Disneyland annual pass holders can renew soon — for a price

Disneyland Annual Pass holders looking to renew their expiring passes will soon have the opportunity to do so, albeit with two less magical caveats.

All passes are increasing in price, with the top-tier annual pass going from $1,399 to $1,599.

And even the most expensive annual pass won’t get you into the park a few days before and after one of the busiest times of the year: Christmas.

The price hikes — up to 16% — and restrictions on Christmas visits are the latest chapter in the saga of the resort’s annual pass program, which is hugely popular with die-hard Disneyland fans but has been blamed for increasing crowds at the resort, especially during the height of summer – and holiday travel time.

The previous annual pass program was scrapped during the 13-month pandemic shutdown and replaced with a new annual pass program called Magic Key last August. Four annual passes were created, ranging in price from $399 per year for Southern California residents to $1,399 for the no blackout option and the most reservation flexibility.

But in May, Disney paused all sales of new Magic Key passes for better crowd control at the start of the busy summer season. Beginning August 18, current passholders will be able to renew their Magic Key passes for a 12-month period, but the resort will not be selling annual passes to new holders, presumably to better control crowding at the parks.

The top-tier pass in the new plan, known as the Inspire Key, costs $1,599 and replaces the Dream Key, which sold for $1,399 last year and had no blackout dates. The Inspire Key includes unlimited photo downloads and a 20% discount on Disney Genie+, the app that allows visitors to skip the long lines at the most popular rides for an additional fee.

But the Inspire Key will not get you into the resort from December 21st to January 1st. You must purchase a day pass for these dates – priced at $164 per person per day. And be warned: tickets can sell out quickly, as the resort often fills up around Christmas and New Year’s.

Though the new Inspire Key pass holder will lock down for 12 days around Christmas, Disneyland spokeswoman Suzi Brown said parkgoers can still take part in the holiday celebrations as the resort celebrates the holiday for eight weeks beginning in early November.

“We believe we have many opportunities for our Magic Key holders to experience,” she said.

The Believe Key, which cost $949 last year with 48 blackout dates, most of which fall around Thanksgiving and the December holidays, now costs $1,099. It also includes unlimited digital photo downloads and 20% off Disney Genie+. Brown said the blackout calendars for the annual passes will be similar, but not exactly the same.

The Enchant Key, which last year was priced at $649 with 149 blackout dates, including most of June and July, and the days around Thanksgiving and Christmas, is now selling for $699. It now includes 25% off standard parking and 20% off Disney Genie+.

The Imagine Key cost $399 last summer and was sold only to Southern California residents. It had 218 block-out dates, with no available weekends and blocked for most of the summer. It is now selling for $449. It includes 25% off standard parking and 20% off Disney Genie+.

A Disneyland pass holder sued the resort in December, saying she bought the most expensive pass because she figured she could get unlimited access to the park. The lawsuit alleges access to the park is restricted because the resort now requires a reservation to visit either Disneyland or Disney California Adventure Park, regardless of annual pass status. The reservation system was added at the resort last year to help Disneyland manage park crowds.

Disneyland officials say they were aware of the terms of the annual passes and plan to defend themselves against the lawsuit.

https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2022-08-16/disneyland-annual-pass-holders-renew-prices-rise Disneyland annual pass holders can renew soon — for a price

Alley Einstein

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