Disneyland, which has been closed for 10 months because of California’s strict approach to coronavirus safety, alerted annual passholders that it was ending the popular program, which it started offering to hard-core customers in the 1980s.
The Walt Disney Company said it would begin issuing prorated refunds in the coming days. Annual passes to Disneyland were most recently $419 to $1,449, depending on access and perks.
Disney declined to say how many people were enrolled. The Orange County Register estimated in 2018 that Disneyland sold “hundreds of thousands” annual passes a year.
In part, the program is ending because Disney expects pent-up demand — from passholders and day guests alike — to far outstrip capacity when the attractions eventually reopen. Walt Disney World in Florida returned in July and has been running at 35 percent capacity since the fall.
In a letter to passholders, Ken Potrock, president of the Disneyland Resort, cited uncertainty about the duration of the pandemic and “expected restrictions around the reopening of our theme parks.”
“We plan to use this time while we remain closed to develop new membership offerings,” he said. He gave no update on when Disneyland might reopen.
Disneyland typically attracts more than 18 million visitors per year; an adjacent Disney theme park in Anaheim, Calif., draws 10 million. Total revenue in 2019 stood at roughly $3.8 billion, according to analysts.