Disney Trying To Win Back Fans By Giving Them Free Stuff

Disney is trying to appease fans of Disneyland and Disney World by offering free perks like parking and streamlined reservation processes.

By Britta DeVore | Published

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To say that Disney has been attracting negative press over the last several months would be the understatement of the year. From major shake-ups in their staffing to violence spreading within the parks’ boundaries, the house of mouse has been finding itself in the headlines for all the wrong reasons. But now, they’re hoping to get fans back by implementing new strategies that would see them giving back to consumers in ways like free self-parking and easier reservation processes for annual pass holders.

According to Deadline, Disney’s returning CEO Bob Iger has been doing his best to undo the damage done to the brand by former CEO Bob Chapek. Iger has been spearheading a push that will hopefully see a major reward for Disney customers who have been less than thrilled with the changes that Chapek made during his time at the helm. While Chapek’s reign saw lawsuits and protests from both the staff as well as from the park’s guests, Iger is hoping that his new updates will make everyone happy and will, in turn, return the theme park to the happiest place on Earth.

Disney parks chairman Josh D’Amaro recently fired off a memo to the staff sharing what will be the new wave in give-backs to future guests. For those soon heading to Florida’s Disney World, you can expect to have the option to self-park at Disney Resorts beginning on January 10, enjoy a more relaxed reservation policy if you’re an annual pass holder, and have the ability to download photos that are included in the ever-popular Disney Genie+ service. 

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For those heading to Anaheim, California to pass through the turnstiles at Disneyland, guests holding a Magic Key pass or a Park Hopper ticket will be able to move freely between Disneyland and Disney California Adventure earlier than before, enjoy access to the lowest daytrip tickets in recent years at $104 per day, and will have the option of complimentary photos via Disney PhotoPass beginning February 4. 

In a statement released alongside the recently announced changes, D’Amaro wrote that Disney was hoping to continue to “evolve” to better the “guest experience” for all ticket holders. He went on to say that he’s listening to the feedback given to him by guests and that he knew a “change” was needed to better honor those requests. To round out his statement, D’Amaro said that while the changes certainly didn’t hit “everyone’s feedback,” he believes that they’ll be a good way to get the ball rolling. 


In recent months, Disney has released plans to change several of the rides at their theme parks by making iconic destinations like It’s a Small World more inclusive by adding wheelchair-using characters to their displays. Likewise, they’ve decided to remove the current storyline of Splash Mountain, which features characters from the hotly debated 1964 live-action/animation movie Song of the South, changing it to a The Princess and the Frog theme. Guests are also gearing up for the arrival of the TRON Lightcycle/Run attraction at Magic Kingdom, which opens on April 4 and will take riders through the colorful and exciting world made popular by the film franchise.