It’s Trip Planning Tuesday and today we are looking at the benefits of Disney World Annual Passes. One of the most exciting things a Disney fan can possibly do is become an annual pass holder. Having this distinction certainly brings many benefits with it that can help you all throughout Walt Disney World. Below we have a few tips that will help tell you all you need to know about having a Disney World Annual Pass. Keep in mind we are writing this post from the perspective of someone who is not a Florida resident. There are annual passes that are cheaper and available only to Florida residents, but those have some restrictions and blackout dates. Most of the tips below are still valid though on all types of passes.
- How Many Days Is it Worth It? – This is the biggest question many people ask. How many days do I need to use my annual pass to make it worthwhile over just purchasing regular park tickets? The annual pass sells for $798 right now including taxes. So let’s just put that into park tickets for two separate trips. First, a 10 day park hopper ticket will cost $499, then let’s say you need tickets for a second trip that is just three days in length, which will cost $368. The total of those two, $867 is well over the amount the annual pass would cost you. Also, keep in mind that Disney Magic Your Way tickets expire 14 days from first use. So, the break even point is generally around 13 days if you include the park hopper option as that will be included with your annual pass.
- What Types of Annual Passes are There? – There are two main types of annual passes at Disney World, the platinum annual pass and the premium plus annual pass. Both of these passes work as a park ticket that gets you access for a full year to the 4 major theme parks. The passes also both work as a park hopper pass, meaning you can go into multiple parks on each day. Both passes also offer complimentary parking as well as all of the discounts and perks included with an annual pass purchase. The difference in the two is that the premium plus annual pass also includes admission into the both Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon Water parks as well as Disney Quest, the Oak Trail Golf Course, and the Wide World of Sports. The premium annual pass is $80 more than the regular annual pass.
- I Heard the Annual Pass Now Includes Photo Downloads. – Yes! Disney increased annual pass price in 2016, but they also added a great new inclusion that pass holders get free, unlimited downloads of any of their Photopass photos for the entire life of their pass. It is as if you have a year long memory maker photo product which includes any photos you and your family have taken in the parks, plus any ride photos.
- Does the Annual Pass Get Me Dining Discounts? – The answer is yes! There are quite a few restaurants within Disney World that offer a 10% discount to annual pass holders, and there are a few that offer a higher percentage. It is by no means all restaurants, but there are restaurants at many resorts as well as three of the theme parks, excluding the Magic Kingdom. Keep in mind each year Disney will change and modify the list of restaurants that participates so it is always good to check year in and year out on locations offering a discount.
- What is Tables in Wonderland? – By being an annual pass holder (or a Florida Resident) you are eligible to purchase a Tables in Wonderland card. This is a great program if you are a frequent traveler to Disney World as it can save you 20% on most meals in table service locations and even at some quick service locations. The card costs $150 initially for annual pass holders and DVC members and can be purchased at guest relations at any of the parks or Disney Springs. There are two “catches” to a membership, the first one being that gratuity of 18% will automatically be added to any check at a table service restaurant, but that is a pretty standard gratuity now anyways. So, if you plan on spending $750 or more in dining at one of these restaurants in a calendar year you can certainly get your money back pretty quickly. The other “catch” is that the card is blacked out and not available for use on 8 major holiday’s throughout the year. All participating restaurants can be viewed on the Tables in Wonderland website. We will also mention one final perk of Tables in Wonderland is that with the membership in this program you get free valet parking at deluxe resorts when dining at one of the restaurants there.
- Are there Any Shopping Discounts? – Many merchandise locations around Disney World offer a 10% discount to annual pass holders. There are some exclusions so you will want to be sure to check the member website, but most of the major shops in each park are included. In addition to merchandise the annual pass also will get you discounts on things such as recreation and spa services as well as miniature golf, and many other special events on Disney property. Be sure and check out the member website once you have your membership to see all of the places you can save money.
As always, if you have any questions leave us a comment below and we’d love to help you out or hear your thoughts.