MickeyBlog News for August 22nd, 2022
This past week, Disneyland restored annual passes for some, opened a new restaurant, and updated a fireworks presentation with a lovely addition.
We’ve had an enlightening week of MickeyBlog News.
Annual Passes Return…Sort of.
Do you remember when you were a kid and you acted out?
Your angry parent would gradually lessen the punishment over time. You could still tell they were mad, though.
That’s how I felt after reading the Disneyland announcement about the Magic Key program.
MickeyBlog has chronicled the weird year of the annual pass program at the Happiest Place on Earth.
Seriously, Magic Key turns one year old this week. Still, I fully understand why you might think this issue has persisted for longer.
That’s because the acrimony surrounding this system is decidedly un-Disney. The weirdest part is that the issues involve Disney’s most loyal customers.
For many at Disneyland, park visits aren’t just a fun distraction. To Disneyland evangelists, they’re a way of life. I’m not even joking.
Did you know that Disneyland has biker gangs? No, that kind. There are several groups that use the self-coined phrase, The Very Merry Un-Gangs of Disneyland.
These kind folks live for Disney visits, which explains their frustration about Magic Key.
When Disney announced the new program, it didn’t emphasize an essential component. Annual passes alone don’t guarantee park admission.
Disneyland visitors need Park Passes as well. However, since many of Disneyland’s regular visitors purchased Magic Keys, the park immediately forced a shortfall.
Think of the matter from this perspective. Disneyland Resort reopened right before the start of May in 2021. Pent-up park demand drove attendance.
Less than four months later, Disneyland sold annual passes even though the park still throttled capacity due to COVID-19 concerns.
You can think of Park Passes as Playstation 5s during the holiday season. Demand was high, while supply wasn’t anywhere near enough.
Magic Key owners quickly recognized that they’d pay lots of money but no longer guaranteed themselves daily park attendance. People sued.
The New and Not at All Improved Magic Key Program
When suddenly faced with a class action suit, Disneyland shut down the Magic Key program’s top three tiers. They listed these passes as “sold out.”
Digital items cannot sell out. You can print an infinite number. If you don’t believe that, I could give you trillions of my new crypto, DavidCoin.
For this reason, Disneyland fans rolled their eyes at the announcement. The ones who hadn’t bought Magic Keys yet were livid.
Meanwhile, the ones who owned Magic Keys weren’t happy, either. Disney kicked the can down the road rather than solving the problem in 2021.
Now, nearly a year later, Disneyland faced a hard deadline. Its loyal fans were complaining that they couldn’t renew their existing annual passes.
This criticism would cause additional problems during the class action suit(s). So, Disney really had to do something. There was a ticking clock involved.
This week, Disney confirmed that existing Magic Key owners can renew their passes…at a higher price. Here are the returning options:
- Imagine Key — $449 (previously $399)
- Enchant Key — $699 (previously $649)
- Believe Key — $1,099 (previously $949)
You’ll notice I didn’t list the Dream Key because it didn’t return. Instead, Disneyland has replaced its top tier with the Inspire Key, which costs $1,599.
What do fans receive for $200 more? Two weeks of blockout dates around the holidays. Yes, the program’s top tier no longer ensures Christmas Week visits.
Current Magic Key holders sound indignant about these changes, and I cannot blame them. This feels like a scolding and a little punishment.
For everyone else, this news means that we still cannot buy Magic Keys. The option is only available for renewal. It’s still “sold out” to potential new buyers.
We’ve got two other big stories this week, plus some smaller ones.
For starters, BoardWalk Deli has opened at Disney’s BoardWalk. The replacement for the BoardWalk Bakery is pretty much the same…but better.
Everyone knew that the shortcoming of the bakery was its lack of viable entrees. Sometimes, you want grab-and-go food at the BoardWalk.
Before now, your only real options were sweets from the bakery or pizza. Yes, there are some kiosks as well, but those aren’t very filling.
Thankfully, BoardWalk Deli closely follows the Early of Sandwich playbook with several affordable entrees. Also, the baked goods remain on the menu!
MickeyBlog has already visited BoardWalk Deli, and we have only good things to say about the new place!
The other big news involved Disney Enchantment. Disney has updated the introduction to the show, and you’ll want to watch it!
Walt and Roy Disney now appear! That’s the perfect touch for the 50th-anniversary celebration.
Technically, Disney hasn’t implemented this archival footage projection yet. During a recent fireworks test, Disney displayed it, though. So, we know it’s coming soon!
Speaking of Magic Kingdom, Winnie the Pooh and Tigger are meeting guests once again. You’ll find this character spot close to The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.
Meanwhile, guests at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party are in for a treat! The live actors have returned to Pirates of the Caribbean!
This bit of entertainment rivals anything else at the party, in my opinion. I looove when cast members sneak up on me and act like pirates on the attack.
In park transportation news, the Disney Skyliner will undergo renovations from January 22nd through January 29th, 2023. Plan accordingly.
Finally, EPCOT is almost ready to restore two tours. Behind the Seeds and EPCOT Seas Adventures will return on October 2nd.