OpEd: Will Higher Tier Annual Passholders Get Priority for Disney World Reopening?

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AP Preview WDW

We finally have a date to look forward to, to get back into the Magic! Disney submitted their plans for reopening their theme parks gates and they were quickly approved by state officials.

disney world reopening
Credit: Disney

Shortly after the news of the theme parks reopening, Disney began releasing additional information in preparation for the reopening. One of the biggest announcements was a special Annual Passholder preview to allow their most loyal guests early access back into the magic.

Annual Passholders are eager to experience the magic again. It will have been a long and magic-less 3-months without getting to visit their happy place. We know. We are them!

So, let’s take a look at what Disney has said so far about the annual passholder preview and other AP details regarding visiting the Walt Disney World Resort once it reopens with all the new health and safety protocols.

Annual Passholder Disney
Credit: Disney

Annual Passholder Information– Disney Reopening

Disney has updated their website with specific information for Annual Passholders during this process. Here is the most up-to-date announcement they have posted:

Please note that:

  • During the limited capacity period, it may be difficult for Annual Passholders to get park reservations to visit on certain dates. To help manage capacity, total reservation days held at one time will be limited. More details will be shared in the coming weeks.
  • Some pass benefits and features will not be available during periods of limited capacity. Also, park experiences and offerings will be modified and subject to limited availability or even closure.
  • Annual passes are subject to blockout dates. Guests should ensure their pass type is valid for park entry prior to making a park reservation.

As we prepare for the reopening of the parks, we’re planning a special preview opportunity for Annual Passholders. We look forward to sharing details with you soon.

Please know we will be here to help you as we remain focused on delivering a wonderful experience for everyone who visits.

If you have any questions, please contact V.I.PASSHOLDER Support at (407) 939-7277. Options to manage your annual pass continue to be available during the closure period.

Will Disney World Prioritize Higher Tiered Annual Passes for the Reopening Preview?

This information confirms the preview but also highlights some other things to note. If we dissect the first bullet point regarding the difficulty in obtaining reservations, we wonder, could it be that Disney will prioritize higher AP tiers, affecting those without blackout dates upon reopening to lock in what will definitely be coveted reservations?

This is pure speculation. However, Disney has set precedent in previous AP previews.

For the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Annual Passholder preview at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, due to high demand, Disney only offered access to Platinum Annual Passholders. Similarly, especially with the guest capacity restrictions, we don’t see this being a stretch to warm up the theme parks again after the extended closure and to test out all the enhanced health and safety protocols set in place.

Related: Disney World to Manage Capacity by Limiting Annual Passholder Access

Universal Orlando offered a similar Annual Passholder preview. The way Universal went about it was to prioritize higher AP tiers by sending an email with an invitation to register to their top tier first and then scheduled the rest of the lower tiers accordingly.

Universal Orlando AP
Credit: Universal Orlando

If we had a say, we would love it if Disney took this approach instead of an exclusive higher-tier-access-only preview. But alas, we are only but mere fans dying to return to the magic.

Disney has promised more details soon, and we cannot wait to learn how this will all play out! In the meantime, chime in with your thoughts!

Do you think Disney should prioritize those guests who truly invest in that top tier magic AP? Or should all AP’s have the same opportunity to get back to the magic? Let us know in the comments!

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