on the Pass they purchased. Today, Passholders (and all Guests for that matter) are subject to the theme park reservation system, but the biggest issue comes down to the ability to actually purchase a new Pass…
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Several Disney Resorts have paused sales of new Annual Passes in the years since 2020, so while Guests have been able to renew, anyone who is not already a Passholder has been unable to become one.
The Disneyland Resort briefly opened sales of its Magic Key passes, but they sold out almost immediately and sales of new passes are once again paused with the exception of the top tier, “Inspire Key” pass. At Walt Disney World, only limited options for Florida residents have been available to purchase since March 2020, with all out-of-state Guests left with only the option to purchase regular Park tickets. The pause on new Annual Pass sales was recently extended to Disneyland Paris as well.
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During today’s Annual Shareholder Meeting of the Walt Disney Company, Bob Iger took a question regarding the Premier Passport, an exclusive Annual Pass offered to Guests in previous years that gave access to Parks at both the Disneyland Resort and the Walt Disney World Resort.
On top of admission to every domestic Disney theme park with no blockout dates, the Disney Premier Passport came with several other perks like access to Walt Disney World’s water parks, golf courses, complimentary parking at all theme parks, and more.
Like most other Annual Passes, the Premier Passport has not been available for new purchases since 2020; however, as the shareholder who asked the question noted, it has not been available for renewals either. In response to whether or not the Premier Passport would return, Iger pointed out that demand for that specific pass was actually very low.
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Unfortunately, with such low demand, Iger’s response relayed that the cost of keeping that Premier Passport as an option for Guests was simply not a wise business decision. (The executive also shared his appreciation for the fan’s question and for his patronage and interest in visiting Disney Parks on both coasts.)
What should former Disney Premier Passport-holders do?
Unfortunately, without the Premier Passport as an option, the best “value” for Guests who will make enough visits to both the Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort will be to purchase a Magic Key Pass and Annual Pass for both, respectively.
Actually doing so, though, will be quite challenging, expensive, and as of this writing, only possible if you are a Florida resident as that is currently the only way to purchase a Walt Disney World Annual Pass. (And even with being a Florida resident, simply buying separate passes to both coasts will not truly replicate the value of the Disney Premier Passport since the only available Walt Disney World pass also has blockout dates.)