A week after the official cancellation of the Disneyland Resort Annual Passport program, we have more information about how Disney is approaching future membership offerings for the Southern California Disney Parks.
Local Southern California news source the Orange County Register recently published an interview with Disneyland Resort President Ken Potrock, during which he explains how the company is figuring out the future of Annual Passes.
The Disneyland President shared that the California theme park resort is “going to use this time as an opportunity to develop new offerings and a new way to think about the business given the situation we find ourselves in.
Ken Potrock said that the Disneyland Resort team is currently trying to understand the following questions as they evaluate what a replacement for the Annual Passport program will look like:
“We’re trying to understand: What do people want in this new world? When do they want to access our parks? How frequently do they want to access our parks? With what level of spontaneity? With what level of value? All of those kinds of things and many more.”
Interestingly, the OC Register hinted that the new membership program for Disneyland Resort “promises to offer a hybrid of what Passholders enjoyed about the old AP program with a new slate of experiences and features.” Ken Potrock expanded on this flexibility:
“This is not designed to limit choice and flexibility. It’s designed to enhance choice and flexibility. People may say, ‘Here’s how I’ve always used it.’ People may say, ‘Here’s what I bought, but I didn’t quite use it and optimize it.’ People may say, ‘I have a different family structure or my financial situation is different. I would love to do it a little bit differently than I’ve done in the past.’ What we’re hoping to be able to provide is the choice and flexibility for all of those different evolving states.”
In terms of what the future holds, Potrock says that “there’s nothing off the table” as the theme park resort begins to consider what is important to Guests and former Annual Passholders.
“There’s nothing off the table as we begin to think about things that are important for people,” Potrock said. “Whether it’s the number of times that they visit on a product offering. Whether it’s when. Is it midweek or weekend? Is it morning or afternoon? Is it day-part oriented? It’s all of those kinds of things that we’re incredibly curious to hear back from the guests about.”
The Disneyland president has shared previously in his letter to Annual Passholders that these former APs will be the first to hear from Disneyland Resort when the new membership offerings are introduced. You can read his full statement here.
So, for now, it is unclear what the future membership offerings will be for Disneyland Resort. However, Potrock’s statements regarding what is currently being considered can give former Annual Passport holders hope that the new programs could provide theme park access in one way or another. It’s clear that the company wants to use this time to propose and eventually introduce a membership program that will still keep Guests returning to Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park — even in the pandemic era — as often as they would like to.
The Disneyland and Disney California Adventure theme parks are currently closed amid the ongoing pandemic, and, given the current stay-at-home order in Southern California as well as the reopening guidelines for theme parks enacted by California Governor Gavin Newsom, it is unclear how much longer the parks’ temporary closure will last. Guests can still visit the Downtown Disney District and, by extension, Buena Vista Street in DCA in the meantime. The hotels of the Disneyland Resort also remain temporarily closed at this time.
Over in Florida, Walt Disney World is not selling new Annual Passes, although they are letting current Annual Passholders renew once their APs expire. Walt Disney World Resort theme parks have been open since mid-July and have continued to operate (albeit with restrictions) amid the ongoing pandemic.
What do you hope will be offered in a new membership program for the Disneyland Resort?