Once upon a time, in a land before Covid and the lockdowns, there was a Disney Annual Pass that had a very special magical power.
It was called the Premier Passport, and the Disney Fanatics who wielded it were given year-long access to the Theme Parks of both the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, and the Walt Disney World Resort outside Orlando, Florida.
It was the most expensive Annual Pass money could buy, but it offered the same amenities as the top-tier Annual Passes at both Disney Resorts, offering year-long access to Disneyland Park, Disney California Adventure, Magic Kingdom Park, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom without any block-out dates. Transcontinental Disney fans were able to purchase it on the Disneyland website.
Announced at Disney’s Shareholder Meeting in 2010, willing fans got all of the following for $700 plus tax, according to Disney Parks Blog:
So, what’s in it for you? At Walt Disney World:
- Unlimited admission for a period of one year to all four Walt Disney World Theme Parks, including the ability to visit multiple parks on the same day.
- Unlimited admission to Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach Water Parks
- Unlimited admission to DisneyQuest Indoor Interactive Theme Park, ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex (valid only on event days; some events require an additional admission charge) and Disney’s Oak Trail Golf Course (greens fee only. Tee time reservations are required and subject to availability)
- Parking at all four Theme Parks
- Subscription to Mickey Monitor, a collectible Passholder-only publication
And at Disneyland Resort:
- Unlimited admission to both Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure Parks for a period of one year, including the ability to visit multiple parks on the same day.
- Parking at any pay-on-entry parking lot
- Subscription to Backstage Pass.
- Complimentary subscription to Disney’s Family Fun Magazine (one per household)
Related: Disney Park Suspends Annual Pass Sales, Promises Restructuring
But then came the dark days of the Pandemic, government-enforced lockdowns, and Theme Park closures. When the gates to Disney Parks finally reopened, a lot changed, including the availability of Annual Passes. All but one tier of the Disney World Annual Pass is still only available for renewal. While the Florida Resort always allowed its Passholders to renew, Disneyland–which remained closed and restricted significantly longer than Disney World–would not even let its Passholders renew until only recently, with new sales of the new tiers popping up. The Disneyland Annual Passport is now called Magic Key Pass.
[Brag] Got my Premier Passport and it’s so shiny!
by u/ArtistBruce24 in WaltDisneyWorld
In the midst of the reawakening of the Magic, the Premier Pass was nowhere to be found. One poor fan and shareholder–who credited himself with being the original inspiration of the unique pass–pressed Disney CEO Bob Iger during The Walt Disney Company’s Annual Meeting of the Shareholders on Monday, April 3, 2023, about the state of the Premier Pass, wanting to know when he will be able to renew his dual access again. He had asked this same question to former CEO Bob Chapek at the 2022 Shareholders Meeting and received no answer. Iger was finally able to give this Disney Fanatic a straight answer.
Iger: Not Enough Demand for Premier Passport
Related: Disney World Annual Passholders Free From Park Reservations (Kinda)
Bob Iger told the Passholder that he was, in fact, one of the very few who actually desired–let alone bought–the Disney Premier Pass in the pre-pandemic days. There are a lot of speculative reasons why there was very little known demand for the Disneyland and Disney World Pass, the most obvious theory being the general lack of awareness and promotion of the option. Disney’s Premier Passport was not advertised to the extent as the more traditional options, and it was only available on the Disneyland Resort website. Another factor could be the cost of time and money required to make sure the Passport paid for itself. It is difficult enough to visit one Disney Resort once a year. The Premier Passport essentially requires the Passholder to be able to visit both domestic Resorts multiple times throughout the year.
Regardless of the reasons, the Disney CEO confirmed to the investor and customer that, unfortunately, due to the lack of demand, the Premier Passport was now extinct.
Perhaps, though, once accessibility returns to the Theme Parks, Disney Adult demand for this ultimate Disney Pass will return to a level that makes the powers that be in Disney Parks change their minds.