These fans (which also includes some of us here at DFB!) are willing to shell out hundreds or thousands each year to visit the magic, and they’re often the ones who show up for big restaurant and ride openings, merchandise drops, and special events. But recently, former Annual Passholders and wannabe Passholders have been facing a big issue — most passes aren’t on sale currently!
A little background — Disney World introduced a revamped annual pass program in 2021 after sales had been paused for many months due to the pandemic. However, just a few months later, Disney paused the sale of annual passes (except the cheapest, Florida resident-exclusive Pixie Dust Pass) during the holiday season. Now, we’re well out of the holiday season and things still haven’t gone back to normal.
We were very curious to see how this pause of sales has affected guests hoping to visit the parks, so we reached out to our readers on Facebook and posed the following question: “Has the pause on the sale of Disney World Annual Passes kept you from visiting the parks?” And let’s just say — they had some interesting things to say!
Yes, It Has Affected Us
Oddly enough, the answers were pretty evenly split among our readers. Those who DID want to purchase annual passes named a number of reasons why the loss of them was affecting their travels. Most commonly, people said that having a pass was cheaper than buying tickets for every visit, and that being Annual Passholders motivated them to come to the parks more frequently.
DFB reader Michelle said, “Yes! Has nothing to do with the perks, just makes it more affordable to go more than once.” For those who like to visit multiple times a year for special occasions or different seasons, purchasing tickets over and over gets very expensive. Follower Edana shared that “The year we had the AP, went 6 times. This year, only once.”
We had other readers mention that having annual passes made them feel less pressured during their visits. Reader Daisey commented “Having the pass you don’t worry about having to get all your money’s worth out of a single day.” If you know you’ll be returning to the parks soon, it definitely alleviates some of the need to “do everything” during your trip.
But it’s not just affecting those who can’t buy passes right now — one reader mentioned that they were able to get an annual pass when they were for sale, but their family members waited too late. Since their family can’t visit as well, they don’t plan to renew when their expiration date comes.
So, it looks like the pausing of sales has had a major impact on many people…but what about those who answered “no?”
No, It Has NOT Affected Us
Most of our readers who answered “no” were sharing the same argument — annual passes are too expensive anyway. Commenter Philip simply answered “No. An annual pass was never worth the cost for us.” And reader Joslyn shared “No because at this point it isn’t worth it to buy an AP there. We will stick with our UOAP instead.”
It’s not a secret that these pass prices are expensive. Last year, there was an outcry when Disney raised annual pass prices significantly with the new program. At the same time, some perks disappeared, like the ability to have PhotoPass included in some passes without paying an extra fee. Many of our readers were upset by this loss.
However, there were others that were in the “no” category for a completely different reason — they haven’t stopped going to Disney at all! Some commenters shared that even though passes aren’t available, they’ve still been taking their regularly scheduled Disney trips since the reopening. A few of them shared that they had plans to buy passes when they’re up for sale again, but for now, they’re still happily visiting the parks with regular tickets.
So there you go — we’ve got quite the variety of thoughts and opinions here about this issue, and we’re sure that you’ve got some thoughts as well, so make sure to share them in the comments. When passes go on sale again, it is expected that the four different tiered options will return (some that are Florida Resident exclusive). If you’d like to visit the water parks or use PhotoPass, there are add-ons available. And remember, Magic Key sales for Disneyland are also paused at this time.
And for those planning a Disney World trip in 2023, you may want to start putting your budget together now. There were some sneaky price increases on tickets and resorts for next year, and your travel dates may cost more than they did in the past.
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How has this affected your upcoming Disney trips? Tell us in the comments!