When Disney was forced to close its theme parks around the globe because of the pandemic, it took the time to take a look at changing things up. One of those things was its Annual Pass system. Disney decided to do away with its current Annual Pass system at Disneyland Resort and changed up Annual Passes at Walt Disney World Resort. Guests visiting Disney World only had one Annual Pass option available to them if they lived out of state. Disneyland Resort Guests did not even have the chance to buy Annual Passes — now called Magic Keys — until 5 months after the theme park reopened.
When purchased, Annual Passes and Magic Keys are valid for one year from their first day of use. For those who purchased Magic Keys when they first became available, their Annual Passes are valid through August 2022. Some Guests who purchased tickets prior to the pandemic were able to upgrade their tickets to Magic Keys. However, it now seems that those tickets were backdated to a time before the Magic Keys were available, meaning that their tickets are soon expiring. This is where a big problem is arising.
One Guest — whose name, we are keeping anonymous — upgraded her previously-purchased ticket to a Magic Key. According to the Guest, Disney backdated her Magic Key to expire one year from the ticket’s first use, which was in May 2021. The Guest recently tried to renew her Magic Key, but was told by Disney that she could not renew at this time. The problem is, if her pass expires before she renews it, she cannot renew and has to purchase a new Magic Key, but her current Magic Key is sold out, so she wouldn’t be able to get the Key that she already has.
The Guest shared her story, as well as Disney’s response, and it is now going viral. When asked about why she was unable to upgrade her Magic Key, Disney said the following:
Thank you for contacting Disneyland Resort about your Magic Key Passes.
I appreciate that you took the time to share your thoughts with us regarding yours and [name redacted] Believe Key Passes that will be expiring 5/1/22. Our goals are to provide exceptional entertainment and offerings. Unfortunately, we are unable to assist with the expiration dates of your Magic Key Passes. Please note at this time both the Dream Key and the Believe Key are sold out and currently not available for renewal. Please be assured we take your comments very seriously. Your remarks have been forwarded to the necessary leadership team so they aware of your feedback.
This renewal issue is causing a lot of confusion amongst Guests, especially because Disney has not yet addressed it. Technically, Disney does say that you may not be able to renew your current Pass. However, that has rarely happened and Guests who have a certain Annual Pass have always been able to renew the same pass they have, as long as they do so before their current Pass expires. What is also causing confusion amongst Guests is why the Magic Keys were backdated to begin before Magic Keys were even available for purchase.
The Dream and Believe Magic Keys are the two top-tier Magic Keys at Disneyland Resort. Only the Enchant and Imagine Keys are still available for purchase, and those both have a lot of blackout dates and no weekend availability. The Imagine Key is also only available to Southern California Residents. August is not too far away, and many Magic Key Holders are now worried that they will not be able to renew their Passes.
Disney has been struggling with the number of Magic Key Holders that it currently has — just as they did when they offered Annual Passes before the pandemic. So many Guests have Magic Keys that theme park reservations will be booked out weeks in advance. Many thought that Disney would try to cut down on the number of Magic Key Holders by eliminating monthly payment options, but they did not.
Hopefully, Disney will address the issue before it comes time for thousands of Guests to renew their Magic Keys.
Do you think Disney should have backdated the Guest’s Magic Key to May?