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The Return of the Walt Disney World Annual Pass

The Return of the Walt Disney World Annual Pass

Walt Disney World Annual Pass (AP) sales resumed earlier this year after an extended suspension, featuring new prices, tier names and a few other changes.


Are we asking whether AP is worth it or not? ,Well, that depends on who you ask – but in this article, we will cover perks, pricing and break even calculations in more depth.


Benefits Walt Disney World Annual Pass

Disney recently modified their passholder benefits. Instead of offering specific tiers for passholder perks, add-on options are now open to all passholders at an additional cost, such as park hopper passes or PhotoPass downloads.

These new perks are an effective way to maximize the return on your Annual Pass investment and help bridge the cost gap between a single-day ticket and an AP, increasing access to WDW Annual Passes at an affordable price point for more people.

Passholders can save 10% on food and non-alcoholic beverages at select locations throughout Disney parks and hotels (excluding certain specialty and special event-specific venues and some third-party operated locations), far surpassing any discounts offered through Chase Disney Visa cards. This discount applies for up to three guests per passholder!


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An important change to all passes is the inclusion of parking, which saves most people $25 per day. Passholders also enjoy discounts on Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon admission, as well as discounted tickets for up to three people.

If you visit Walt Disney World often or reside nearby, an Annual Pass should definitely be considered. But if your travel habits dictate otherwise, an AP might not be worth your while; the Least Expensive Ticket Calculator can help find out your ticket pricing needs in this instance.

From Winter 2024 on, an exciting new benefit has been introduced for Passholders: Good-to-go days. 

These dates appear on the theme park reservation calendar as Good-to-go days when Annual Passholders may visit multiple parks in one day without needing to make separate reservations (though capacity limitations and blockout dates still apply).

Other advantages of the Annual Pass include access to exclusive merchandise available only through Disney parks, hotels, and Disney Springs; this can be an enormous money saver when purchasing large quantities at once! Plus, there are discounts on activities not covered by AP membership, such as tours or after-hours events!


Pricing

Annual Passes may be worth your while if you plan on visiting Disney theme parks more than 18 days between two visits or 14 days over multiple visits within one 365-day period, with benefits like ticket discounts as well as hotel, food, and parking discounts that add up over time. 

While it can be hard to quantify these savings exactly, they certainly add up over time!

Walt Disney World returned from its hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic with an announcement in 2021 that its annual passes and parking rates would increase, along with rolling back a park hopper rule imposed during this timeframe.

Winter 2024 saw the introduction of a new park hopping policy, making it possible to visit all four Disney World theme parks any day during any calendar year with an annual pass (subject to regular blockout dates).

 Guests may also utilize Disney’s FastPass+ system with their pass, providing advance reservations are made and showing ID before entering each attraction.

As part of these changes, the PhotoPass and Water Park option is now an optional add-on that can be purchased with any annual pass level for $99 annually. 

It includes unlimited digital downloads of theme park photos as well as discounted print products; previously, this was included free with every pass level.

Since September 20, 2022, Disney World has introduced an “Annual Park Hopper Plus” ticket option as an add-on to all annual passes. This combines both regular park ticket access and Park Hopper option admission. 

These tickets will be sold exclusively at select theme park ticket windows and Disney Springs for purchase.


Prior to this change, Park Hopper Plus add-ons were only available with higher pass levels; now all annual passes, even Pixie Dust passes, offer this add-on. As Disney reserves the right to adjust prices at any time, purchasing early annual passes can ensure you secure current prices.


Upgrades

Existing Walt Disney World Annual Pass holders will have the option to upgrade to higher-tier passes even after the window for new passes has closed, following in the same pattern as many  residents since 2021: starting with a Pixie Pass and eventually upgrading upon renewal to one of the higher-tier passes.


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Upgrades require full payment of any price differences between pass types, with your new pass having the same expiration date as your old.

 Unfortunately, upgrades from non-annual or special event tickets cannot be upgraded into annual passes at Walt Disney World; additionally, a water park option cannot be added to one.

As part of an annual pass membership, additional upgrades can be purchased for an extra cost. For instance, adding Disney PhotoPass downloads from photographers throughout parks and resorts or the Capture Your Moment session costs $99.

Water Likewise, adding Water Park and Sports Option gives access to four Disney-owned hotels in Florida for just $99 annually.

Disney often offers “bonus reservations” during slower seasons to increase park attendance and promote park visits, which won’t count against your annual pass reservation limit. 

These special bookings typically occur a few times each month and can be found by accessing the My Disney Experience app’s calendar section.

Since the new annual pass sales resumed, Disney has also provided free parking at each Walt Disney World park and resort. 

If you would like to add this option to your yearly pass, any ticketing booth or calling V.I.PASSHOLDER Support are both viable options for adding this benefit.


Renewals

Disney may have suspended new pass sales since introducing their tiered system, yet renewals remain open and available. They have clarified that this does not impact existing pass holders who can renew into any of the four tiers when their renewal window opens.

As part of your decision on whether or not to continue being an Annual Passholder (AP), several factors should be considered when making this choice. 

Your breakeven point for an AP depends on your travel habits, how often you visit within one year, the perks you enjoy most, and more. 

With sales back on, there will be ample opportunity for comparison shopping to find one that best meets your budget needs.

All three new pass tiers offer similar perks yet differ significantly in some key areas. Most notable is how many theme park reservations can be held simultaneously. 

For instance, Incredi-Pass allows up to five theme park reservations, while Pixie Dust Pass blocks out weekends and major holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas.


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The new tiers offer different parking benefits and unique offerings, some exclusive to the higher tiers while others can be added as add-ons for all passes purchased simultaneously. 

Add-ons can be added when purchasing annual passes; their validity lasts one year from the initial purchase date.

Pass holders can now purchase a PhotoPass and WaterPark add-on as part of another change. 

This new add-on replaces the PhotoPass+ WaterPark package, which includes higher pass tiers; all APs can buy this add-on with unlimited PhotoPass downloads and one year of the WaterPark and Sports option.

Anyone looking to purchase an annual pass for Disney World now is best advised to buy during the 2023 renewal period that runs through the 7th of November. 

You can renew online, over the telephone, at ticket booths, or in Disney Springs; follow the instructions carefully and supply all necessary details to ensure a successful renewal.

Frequently Asked Questions

Disney World annual passes are back! After more than a year since their sales ceased for new customers while renewals continued uninterrupted, sales are back open for everyone else.

Disney will once again offer passes for guests visiting Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort, giving them access to admissions either via web, phone, or at their destinations. Those purchasing one will be able to redeem them online, over the phone, or at any of the parks themselves

With park hopping now back, guests will be able to visit multiple parks without worrying about capacity restrictions or other limitations limiting them – something especially helpful on days when one park hosts an event you can’t attend like Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party or Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

At Walt Disney World, guests who desire an all-inclusive dining plan are pleased to know the Disney Dining Plan has returned – providing guests with prepayment for snacks, beverages, and meals in order to create a seamless vacation experience as well as save money in advance of visiting any park! Using this option also means guests won’t incur park admission fees.

The Sorcerer Pass is exclusive to Disney Vacation Club Members in Florida who can purchase it using their membership’s monthly payment plan. Disney has not announced an exact on-sale date, though most likely it will occur shortly after regular annual passes go back on sale.

The Disney Visa Card is an excellent choice for frequent travelers looking to earn rewards on everyday spending. With an attractive sign-up bonus (up to $200 in online cash back) and competitive interest rate, this credit card provides travelers with great rewards from everyday spending.

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