Annual Passes
Credit: Disney

The Reason Why Disney Is Holding Off On Annual Passes and Magic Keys

It looks like we finally have some insight into why The Walt Disney Company has been holding off on bringing back Annual Pass Programs to Walt Disney World Resort and  Disneyland Resort. Yesterday, Disney held their third quarter 2022 earnings call, where CEO Bob Chapek and other executives discussed finances and other interesting topics in a live audio webcast.

The discussion is intended for shareholders, but the general public is free to listen to the meeting. Fans can learn valuable information regarding the thought processes behind Disney’s decisions for their Parks and other ventures.


Credit: Disney

One of the topics discussed by the group regarded Annual Pass Programs at Walt Disney World and Disneyland. Disney Guests who frequent the Parks in California and Florida have been on pins and needles as of late.

With no word from Disney on if and when they will bring back the beloved Passes, Guests are anxious about what the future holds for them regarding trips to the Parks. Disneyland changed its Annual Passholder program during the pandemic, updating its name to Magic Key.

In addition to its new title, the program included new restrictions, forcing Guests to be more intentional about their visits to the Parks. The Walt Disney Company enforced a reservation system that has been underwhelming for Disneyland Guests that are used to coming and going as they please.

Magic Key

Credit: Disney

Problematic from the start, California residents often find that their desired dates are unavailable. It’s been disappointing for people to pay for Disneyland Magic Keys, yet not be able to visit Parks like California Adventure when they wish.

Now, we are getting some answers as to why Disney has remained hushed on the whole Annual Passholder/Magic Keyholder debacle. At the earnings call, Christine McCarthy, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer was quoted as saying:

“We had limited the number of Annual Passes across some of the Parks and all of those come with some (with the exception of highest tier) blackout dates. You could loosen up some of those to let more people into the Park, to enjoy the Park and spend money while they’re there….However, we still have many days when people cannot get reservations. We still have demand in excess of what we are able to give our Guests.”

Christine McCarthy

Credit: Disney

It looks like the reason behind Disney’s holdout is because demand has exceeded supply. Despite all of Disney’s efforts, there are still too many Passholders for the amount of reservations they have to offer Guests.

With overcrowding a constant problem for Disney Parks, along with a desire for more out-of-town visitors to purchase one-day tickets, it seems they are unwilling to budge on their boundaries. We’ll just have to wait and see what Disney decides to do for the most loyal visitors of Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort.

About Christy Weinberg

Christy is a West Coast writer with a special place in her heart for Disneyland Resort and Aulani. Growing up near the Parks, she was an Annual Passholder for about twenty years, often frequenting the Resort several times per week. Though she recently moved to the Pacific Northwest, she carries the magic with her by writing about Disney and connecting with the Disney community on social media.