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Monday, November 22, 2021

Sale of Three Annual Passes Paused at Walt Disney World

 by Ray Keating



November 22, 2021


Businesses across the United States are facing assorted supply chain and labor struggles as the economy continues to struggle to emerge the pandemic. Oh yeah, and there’s the fact that inflation is running hot. No one seems immune, including the Walt Disney Company.

Consider that Disney faces the same cost increases being confronted by other businesses given inflation, and as a result have implemented a variety of price increases that certainly haven’t pleased any Disney aficionados. But there are more challenges, and Disney’s announcement yesterday that it was “pausing new sales of select Annual Passes” at Walt Disney World is emblematic of these difficulties.


To recap, Disney World had suspended new annual pass sales during its pandemic shutdown, with sales of revamped passes resuming in September of this year, linked to the 50th anniversary celebration of Walt Disney World kicking off on October 1. Great, right? My family, freshly moved from New York to Florida, got our annual passes.


Well, roughly two months later, the sales of three of the four available passes – Disney Pirate Pass, Disney Sorcerer Pass and Disney Incredi-Pass – are suspended. The cheapest pass option – the Disney Pixie Dust Pass – is still available.


Disney also noted, “All current Passholders can continue to renew into any of our four pass types – at their renewal rate – and continue to visit using their pass.”


By the way, in August, when it was announced that new annual pass sales would resume, the company did warn that new pass sales might be again suspended “as we continue to manage attendance to provide a great experience for everyone.”


Clearly, Disney hasn’t suddenly forgotten how to run its theme parks. And it’s not trying to annoy its customers (I mean, guests). “Managing attendance” isn’t just about limiting attendance to assure a “great experience.” It’s also about having the people, merchandise and other inputs needed to provide quality customer service. In this economy, that’s anything but a given.


(Also, on the personal anecdote front along these lines, I’ve noticed that less merchandise appears to be available for purchase in various Disney Springs stores run by Disney, as well as at assorted resorts.)


Disney is not magically immune from the realities of the economy. The company faces challenges in terms of getting the people and resources needed to operate the parks in typical fashion. Hence, it’s not all that surprising to see decisions and policies being made by Disney that seem, well, rather un-Disney.




Ray Keating is the editor, publisher and economist for DisneyBizJournal.com, and author of the Pastor Stephen Grant novels and assorted nonfiction books. Have Ray Keating speak your group, business, school, church, or organization. Email him at raykeating@keatingreports.com.


The views expressed here are his own – after all, no one else should be held responsible for this stuff, right?


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Keating has three new books out. Vatican Shadows: A Pastor Stephen Grant Novel is the 13th thriller/mystery in the Pastor Stephen Grant series. Get the paperback or Kindle edition at Amazon, or signed books at www.raykeatingonline.comPast Lives: A Pastor Stephen Grant Short Story is the 14th book in the series. Again, get the paperback or Kindle edition at Amazon, or signed book at www.raykeatingonline.com. And order the 15th book in the series What’s Lost? A Pastor Stephen Grant Short Story – grab it at Amazon.com or signed editions at www.raykeatingonline.com


Also, check out Ray’s podcasts – the Daily Dose of DisneyFree Enterprise in Three Minutes, and the PRESS CLUB C Podcast.

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