- You might keep your Annual Pass if (1) you are local and in a position to use it spontaneously when available OR you are not local and tend to stay on property when visiting AND (2) in either case, you find joy in simply being here, regardless of the absence of typical “Disney vacation” experiences like fireworks, parades, and character meet and greets.
- On the flip side, you might consider cancelling your Annual Pass if (1) you place high value on many of the experiences that are currently on hold OR (2) you are not local and tend to stay off property when you visit.
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In all of this, one of the most common questions that I get is whether or not a once frequent Walt Disney World visitor should keep their Annual Pass to the parks.
You can find the policy described HERE, but in short Passholders may choose to cancel their Annual Passes any time between now and August 11, 2020. If a Passholder chooses this option, their annual pass will remain valid through August 11, 2020 and will be canceled effective August 12, 2020. If they choose not to cancel, their Pass will be extended by 30 days past its current expiration date (in addition to being tolled/extended for the length of the closures if you were paid in full) to help to make up for the modified experience available to guests right now.
If you do choose to cancel, that can be done by clicking on the personalized link in circulated emails or by calling V.I.PASSHOLDER Support at 407-939-7277 for assistance and any individual concerns.
But should you cancel or not?
Like everything right now, I cannot answer that question in black and white terms for you. The best that I can do is try to provide information to use in making the decision that's best for you and your family and to urge you to abide by the stringent safety measures that Disney has in place if you do choose to come.
So with that said…
Who might most consider not cancelling their Annual Pass?
- Consideration 1: The experience in the parks right now is very much a modified one.
To protect its guests and its Cast Members during this time, masks must be worn at all times on property unless you are stationary and actively eating or drinking. Your temperature will be checked upon entering the Parks or Disney Springs. High touch areas are generally not operating and experiences that would encourage contact or large gatherings such as fireworks, parades, character meals and meet and greets, and holiday parties are very much on hold.
- Consideration 2: You need to be in a position to get into the parks under the current reservation system.
And perhaps of greatest interest to an AP holder, to enter the Parks at all, you will need to pre-book your visit using a reservation system that has very limited availability, especially if you are not a resort guest. This system also eliminates the ability to park hop – i.e., visit more than a single Park in any given day. I have spoken at length about the value of an Annual Pass, and the psychological value of knowing that you can stroll into a Park at any given time, even if you are not local, and so understand completely the change that this has on the perceived (and actual) value of having an AP.
That said, Disney recently updated its reservation system to provide for real time reservation availability to Annual Passholders at Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Disney's Animal Kingdom to the extent that it is available – so if you are in a position to visit the parks spontaneously and are okay with probably not getting into Disney's Hollywood Studios on a whim, you do, to an extent, still often have that ability to visit without planning for it far in advance.
And so who should keep their Annual Pass? Again, these are just guiding thoughts – but in short those of you who are local and in a position to use it spontaneously when available OR who are not local and tend to stay on property when visiting AND, in either case, who find joy in simply being here, regardless of the absence of typical “vacation” experiences like fireworks, parades, and character meet and greets. If you are in a position to visit the parks on short notice and are happy just strolling around Epcot, Magic Kingdom, or Disney's Animal Kingdom, enjoying some of the lowest crowds you'll likely ever see and some unique, spontaneous and more intimate experiences like unscheduled character cavalcades, this is a wonderful time to visit and the Annual Pass is likely to be something that you want to keep in your pocket.
Anna and Elsa's Cavalcade in Epcot's World Showcase
Who might most consider cancelling?
And so, on the flip side, who might most want to cancel their Annual Pass and receive a refund?
For starters, and I hope most obviously, if you are not able to or comfortable with visiting the Parks right now after reviewing the safety measures that Disney has put into place, then you should by all means cancel your AP and return when it feels right for you and your family.
Setting that aside, look to the flip side of everything that I described before. If you place enormous value on the more typical Walt Disney World vacation experiences that are on hold right now, such as fireworks, parades, and character meet and greets, then you might consider putting off your next visit for the time being. Further, if you are not local and in a position to visit the parks spontaneously and tend to stay off property when you do visit, so wouldn't have resort guest priority under the current Park Reservation System, then you're not likely to get enough value out of your Annual Pass to justify having it.
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If you're planning a trip to Disney and want a fun way to rock a mask, check out my designs at TeePublic right HERE!! (Allow time for shipping as I know they are processing tons of orders as fast as they can right now.)
If you cannot or choose not to visit now and are looking for a way to bring the magic home, I'd love for you to check out my Core Memory Candle collection right HERE.
And as always, stay safe and be kind, my friends.