ORLANDO, Fla. >> Annual passholders to Walt Disney World have new options after the company followed the lead of Universal Orlando in deferring payments.
That announcement was overshadowed by news of furloughs at the massive theme-park resort, the nation’s largest single-site employer. But the company’s website reassures passholders they won’t have to continue paying for passes they can’t use.
Walt Disney World closed on March 16 and will remain empty of guests until at least April 30.
For all, pass benefits remain active. For example, those interested in buying tickets to a future event such as “Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party” are offered discounted passholder prices when logged into their account.
But for some passholders, facing economic uncertainty, the updated payment policy couldn’t have come soon enough.
“I’m glad they’ve changed their policy,” said Joe Llorens, an Orlando actor whose work has dried up as entertainment venues remain shuttered. On social media, he detailed his frustrating quest for payment assistance for his family from Disney phone representatives.
“I wish I hadn’t had the multiday experience of additional frustration, anger, fear and despair as I was also dealing with every other way the global pandemic was impacting the lives of my loved ones and myself,” he told the Orlando Sentinel via email.
Disney’s website message acknowledges passholders as “some of our most loyal guests” and says the COVID-19 virus has led to an “unprecedented time.” The company thanked passholders for “your patience as we work through the many details related to the temporary closure of the theme parks.”
Passholders who have already paid in full will automatically have the validity of their pass extended by the amount of time the theme parks remain closed. But, if desired, those passholders may request a partial refund reflecting the length of the shutdown, Disney said.
Those on monthly payment plans also have two options.
Disney said it will stop collecting the monthly installments as of April 5 and refund any payments made between March 14 and April 4. Once the parks reopen, payments will resume and passes will still expire as scheduled.
As an alternative, passholders on payment plans can choose to extend their passes equal to the time the parks are shut. They still won’t pay until the parks reopen, and their monthly charges will be extended through their new expiration date.
Those with immediate questions can call 407-939-7277, though the company warned there could be significant wait times.