Disneyland's new reservation system is leaving annual passholders shut out for months

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Disneyland annual passholders are having a tough time getting into the park these days, The Orange County Register reported Tuesday.

So-called "Magic Key" reservations, which have replaced the park's old annual pass system, have been completely booked through Thanksgiving, parkgoers said. The situation has left Magic Key holders wondering if the new membership program—with pricetags ranging from $399 to $1,399—was worth the money.

Strictly enforced limits on park attendance in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic are largely responsible. According to The Register, the Magic Key calendar showed no available daily reservations through Oct. 20, with weekend reservations unavailable through Nov. 27. There were no reservations available for either Halloween or Christmas Day.

"This is going to get ugly fast," theme park writer Chris Glass wrote on Twitter in September, noting that annual pass reservations wree already filled for the Christmas holdiays. "These limits are hilariously low right now, and I truly hope they continue hiring more [park attendants] to lift it."

The highest-tier Magic Key pass available a $1,399 Dream Key, supposedly offered 365-day access to both Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure park. However, even Dream Key holders have reportedly encountered trouble booking reservations to visit the parks.

"The reality is that annual passholders find themselves struggling to make reservations on certain days,” according to Disney parks writer Krysten Swenson. “Disney might want to reconsider just how many reservation spots are available for passholders so they can take advantage of using their annual passes on the days they want to."

The Walt Disney Company has never made public capacity limits, but observers have speculated that understaffing may be contributing to long reservation wait times and continued depression of park attendance.

Disney CEO Bob Chapek has said Disney parks will not be fully staffed until at least the end of 2021, according to The Register.

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