Here on All Things Mouse, we have recently been discussing the many different flavors of theme park tickets available at Walt Disney World Resort. This has included the basic tickets and options to those tickets such as park hopper, water parks fun and more and the no expiration option.
Now it is time to take a look at the annual pass available at Disney World. As the name suggests, the annual pass allows entry into the four theme parks of Disney World (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom) for one year.
When it comes to the annual pass, Disney offers two major options. This includes the Theme Park Annual Pass and its upgraded cousin, the Theme Park Premium Annual Pass.
Disney uses this to describe the Theme Park Annual Pass:
“Enjoy 365 days of magic. Annual passholders can come and go as they please through all four Theme Parks for an entire year. Even hop around from Park to Park on the same day.”
The Theme Park Premium Annual Pass is described by Disney with:
“Enjoy the convenience and magic of Disney all year long. On the same day, go from Theme Park to Theme Park, and do it 365 days a year. The Premium Annual Pass also includes the Disney Water Parks, DisneyQuest® Indoor Interactive Theme Park and much more.”
As their descriptions imply, both options allow guests to come and go into the four theme parks of Disney World each day for a period of one year. For comparison, this would be equivalent to the basic park ticket with the park hopper option added, only that it would be good for a period of one year.
The premium annual pass also includes unlimited entry into DisneyQuest and the two water parks, Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach, along with other benefits. Once again, to compare, this would be similar to the basic park tickets with the park hopper option and the Water Parks Fun and More option, but also with a duration period of one year.
Passholders are also entitled to several other benefits including free parking at the theme parks (Disney currently charges $14 per day per car for parking at the theme parks), merchandise discounts and entrance into special activities held just for passholders such as previews of new attractions. Passholders also receive the ‘Mickey Monitor’ Passholder newsletter.
Now, as for cost, it is not trivial for the annual passes. The theme park annual pass currently costs $574 plus tax for both adults and children aged 3-10. Those interested in the premium annual pass will have to shell out $699 for both adults and children.
Thus, to truly take advantage of the benefits of the passes versus the cost, one must visit the parks of Disney World several times in a year. For example, if you were to take three 4-day trips to Disney World and enter the parks each of those days, separate Magic Your Way hopper tickets would cost $939 total, plus tax ($313 times three).
However, if you are only planning on longer trip during the year, an annual pass may not be worth considering unless you plan to take advantage of the other benefits offered such as discounts and free parking. For example, a 10-day Magic Your Way Ticket with Park Hopper and Water Parks Fun and More would only be $397 plus tax, much less than an annual pass would be.
It should also be noted that Disney typically offers discounts on renewals of annual passes which may play in your favor if you plan on visiting for several years in a row.