Well the word is they genuinely didn’t expect as many guests to buy it.
Here’s what I think happened……
About a year or so ago some genuine insiders with enviable track records were suggesting a system of tiered access, with “bundles” of passes (Star Wars, Mountains etc), possible perks for onsite (maybe earlier booking). And so on.
In the last few weeks before the announcement, much of that was scrapped, probably by the Board level execs, in favour of a simpler system of a flat rate.
What happened at DLP is probably what changed the minds of the US parks team. Very few people paid for access because it simply wasn’t needed.
And now they’ve realised maybe that’s what was needed to ensure that those that did pay got what they paid for and that the stand-by lines still moved quickly.
So they’re re-thinking and will probably revert back to some of those ideas that both Shanghai and Paris implemented to varying degrees.