Why an Annual Pass Can Save You Money (Even on one trip)!

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By Katie Penn & Stephen Ashley

It’s common sense that if you’re going to Disney frequently, an annual pass is a great idea. There are others who should really consider it as well. While the different levels of annual passes vary your access to the parks and vary your perks, they last throughout the year.

Consider these two good reasons:

  • Annual passes get you discounts. Sometimes big!
  • You can participate in things that are only for annual pass members.

TIP: Only one person needs to buy the Annual Pass to get discounts (and some perks) for your entire party.

To lower travel costs, some people buy regular tickets for everyone in their party except one person who gets an annual pass. This allows you to enjoy the discounts and even special annual pass member activities. However only the person who has the annual pass will be the only one who can get entry to the parks for the year.

When is an Annual Pass more economical than regular tickets?

1. You’ll be visiting the parks at least 10 days so that the annual pass cost is similar to the cost of tickets. To see if that’s true for you, you’ll want to:

Compare Ticket Price to (Annual Pass Price minus Discount savings)

If you do this, you’ll be able to see if it’s cheaper to buy tickets or annual passes. This will take a little research on your part to determine what discounts you’re likely to take advantage of, but it can be worth the effort.

2. You’re planning numerous trips within a 12 month period. Again, you’ll want to compare, but with more trips comes more park days, and you’re likely to take advantage of more discounts.

SOME DISCOUNTS THAT ANNUAL PASS HOLDERS CURRENTLY GET:

  • Room rates (up to 30% off rack room rates)
  • Many Disney World restaurants (10-20% off)
  • Option to buy Tables in Wonderland discount dining
  • Disney Dinner shows (10%)
  • Merchandise in some Disney stores (usually 10% and sometimes 20%)
  • Disney tours (usually 10-15% discount)
  • Movies at the theater in Disney Springs ($2 off)
  • Bowling at Splitsville in Disney Springs (%10)
  • Disney’s special ticketed party events on select nights, like Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
  • Ferrytale Fireworks Cruise (10%)
  • Water Park admission discounts (up to $16)
  • Entertainment like Mini Golf, bike rentals, fitness club/salon/massage, surry bikes, boat rentals, horse drawn carriages, fishing.
  • Free parking in the Disney World parks (at this writing saving you $25 a day)
  • PhotoPass Downloads are free for some Annual Passes.

Check out the specific discounts Annual Pass holders currently get on Disney’s site. 

Even if you’re just staying in a Disney resort and taking advantage of the Annual Pass room discounts, you may make up your money from that alone. Especially if you’re staying in a deluxe resort.

OTHER PERKS FOR ANNUAL PASSHOLDERS:

  • Special events that only annual pass holders can participate in.
  • Free give-aways that only annual pass holders can receive.
  • Park Hopping – Ability to visit all 4 parks the same day for most annual passes.

If you’re a Floridian, check out the article called Florida Residents – Disney World Tickets and Annual Passes – What you need to know.

More about Annual Passholder Room Rate Discounts:

These discounts usually come out around 2-4 months before your travel dates, and they’re not always available. They can sell out quickly, but when you can get one, the discount is significant. To get the Annual Passholder rate, you don’t have to have your annual pass(es) before reserving your room. So if you find a good Annual Passholder rate, you can make your reservation and then buy the annual pass(es). Before you choose the Annual Passholder rate, do the math and make sure that the discount makes it’s worth the cost of the annual pass.

Also, since the Annual Passholder rates come out rather late, you can reserve your room without it and watch for it. Once it’s released, if you can get it for your dates, you can apply the discount then.

For those who are out of the country:

If you’re out of the country, when you’re trying to determine if an annual pass is for you, you’ll also want to look at the way the exchange rates impact ticket pricing.

Visit here to read Tickets at Disney World: How to Pick the Right Ones for You!

Read TICKETS AT DISNEY WORLD: HOW TO PICK THE RIGHT ONES FOR YOU!

FOR ARTICLES WITH STEP BY STEP DIRECTIONS ON HOW TO PLAN YOUR DISNEY WORLD TRIP, VISIT HERE. 

TO CHOOSE WHERE TO STAY ON YOUR TRIP, VISIT HERE. 

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About Author

I'm Stephen Ashley. My wife and I are huge fans of Disney World. I'm the author of Walt Disney World With Disabilities. I also wrote a book called Walt Disney World Made Easy for Everyone, but rather than have it published, at this point we've decided to place all the material from the manuscript on this website so everyone can have access to it! I hope you enjoy it, and I hope it makes your day just a little bit brighter and easier.

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