Are the crowds at Disneyland just too much? Visiting families save and plan for months or even years for that magical Disneyland vacation. Will they be disappointed to discover their fantasyland destination is filled with wall-to-wall people? Disneyland has quietly made a move to try and make an impact on this runaway park attendance by removing the option to buy the popular Disneyland annual pass.
I’ve been going to Disneyland with my girls since they were toddlers. Our earliest trip being a decade ago. In that time, I’ve seen ticket prices nearly double, and park attendance felt as if it did the same. Over the years, Disneyland has tried to get a handle on the crowds by increasing ticket pricing, launching tiered ticket pricing, building park expansions, adding new attractions, and even offering the new MaxPass system. However, this doesn’t seem to help the ever-growing crowd level of visitors.
No More Southern California Disneyland Annual Passport (as of now)
Tourists to Disneyland might be surprised to realize that they’re possibly in the minority of park attendance. Especially if it’s a Sunday or late at night. Local southern California residents treat Disneyland like many of us would treat our local movie theater or favorite restaurant. It’s the place to hang out with friends and binge on yummy food and crazy rides. Disneyland’s move to remove the SoCal annual pass is targeted towards limiting these local visitors.
The Southern California Annual Passport has been removed before, in 2014, but was brought back again last year. It’s popular with residents because for a small deposit and $31 a month pass holders can enter the parks 215 days out of the year. There are blackout dates for Saturdays, holidays, and part of the summer. But overall, $469 is a pretty affordable yearly investment to visit the happiest place on earth. The average visitor will spend over $300 for their 3-day park hopper.
The OC Register reports that current Southern California Passport holders will be allowed to renew their passports. And the lower cost SoCal Select Annual Passport is still available, which gives entry for 170 days. Perhaps Disneyland officials are not expecting to see a drop in crowd levels but trying to limit the harried growth. California residents are also offered monthly payment plans for their annual passes.
With Star Wars Land, the Pixar Pier remodel, and a new hotel coming soon, Disneyland will continue to draw visitors. How many of those visitors are locals will remain to be seen.
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