Disneyland annual passholders won’t get Magic Key pre-sale access

Disneyland has provided former annual passholders with a host of perks, but the Anaheim theme park withheld the benefit their biggest fans may have wanted the most: Pre-sale access to the new Magic Key annual pass.

Former Disneyland annual passholders will have to wait in a virtual line with everybody else when Magic Key annual passes go on sale.

Magic Key passes will go on sale for all guests at the same time on Aug. 25, according to Disney officials. (That on-sale time is not before 10 a.m. PT.)

Disneyland made a commitment to provide Legacy Passholders with discounts on merchandise, food and beverage until a new membership program was announced and to notify them first about the new Magic Key program, according to Disney officials.

Disneyland ended its four-decade-old annual pass program and bestowed the fervent fan base with a “Legacy Passholders” title in January while developing the new Magic Key replacement.

Disneyland officials won’t say how many people have annual passes, but theme park industry observers have estimated the number to be 1 million. Annual passholders comprise an estimated 50% of Disneyland resort attendance, according to UBS financial analysts.

What’s going to happen when passholders all log on at once after 17 months of patiently waiting to purchase Magic Key annual passes?

Disneyland’s recent online ticket sales have seen virtual crowds overwhelming the website for A Touch of Disney food festival in March and virtual waits stretching up to 28 hours for tickets and reservations for the reopening of Disneyland and DCA in April following a 412-day pandemic closure.

Martin Lewison, a theme park expert at Farmingdale State College in New York, said Disneyland’s loyal annual passholders are the park’s biggest fans.

“Disney wants to make its most loyal guests as happy as possible and for those guests to feel that they are getting good value for their annual passes,” Lewison said via email.

Carissa Baker, a University of Central Florida assistant professor of theme park and attraction management, believes demand exceeds supply for Disneyland annual passes based on previous price increases and the park’s decision to sunset the former AP program.

“It is possible that the amount of Magic Keys they believe they can reasonably sell during this pandemic period — a period that could lead to capacity limits again — is less than the number of Legacy Passholders,” Baker said via email.


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Author: Brady Macdonald