Should Walt Disney World Resort Annual Passholders get more perks right now? Some Walt Disney World Guests sure think so.
A recent Annual Passholders thread on the popular forum site, Reddit, showcases a conversation between both East and West coast Disney fans about (perhaps) needed benefits for those with Annual Passes still in their possession. While never firey, the discussion tosses back and forth pros, cons, and perhaps the first-world problems of looking for an extra leg up at a theme park.
Should WDW Annual Passholders Get More Perks?
The initial post by Reddit user @crabbyshiba appears to have been a brain dump because they never reply further to the conversation. But the comments that follow are nice to noodle on, reflecting on several good points made by both Disneyland Resort Annual Passholders as well as Walt Disney World Annual Passholders. Here’s the original conversation starter:
Anyone else feel like WDW should offer a little more to current AP since we paid full price for them but are not receiving full perks? I appreciate their offer to cancel and refund passes last spring or extend the expiration by the amount of time they were closed but it was hard to determine what to do considering the unknown and unprecedented circumstances. We decided to hold on to them but unfortunately have not been able to use them as much as we had hoped. Now that reservations are needed going on a spur of the moment visit is no longer possible as all availability is so limited. Now that the restrictions have gone on for so long and will continue to for the unforeseen future Disney really ought to offer a discount, rebate or extension till normal operations resume to those AP who opted to stick it out. We love Disney but pretty sure we will not be renewing our passes when they expire – at least not till things get back to normal.
Amongst uncertain times in mid-2020, Walt Disney World reopened and welcomed Guests back into the Orlando Theme Parks with limited offerings and new safety precautions. As a gracious measure, Disney even emailed Annual Passholders later to offer partial refunds, cancellations, and extensions (for “lost time during closures”) of current Annual Passes.
What is notable in this Reddit thread is that the OP (original poster) mentions they did not take the refunds or cancellations of their AP last year but instead took the extension of time. @Crabbyshiba would love to see Disney offer more benefits to current pass holders since they view the Annual Passes as less usable. As a result of not having used the passes to their full benefit, @crabbyshiba mentions they will not be renewing the passes next year, ending the post on a forlorn note of loss.
Disney Guests Weigh In
Following the original post, there was/is a healthy discussion about whether or not Walt Disney World Resort Annual Passholders deserve more benefits in this time of limited magic. While AP holders in fact are receiving small added benefits like added Park Pass Reservations and Passholder Exclusives at Animal Kingdom, they are not having extended shopping discounts or other extended benefits of the Legacy Passholder Program at Disneyland Resort. This program is being offered because Disneyland Annual Pass programs have been suspended or indefinitely cancelled. It is unclear what sort of program may take its place.
Users @BigE8986 and @FirstResult1 simply yearn for the return of the collectible AP magnets and don’t often have problems securing a “last second” trip to a theme park like some. Others such as @Yensid28, counter the OP with feelings of gratitude. Guest Yensid is happy to have been able to remain a pass holder in this uncertain time, whereas Cast Members like his mom are unable to visit the Parks and may have been laid off of work entirely.
A short, yet interesting, discussion cropped up that yes, while the magic is limited and benefits are fewer, we must still be grateful as Walt Disney World visitors that the parks are open for business. Disneyland Resort not only remains closed, but we do not yet have any idea when they will reopen. If one can visit the Orlando Parks with an Annual Pass about 4 times (others will say 6-7 times) then you have your money’s worth of entertainment. Florida residents and those living close to the theme park area will inevitably be able to visit more often with unlimited admission on some pass levels.
Many of these Reddit users have not been able to utilize their Annual Passes as much as in “normal” times, which is inevitably where their frustration lies. But on the other hand, when cancellations were offered, it was (and is) impossible to see what the future will hold as far as Annual Passes go. A Disney World Annual Passholder must make the decision they think is best for them, and we must all hold out until all the magic completely returns.
Annual Passholders can still receive free parking at all WDW Parks, a 20% shopping discount on much merchandise, some dining discounts (these are in flux), select Resort Hotel offers, and more, which you can find here on the official Disney Annual Passholder Program website.
What new or additional Annual Passholder Benefits do you think you should be receiving, if any? Leave us a comment below!