Disney Guests Left in Tears After Park Makes Their $580 Tickets Redundant

in Disney Parks

Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, dressed in colorful regal outfits, stand on a beautifully decorated platform adorned with pink and blue floral designs. They are waving to the audience in Disney's new land, with a rocky background behind them.

Credit: Tokyo Disney Resort

Today’s been a divisive guests for Disney fans, with some overjoyed by the latest development at one park and others left furious after being convinced to splash $580.

Some things – like Mickey ears, popcorn, and stressing out over Lightning Lanes – are inevitable when you visit a Disney theme park. One thing that’s equally inevitable (even though you may always secretly hope otherwise) is the toll it takes on your wallet.

A young girl in a yellow dress embraces belle from "beauty and the beast," who is dressed in her iconic blue and white outfit, beside a colorful bookshelf.
Credit: Disney

Related: Disney Parks Now at Their Cheapest in 34 Years, Day Tickets Just $52 Per Person

In 2024, visiting a Disney park is more expensive than ever. Between skyrocketing ticket costs (the price of a ticket for Magic Kingdom has soared by 3,871% in the past 50 years) and new upcharges like Genie+, Individual Lightning Lanes, and Disney Premier Access at international parks, paying for a Disney trip is no small feat nowadays.

That’s why guests were particularly outraged when one park unveiled the system for entering its newest land.

Concept art for the entrance of Fantasy Springs at Tokyo DisneySea. Features plants, waterfalls, and Cinderella
Credit: Disney

Those hoping to visit Fantasy Springs – the new theme park land containing areas inspired by Frozen (2013), Tangled (2010), and Peter Pan (1953) – when it officially opens at Tokyo DisneySea on June 6 were given one of three options.

The first is to bank on a lottery system for a free Standby Pass for one of its four attractions. These are free at Tokyo Disney Resort and are allocated using the Tokyo Disney Resort App after entering the park. However, with Standby Passes being allocated at a notoriously fast rate at the resort (which boasts pretty infamous crowds at the best of times), the odds of securing one for yourself are low – even if you arrive before the park opens.

Peter Pan's Never Land at Fantasy Springs
Credit: Disney

Alternatively, guests can pay for a Disney Premier Access pass (although these are also first come, first served). Or, if they want guaranteed access, they can book a room at the new Tokyo DisneySea Fantasy Springs Hotel (which costs a minimum of $424.96 USD) and buy a Fantasy Springs Magic Passport, which costs somewhere between $147.45 and $166.76 USD – in total, a minimum of $580.

Framed as the only way to guarantee access to the land when it opens, plenty of guests have opted for that third option; Tokyo DisneySea Fantasy Springs Hotel is currently fully booked for its first three months of operation.

That’s what made today all the more frustrating for said guests when Tokyo DisneySea decided to just open Fantasy Springs to the public anyway.

Rapunzel's Forest concept art from Tokyo DisneySea's Fantasy Springs expansion
Credit: Disney

Related: Disney Slashes Prices For Certain Guests, Effective Immediately

Yep, as of today, guests have had the opportunity to ride the land’s four new attractions – Anna and Elsa’s Frozen Journey, Rapunzel’s Lantern Festival (which means witnessing that gorgeous lantern scene firsthand), Peter Pan’s Never Land Adventure, and Fairy Tinker Bell’s Busy Buggies – without purchasing an add-on or joining any kind of virtual queue.

Signs were erected at the land’s entrance without warning, reading: “Fantasy Springs is currently open to all guests.”

Of course, soft openings aren’t a rarity at Disney’s theme parks. However, for those who were led to believe that paying such a high premium was the only way to ensure access to the park, it’s a frustratingly sudden move.

“I spent over 100,000 yen [$643.98 USD] to buy the [Fantasy Springs Passport] and be sure I’ll be able to go to Fantasy Springs, but today I can just get in if I get [a ticket] normally, which is just annoying,” said one X (formerly known as Twitter) in a post originally written in Japanese. “I worked hard to win and paid a lot of money, but I’m not happy with it.”

A room at the Fantasy Chateau at the Fantasy Springs Hotel in Disney TokyoSea
Credit: Disney

Another emotional guest wrote

My birthday is on the 6th, so I paid a lot of money to buy a pass that guaranteed me entry to Fantasy Springs so I could go there, but suddenly today they said that anyone can enter. I cried so much my head hurts. I want my exciting, dreamy time back. I’m starting to hate Disney.

Whether or not this soft opening will continue on a daily basis until the official opening in June remains to be seen. However, for those who already shelled out a small fortune to ensure access when Fantasy Springs opens, the damage is already done.

Do you plan on visiting Tokyo Disney Resort any time soon? Let us know in the comments!

Be the first to comment!