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Experts Predict Disney Won’t Sell Annual Passes Again Until the Economy Crashes

If you have been keeping up with your Walt Disney World Resort news, then you know that back in November 2021, Disney halted the sales of nearly all of its Disney World Annual Passes. Of the four passes that were once available —  the Disney Pixie Dust Pass, the Disney Pirate Pass, the Disney Sorcerer Pass, and the Incredi Pass — only one of them (the Disney Incredi Pass) could be purchased by those who lived out of state. At this time, the only pass available for purchase is the Pixie Dust Pass — which is the cheapest and has the highest amount of blackout dates.

Credit: Disney

Many Guests are wondering when Walt Disney World will once again resume its theme park Annual Pass sales and, if you are one of those people, experts have some bad news for you. They believe that Disney may not sell Annual Passes again until the economy takes a major downturn. Those experts spoke to Florida Politicswhich reported the following:

Disney declined to comment for this story, but two Disney experts who closely follow the company’s moves weighed in, saying the Mouse might be waiting for the economy to worsen before it starts selling new passes again. Their predictions come as some fear the U.S. economy is entering a recession.

“Disney doesn’t have much of a reason to bring back the full slate of annual passes right now. Disney World is generating record revenue and operating profits with fewer guests than before,” said Rick Munarriz, an analyst for the investment website The Motley Fool who regularly writes about Disney parks. “Disney’s annual passes will come back when the global economy buckles to the point that visitors can no longer pay the cover charge for a Disney gated attraction.”

“Annual passholders have a right to be ticked off. The experience isn’t the same if you’re not going to pay to play.” Munarriz added. “Mickey Mouse moved their cheese.”

Cinderella Castle at Night

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Another Disney Parks expert, Len Testa, said that it’s possible that when the school year begins, Disney will sell Annual Passes, as that is a time when attendance usually slows down.

“The thing that might bring back APs sooner rather than later is an economic slowdown. Airfare is pretty expensive right now, so getting here is costly,” said Testa who runs Touring Plans to help people with their park itineraries, co-hosts The Disney Dish podcast and co-authored The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World 2022.

“I could see a situation where, say, kids go back to school in September/October, and fewer people are willing to spend hundreds of dollars on airfare for a long weekend. In that case, Disney would look to locals to make up the difference, especially in things like restaurant revenue.”

Donald

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It is also possible that Disney is holding off on Annual Pass sales at both Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort — where no passes are being sold — until a lawsuit filed against the company is resolved. A Disneyland Annual Passholder — now called a Magic Key Holder — purchased a Disneyland Magic Key when they went on sale in August 2021. The Magic Key she purchased promised no blackout dates and 6 reservation holds at one time. However, when she went to later make reservations for November 2021, all dates for Magic Key Holders were booked. Since reopening, both Disneyland and Walt Disney World require Guests to have both a valid theme park ticket and a theme park reservation.

Tomorrowland Disneyland

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The woman filed the lawsuit, claiming that Disney engaged in false advertising when they charged $1,400 for a Magic Key, promising no blackout dates, but then did not allow Magic Key Holders to book in certain months because all the reservations were gone for both Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure. Disney requested that the lawsuit be thrown out, but a judge ruled that due to Disney’s own language in its Magic Key Holder agreement, the case could move forward.

At this time, Walt Disney World Annual Passholders are able to renew the Passes that they already have. Magic Key Holders at Disneyland have not been given any information about renewing their Passes, many of which are set to expire on August 25.

About Krysten Swensen

A born and bred New England girl living the Disney life in Southern California. I love to read, to watch The Golden Girls, and love everything to do with Disney and Universal. I also love to share daily doses of Disney on my Disney Instagram @BrazzleDazzleDisney!