Annual Passes Anytime Soon

sethschroeder

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 24, 2013
The "read your contract" remark from me was more about how the OP felt that Disney is responsible to provide them a "return" on their investment. It hints at a misunderstanding of what DVC is and what it isn't. Yes, I wouldn't expect DVC to reply in such a way, but the e-mail was posted here by the author for discussion, so I think the replies here on both sides are fair game.

As far as whether they could remove APs from the perks.. I don't think we need a discussion about that.. it's glaringly obvious that they can do that at any time they feel like. They could even make it a permanent change if they felt like it (though I don't expect that to happen anytime soon).
I am not sure about a misunderstanding but there is a difference between legal obligation and customer/business relationship.

The whole letter IMO is talking to the relationship between them as a DVC member and Disney. It is not saying they are legally obligated.

Maybe I misunderstood the OP but figured they were just posting this here to let people know they asked and possibly to egg on others to write DVC/Disney as well.
 

Castillo Mom

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 5, 2003
In case anyone is curious, below is the gist of my email to Terry Shultz followed by her response. My issue was more about the lack of communication and I wanted to convey that, as leaders, it's ok to say "I don't know" but t hat silence is never a good thing. It would've been nice for her or any senior leader in her division to have sent a communication to all members as she did with her response to my email, but I do applaud her for the timely reply. Again, I'm satisfied with her answer and will continue to wait patiently for APs to return.

To clarify, I'm not a Disney apologist, but I've certainly been accused of being one at times when I come to their defense. ;)

"I've been a DVC member since 2009 and would likely be categorized as a Disney apologist. It goes without saying and would be an understatement that this has been an exceedingly difficult year for the Disney company at large. I too, work for a large organization and can understand how challenging it is to convey to customers that we're doing the best we can under the circumstances. We have high standards and a reputation to uphold, yet the level of service we typically provide has frankly been impossible to deliver in the midst of a pandemic. As a result, I've tempered my expectations with the companies I do business with, especially Disney.

That being said, I now have to admit that I'm disappointed at the lack of communication with members on various topics. I won't cover all of them ad nauseum, but will provide an example, and that is the availability of APs.

It's understandable for AP sales to have been suspended, the reasons are obvious. However, with the current abundance of points, members would like to book vacations in WDW knowing that they'll have access to them soon, in particular due to many of us having longer stays booked since the parks/resorts were understandably shut down for a period of time. Currently, I have a 15-night stay coming up in September for which I had no choice but to purchase regular tickets at a hefty cost in order to book theme park reservations. I also have another eight nights booked for February, but have elected not to purchase tickets. This is due to zero communication on whether APs will be available by then.

Please understand that I have no expectation of perks, namely, discounts on an AP. But a simple communication regarding whether they'll be available and an estimate of when would go a long way in reaffirming my faith that I made the right decision to add-on at Riviera recently.

As I'm sure you're aware, many members share the same sentiment when it comes to poor communication over the last several months. Leadership may not have the answer to our questions, but the silence is deafening and gives the perception of not caring about those who likely have the highest level of loyalty to the brand. We should at minimum hear a "we're working on it, APs are coming" or, "no, APs will no longer be offered and we're suspending the program" like they announced would occur in Disneyland.

In closing, I would like to thank you in advance if you've read up to this point and for your response."

"Hello Ms. Castillo –

I hope this note finds you and your family doing well. I appreciate you taking the time to write and share your concerns with me. I can certainly understand your disappointment.

As it relates to the Walt Disney World Annual Pass program we do expect it to return, but when remains the question. Ever changing COVID protocols that are very difficult to predict, have precluded a precise answer to the question of when. I understand the predicament this puts many of our guests & members in, but I can assure you as soon as the program can return it will, and we will communicate it as soon as we know.

I appreciate your patience and membership.

Have a magical day,

Terri"
 

Maistre Gracey

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 23, 2002
In case anyone is curious, below is the gist of my email to Terry Shultz followed by her response. My issue was more about the lack of communication and I wanted to convey that, as leaders, it's ok to say "I don't know" but t hat silence is never a good thing. It would've been nice for her or any senior leader in her division to have sent a communication to all members as she did with her response to my email, but I do applaud her for the timely reply. Again, I'm satisfied with her answer and will continue to wait patiently for APs to return.

To clarify, I'm not a Disney apologist, but I've certainly been accused of being one at times when I come to their defense. ;)

"I've been a DVC member since 2009 and would likely be categorized as a Disney apologist. It goes without saying and would be an understatement that this has been an exceedingly difficult year for the Disney company at large. I too, work for a large organization and can understand how challenging it is to convey to customers that we're doing the best we can under the circumstances. We have high standards and a reputation to uphold, yet the level of service we typically provide has frankly been impossible to deliver in the midst of a pandemic. As a result, I've tempered my expectations with the companies I do business with, especially Disney.

That being said, I now have to admit that I'm disappointed at the lack of communication with members on various topics. I won't cover all of them ad nauseum, but will provide an example, and that is the availability of APs.

It's understandable for AP sales to have been suspended, the reasons are obvious. However, with the current abundance of points, members would like to book vacations in WDW knowing that they'll have access to them soon, in particular due to many of us having longer stays booked since the parks/resorts were understandably shut down for a period of time. Currently, I have a 15-night stay coming up in September for which I had no choice but to purchase regular tickets at a hefty cost in order to book theme park reservations. I also have another eight nights booked for February, but have elected not to purchase tickets. This is due to zero communication on whether APs will be available by then.

Please understand that I have no expectation of perks, namely, discounts on an AP. But a simple communication regarding whether they'll be available and an estimate of when would go a long way in reaffirming my faith that I made the right decision to add-on at Riviera recently.

As I'm sure you're aware, many members share the same sentiment when it comes to poor communication over the last several months. Leadership may not have the answer to our questions, but the silence is deafening and gives the perception of not caring about those who likely have the highest level of loyalty to the brand. We should at minimum hear a "we're working on it, APs are coming" or, "no, APs will no longer be offered and we're suspending the program" like they announced would occur in Disneyland.


In closing, I would like to thank you in advance if you've read up to this point and for your response."

"Hello Ms. Castillo –

I hope this note finds you and your family doing well. I appreciate you taking the time to write and share your concerns with me. I can certainly understand your disappointment.

As it relates to the Walt Disney World Annual Pass program we do expect it to return, but when remains the question. Ever changing COVID protocols that are very difficult to predict, have precluded a precise answer to the question of when. I understand the predicament this puts many of our guests & members in, but I can assure you as soon as the program can return it will, and we will communicate it as soon as we know.

I appreciate your patience and membership.

Have a magical day,


Terri"
I thought your letter was very nicely done, but Terri’s response seemed like a total cop out. Possibly even a canned response.
 

Castillo Mom

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 5, 2003
I thought your letter was very nicely done, but Terri’s response seemed like a total cop out. Possibly even a canned response.
You may be right about the canned response, but I would imagine that if she has any self-awareness that she wouldn't do that what with social media and forums such as this. For now, I'm giving her the benefit of the doubt. With capacity being increased and AP renewals still being granted, I'm optimistic that the program will be available to all soon.
 

CP3uhoh

Mouseketeer
Joined
Nov 23, 2016
IDK, I"m less concerned about when the AP program returns and more concerned about the cost. This company's pricing power was unbelievable before all this and only continues to go up demonstrated by any number of things whether it be Boo Bash pricing, tickets today without fireworks and shows, DVC resale pricing, hell, the even jacked up the pricing at the Spring Roll cart 25% in the last 3 or for 4 months. They're going to be very clever to position the pricing on this as a value for people who take multiple trips a year but not the slam dunk it was previously and I don't think the Florida resident/DVC discount will be as "generous" as before. Not to mention I suspect there's going to be several levels whether that includes black out dates and or admission after 2 or something like that. Should be interesting. I have a feeling the last "great deal" associated with Disney was the Disney+ sub through D23 for three years for $155 or whatever it was which is a steal in all honesty.
 

DisneyOutsider

Mouseketeer
Joined
Mar 28, 2019
I am not sure about a misunderstanding but there is a difference between legal obligation and customer/business relationship.

The whole letter IMO is talking to the relationship between them as a DVC member and Disney. It is not saying they are legally obligated.

Maybe I misunderstood the OP but figured they were just posting this here to let people know they asked and possibly to egg on others to write DVC/Disney as well.
Yes that is all fair.. but in my view when you say that DVC has a responsibility, that implies that they have a formal duty to do something. After all, our exact relationship as a customer with DVC is spelled out in-contract. I guess I'd just point out that my comments were in response to another poster being "stunned" at the criticisms, which I didn't think were unfair at all.

Any of these threads I’ll always come in to point out the current closing documents still lists annual pass discount as benefit with details on how to purchase new annual passes. For over a year this language has persisted in the closing documents through multiple revisions despite not being true. You can say they don’t “owe” discounts just the room but I don’t see how that holds for new contracts sold since the pause when it’s directly included in closing documents.
Understood, and again... I think the frustration is legitimate. The current state of the AP really isn't fair for these owners.. I get it. But all of that really equates to marketing material in the end. Do you have an example of what they've included in the signed contract regarding membership Extras? To my knowledge have not contractually obligated themselves to provide this perk to a single DVC member regardless of when the contract was drawn up.
 

Chuck S

DVC Co-Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Feb 6, 2000
If anyone had an active AP during the park closure, call the VIP Passholder line, they will check to see if you qualify to purchase a new (not renewal) AP. I was able to purchase a new pass that I can activate on my November trip. Your eligibility has to be vetted through some sort of Guest Recovery group, they will tell you whether you qualify, and will put you on a list for a call back. The call back has been taking 30 days , longer for some people, mine took 27 days. They approved me, I gave them my CC number, and a voucher for a DVC gold AP was added to my MDE account. Keep your DVC Membership number handy, you will need it if you are approved. The VIP AP number is 407-939-7277
 
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Bjaiken77

Mouseketeer
Joined
Feb 19, 2021
I like your letter. I think it’s fair. Your DVC contract brings you to WDW. They are selling annual passes. Why wouldn’t they take care of people who have no choice but to stay on property first? A lot of people are already up against banking limits.
 

Castillo Mom

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 5, 2003
I like your letter. I think it’s fair. Your DVC contract brings you to WDW. They are selling annual passes. Why wouldn’t they take care of people who have no choice but to stay on property first? A lot of people are already up against banking limits.
Yup, which is why I purchased regular tickets. It was the only way to secure park reservations for our September trip. It was that, or take my chances but then be unable to get into the parks during a very popular time and also not be able to book dining. However, I'm taking my chances for February as I haven't purchased tickets yet and won't unless I absolutely have to.
 

Bjaiken77

Mouseketeer
Joined
Feb 19, 2021
Yup, which is why I purchased regular tickets. It was the only way to secure park reservations for our September trip. It was that, or take my chances but then be unable to get into the parks during a very popular time and also not be able to book dining. However, I'm taking my chances for February as I haven't purchased tickets yet and won't unless I absolutely have to.
We are facing the same thing for October. We have a bit more time, but not a lot.
 

10CJ

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 10, 2015
Tiny note: DLR APs were cancelled and refunded. I had one at the closure and held on to it … waiting, waiting, waiting for re-opening. Before re-opening, DLR closed all outstanding APs, refunded the balance and gave us a new title, “Legacy AP.” We had no choice in the matter. We are w/out APs.
If someone from Disney World had an AP pass during the closure they are most likely eligible to call and get a new AP. We were supposed to go for Spring Break last year. We received a refund on our passes. We have since been able to get new vouchers that will start when we activate them. I was not the person who made the phone call, but my family member told them we had a trip in a few weeks and got a call back that day.
 

Leight19

Mouseketeer
Joined
Oct 3, 2020
Yes that is all fair.. but in my view when you say that DVC has a responsibility, that implies that they have a formal duty to do something. After all, our exact relationship as a customer with DVC is spelled out in-contract. I guess I'd just point out that my comments were in response to another poster being "stunned" at the criticisms, which I didn't think were unfair at all.



Understood, and again... I think the frustration is legitimate. The current state of the AP really isn't fair for these owners.. I get it. But all of that really equates to marketing material in the end. Do you have an example of what they've included in the signed contract regarding membership Extras? To my knowledge have not contractually obligated themselves to provide this perk to a single DVC member regardless of when the contract was drawn up.
I don’t have the exact language in front of me or good way to copy it all but it’s nearly full page of details on annual pass. To me, its main purpose in phrasing is to protect Disney from obligations around annual passes to not over promise and includes language about how there can be block out dates and they reserve right to remove benefit at any time. However, there is direct mention of how to purchase including exact verbiage that new annual passes can be purchased at Disneyvacationclub.com.

I see no reason for them to have not updated to accurately reflect current state other then potential concern it would impact people purchasing directly. This leads me to believe they are not acting in good faith and likely could be opening themselves to formal complaints by any member who added on since benefit restricted who feels decieved by them stating benefit they know they can’t provide.
 

DisneyOutsider

Mouseketeer
Joined
Mar 28, 2019
I don’t have the exact language in front of me or good way to copy it all but it’s nearly full page of details on annual pass. To me, its main purpose in phrasing is to protect Disney from obligations around annual passes to not over promise and includes language about how there can be block out dates and they reserve right to remove benefit at any time. However, there is direct mention of how to purchase including exact verbiage that new annual passes can be purchased at Disneyvacationclub.com.

I see no reason for them to have not updated to accurately reflect current state other then potential concern it would impact people purchasing directly. This leads me to believe they are not acting in good faith and likely could be opening themselves to formal complaints by any member who added on since benefit restricted who feels decieved by them stating benefit they know they can’t provide.
All I can say is hopefully this will all be moot in a few weeks time as they get everything back on line
 

Grumpy Mouse

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jun 18, 2020
I don’t have the exact language in front of me or good way to copy it all but it’s nearly full page of details on annual pass. To me, its main purpose in phrasing is to protect Disney from obligations around annual passes to not over promise and includes language about how there can be block out dates and they reserve right to remove benefit at any time. However, there is direct mention of how to purchase including exact verbiage that new annual passes can be purchased at Disneyvacationclub.com.

I see no reason for them to have not updated to accurately reflect current state other then potential concern it would impact people purchasing directly. This leads me to believe they are not acting in good faith and likely could be opening themselves to formal complaints by any member who added on since benefit restricted who feels decieved by them stating benefit they know they can’t provide.
Here ya go. All of this is preceded by language that says these can go away at any time.

But you better believe the direct sales guides are still selling memberships with the PROMISE of getting these...


----------------------------------------------

A description of the Benefits in the Program currently available to Purchasers is as follows:

Disney Discounts and Special Programs

WALT DISNEY WORLD ® Resort Attractions: Members and up to three of their guests may purchase daily admission media to Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park and Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park attractions at the Walt Disney World Resort ("WDW Attractions Media") owned and operated by Walt Disney World® Resort, a division of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products., Inc. (“DPEP”), at a discount off the daily admission prices.

Annual Passes: From time to time, Members may purchase select WALT DISNEY WORLD® Annual Passes (“WDW Passes”) and Disneyland Annual Passports (“DL Passes”), at a discount off the regular prices and to be used according to the terms and conditions of the WDW Passes or DL Passes purchased, to theme parks and resort attractions owned and operated by DPEP at the Walt Disney World Resort or Disneyland Resort.


  1. The prices of the WDW Attractions Media, WDW Passes and DL Passes (collectively “Admission Media”) are determined and made available by DPEP, and may be adjusted at any time without notice, in its discretion. Admission Media may have block-out dates, excludes separately priced activities/events, do not include tax, and may not be combined with other discounts that may be available to Members or to renewals of Florida Resident Admission Media or any DL Admission Media. If the Disney Discount Program is changed or cancelled, all valid and unexpired Admission Media will be honored through their expiration date in accordance with their terms.

  2. WDW and DL Passes may only be purchased by Members for themselves and their immediate family living in their household, up to a total of eight (8) per year.

  3. Admission Media is non-assignable, non-transferable, and may not be resold. Following the purchase of any Admission Media, no refunds will be provided and the Admission Media may not be redeemed for cash or other consideration. Any alteration or defacing of Admission Media will render it null and void. Presentation of valid identification may be required in connection with use of Admission Media.

  4. Attractions offered by means of the Admission Media may be unavailable due to occupancy constraints or inclement weather, and use may be denied or restricted during special events or during the performance of routine maintenance. DPEP may add or delete theme parks or resort attractions available by means of the Admission Media at any time and without notice.

  5. WDW Passes may be purchased by calling Member Services or by going to Guest Relations at the Magic Kingdom® Park, Epcot®, Disney’s Hollywood Studios®, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park or Disney SpringsTM area. DL Passes available through the Discount Program may be purchased at any Disneyland Main Entrance ticket booth. New WDW Passes also can be purchased at disneyvacationclub.com. At time of purchase or certificate redemption (for purchases online), Members must present their Membership Card, and if applicable, proof of residency, and all adults (ages 18 and up) must present a valid driver’s license or state identification card showing they reside in the same household.

From time to time, DVD may make available to Members (i) special access to or discounts for events, recreational or educational programs or facilities at select Disney theme parks, DVC Resorts, hotels or other venues (ii) select dining or merchandise discounts at the Walt Disney World Resort or the Disneyland Resort (“Special Programs”).

1. The types of Special Programs offered and the times, dates, frequency and access to Special Programs, will vary and be determined by DVD in its discretion. Members should visit disneyvacationclub.com or contact Member Services for more information.

2. Special Programs may be unavailable due to occupancy constraints or inclement weather, have use denied or restricted during special events or during the performance of routine maintenance, and are subject to availability and other restrictions. Access to recreational facilities and amenities may be permanently or temporarily discontinued at any time and without notice by DVD or the provider of such facilities and amenities in their discretion.

3. Certain of the Special Programs may only be available to Members staying at a Walt Disney World® Resort hotel, a Disneyland® Resort hotel available through the Disney Travel Program, or at a DVC Resort located at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, the Disneyland Resort in California, or at AULANI, A Disney Resort & Spa, Ko Olina, Hawai`i, Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, or Disney’s Vero Beach Resort in Vero Beach, Florida.

---------------------------------------------------
 

Chuck S

DVC Co-Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Feb 6, 2000
I see no reason for them to have not updated to accurately reflect current state other then potential concern it would impact people purchasing directly. This leads me to believe they are not acting in good faith and likely could be opening themselves to formal complaints by any member who added on since benefit restricted who feels decieved by them stating benefit they know they can’t provide.
Most people would understand that there is still a serious worldwide pandemic, it may have gotten better here in the US quickly, but that is not the case everywhere. and many contractual agreements are still suspended...not just from DVC. For instance, I'm a landlord. My tenants could have simply said they could not pay their rent, and I could not evict them (fortunately, all 9 of them maintained their rent) It was reported that large restaurant chains (like Cheesecake Factory) didn't pay rent during the shutdown. Yet guess what, property taxes and insurance on those properties went up, mortgages needed to be paid or face foreclosure (as legally rental properties are not houses the owner lives in, they are investment property) and landlords were caught in the middle. The language in the DVC contracts regarding AP and every other perk says that they can be discontinued at anytime, without prior notice. And APs WILL become available again, if they were planning to permanently discontinue APs they would not be selling NEW AP vouchers to people that had them during the closure, especially those that had requested a refund. Once the prorated refund was given, their obligation to those existing passholders ended. The are under no obligation to sell new APs to them, but yet, they are. One of the reasons they stopped selling AP to people that didn't have them previously was because they are trying, still, to limit daily park admissions. Imagine selling an AP, and saying, sorry, you can't use it, wouldn't that be much worse than simply not selling them, or limiting who they sell them to until they fully reopen? Not all rides are operating, some eateries are still closed or limiting seating, and most stage/theater shows are still dark. Those large theaters, restaurants, closed rides, and meet and greets absorb a lot of people, they have to limit admission. And not selling APs is a smart way to limit those admissions, when you consider how many locals have them.
 
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Grumpy Mouse

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jun 18, 2020
But here's one of my favorite paragraphs from the contract:


If any Benefit, or any portion of a Benefit, becomes unavailable for any reason, DVD reserves the right to substitute a replacement Benefit of a type, quality, value and term reasonably similar to the unavailable Benefit. Reservations for accommodations at a DVC Resort shall be deemed conclusively to be reasonably similar to accommodations reserved at any other property through the Program.


So for those of us that can't get AP's, does Disney/DVD owe us something?

DVD says NO.
 

Leight19

Mouseketeer
Joined
Oct 3, 2020
Most people would understand that there is still a serious worldwide pandemic, and many contractual agreements are still suspended...not just from DVC. For instance, I'm a landlord. My tenants could have simply said they could not pay their rent, and I could not evict them (fortunately, all 9 of them maintained their rent) It was reported that large restaurant chains (like Cheesecake Factory) didn't pay rent during the shutdown. Yet guess what, property taxes and insurance on those properties went up and landlords were caught in the middle. The language in the DVC contracts regarding AP and every other perk says that they can be discontinued at anytime, without prior notice. And APs WILL become available again, if they were planning to permanently discontinue APs they would not be selling NEW AP vouchers to people that had them during the closure, especially those that had requested a refund. Once the prorated refund was given, their obligation to those existing passholders ended. The are under no obligation to sell new APs to them, but yet, they are. One of the reasons they stopped selling AP to people that didn't have them previously was because they are trying, still, to limit daily park admissions. Imagine selling an AP, and saying, sorry, you can't use it, wouldn't that be much worse than simply not selling them, or limiting who they sell them to until they fully reopen? Not all rides are operating, some eateries are still closed or limiting seating, and most stage/theater shows are still dark. Those large theaters absorb a lot of people, they have to limit admission. Turtle Talk, Monsters Inc Laugh Floor, actual character meet and greets, Finding Nemo...added together those are holders for a LOT of guests.
I’m not disagreeing they shouldn’t suspend ap I’m saying if they suspend it they need to reflect that in the language of the closing documents. How long do you feel they should be able to continue falsely advertising a benefit they aren’t currently offering? Can this continue for 10 years? Can they make up other benefits with no intention to offer and just say “subject to change” when people try to get the benefit? Where do you draw the line between saying it’s okay becuse it’s unprecedented times? For me over a year is no longer an excuse. They need to offer the benefit or change language to accurately reflect what’s being offered.
 

Chuck S

DVC Co-Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Feb 6, 2000
I’m not disagreeing they shouldn’t suspend ap I’m saying if they suspend it they need to reflect that in the language of the closing documents. How long do you feel they should be able to continue falsely advertising a benefit they aren’t currently offering? Can this continue for 10 years? Can they make up other benefits with no intention to offer and just say “subject to change” when people try to get the benefit? Where do you draw the line between saying it’s okay becuse it’s unprecedented times? For me over a year is no longer an excuse. They need to offer the benefit or change language to accurately reflect what’s being offered.
The guide simply needs to say that WDW AP sales are currently suspended due to the pandemic, but will be returning when the parks fully reopen. Easy peasy. As far as "How Long?" no one had a crystal ball when this all began. No one had any idea that WDW would be closed for many months, or that Disneyland would be closed for well over a year. Most were expecting the closure to last a few weeks. It seems silly to change and print all the contractual language now that things are starting to get better.
 
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Leight19

Mouseketeer
Joined
Oct 3, 2020
The guide simply needs to say that WDW AP sales are currently suspended due to the pandemic, but will be returning when the parks fully reopen. Easy peasy.
I don’t think it’s appropriate to have the signed document reflect the incorrect benefits and expect the guide telling people the contract is wrong as a way to supersede it.
 

Chuck S

DVC Co-Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Feb 6, 2000
But here's one of my favorite paragraphs from the contract:


If any Benefit, or any portion of a Benefit, becomes unavailable for any reason, DVD reserves the right to substitute a replacement Benefit of a type, quality, value and term reasonably similar to the unavailable Benefit. Reservations for accommodations at a DVC Resort shall be deemed conclusively to be reasonably similar to accommodations reserved at any other property through the Program.


So for those of us that can't get AP's, does Disney/DVD owe us something?

DVD says NO.
They have a right to substitute, not that they WILL substitute. And what would you consider a suitable substitute for the AP?
 

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