Disney Has Infuriated Fans by Continuing to Charge a Monthly Fee for Annual Passes

The Coronavirus has brought business around the globe to a screeching halt. While nearly 80% of the United States abides by some form of shelter in place order, only essential businesses are allowed to operate. Essential businesses include grocery stores, restaurants, pharmacies, and a few others. One thing that is not considered essential is theme parks. Disneyland and Disney World shuttered after the Coronavirus took hold in the United States, but they aren’t letting their paying customers off the hook, and many annual pass holders are royally irritated.

Disney offers annual passes for those who regularly visit the company’s theme parks

Disney offers an annual pass for families and individuals who are interested in attending the parks multiple times over the course of a year. Both Disneyland and Disney World are open year-round because they are located in temperate climates. Even still, the passes are not cheap.

Walt Disney World remains closed to the public due to the Coronavirus threat
Walt Disney World | Alex Menendez/Getty Images

According to the company’s official website, an individual can expect to shell out nearly $2000 for an annual pass for Disney World. Disneyland patrons can expect to pay about $1200 a year for their passes. The company allows yearly pass holders to break up the cost of the pass into more manageably monthly payments.

Disney informed pass holders that they will be expected to pay up, despite the shutdown

With the parks shuttered for the foreseeable future, annual pass holders assumed the company would, at the very least, pause their payments. According to Complex, the company had a different idea. Instead of halting monthly payments, Disney issued an e-mail statement that informed pass holders that they were still on the hook for their monthly payments.

Disney did, however, state that they were willing to extend the expiration dates for all pass holders to ensure they had the option to visit the park for a full 12-month period. For example, if the shut down runs through the end of April, pass-holders will get six weeks added to their expiration date. That, however, isn’t sitting well with loyal fans, who feel like the company should pause all payments until the parks reopen. They are also not offering pass holders the option to cancel for a refund.

When did Disney shut down its parks?

Disney shut down its parks on March 14, after cases of the Coronavirus began to skyrocket in the United States. Disney operates Disneyland in California and Disney World in Florida. Both states have a growing number of confirmed cases of the virus, and there appears to be no end in sight, either.

Originally, Disney intended the shut down to last for two weeks, with a set opening date of April 1, but April 1 has come, and they are nowhere near ready to resume operations. Health experts have suggested the United States will have to continue social distancing protocol, at the very least, through the month of April to stamp out the dangerous virus. The Motley Fool notes that Disney has officially released a statement informing the public that their parks will be shut down indefinitely. There is no way of telling, right now, when the shelter in place orders could be lifted.