A new Annual Pass program is expected to launch when the parks reopen, hopefully in late spring or early summer of 2021. Having had time to fully re-evaluate the program, it's likely that Disney will require members and regular guests to make reservations before visiting, and that attendance may be limited to certain hours of the day and certain days of the week.
Ken Potrock, President of Disneyland Resort, told reporters that they will survey members of its recently curtailed Disneyland Resort Passholder program to get their input on the new program.
“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.”
There are a couple of key factors that will also impact the annual pass program, including when the park is actually able to reopen, what percentage of the population receives the COVID-19 vaccine by reopening date, how quickly California adjusts capacity limits for theme parks, and finally how long pent-up visitor demand lasts.
Disneyland Resort's Ken Potrock hopes to have the program ready to launch when the parks reopen, but cautioned “It’s hard to pinpoint that because I don’t know what the direction from the state will be. But we are working all hands on deck to develop this as rapidly as we possibly can…The rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine offers a light at the end of the tunnel…That will allow us to pick those capacity limitations up faster and faster and fulfill the desire of our fan base to come back to the park.”
Meanwhile, the park is encouraging Annual Passholders to stay connected through their Facebook page.
Industry experts predict that Southern California theme parks are going to be bombarded when they are finally able to reopen. Dennis Speigel of the International Theme Park Services, said “When we return and things reopen it’s going to be like the Roaring ‘20s. The dam is going to break…Everybody is going to be at capacity— Disney, Universal, SeaWorld, Magic Mountain, and Knott’s Berry Farm. They’re all going to be at capacity because we certainly know there are enough people to fill them up.”
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