Thursday, December 12, 2013
Back in 1984 when I was 19 years old, I felt like an odd duck. I loved Disney and I really wanted to work at Disney, although I was kind of frustrated that I would have to wait a few years until I graduated from college. During my Sophomore year at UCLA, while I was at Ackerman Union playing Ms. PacMan and Dig Dug in the arcade room, I ran into someone who had lived on my floor in the dorms (Kevin W.), who had been working at Disneyland for over a year. He told me about the Disneyland Annual Passport, which was only available to people who were members of the Magic Kingdom Club (available through many employers). I had a membership through my Grandmother's job, so I took my card down to Disneyland an inquired about it at Guest Relations. Well, it turned out that the Annual Passport was only $65, and included one full year of admission, plus parking. Sold! they took me into the Guest Relations office outside the gate, took my picture, and I just waited for them to make my Passport and laminate it.
On one of my first days enjoying my Passport (and skipping an Economics class), I remember thinking about how empty Disneyland seemed to me. I felt like I was in one of the best places that a person could be in, and that there was tremendous treasures there that could potentially appeal to more people, and yet, "nobody knows about it", I thought.
Well, two months and 5 days later, Disney hired Michael Eisner and Frank Wells, and they proceeded to mine the Disney gold all over the then-named Walt Disney Productions. Disneyland would soon be open every day. Prices at Disneyland would also go up in the not-too-distant future. All that unknown treasure that I was thinking about and more as I walked down Main Street would soon be discovered by Eisner and Wells, and carefully rolled out and introduced to the masses. Disneyland Annual Passports remained mostly a secret for at least 2 more years, before they started to radically advertise them, and they dropped the Magic Kingdom Club membership requirement (they eventually also dropped the Magic Kingdom Club).
Saturday, September 14, 2013
This is a complementary One Day Passport for the U.S. Disney Parks, which was commonly given to Cast Members and, up til about 1990, Disney Stockholders who attended the Annual Shareholders Meetings either in Anaheim or Orlando. I went to 2 Shareholder Meetings where these were given out- one for the shareholder and one for each guest- when I first went you could have 3 guests. At the very last meeting when these were given to shareholders, they only gave it to the shareholder and one guest.
These special passports were also given to Disney Cast Members, usually twice per year, so that the Cast Members could give them out to whomever they wanted as gifts.
The great thing about this particular Passport is that they never expire - they are good until you use them once. When used, they scan the barcode, stamp the date on the reverse side, and tear one corner, so that nobody tries to use it again. This Passport says "Complementary" on the reverse, so it was not intended to be sold.
Another great thing about this Passport is that it is a Park Hopper. That is, you can go between Disney Parks all in the same day. So, if you're at Disneyland Park, you can also visit Disney's California Adventure the same day. If you're at Walt Disney World Resort, you could alternate between the Magic Kingdom, Disney's Animal Kingdom, the Disney Studios and Epcot.
Note from the logos on the Passport that only 4 theme park logos are represented. That is because back in the late 80's when this Passport was produced, only those 4 Disney theme parks were in operation in America - Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park did not exist, nor did Disney's California Adventure Theme Park.
Although I could give this Passport to someone to be my Guest at any of today's Disney theme parks, I hold onto this without using it because of the beauty and design of the ticket. Sometimes you want to own things just for that reason alone- for the beauty of it. It looks great, don't you agree?