It has been announced that Guest Passes for Cast Members will be changing coming in 2016. This change is taking place company wide and is not just for Parks and Resorts CM’s. Basically the change will be that Cast Members earn 3 guest passes for every 150 hours worked and can earn up to 9 guest passes a year. According to the DisneyCollegeProgramsBlog.com article College Program students will get guest passes as well as a main gate pass.
Here is a question Shelby asked in that article that will help clear up any confusion:
I have a brother who will be arriving to the program in January. We have planned a trip to go see him in March but recently he told us that he heard that the guest pass rules are changing and he won’t be able to get guest passes for us. I’ve been searching everywhere to find out if this is true and I have yet to find anything. Is there any truth behind this?
The information your brother has come across doesn’t seem to be entirely accurate. He will have complete details available to him once he arrives, though.
In short, starting in 2016, the Company as a whole (not just Parks & Resorts) will issue one-day park hopper guest tickets to all U.S based Temporary/Recurring Disney Employees based on the number of hours worked during a calendar year. In the Parks & Resorts segment, College Program positions are one of many positions that fall under the “Temporary/Recurring” classification.
After 150 hours, they will be issued 3 one-day park hopper guest tickets. When they reach 300 hours worked, they will receive 3 more. At 600 hours worked, they will receive 3 more. The maximum number of tickets that can be issued during a calendar year is 9.
The great thing about these tickets is that they are not subject to all of the main entrance pass block-out dates. Occasionally, there are times when Cast Members are blocked from visiting the parks (this is called “Employee Self-Admission”). The guest passes would follow those guidelines as opposed to the Main Entrance Pass block out dates which tend to span many days/weeks during peak attendance. For example, this month, the Magic Kingdom is entirely blocked out for Main Entrance passes, but it is only blocked for Employee Self-Admission from the 25th to the 31st.
If he is arriving in January, he would likely have worked 150 hours and would have been issued 3 guest passes before your visit in March. He can also purchase additional tickets at a discounted rate from any Company D store, cast member-only stores located throughout property in backstage areas.
On a side-note, Main Entrance Pass/Self-Admittance block out dates can be reviewed on blockoutdates.disney.com. They are only released a few months in advance and are subject to change. March dates will probably be available later this month/early next month… and again, the guest passes can be used for any date unless it is marked as blocked for Employee Self-Admittance.