By Carlye Wisel
Disneyland has introduced a new annual pass that will have guests reserving entry into the California theme parks up to 30 days before their visit. The Disneyland Flex Passport, which offers both unrestricted and reservation-based admission on select dates annually, will cost $599 when it debuts May 21, 2019.
It’s not just repeat guests that will need to stake their claim prior to hitting the droid shop or the first-ever Star Wars restaurant within Star Wars Land, though. Timed reservations, which were required to enter Galaxy’s Edge during its first month, sold out in just two hours — but you may need a pass to enter later this summer as well.
Starting June 24, guests will be required to hold their place in a virtual queue with Star Wars “boarding passes” once the immersive galactic land fills up, according to The Orange County Register. These same-day entry reservations, available within the Disneyland app, will only appear when the land is full and eventually be phased out once demand lowers — but given that Galaxy’s Edge is Disney’s most anticipated theme park opening of all time, don’t expect that anytime soon.
The advent of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is likely to bring unprecedented levels of guests to Disneyland. This Flex Passport’s registration system, which is intended to distribute attendance more evenly, is indicative of the California theme park’s ongoing effort to manage crowds while appeasing its repeat visitors.
Identical to Disneyland’s popular locals-only Southern California Select Passport but with the addition of reservable dates and availability for residents of any city, the Flex Passport costs $200 more for extra but restricted access — and could be the ideal Disney ticket for excited Star Wars fans.
With “request” entry available throughout the entire summer with absolutely no blackout dates, a Flex Passport owner could feasibly visit the outer-galaxy theme park land a half-dozen times before a Southern California Select passholder could. In that sense, the pass is a no-brainer for Star Wars fans with moderate flexibility hoping to pilot the Millennium Falcon or sip a Bantha blue milk in an outer rim cantina more than a few times this summer — as well as throughout the year.
This new form of Disneyland admission is two-fold. Like other annual passes, guests can attend either or both Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure theme parks on pre-selected dates throughout the year as they wish. Additionally, Flex Passport owners will be able to make reservations for additional days during peak periods, save for the Christmas and New Year’s holiday periods.
Disneyland’s new ticketing option is historic because it requires attendees to ask permission to enter the park before even showing up. For a theme park whose fanbase is overwhelmingly local, planning one’s visit up to 30 days in advance is unprecedented — but could be the solution needed to curb busy crowds.
This article originally appeared in the Jacksonville Free Press.