As we countdown the days to our May trip to Walt Disney World (and possibly the last on our first annual pass), the hubs and I can’t believe how much we’ve saved by purchasing Walt Disney World general annual passes. While we personally have the means to go more than once a year, I know many families can barely afford one trip a year, if that, so this is not an option for most people. If there’s any chance you think you may be making more than one trip within a twelve month period though (or if you get hooked on run Disney events) you want to seriously consider getting an annual pass to Walt Disney World because of the benefits involved.
There are a few different passholder options. Corey and I have the general Walt Disney World annual pass. There are seasonal, weekend, Epcot after 4, Florida resident, Premium, Premier passes, etc. so there is an option for everyone.
You first thought may be, “We can barely cover the parks on a trip, how are we going to have time to use the other benefits?” When you are considering an annual pass, you should have at least two trips planned or one longer than 10 days. Otherwise the benefits may not outweigh the cost. Yes, there is a lot to do in the parks, but there is only so much that will appeal to your family. That’s when you take advantage of the other discounts that the pass provides. Now you use your discounts for the guided tours (we highly recommend the Keys to the Kingdom tour) or the bowling and movie ticket discounts. If these were part of your plans anyway, the savings are just a bonus!
We personally have taken advantage of the dining discounts. With the pass, there are limitations on the 10% off dining, but generally, most restaurants are included. The limitations include certain days of the week, peak times, and meal times. If you are going to be dining more often and like the sound of saving 20% off food and beverage with far less limitations, Tables and Wonderland
is where it’s at! Tables in Wonderland (abbrv TIW) is available just to Florida residents, Disney Vacation Club members, and annual passholders. The cost is $125, but passholders can get it for $100. We tracked our spending, and with the cost of meals at Disney, we made up the price and started saving at our 5th meal. It’s good for up to 10 people at the table as long as the TIW member is paying.
Merchandise discounts, at first glance, may seem kinda low, and I agree 10% is not a lot when compared to the price of Disney souvenirs, but it is something. Having that additional savings is a nice bonus.
Hotel discounts. I would love to leave it at that, but I cannot stop gushing about the amazing deals available to annual passholders. For our next trip, we saved 20% off of our value resort hotel stay, or about $100 off our four night stay. Disney hotels are expensive, but on property resorts are like no other, and now that Fastpass+ is part of the bonus to staying on property, Disney resorts are getting more of an edge. In just the year that we have been passholders, I’ve seen up to 37% off deluxe Disney resorts offered to passholders. Annual passholders will always receive the cream of the crop of hotel discounts. These discounts make it easier to get the most out of your annual pass because it makes it less expensive per trip to stay.
The general annual pass affords more than just the basic benefits above. For one, you get free parking, meaning you can save $15 every day you visit any of the parks. One benefit that may not be clearly evident but has become increasingly important; you’re protected from price hikes. The price of a one day ticket just to visit the Magic Kingdom is now $99. An annual pass is $638 now. Prices went up twice while we had our annual pass, so it just meant we saved more each trip off the price of having to buy tickets every time. Also as previous passholders, during the renewal month, you can save $100 off the price of next year’s annual pass. There are also special offers for annual passholders, like early access to register for the ever popular runDisney events or discounts for stays at Disney’s Aulani in Hawaii.
The passholder program has benefits and discounts for just about every type of Walt Disney World guest! For those of you reading that have never been or only been once, it’s high time for a trip back.
Have questions about the passholder program or Disney World in general? Comment or contact me. I would love to help!
*this post is not sponsored by Disney nor am I affiliated in any way. it’s mostly for my lovely buddy and partner in Disney-loving crime, Nicole