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Disneyland Article
Flex Annual Pass 10 Things You Need To Know

ID:
TMS-4412
Source:
Orange County Register
Author:
Brady Macdonald
Dateline:
July 29, 2019
Posted:
August 03, 2019
Status:
Current
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The new Disney Flex Passport is different from any annual pass ever offered for Disneyland and Disney California Adventure and with it comes a host of questions.

Fortunately you’ve come to the right place. We’ve got the 411 on all your FAQs about the $599 Disney Flex pass.

Let’s take a closer look at 10 things you need to know about the new Disney Flex Passport.

1. How does it work?

The new annual pass comes with a unique twist: Flex passholders need to make advance reservations to get into Disneyland and Disney California Adventure on busy days.

You use the Disneyland website or app to book your reservation in advance. Flex passholders can book a reservation up to a month ahead or even on the day they want to visit.

Disney’s goal: To smooth out demand that varies throughout the year based on school schedules, seasonal events, annual passholder blockout dates and the whims of the calendar.

2. Who should get it? And who shouldn’t?

The aptly named Flex pass is all about flexibility. It’s perfect for visitors with flexible schedules. And the pass gives Disneyland more flexibility when it comes to crowd management.

Deciding whether Disneyland’s new Flex annual pass is a tremendous deal or a tremendous waste of money really comes down to one key question: What kind of passholder are you?

Are you a diligent person who likes to plan ahead and would love to visit the parks every month or even every week? Heck, maybe even 350 days a year? Then the Flex pass represents a tremendous value to you at nearly half the cost of the $1,149 Signature pass.

Are you a procrastinator who likes to wait to the last minute and really only goes to the park on weekdays every month or so? Do you tend to stay away from the park on the weekends and the busiest times of the year? Then you might as well go with the $399 SoCal Select pass at nearly half the cost of the new Flex pass.

3. How do I make a reservation? Do I need a reservation every day?

Reservations can be made using the Flex pass calendar on the Disneyland website or app.

The Flex pass calendar has four types of days: Good to Go (No reservation required), Reservation Required, Reservation Unavailable and Blocked Out.

Flex passholders don’t need a reservation on Good to Go days. “Reservation Unavailable” means Disney has issued the maximum number of reservations for the day.

4. How many reservations can I have at a time? When can I get another reservation?

You can make reservations up to 30 days in advance. Flex passholders can have up to 2 reservations at a time. Another reservation can be made as soon as you enter the park on your first reservation.

The online passholder calendar shows when Flex pass reservations are full for individual dates.

Reservations can be made on the day of your visit if they are still available. Passholders can add up to eight people to their reservation, provided your friends and family are connected to your Disney account.

5. How do I cancel a reservation? What if I don’t show up?

Cancellations can be made until 11:59 p.m. the night before your reservation using the Disneyland website or app. You can cancel as many reservations as you want.

No shows will be penalized for not cancelling their reservations at least a day in advance. After three no shows during a three-month period Flex passholders will find their existing reservations canceled and a hold put on new reservations for 30 days. Ouch. You’ll have to talk with a Disney agent to get out of the passholder penalty box.

But don’t fret. You can still use your Flex pass on Good to Go days while you’re waiting to get back in the good graces of the Disney authorities.

6. Can I get into both parks?

You can make a reservation to either Disneyland, Disney California Adventure or both parks. No reservation is needed on Good to Go days.

It’s possible Disneyland could be “unavailable” to Flex passholders while Disney California Adventure remains Good to Go.

7. How does the Flex passport price compare to other annual passes?

The new $599 Flex pass fills a price gap between the bare-bones $399 SoCal Select, which has the most restrictions, and the pricier $799 Deluxe that has fewer block-out dates.

The new Flex pass costs the same as the discontinued $599 Southern California pass that is only available for renewal.

8. Are there many block-out dates? When are they?

In theory, the Flex pass offers visitors access to Disneyland and California Adventure every day of the year but the two weeks around Christmas. In practice, Flex passholders could face more than 200 block out days a year.

Flex passholders will have unlimited access to both parks on off-peak days, generally Monday through Thursday during most of February, March, April, May, September and October. A few Good to Go days fall on Fridays in November, January, February and March.

Flex passholders will need to make advance reservations using the Disneyland website or app for most of June, July and August as well as the weeks of Spring Break, Thanksgiving and leading into Christmas break and all weekends throughout the year.

The Flex pass calendar will be static rather than dynamic, meaning reservation-required days won’t change based on unexpected variations in anticipated attendance.

9. What are the perks? How do they compare to other annual passes?

The Flex pass comes with basic perks such as 10 percent off merchandise and dining as well as monthly payments for California residents.

That’s not as good as the Signature and Signature Plus passes that offer 15% off at restaurants and 20% off at shops. Those top-tier annual passes also include parking.

10. What am I missing here? Are there any hidden surprises?

The $25 daily parking fee will put a natural limiter on how often Flex passholders visit, serving as a de facto users tax.

Disney will set a cap on the number of Flex reservations that will be available each day. That is the great unknown for Flex passholders, as Disney won’t disclose that number or the formula used to calculate it.

And that’s where the roll of the dice comes in. It all depends on variables out of your control — namely other Flex passholders and Disney calendar planners. The most important unknown of all: Flex pass gives Disney the power to block out an entire group of passholders with the flip of a switch without any explanation.
 
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