Disney World just announced their NEW Annual Pass Program!
Disney had previously said Annual Passes would be back before the 50th anniversary on October 1st. Passes have not been on sale for Disney World since before the closures in March of 2020. The new Annual Pass Program does have quite a few significant changes compared to the last program, so we want to talk to you about the pros and cons about the new Annual Passes!
When Disneyland didn’t include free parking with all of their pass options in their new Magic Key program, we wondered if the same would happen with Disney World. But, don’t worry! Free standard parking is still included with all Annual Pass options!
So, you will not have to dish out even more cash just to drive to the parks!
Upgrade Current Tickets
If you already have purchased tickets for Disney World for the future, you can upgrade those into an Annual Pass! Eligible tickets can be upgraded to a select Annual Pass starting September 8th. You will be able to apply the entire price you paid for your tickets into your new annual pass.
For right now, you have to upgrade your tickets in person or over the phone. You can’t do it through Disney’s website or My Disney Experience. Also, the monthly payment plans will only be available in person. You can upgrade your tickets at a theme park ticket window, at the Disney Ticket Center at Disney Springs, or you can call Disney at 407-W-Disney (407-934-7639).
Many Options for Florida Residents
This is a positive for those of you who live in Florida. Of the 4 passes in the Annual Pass Program, 3 of them are exclusively for Florida residents — the Pixie Dust Pass, the Pirate Pass, and the Sorcerer Pass. So, residents have a decent amount of options and flexibility for how they want to visit Disney World! DVC Members are able to purchase the Sorcerer Pass as well.
As of now, Florida residents are also the only ones who can pay for their pass using a monthly payment plan after an initial down payment (which, again, must be done in person).
The discounts for Annual Passholders remains at 20% off for select food, merchandise, and activities. Activities include things like select tours, spa treatments, rounds of golf, and after-hours events in the parks!
From time to time, Passholders can also take advantage of special offers on stays at Disney World.
More Theme Park Reservations
Annual Passholders will now have access to more theme park reservations than they have had previously! The Pirate Pass will let you have 4 park reservations at once and the Sorcerer Pass and Incredi-pass will both let you have 5 reservations at once!
Previously, all Passholders could only have 3 theme park reservations at one time. Also, Passholders will still be allowed to make theme park reservations for the duration of their stay at Disney World in addition to the number of reservations they’re allowed to hold at once.
Bonus Theme Park Reservations
Annual Passholders will also now have access to bonus theme park reservations! Disney says from time to time, bonus reservations will be added to the calendar, allowing you to make extra reservations on select days at select theme parks.
The bonus reservations do not count towards the park reservations you can hold at one time. So, if you can hold 5 reservations at once, you could technically hold 6 or more if you get a bonus reservation!
PhotoPass and Water Park and Sports Add On
PhotoPass and the Water Parks and Sports options can now be added to your Annual Pass for $99 plus tax each! They were included with some of the Annual Passes before, but not all. So, for people that had more limiting Annual Passes, this option is actually less expensive than it was before when they would’ve had to add it on separately or upgrade their pass.
Only Gold, Platinum, and Platinum Plus Annual Pass had PhotoPass included in their passes before. All other passes had to add it on at either $169 (advance purchase) or $199 for the duration of their vacations.
Only the Platinum Plus Annual Pass had the Water Park and Sports option included with their pass before. All other passholders had to add it on at $139 for an annual water parks pass, $89 for an annual pass that you could only use after 2PM, or they had to buy individual tickets.
No More Free PhotoPass or Water Park and Sports Access
On the contrary, for the previous Annual Passholders that DID have PhotoPass included, they now have to pay $99 to add it on for the year.
The same goes for the Water Park and Sport Option for Platinum Plus Annual Passholders. The option was included before, and now they have to pay $99 for the year for the add-on. So while this change will end up being less expensive for some people, it will be more expensive for others.
Limiting Options for Out-Of-State Guests
Only 1 of the passes is available to non-Florida residents — the Incredi-Pass. So, while Florida Residents have 3 different options for passes, out-out-state guests only have 1, and it’s the most expensive option (but it also has the most perks).
The Incredi-Pass is $1,299 and is the only pass with NO blockout dates!
Not As Many Options
Before, the Annual Pass Program included 8 options for passes, and now, there are only 4 options. The 8 options gave people a little more flexibility to find a pass that worked best for them.
Disney also no longer has an EPCOT After 4 Annual Pass. This pass gave you admission to EPCOT after 4PM and had no blockout dates for $319. Now, people just wanting to go to EPCOT will have to buy one of the 4 annual pass options that gives them access to all of the parks, but 3 of the 4 passes have blockout dates.
Some of the new Annual Passes are more expensive than the previous passes. For example, the least expensive pass that still gave you access to all 4 parks before was the Florida Resident Weekday Select Annual Pass for $369. Now, the least expensive pass is the Pixie Dust Pass for $399, however, this pass has fewer blockout dates than the Weekday Select had.
Those are all of the major pros and cons of the new Annual Pass Program for Walt Disney World! Passes go on sale on September 8th. Stay tuned to DFB for more Disney news and updates!
Will you be buying an Annual Pass when they become available? Let us know in the comments!