I was a cast Member for about five years, mostly ‘backstage’ while my Grandmother worked for better than 20 years at EPCOT as a… whatever their non-status was.
I have little fondness for the parks, but I watched the degrading benefits as a cast member with scorn (more exclusion dates, less true ‘freebies’) which was a joke, since inevitably, even if you got in for free, you’d spend money at the damn park.
But watching what’s going on with the pricing and the ??? status of the Passholders is giving me that same feeling in the cockles of my soul.
employees havent been able to go to the park themselves for months. they’re all locked out, per associate besty who works in magic kingdom food service.
the inter park job role changes or activity transfers have been shut off, so everyone is kind of locked to what they’re doing for high hours and not cycling around between parks or job roles at all, or getting promotions etc at current per conversation with cast in animal kingdom
passholders are restricted to 3 days reservation total possible unless staying on site hotels. so friend who went on my last trip (5 days) was only able to reserve 3 of those days (the ones where we had experience reservations like savis). the other 2 was a day epcot wasnt completely locked so she was able to go there until 2 then park hop to join us at MK, or that wednesday she just played taxi for us because even though i could see open reservations on my ticket, the passholder system was ‘nothing available’
if you dont currently have a pass, you cant get one (may have changed but that was the last confirmation i saw) suggesting they may be moving towards ending the passholder system similar to disneyland.
so.. passholder benefits are being curtailed, reservations are separate from normal and being restricted further than the standard access (or requiring on park hotel to bypass) and if you arent renewing you cant get one anyways. but you still get free parking and 20% off of some purchases..