We are always listening to our guests and continually strive to bring new experiences and develop new products which deliver choice, flexibility and value for our Annual Passholders. We are currently developing a new product range based on the valuable feedback you have given us and as a result, we are pausing sales of new Annual Passes.
Read that bold section above again and keep that in mind as you read on.
The New Passes
In July, those new annual passes - now called Disneyland Pass - was announced.
It wasn't a huge shock to most annual pass holders when the news hit that the price increased by up to €200. My first impression was 😬 with thoughts of "Yikes, there better be some good benefits as that pushes their passes into tough-to-justify range". There was a complete shock that followed when guests discovered the majority of the perks and benefits were totally cut. Some of which don't even cost Disney anything!
❌ Annual pass dedicated entrance
❌ Dedicated fireworks and parade viewing areas
❌ Included stroller or wheelchair hire
❌ Included baggage storage
❌ Included pet care centre
❌ Hotel discounts
❌ Infinity parking section
❌ Infinity store discount reduced from 20% to 15%
As per the bolded section of their original email, who asked for this? The #1 complaint about annual passes is you can only have 3 park day reservations at a time, and that's the only thing that stayed the same. Of course, I don't speak for the entire annual pass community, but looking over Disneyland Paris social media and the thousands of complaints about these changes, I don't think "more for much less" was the feedback Disneyland Paris could have received in regards to their previous annual passes. If you're the annual pass holder that Disneyland Paris listened to who asked for higher prices and the gutting of the perks, please get in contact, I'd love to do an interview.
Business Is Business
Now, we live in a society where we are not entitled to anything. Disneyland Paris can offer whatever product they like for whatever price they like. It's up to us if we want to contribute to their company revenue. Business is business after all. If Disneyland Paris thinks they can increase their prices and scrap the benefits but enough people will still renew and they make more money overall, then why wouldn't they? Things will only change if that doesn't happen.
But You're British, This Is For The French!
It's true that now it's probably only the French that will benefit from these passes. While some people do like to say they were made for French citizens, that's just not true. If that were the case they'd just not sell it to people outside France. Walt Disney World has Florida state-only passes, and the ones that aren't are made incredibly difficult for us to buy, but Disneyland Paris doesn't do this. They allow sales worldwide and even have annual pass pages in English. Locals can justify them more because it's still cheaper than paying for day tickets, but for Brits, a good amount of the value has diminished as we have higher travel costs.
The Value For Me
I paid around €424 (€499 full price) for my annual pass (January 2023 - January 2024) which works out at about 2 x 3-day trips worth of tickets. With the (previous) benefits (listed above with the red X) I decided it was good value and purchased. I knew I would be going at least twice this year so I went for it. The funny thing is this year we will have a total of 3 visits! And that's the problem. Not only now do annual pass holders get that icky feeling that all the perks have been ripped away, for the same pass I have now costs €200 more without a renewal discount. So that's €700. Almost double. That increase with the removed perks now means I have to go at least 3 times to get the value out of it. The mentality behind it has changed.
Previously, I paid €424 for a good value pass and good perks. Even if I only went once a year, I wouldn't have felt bad. Now, at €700 with barely any perks, I have to know I am going several times to get my money's worth. That's just too hard a sell. I will be going from a pass where I'd go out of my way to make the most of it and make spontaneous trips through the year, to feeling I have to know I am going to make several trips before making the purchase, which you can't do. That's stopped me in my tracks and completely changed the dynamic for me.
I love Walt Disney World the most. Nowhere will come close. Mickey From The UK was founded as a Walt Disney World website after all. And since the Magic At Sea cruises, I am now loving Disney Cruises more and more. Disneyland Paris was always this sort of nearby place that I wasn't really interested in. During COVID and when the US borders were closed, Disneyland Paris was the only Disney holiday option we had for over a year. So as adults, we decided to give it a go to see what it was like nowadays. Of course, Disneyland Paris isn't Walt Disney World. The scale, the food, and the service, just aren't on par. Disneyland Paris has its magic though, and while I don't think the overall atmosphere is anywhere near as magical as Walt Disney World, it has its' charm. Having Champagne on Main Street, Big Thunder Mountain and Pirates are better versions, and while I don't put Sleeping Beauty Castle ahead of Cinderella Castle, I know some do. At Disneyland Paris, we experienced the slow return to normal from COVID. From the removal of mask requirements to hugging characters again. With our passes, we hopped over to the opening of Avengers Campus and other events and we have created great memories there. The 30th celebrations have been fantastic. I have praised Dream & Shine Brighter and Disney D-Light multiple times and those things you can only experience at Disneyland Paris. And while food at Disneyland Paris is largely inedible, some of the 30th offerings have been good, especially the ham & cheese Mickey-shaped sandwich at the deli.
The mentality towards these new passes (as outlined earlier) has changed, resulting in stopping us at the point of sale. They've gone from a well-priced pass with good perks that creates an incentive to make the most out of it, to passes that make us think "We might not get the value out of that" and coming to the conclusion of not buying one at all. I might be in the minority of British annual pass holders with this opinion. Also, fewer trips mean less spent on Disney hotels, food, merch etc, so for that, I guess my wallet is thankful. Our renewal isn't until January, so Disneyland Paris might sweeten the deal depending on how things go and we might end up getting sucked back in, but as it stands today, we won't be renewing.
I don't discourage people from visiting Disneyland Paris. It's still a nice place to go and there's magic to be had, but it seems like Disneyland Paris doesn't want as many regular annual pass holders and wants more day ticket guests, which is their prerogative, of course. Some British annual pass holders might still find value in the new passes, and I wish you nothing but a magical trips ahead!
I will still be covering Disneyland Paris here on Mickey From The UK, but these changes will result in fewer trips so that will mean less sharing our excitement through trip reports and photos to get you just as excited. We have two more DLP trips planned for this year already in the bag and we will of course share those trips with you as we make the most of our last year as pass holders.
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