Disney Parks announced the cancellation of its Disneyland annual passport program Thursday, as the Anaheim, California parks have now been closed for 10 months due to the coronavirus pandemic. The news comes while the coronavirus numbers have reached shocking levels in Southern California. "Eligible" pass holders will receive "appropriate" refunds, Disneyland Resort President Ken Potrock said in a statement.
"Due to the continued uncertainly of the pandemic and limitations around the reopening" of Disneyland and the Disney California Adventure Park, refunds will be issued and the current program is ending, Potrock said. The company is "developing new membership offerings that will utilize consumer insights to deliver choice, flexibility, and value for our biggest fans," Potrock continued.
Passholders also received an email with more details, reports KTLA. In the email, Potrock said the process of getting a refund will begin in the next few days. In the interim, pass holders with active passes as of March 14, 2020, will still get discounts at eligible Downtown Disney District stores and restaurants. Those pass holders will also get a 40% discount on select merchandise at specific Downtown Disney stores between Jan. 18 and Feb. 25.
While the Walt Disney World parks are open in central Florida, the Disneyland Resort parks have remained closed since March 2020. When the closures were first announced as temporary, pass holders were allowed to pick between getting a refund or extending their passport end dates. However, Orange County and all of Southern California are now in a stay-at-home order, so it looks like the parks will be closed even longer. In October, California revealed a reopening plan that kept the parks closed until the state gets to its lowest "yellow" tier.
Orange County has recorded over 202,700 coronavirus cases and 2,195 deaths during the pandemic. On Thursday, the Orange County Health Care Agency reported 3,221 new cases and 16 deaths in the previous day. In nearby Los Angeles County, scientists estimate that one in three residents there have been infected with the coronavirus, reports KTLA.
While Disneyland is closed to residents, Orange County health officials made Disneyland a major vaccination site earlier this week, reports KABC. County residents reportedly struggled to get an appointment on the Othena app and officials said it was overwhelmed. Disneyland is the first of five super vaccination sites, where officials hope to vaccinate thousands each day. Orange County received over 170,000 vaccines, OCHA director Dr. Clayton Chau said.