Disney recently announced that they will be discontinuing the annual pass as of March 31, 2021. With their first announcement of a ‘sunsetting’ of their program on January 14, 2021, many annual pass holders found out that they would no longer get to use their favorite theme park pass. Many Disney annual pass holders are wondering if they can get a refund.
You can get a refund on a Disney annual pass due to the “sunsetting” of Disneyland’s annual pass. The best way to initiate a refund is to call a customer service agent at Disney.
Initiating the refund is the first step in this process. While Disney claims 7 to 10 business days is the average length of time to receive the refund, many pass holders are noticing that it takes longer to receive their refund.
Additionally, figuring out how much refund a pass holder will get is determined by an equation. At first glance, the equation looks simple. However, calculating the actual amount can be difficult.
Disney is Discontinuing Annual Pass
To read the entire letter that was sent out to annual pass holders from Ken Potrock, the president of Disneyland Resort states, use the above link. Below is a section of the letter about what the next steps will look like for annual pass holders.
“Dear Annual Passholder,
For nearly four decades, our Annual Passport program has been an important part of connecting with some of our most valued Guests. We are incredibly honored and grateful for that legacy, and the memories and magical moments you have helped us create over the years.
Annual Passholders who held active Passports as of March 14, 2020 will continue to receive applicable discounts, based on their Passport type, on merchandise and food & beverages at select Downtown Disney District and Buena Vista Street locations, until new membership offerings are announced. As an added benefit, starting January 18 through February 25, 2021, these Passholders will receive a 30% discount on select merchandise at select locations in Downtown Disney District and Buena Vista Street, Monday through Thursday. For more details, visit Disneyland.com/APSpecialOffers. We also encourage you to stay connected with the Disneyland Annual Passholders Facebook page as we plan to continue our Annual Passport communication and digital content with more special opportunities to come, until new membership offerings are announced.
A pro rata refund will be issued for your Passport, if you are entitled to one. We are committed to processing refunds as diligently and as quickly as possible. A separate confirmation email will be sent once any applicable pro rata refund has been processed. Please visit Disneyland.com/PassportRefund for more information.
While I have not had the chance to engage with many of you since assuming my Disneyland role in May of last year, I do want to thank you for your understanding during this challenging and unprecedented time. We are incredibly optimistic about our bright future – and look forward to you being part of it.
Again, thank you for your loyalty over the years and your continued support.
President Disneyland Resort
Disney is working on refunding the passes and will continue to update the public as new information comes to light. While the news was met with outrage, sadness, and disappointment, pass holders may still get a partial or full refund of their pass.
If a pass holder purchased a Disney Annual Pass, they may qualify for a partial or full refund depending on when the pass was purchased. Disney is not giving full refunds for Disney Annual pass that was purchased before March 14, 2020, but instead will issue a pro-rated refund.
However, the amount of the refund will vary by the individual pass and depend on a few factors, such as:
- How much money has already been paid (monthly) towards the Disney Passport.
- How much money has already been refunded from the Disney Passport.
- When the Disney Annual Pass was activated.
- If there was a prior refund in October 2020.
- Pro-rated refunds will also be issued for additional features added to the pass, such as parking.
How to Get a Refund on Disneyland Annual Pass
If pass holders did not elect to cancel their passes in July through August of 2020, then the best way to inquire about a refund is to call one of the Disney customer service lines.
To cancel a pass and attempt to get a refund, use the steps below to contact a customer service agent:
- Have the Disney annual pass out so you can easily relay your information.
- Call the Annual Passholder Service line at 714-781-7277.
- Wait on hold until an agent is ready to take the call.
- Once an agent answers the call, ask about getting a refund for the pass.
- After the process has been initiated, monitor the pass status online and bank statements to make sure there aren’t charged for the pass.
- Look for the refund after 7 to 10 business days, it should come via the payment method used to pay for the pass.
- If the refund does not come in the above timeline, call the agent again to check the status.
Additionally, some other phone numbers pass holders can try to contact to cancel a pass or inquire about a refund include:
- V.I.PASSHOLDER Support at 407-939-7277
- Passholder Payment Services at (888) 701-4100 (select Option #3)
Some people are reporting that their monthly annual pass was automatically cancelled. If a pass holder is unsure if the monthly pass was cancelled:
- Call the service line to find out the status of the pass.
- Check credit card statements to see if there are charges.
- Check your Disney account for information on the pass.
If the pass was purchased before January 1, 2019, the holder will have to call the Annual Passholder Service line to confirm their contact information and refund information.
How Much Refund Can You Get
Due to the closures of the COVID-19 pandemic, Disney is issuing refunds that are pro-rated. There is no set price for the refund, and each refund will be different depending on the ‘usable value’ of the passport.
The usable days refer to the number of days that the purchased pass could have been used before park closed. So if the pass was purchases and valid before March 14, 2020, any days that the pass could have been used will be subtracted from the total cost of the annual pass.
For more information and how to figure out the exact cost of your refund, use the Disney annual pass refund calculator in the next section.
For a general rule, if the pass was paid in full, pass holders get a partial refund that will be pro-rated to the number of days left on the pass. If the pass is paid month to month, pass holders can cancel their subscription and prior payments made may be eligible for a partial refund.
How to Calculate Refund Amount
To understand the how to refund calculator works, its best to first understand each component of the calculator:
The usable value of the Passport begins with the original sales price of the annual pass, which is currently around $1,195 per person for a Disney Platinum Pass (ages 3+). Note though, that the price of the annual pass will have been different depending on the perks of the pass, whether the pass holder lives in or out of state, and the level:
- Southern California Select
- Disney Flex Passport
- Disney Signature Passport
- Disney Signature Plus Passport
Once the original cost of each pass has been calculated, the next step is to divide that cost by the number of days that the pass holder could have accessed the park since its activation. The term, ‘access days’ refers to the days that a Disney annual pass could have been used at one of their parks. This includes the original terms of the passport, such as the days pass holders were ‘good to go’ or had to reserve.
Total sales price ÷ Total number of access days at activation
Next, figure out the number of days that pass holders could have accessed the park before March 14, 2020. Multiply that number by the number found in the above equation. The final equation is:
(Total sales price ÷ Total number of access days at activation) X Number of access days before March 14, 2020
The number found above is the “usable value of the Pass,” so this is not the amount that will be refunded. The pro-rated refund will be equal to the above number subtracted from the original price of the Pass:
Amount paid toward a Pass (minus previous refunds) – Usable value of the Pass
The total found from this equation will likely be the refund amount. The equation uses the total amount paid toward a pass because Disney has two separate payment programs. The first is one that has been paid in full, meaning the entire pass was paid upfront. The second program is a monthly payment, so the Pass may not have been completely paid for at the time of refund.
Additionally, any refunds that were already applied will be subtracted from the total amount and not included in the new refund amount.
For more information on Disney’s Annual Pass refund system, review their website here.
How Long Will the Refund Take?
Because of uniqueness of the situation and the sheer volume of passes that need to be refunded, Disney may still be processing the refunds for its passes. Disney claims that it should take 7 to 10 business days to process a refund.
However, some people are reporting weeks to nearly a month of not receiving their refund even though it’s been processed. If pass holders requested a refund and have not received it after the 7 to 10 business days, refer to the section below about who to contact.
How to Check Refund Status
Once users have gone through the steps to refund their Disney annual pass, its best to check the account to make sure the refund has been processed and to check its status. Some of the best ways to do this include:
- Log into the Disney online account and check the status directly on the account if the pass is connected to your online account.
- Use this link to email the help center on Disney’s website.
- Call Disney’s information and guest services line at (407) WDW-PASS or (407) 939-7277.
- Contact the Passholder Member Services phone line (714-781-7277).
- Use the Frequently Asked Questions page to answer any other questions about the annual pass.
The fastest way to get information regarding the status of an annual pass refund would to call the phone line and talk to a representative. While they help center personnel cannot check to see what your refund would be if you applied for it, but they can check to see if your pass is in the process of being refunded.
Emailing the help center and scrolling through the FAQ, however, may take longer and may not have the results needed. Additionally, make sure to check emails and the status of the refund. Some people have reported that they missed crucial emails with information regarding their annual passes.
If Your Refund Request was Denied
Whether or not people will get a refund depends fully on the refund calculator that Disney has put in place to distribute refunds. So the only way people will get denied a refund is if:
- The usable value is more than the total amount paid on the pass that was paid in full.
- The usable value is more than the total amount paid on the pass that is paid monthly.
- The pass expired and was not renewed by March 14, 2020.
- Refunds given in October covered the cost of the current refund.
The likelihood of most people who purchased a pass within the time period between January 1, 2020 and before they were no longer sold is high. However, some people are reporting smaller refunds if they paid for the pass in full than if they pay month to month.
Benjamin is a certified financial advisor, with over 10 years of experience in the industry. He is knowledgeable about various business and financial topics, such as retirement planning and investment management. Ben has been recognized for his work in the financial planning industry. He has also been featured in various publications.