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Disney Wisely Stops Collecting Payments from Theme Park Annual Passholders

By Jennifer Saibil – Apr 6, 2020 at 10:14AM

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People who bought yearlong tickets to Disney's parks were a bit irked that they were still being charged while they're closed.

If there's no way to have fun at the happiest places on Earth, even the biggest Disney (DIS -3.20%) fans don't want to keep paying for the privilege.

When the House of Mouse temporarily closed its theme parks on March 15, it said it would extend the expiration dates of its annual passes by the duration of the shutdown for those passholders who had already paid for them in full. Those park-goers also have the option to get partial refunds based on the length of the closure. Passholders who pay monthly, though, continued to see new monthly payments charged to their credit card bills.

Disney villains after dark.

Image source: Disney.

Taking it to the sites

Passholders on the monthly payment schedule weren't too keen about shelling out for a suspended benefit, and some of them aired their opinions about it on social media. In response, Disney halted collection of those payments starting April 5 and is refunding those collected between March 14 and April 4. It's also offering passholders the option to postpone payments starting April 5 and resume them upon the reopening of the parks, allowing them to extend their passes by as long as the parks were closed.

"This is a truly unprecedented time for all of us and we want to thank you for your patience as we work through the many details related to the temporary closure of the theme parks," the company wrote on its website.

An uncertain future

Disney's U.S. theme parks are now described as closed until further notice, although it has started taking reservations in its system beginning June 1. 

The Parks, Experiences and Products division brings in the largest share of the entertainment giant's revenue, and Disney is facing huge cuts to its top and bottom lines due to the parks' closures. But after weeks of share price declines, the stock has started to stabilize in recent days.

Jennifer Saibil has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Walt Disney and recommends the following options: long January 2021 $60 calls on Walt Disney and short April 2020 $135 calls on Walt Disney. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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