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Disneyland Slammed for Cutting Back on Beloved Hotel Guest Perk

The iconic theme park is making changes to its early entry program for visitors.

Anyone planning a big trip to any of the Disney parks knows how important it can be to plan your visit ahead of time. Depending on your level of detail, that can include booking restaurant reservations, picking which rides to prioritize, and finding the right accommodations—all in the hopes of getting the most out of every moment at the iconic vacation destination.

Some would argue that the company's hospitality is second to none and makes the process easy, which is why it has maintained its reputation for generations of adoring visitors. But now, Disneyland has announced it will be restricting a beloved park admission perk for hotel guests. Read on to find out about the latest change coming to Disney.

RELATED: "Disney World Is Empty": Park Guest Describes Eerily Vacant Park.

Disneyland hotel guests can access a coveted perk during their stay.

mary poppins at disneyland
smckenzie / iStock

Whether it's a bucket list trip or an annual family affair, many tourists who make their way to Anaheim opt to stay nearby at one of the affiliated hotels at Disneyland Resort. Not only does this make it convenient to get to and from attractions, but these guests also have other notable perks that enhance their visit, including free parking, access to dining reservations, and other special events and activities, according to USA Today.

Since Aug. 2022, those staying at the resort have also been able to enter both Disneyland Park or Disneyland California Adventure Park 30 minutes early every day at 7:30 a.m., according to the fan website Disney Food Blog. For those hoping to spend as much time as possible enjoying the wide range of attractions, shows, shopping, and dining, the special early entry can help get ahead of the larger crowds that arrive with general admission.

RELATED: Disney Parks Making 4 Big Dining Changes This Summer.

Now, hotel guests will lose a notable admission perk early next year.

mickey ferris wheel in disneyland theme park anaheim california
Tyler Nix/Unsplash

But now, it appears the head start won't be available for much longer. According to the company's website, hotel guests at Disneyland Resort will no longer have early access to both parks, as of Jan. 20, 2024.

Instead, guests will be limited in their choice. "Each day, either Disneyland Park or Disney California Adventure Park will be open early," the updated policy states, which then links to a schedule detailing which option is available on each date.

Guests booking the perk will still need to make park reservations in advance and purchase tickets. Any existing reservations can be changed on the company's website or with guest services at the resort, USA Today reports.

RELATED: People Are Turning Away From Disney Parks: "Absolutely Dead" on Former Peak Days.

The upcoming changes disappointed some park fans.

mickey and minnie in an open carriage during a disneyland parade
George Sheldon / Shutterstock

News of the upcoming changes led park fans to air their grievances on social media. Some were quick to point out it felt as though the company was giving guests less for their money.

"The Disney difference, cut back on guest services and perks while continuing to increase prices," one user posted on X (formerly known as Twitter).

Still, others grumbled about issues with the existing offering.

"The early entry system for hotel guests at Disneyland is majorly broken," another user posted on X. "Only offering the attractions in Fantasy Land and Tomorrow Land is not a benefit or a perk. I shouldn't have to wait 25 minutes for Peter Pan at 7:30."

But through the disappointed reactions, some pointed out that the change wasn't all that unfamiliar.

"Isn't this how it used to be, only a few years ago? I could distinctly remember seeing signs in the Grand Californian stating which park had a magic morning," X user @Jeff_in_3D wrote.

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This isn't the only significant change the company has made recently.

epcot behind the disney express train in walt disney world

While the latest changes may have ruffled feathers for some fans, it's not the only time the company has made notable changes. In May, Disney launched its 4-Park Magic Ticket for Disney World visitors in Florida.

Guests who opt for the summertime offering get one admission to all four parks at the Orlando destination. But while visitors are limited to a single entry per park, the 4-Park Magic Ticket would only cost $99 per entry—making it even cheaper than a traditional four-day pass priced at $456, according to travel news website The Points Guy.

That same month, Disney also announced it would be shutting down its Star Wars-themed Galactic Starcruiser hotel it launched just last year. The company said its final bookings for the $2,500-per-night property would be from Sept. 28 through the 30.

Zachary Mack
Zach is a freelance writer specializing in beer, wine, food, spirits, and travel. He is based in Manhattan. Read more
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