Lifestyle Travel Disneyland to End Annual Passes After Nearly Year-Long Closure Due to COVID Refunds will be given to current passholders, Disneyland president Ken Potrock said Thursday By Cher Published on January 14, 2021 05:57 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Disneyland. After nearly a year of remaining closed because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Disneyland announced Thursday that it is ending its annual pass program. "We want to thank our Annual Passholders for their understanding during this closure period," Disneyland president Ken Potrock said in a statement. "Due to the uncertainty of the pandemic and limitations around the reopening of our California theme parks, we will be issuing appropriate refunds for eligible Disneyland Resort Annual Passports and sunsetting the current program," Potrock said. Potrock continued to say that they are "developing new membership offerings that will utilize consumer insights to deliver choice, flexibility and value for our biggest fans." A Disneyland spokesperson did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment. Disneyland to Serve as Mass COVID-19 Vaccination Site: 'A Monumental Task,' Says County Supervisor In an email sent to passholders, Potrock said that while it is "disappointing" that the program is ending, "we are also very excited about what's ahead." Those who held an active annual passport as of March 14, 2020, will receive a pro rata refund. The discounts offered to passholders will remain in effect at Downtown Disney and Buena Vista Street locations until new membership offerings are announced, Potrock said in the email. Disneyland. GC Images And from January 18 through February 25, passholders will receive a 30 percent discount on "on select merchandise at select locations in Downtown Disney District and Buena Vista Street, Monday through Thursday." Theme parks have been closed in California since March 2020, and there has been friction between the companies and authorities about reopening — Disneyland had hoped to reopen in July, but wasn't given approval by state officials. Meanwhile, the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida reopened in July with new COVID-19 protocols. Disney California Adventure Park. Jeff Gritchen/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty California Governor Gavin Newsom said back in October that he wasn't in a rush to get theme parks up and running. "I understand the friction, the frustration that many business leaders have, they want to move forward to reopen, but we are going to be led by a health-first framework and we're going to be stubborn about it," he said in a news conference at the time. "That's our commitment, that's our resolve. While we feel there is no hurry in putting out guidelines, we continue to work with the industry." RELATED VIDEO: Disney World Announces Reopening Date After Months-Long Coronavirus Closure "We don't anticipate in the immediate term any of these larger theme parks opening until we see more stability in terms of the data," he added. A portion of Disney's California Adventure Park that included restaurants and shops opened in November, but operations were forced to roll back just a few weeks later. Disneyland Rolls Back In-Person Dining at Buena Vista Street Just Weeks After Reopening Disney's California Adventure. AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images Disney Parks laid off 28,000 employees in September amid the shutdown. An SEC filing from the company in November suggested that those layoffs would be expanded to 32,000 employees this year. Disneyland is set to see some visitors in the coming weeks, however, as it will be used as a mass point-of-dispensing (POD) site for COVID-19 vaccinations. Southern California remains in an intense surge of COVID-19 cases after the holiday season. As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from the CDC, WHO and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a GoFundMe.org fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.