The Disneyland Resort officially announced that they are reopening new sales of their annual pass, the Magic Key, to Guests, eliminating the closed-door situation that only allowed pre-existing Magic Key Holders to renew their special status. It is great to see fans regaining their Magic Key status after so long. But, as long as the Theme Park Reservation System is in play, this sale is actually bad for Disney Guests and will only increase the overall frustration felt by Disney Fanatics regarding the Theme Parks.
It is simply an observation of supply and demand. We are going to have more Disney Guests jumping on the same limited number of Theme Park Reservations to Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure that the powers that be already put aside for Magic Key Holders. Eager Guests will now be paying Disney over $1500 each for a manipulated setup where it is even harder to get the number of Park visits under their belt to “pay for the Pass.” The lack of availability is going to increase–every tier is already blacked out of the block between Christmas and New Year’s–and that is going to trigger a reshuffling of Park visits, completely eliminating the idea of a slow season if they can even rework their schedules around the few times they can actually use the Magic Key Pass they’re paying for.
This situation has already caused literal protests at Disneyland Paris, where Annual Passes have already resumed sale, but the continued use of the Theme Park Reservation System has led to accusations of lying with “unavailable” days at Parc Disneyland and Walt Disney Studios Park essentially becoming just more unaccounted for blackout dates.
This is not an argument against more Annual Passholders. Personally, I think it is still the best option, but only if Passholders have free reign when they get to decide to visit the Theme Parks they love so much, like how it was before the pandemic. Now, people are only going to pay more money for more artificially restricted access and more frustration. Sure, Bob Chapek can use this as a quick stop-gap measure to raise some cash as his streaming folly continues to founder. But this is a ticking time bomb of disappointment.
You want to do your fans a favor, Disney? Drop this ridiculous Theme Park Reservation System now! So what if your imaginary visits-once-a-decade family sleeps in and gets stopped at the gate? First come, first served is the only fair way to operate admission.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s and may not