Revamping Passes

Edited: October 7, 2015, 11:44 AM

Let's face it, Disneyland has crowd control problems. Disney wants to do it's best to keep it's customers happy, but wants to do whatever it can to improve the bottom line. Annual passes are a problem because Disneyland no longer has the dead season it once did, and reaches capacity more often. Even with blackout dates, the parks still have crowd issues, partly because block out dates make non black out days busier than those days would be otherwise.

My solution would be to eliminate the season passes, and replace them with bundled day passports per person valid for 1 year. The more expensive the bundle, the more days you can visit, and the less per day. The lowest bundle would include 20 days valid for 1 year, the middle bundle 35 days, and the most expensive bundle with 50 days. An evening visit would only count as half a day.

The biggest benefit would be the elimination of blackout days. You would no longer have the ability to come on any non-black out day you want, but blackout days are no longer a problem. Without blackout days, the parks would no longer become busier on non black-out days, and people could go based on what days work best, not when Disney says you can. The downside would be can no longer come on any non-blackout day you want, but it still provides a substantial savings compared to even multi-day passes, and have and don't expire 2 weeks after your first visit. If the prices were the same as the pass rates as today, 10/07/2015, the least expensive bundle would be only be 30 dollars per day.

What or your thoughts on this idea, and what are your ideas about how Disney could change it's pass-system in a way that would benefit Disney as well as its visitors? I know my idea isn't perfect, but neither is keeping the status quo.

Replies (3)

October 7, 2015, 2:52 PM

I agree that a revamp is needed, and I do think one will be coming in the not too distant future. At the moment, Disneyland seems to be in a transition period, and I'm guessing they're going to slowly phase out advantages for locals while attempting to increase the proportion of out of area visitors. Randy, I like your idea but I think it may be too radical of a change and getting people to pre-purchase a large number of days may be difficult. Personally, I'd like to see a hybrid system similar to the following once Star Wars Land opens:

-2 annual pass tiers. The lower tier is similar to the current Deluxe pass, but it is approximately $900. The upper tier is similar to the Signature (not Signature Plus) and costs around $1,500. Payment plans are still available, but they are six month plans.
-Regular tickets are changed to 1-3 days. A one-day, one-park ticket would be around $115, with a $60-70 upcharge for park hopping. Multi-day tickets are raised 10-15% from current prices. Dynamic pricing is also implemented, so that some days may be up to 20% cheaper and other days may be up to 20% higher. All tickets are valid for 2 weeks.
-For guests needing a middle option, 5 and 10 day passes would be available. These passes would allow for a set number of visits over a 12-month period. 5 day tickets would be around $300 and 10 day around $450, with an upcharge to make park hopping available ($100/$150, respectively). There would be no blockouts on these tickets.

I don't know how realistic this would be, but I think it could solve a lot of the current issues while still providing a variety of options that should cater to most visitors.

October 7, 2015, 3:49 PM

The parks are not overcrowded as if it can't handle any more people. The only time the parks had to actually turn away customers is the Christmas and New Year Eve holidays. So Disney doesn't need to further change its pass policy. It already did a fairly good job in the latest update. The next ticket policy drop was already hinted at, which is surge pricing on high demand days.

While I think the blackout days are not properly distributing attendance on a weekend, we are not privy to the background knowledge that Disney uses to blockout Saturdays for most Annual Passes.

As a compromise between an Annual Pass and a multi-day, multi-park pass, I would prefer 3,5,7,10 day visit passbooks that expires within 1 year. This is preferable for locals that can't visit on consecutive days.

October 7, 2015, 6:29 PM

Hold up

I just checked the Disneyland website... are you still able to renew your So Cal pass? It used to say "not available", but now it is not there at all.

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