How Walt Disney World’s Reopening Affects Passholders

Listen up, Annual Passholders. There’s a lot to know when it comes to Walt Disney World’s reopening.

Even for Passholders, we have to relearn the parks, the system, and so much more. We might be used to going every day to the parks, but, guess what? That’s not going to happen now.

One of the major things APs need to recognize is that we aren’t guaranteed park entry just because we have an annual pass.

The reopening of the parks will affect Passholders greatly. Here’s everything you need to know.

Can I make hotel reservations?

As of July 9, 2020 ticket sales and hotel bookings are open.

Guests wishing to book a hotel package (resort and tickets) for arrivals starting in 2021 can do so now. Guests can also view park reservation availability prior to purchasing their tickets.

Can I enter the parks whenever I want?

Everyone who wants entry must have valid theme park admission (a ticket or an annual pass) and a park reservation.

Due to limited park capacity, it might be difficult for APs to get park reservations on certain dates. It’s important for Passholders to make sure their pass is valid (do you have blockout dates?) for park entry before making a park reservation.

Re: the Disney Park Pass system: Annual Passholders staying at select Disney Resort or other select hotels with valid theme park admission can make them park reservations for each day of their stay(s), AND in addition, APs can also make park reservations for up to 3 days at a time on a rolling basis. Once you use a theme park reservation, you can make another reservation for a future date.

Can I renew my pass?

Yes, current Passholders can still renew their passes. However, new annual pass sales are temporarily on hold.

Will I receive a pass extension when the park reservation system ends?

No, you will not. But, four months (the time the parks were closed), along with an additional month will be added on for those who choose not to cancel their passes.

Scroll down for more details on extensions and refunds for APs who paid in full compared to those on the monthly payment plan.

Photo of Walt Disney World Annual Passholder entrance at Animal Kingdom

What about AP benefits?

Some AP benefits won’t be available due to limited capacity. Stay tuned for more details.

Will there be a special preview for APs?

Passholder previews for valid Weekday Select, Theme Park Select, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Platinum Plus, and Premier Passholders already took place at Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom on July 9 and 10, 2020.

What about the Epcot After 4 p.m. pass?

Seeing as park hours are currently reduced,  Epcot After 4 p.m. Passholders can now enter the park starting at 2 p.m. on dates when the park closes at 7 p.m. Remember that you still need to make a park reservation to enter. 

What if I have an Annual Pass with water park access?

Since Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon will remain closed through at least March 7, 2021 (Disney hopes to reopen at least one of the water parks on that date), here’s what this means for Annual Passholders.

Important: Refunds to the original form of payment can be expected by late October through early November 2020. If the original form of payment is not available, you should expect a check by late November. For assistance, call V.I.PASSHOLDER Support at (407) 939-7277.

Platinum Plus Passholders

  • The refund amount is based on the price difference between the price you paid for your Platinum Plus Pass and the price of a Platinum Annual Pass prorated by the number of days left on your pass prior to water park reopening.

Premier Passholders

  • You will receive a pro-rated refund based on the difference between a Walt Disney World Platinum Plus pass compared to the price of a Platinum pass prorated by the number of days left on your pass prior to Water Park reopening (excluding any additional extensions you may be eligible for due to the continued closure of Disneyland Resort).

Water Parks or Water Parks After 2 Annual Passholders

  • These passes will be automatically extended for the period in which both water parks were closed. You can also cancel your pass by calling (407) 939-2732.

Passholders on the Monthly Payment Program

  • For those on the Annual Pass monthly payment program, you will receive a lump sum refund. Your ongoing monthly payment will not change.

For more on how refunds work, the WDW website has a complete breakdown.

It’s also important to note that these APs will still have admission to Disney’s Oak Trail Golf Course. If the water parks and ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex reopen before your pass expires, you’ll still be able to visit them.

Note: Platinum Plus renewals aren’t available right now. That said, existing Platinum Plus Passholders will be able to choose from a variety of passes when it’s time to renew their pass.

Can I get a refund?

Yes. First, some important dates.

  • Aug. 11: Last day to cancel AP. This is the last day a pass is valid for Passholders who selected to cancel their AP.
  • Aug. 12: Passes will no longer be valid for APs who selected to cancel their pass.
  • Mid- to Late September: If applicable, refunds to original form of payment can be expected. Refunds could take up to an additional month to receive if the original form of payment is not available.

For those who paid in full:

All active Annual Passes will be extended for the number of days the parks are closed. The new expiration date will be reflected on the Annual Passholder’s account prior to reopening.

PLUS, you will receive an additional one month extension to your pass, unless you choose one of the other options below. The extra month will automatically be processed and visible in your My Disney  Experience (MDE) account in the coming weeks..

As an alternative, in lieu of an extension of their passes, Passholders may choose to cancel their passes, which will remain valid through Aug. 11, 2020 and will be canceled effective Aug. 12, 2020. You will be refunded for the remaining access days of your annual pass from July 11, 2020 through your pass expiration date (as extended, if applicable).

NOTE: Refunds to original form of payment can be expected by mid- to late September. Refunds may take up to an additional month to receive if original form of payment is not available.

For those who want to cancel and receive a partial refund, you can call VIPassholder Support at (407) 939-7277.

Photo of Walt Disney World Annual Pass date extension

Photo of Walt Disney World Annual Pass date extension

For those on a monthly payment plan:

Effective April 5, 2020 all monthly payments were automatically stopped and waived while the parks were closed. Payments made between March 14 through April 4 will be refunded and payments will resume as normal when the parks reopen on July 11.

Pass expiration dates will not be extended and passes will expire on the originally scheduled expiration dates.

As an alternative, you can choose to have monthly payments postponed starting with payments due April 5 through the park closure and then resumed as normal when the parks reopen on July 11.

Postponed payments will be collected in the months following the end of the your scheduled payment term. The pass will be extended by the number of days the parks are closed.

The new expiration date will be reflected on the Annual Passholder’s account prior to reopening. You can call VIPassholder Support to postpone your payment plan. Furthermore, you will also receive an extra one month extension to your pass (unless you select the option below). The additional month will automatically be processed and visible in MDE in the coming weeks.

You can also opt out of the additional month extension by canceling your pass and waiving your monthly payments due after Aug. 11, 2020. Any payments made between July 11, 2020 and August 11, 2020 will be retroactively refunded and all future payments will be stopped. If you made a payment between March 14, 2020 through April 4, 2020 that was not already refunded, that payment will also be retroactively refunded. This also means your pass will remain valid through Aug. 11, 2020 and will be canceled effective Aug. 12, 2020.

NOTE: Refunds to original form of payment can be expected by mid- to late September. Refunds may take up to an additional month to receive if original form of payment is not available. For those option, who want to cancel and receive a partial refund, you can call VIPassholder Support at (407) 939-7277.

If you haven’t selected any option, but would like to cancel your AP, Disney asks Passholders to refer to the email they received on July 14, 2020 from Disney Destinations. There’s a link provided that’s available through Aug. 11, 2020. You can also call the VIPassholder Support line.

Regarding the refund amount: VIPassholder Support cannot provide a specific refund amount “since each pass circumstance is unique and based on factors such as: new or renewal, down payment amount, refunds to date, future payments, etc.” Here’s a complete breakdown of how refunds work for those who chose to cancel and those who opted to continue their passes, but might be eligible for a refund.

Check out my complete Walt Disney World Reopening Guide for other details.

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