Disney Theme Parks: The Good and Bad of Year around Passes
We all know that Disney is the happiest place on the planet. Many tourist flocks from all over the world to come to the different locations around the globe. Disney is a trillion-dollar company they makes money from many aspects. Their theme parks are one of those aspects and a huge cash cow for them. Now when I was young my family would go and visit the ones in central Florida many times throughout the year. So my family decided to get year around passes so it would be cheaper for us to go. At that time it seemed that Disney did a lot for their pass holders. Here are the good and bad about having a Disney year or seasonal pass.
Normally you would start with the good about the pass. However, I am going to be the opposite. As a pass holder since the age of 3, the pass itself has changed. In the beginning, the passes had your picture on them like your ID or driver’s license. This was a security measure so that no one could use your pass to get in. Now with your pass, you have to use one of your fingers to access it. I understand they don’t want people using other people pass to get in. Indeed this keeps them from making money.
The biggest problem that my family has had are the discounts. Since we are long-time pass holders, we believe we should get better discounts on resorts. The resorts at Disney are very expensive and we believe that there should be a different discount for how long you have been a pass holder. What I mean is that someone who just started as a pass holder gets the same discount as someone who has been one for many years. That sucks and I am not saying that everyone doesn’t deserve to be a pass holder. They just need to treat their veteran pass holders a little bit better or offer us some incentives for having our pass so long.
Also, it seems at certain parks they are now checking ID’s to make sure it is you parking your car. Another problem is if you are updating your pass or changing it in any way they will not accept it. Even though you made your payment and haven’t activated yet through customer relations. Other complaints I have heard is blackout dates and the fact that some of them don’t come with a photo pass. If they pass holder has children it is hard when you want to take photos of your kids with the characters and can’t use your pass to save them.
The better part of being a pass holder is the discounts on food and merchandise. This is great when food and souvenirs are so expensive. Not all the restaurants in the parks take the pass holder discount but some of the quick service areas do so it makes it easier to save a quick buck and get food on the go. Most of the shops throughout take your discount which is great once again if you have children that want everything that they see.
The passes are in different levels. With the platinum and gold you get access to a photo pass and fewer blackout dates. Now with those benefits come more at price. The benefit that I like the most, even though I mentioned it at the start of the bad part, is the security part of it. I don’t mind using my finger to make sure it’s me coming in the park. So that way no one else can enjoy the day without paying.
Disney in the end always seems to find a way to make money. They have seen just about everything so they are ready for just about everything. I also like the fact that since the terrible tragedy on 9/11 they have beefed up their security. This is so that it doesn’t happen at their parks. I am not getting rid of my annual pass anytime soon just because I believe we should get a better discount on hotels. In the end, I have a young family. Two nephews that love the parks. I want to be able to watch them grow up just like I did, in the parks. I am sure there will be many more changes in the future. Especially for our seasonal and annual passes. Nonetheless, we will just have to sit back and see what happens.