By Minnie Diva
If you’re thinking about jumping the gun and buying a Disney World Annual Pass, then this is the article for you!
Let’s address the elephant in the room: Annual Passes are expensive. Crazy expensive. And if you’re the Disney average, a family of 4, the price can climb quickly. As of right now, Annual Passes are priced at $654 for non-Florida residents, and $563 for Florida residents. Keep in mind these are Annual Passes, not Seasonal or Premium.
There’s lots of factors to consider before buying one of those golden tickets, and I’m here to discuss them all.
First, you’re probably wondering how to go about getting a pass. There’s multiple ways to do this, and all of them are pretty simple:
- You can purchase an Annual Pass online from the Disney Ticket website.
- You can upgrade your regular park ticket—or buy one regardless of already having a ticket—while you’re at Disney, at any Guest Relations location. My favorite location is the Will Call location right outside of the Magic Kingdom. It’s less crowded than the location inside the park, and still has a very magical view of the castle.
Alright, so now you know where you can get an Annual Pass; however, is it really worth it? I think so, but if you’re unsure, here’s some comparison.
- The price obviously. (Note: Florida residents only, in addition to the discount, can set up a monthly payment plan for their passes.)
- The fact that Annual Passes don’t allow admittance to water parks or the golf course.
- You cannot book fastpasses 60 days in advance unless you get the resort package. (Annual Passholders can book 30 days out.)
- You cannot access extra magic hours. Which I find pretty ridiculous, but that’s just me.
- Also, according to my mom, another con is that your children pressure you to go to Disney every day. Psh. Whatever.
All this being said, I am a firm believer that the pros of being an AP strongly outweigh the cons.
- You get 10% off on all merchandise as long as you have photo ID. Recently they have really cracked down on this.
- You get 10% off certain restaurants on certain days, list here.
- You can get up to 40% off on certain resort rooms. There’s almost always rooms available but book early, just in case.
- Disney has what is called the Tables in Wonderland card (formerly Disney Dining Experience) which is only available to Florida residents and Passholders. This card is $100, but you get 20% off on food and drinks, including alcohol, in over 100 restaurants in Disney World. Plus you get free valet parking at resorts if you present your receipt. It more than pays for itself.
- You can get discounts on the standard rates for Disney’s on-site pet kennel, Best Friends Pet Care.
- You get a cool little passholder charm to put on your MagicBand.
- Passes open up so much flexibility. Don’t have time to ride Space Mountain? That’s okay! There’s no stress; you can just ride it the next trip.
- There’s a little newsletter you get about four times a year called the “Mickey Monitor” that basically exists to remind you that you need to haul your butt down to Disney World.
- If you stay in a Disney resort, you will get a new MagicBand for every member of your party, even though you have a passholder one. It’s a bit of a flaw in the system, and a waste of plastic, but regardless, you will have a stash of MagicBands. If you lose one, it’s okay because you’ll have about 10 more.
- And lastly, you have the ability to drop everything and go to Disney, more or less.
And lastly, some inside tips from an AP:
- Invest in some really nice rain gear. If you’re going to be going a lot, it’s nice to have a rain jacket that will actually keep you dry.
- Don’t be afraid to take quick weekend trips. Those can be the most magical!
- Make sure you have the My Disney Experience app. Check it frequently. Daydream about the fact that you have the literal power to be in Walt Disney World right now.
- Keep extensive autograph books. Meet everyone.
- Challenge yourself to do out of the box stuff. Try to be the last rider on Space Mountain. Meet every princess in a day. Make a chart of every attraction and show and restaurant and check them off as you go.
- Enjoy every minute.
If you’re considering buying a Walt Disney World Annual Pass, I can guarantee that every second will be worth it!