If you are in the market for a Walt Disney World Annual Pass, and you are not a Florida resident, you may already be aware that you are currently out of luck in that department. Sales of new Annual Passes with the exception of the “Disney Pixie Dust Pass” (for Florida residents only) have been paused since the holiday season began last November, and now, more than a month into the New Year, many Disney fans are wondering…When will we be able to buy Annual Passes again?
Sales of Annual Passes were initially paused at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and after they resumed for some time, sales were again paused in November 2021. While Disney never stated a reason for the second pause, we could speculate a number of possibilities. One is that Park Pass reservations are available based on the parks’ capacities, which at least prior to the last holiday season may still have been somewhat limited. At limited capacity, it might have made sense to pause new Annual Pass sales.
Another possibility is that sales were paused to simply open up more availability on the Disney Park Pass reservation system during the holidays and into the New Year. This may have been true, but it seems risky to bet on crowd levels based on pre-COVID data. The tourism industry as a whole is still experiencing more visitors than ever before at many destinations due to pent-up demand. Regardless of Annual Pass sales, it does not seem like crowds at Walt Disney World will slow down anytime soon.
So, when can we expect to see Annual Pass sales return? At this point, it is difficult to say. The past couple of weeks were traditionally the “slow” season, though we saw massive crowds at Walt Disney World through the entire month of January. Now, February school vacation weeks and spring breaks are coming up, and from there the crowds will only build through the spring and summer peaking during Fourth of July week before they slowly creep back down again. While we hope this isn’t the case, it would not be too surprising to see a full year go by from the pause of pass sales before we see them available again…(but we really hope not!) Another thought is that Disney is waiting to smooth out the wrinkles in the Disney Park Pass system, which in my opinion needs an overhaul, and perhaps for the return of “normal” Park Hopping.
Where does this leave Guests? The average Guest at is not an , and the ones that are, with the exception of Florida Residents, do not make it to the parks often (just often enough that the is a better financial decision than purchasing tickets with each visit.)
For some Guests, the lack of Annual Pass availability will certainly mean fewer trips. Many out of state Guests who would normally be Annual Passholders are likely going to plan fewer visits to the parks if Annual Passes remain unavailable. At some point, it would not be financially possible for many of those Guests to continue to purchase regular tickets beyond the value of what an Annual Pass would have entailed.
We hope to see the return of Annual Passes sooner rather than later. And, if you already have an , you may want to seriously consider renewing it when its time is up as renewals are still allowed while sales are paused. When available, passes will be listed on Disney’s official website and information will also be available on the My app.