Right now attendance at Walt Disney World theme parks is dismal, with many parks sitting mostly empty by mid-afternoon as guests keep their distance from the resort for the time being. And though this has led to unprecedented short- and long-term cuts at the theme parks, there is one group that seems to be having trouble just getting into Walt Disney World: Annual Passholders.
Though Disney cautioned before their reopening that annual passholders may not be able to use their pass the way they would normally, many of these guests have found themselves unable to visit the theme parks at all due to extremely limited parks pass availability.
Parks Pass availability wide open for all guests....except annual passholders
Though the Disney Parks Pass availability calendar shows availability at all theme parks for Disney Resort Guests and regular Theme Park Ticket holders, the only theme park available for annual passholders to visit during the month of August is Epcot, and even then availability for that park doesn't become available until the very end of the month.
Annual Passholders who are looking to visit the Magic Kingdom, Disney's Animal Kingdom or Disney's Hollywood Studios unfortunately need to wait over a month to do so, as the first availability for these parks doesn't come until mid-September
Why are passholders being left out?
The shutout of annual passholders at Walt Disney World may seem strange considering Disney said during a recent call discussing financial results they have been disappointed by low demand for the theme parks post-reopening. However, when you consider additional comments made by Bob Chapek during the exact same call where he revealed that per-guest spending was “very, very strong”, among guests who are traveling to Walt Disney World from out of town.
Disney has confirmed that about 50% of guests visiting are non-local and Bob Chapek emphasized the fact these guests are “more valuable” than annual passholders, which is likely why Disney is not opening parks pass availability for these local guests, who do not spend as much in their parks or at their hotels.