If you're a regular Walt Disney World Resort visitor, you may have wondered whether or not a Disney World Annual Pass is worth it for your family. There is a point in every vacation of ours where I wonder whether or not I can just stay forever — Cinderella's got room in her castle, right? There are a lot of perks to being an AP, but it's also a big decision from a financial standpoint.
Since reopening in July 2020, Disney World paused sales of their annual passes. We are hoppy to say that the annual passholder program has returned! Starting Sept. 8, new Passholders can choose from four new pass options. If you're considering a Disney World Annual Pass purchase, we've got all of the details on what it means to be an Annual Passholder, as well as what to consider before making that jump.
Walt Disney World Annual Pass Tiers
A Disney World Annual Pass allows for multiple visits to Disney World throughout the year. The amount of possible days varies based on the pass. With the new program, there are now four Annual Pass levels — three for local Florida residents and one available to anyone. Only Florida resident passes allow for a monthly payment; other Annual Passes must be paid in full. Likewise, you'll want to decide whether you'd like to add-on options like Disney PhotoPass downloads or visits to the waterparks, Disney's Typhoon Lagoon and Disney's Blizzard Beach. Disney World Annual Pass levels are:
- Disney Incredi-Pass
- Disney Sorcerer Pass
- Disney Pirate Pass
- Disney Pixie Dust Pass
Outside of cost, the biggest differentiator is blockout dates. Certain passes have blackout dates in the parks, while the Incredi-Pass does not. Be sure to take a look at the blockout calendar before you commit!
Keep in mind that you can always upgrade your pass by paying the difference at Guest Relations. The same goes for regular park admission; as long as you haven't used the last day of your tickets, you can upgrade to an Annual Pass at Guest Relations by paying the difference (and that works for tickets purchased through Undercover Tourist as well!)
What Is the Cost of a Disney World Annual Pass?
Thinking about purchasing an Annual Pass? Take a look at the prices for the new passes below:
- Disney Incredi-Pass — $1,299 plus tax
- Disney Sorcerer Pass — $899 plus tax
- Disney Pirate Pass — $699 plus tax
- Disney Pixie Dust Pass — $399 plus tax
The Pirate and Pixie Dust passes are only available to Florida residents, while the Sorcerer Pass is available to Florida residents and Disney Vacation Club members. Certain passes have blockout dates. The Sorcerer Pass and Pirate Pass may have select blockout dates during peak and holiday periods. The Pixie Dust Pass has similar blackouts, as well as weekend blockouts. The Incredi-Pass has no blockout dates.
The number of park pass reservations for the new program has been increased. Incredi-Pass and Sorcerer Pass may each hold up to five park reservations at a time, while Pirate can have four and Pixie Dust can hold three.
The Water Parks and Sports Option is available for $99 plus tax, allowing you admission to Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon, mini golf, Oak Trail golf course, FootGolf and ESPN Wide World of Sports. Unlimited Disney PhotoPass downloads are available as an add-on option for $99 plus tax each.
Disney World Annual Pass Perks and Discounts
Leap is green in every sense of the word — he loves the environment, is all about value (hence the discounts we pride ourselves on!), and, well, as a fellow frog, is literally green. Before we decided to grab our Annual Passes, he did a lot of crunching numbers to see how many times we'd need to visit to get our money's worth, strictly from a ticketing perspective (for us, it was about ten days). We had planned a two-week camping trip at Fort Wilderness for the summer, and were considering another trip for the following spring break. In our case, the investment was worth it.
Aside from considering the number of times you'll use the pass itself to get into the theme parks, keep in mind that Annual Passholders also receive discounts that add up financially. The Disney World Annual Pass discount includes:
- Free standard theme park parking (if you'd prefer Preferred, you can just pay the difference at the parking booth)
- Merchandise discount (20% at Disney-operated stores; exclusions include third-party and select Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge items)
- Dining discount (somewhere between 10% and 20% at select restaurants around property, from snacks to table-service)
- Special event discount (generally up to four tickets per AP at the discounted rate)
- PhotoPass downloads add-on option available
- Occasional room discounts
- Entertainment discounts on tours and entertainment
Other non-financial perks include:
- Special passholder-exclusive merch, including magnets, MagicBands, Alex&Ani bracelets and more
- Special AP entrance at each theme park
- Early booking windows for special events
- Special passholder events (such as the recent AP preview for Remy's Ratatouille Adventure)
- Early runDisney registration windows
How does a Disney World Annual Pass Work with the Disney Park Pass System?
Much like other guests, Annual Passholders must have a Disney Park Pass to enter a park at this time. Park Pass availability is based on three "buckets" — ticket holders, resort guests and annual passholders. There may be days when there is availability for regular tickets but not annual passes. If you are a Passholder staying at a Disney World Resort hotel, you can book a Disney Park Pass reservation for each day of your stay. Otherwise, APs are able to book three to five Park Passes at a time, depending on your pass level (they are rolling, so as soon as you enter on day one, you can reserve another day). Once you use a theme park reservation, you can make another reservation for a future date.
New to the annual Passholders program are bonus reservations! Bonus reservations will be occasionally added to the calendar, allowing you to hold more reservations without counting against your pass' limit.
How to Renew Your Disney World Annual Pass
With the new program debuting, current Annual Passholders may still use their pass until it is time to renew. You can renew automatically in the My Disney Experience app; you'll also get an email about it. When it's time to renew, you'll receive a special renewal rate, discounted from the current price of an Annual Pass. You can renew up to 30 days after your anniversary date to receive the discount.
If you're ever wondering when your pass will expire, you can see the details in My Disney Experience under "My Tickets and Passes." You should see your pass linked, with an expiration date listed at the bottom of the pass.
Is a Disney World Annual Pass Worth It?
This is a question we get a lot, and like with most things at Disney, it depends. If you are a frequent visitor, the perks are toadally worth it! We recommend taking some time to compare the costs of any trips you'll take in a year versus buying an annual pass. It's always great to get to the point where your trip to Disney World is "free." If you are a Florida resident, there are great options for the occasional trip. Unfortunately, non-Florida residents only have the top tier to choose from (unless you are a DVC member), so there is more to consider.
Disney World Annual Pass Tips
- Check special event pricing - sometimes our prices are better than the discount!
- Always ask about your AP discount. The list of vendors accepting it changes and includes a wide variety of Disney Springs restaurants and retailers too. It doesn't hurt to ask!
- On that same note, you'll need to mention your pass to get the discount.
- Bring along your AP card and ID; you'll need them to verify your discount. You can also show your pass via My Disney Experience, but we suggest keeping the physical card in your wallet just in case.
- You can upgrade any Undercover Tourist ticket to an Annual Pass at Guest Relations as long as there are still usable days on the ticket.
- For assistance, call V.I.PASSHOLDER Support at (407) 939-7277.
Are you thinking of becoming an Annual Passholder or have been a loyal AP for years? Let us know in the comments below!