In the face of outrage from some of its most loyal customers, Disney has reversed its decision to continue charging monthly payments to annual passholders while its parks remain closed due to the coronavirus.
Disney will halt the collection of annual pass payments on April 5 and refund any payments made between March 14 and April 4. Payments will resume once parks reopen, and passholders will have the option of letting their passes expire on the original date or extending them for as long as parks were closed, according to Theme Park Insider.
Pass holders who have already paid in full will have, in effect, the same options: a pro-rated discount or extension for the number of days the parks were closed.
And it’s looking like that number is going to be pretty damn high. Both Walt Disney World and Disneyland closed in mid-March, and on March 27 the company announced that they would be closed indefinitely, through at least the end of May if the online reservation system — which has June 1 as the earliest available date — is to be believed.
And honestly, thank goodness. Not only would an open Disney park be an absolute disaster from a public health perspective — social distancing would be practically impossible and loads of international travelers ready to spread germs far and wide — but it already has. Multiple measles outbreaks have been traced back to Disneyland over the years, and the last thing anyone needs is a functioning infectious disease hotspot.