The force is still with Disneyland’s most frequent visitors — it’s just going to cost them a lot more.
Disneyland Resort has temporarily discontinued its Disney Southern California Annual Passport, according to the Orange County Register. The change, which occurred suddenly without previous nnouncement Monday morning, will put the $469 admission pass on hiatus indefinitely.
Disneyland will continue to offer its less expensive locals-only pass ─ the $339 Disney Southern California Select Annual Passport ─ but nearby residents of areas including Los Angeles, San Diego and Orange County hoping to spend their weekends at the parks on the cheap are out of luck.
This lower-price pass, which offers 170 days admission to Disneyland Resort, is restricted from use on holidays, throughout summertime, and is blocked out on all weekends.
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To purchase an annual pass and be able to visit Disneyland Resort on a Saturday or Sunday, locals will now have to spend $619 for a Disney Deluxe Passport, for $150 more per person than previously offered. SoCal residents who currently hold the now-discontinued Southern California Annual Passport pass will still be able to renew it, but no new passes will be sold.
The move comes in anticipation of Disneyland Resort’s forthcoming large-scale expansions including Pixar Pier’s arrival to Disney California Adventure next spring, and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the "Star Wars"-themed land arriving at Disneyland Park in 2019.
Plenty of changes are occurring outside the theme parks as well, including Downtown Disney’s renovations to include a "Star Wars" virtual reality experience and a new luxury hotel.
Disneyland has implemented plenty of ticket changes in the past few years, increasing pricing for annual passes, tickets and parking as recently as February.
Monday's change is also not the first time Disneyland Resort has pulled the Disney Southern California Annual Passport. The higher-tier local pass was discontinued in 2014 but reinstated last year. There have been upcharges, too — Disneyland introduced its MaxPass system, which allows guests to select and book FastPasses from the Disneyland Mobile App and thus save time throughout their day. The service, which is free for Walt Disney World visitors, costs $10 per day for ticketed guests and $75 annually for most Disneyland Resort passholders.
Disneyland has seen larger-than-usual crowds throughout 2017, and with the Orange County Register estimating the number of annual passholders at around one million, the change is far from surprising.
Still, hopeful guests should not be fully deterred, as there continue to be ways to visit Disneyland Resort without overspending, including special seasonal offers.
The Southern California Resident ticket, which was offered earlier this year, allowed for three visits to a single Disneyland Resort park for $149 or both parks for $189 on select days, and will likely be offered again early next year.