Buying a Disney Annual Pass

Why Buying a Disney Annual Pass Can Save you Money… Even if you Only go Once a Year

Buying an annual pass is any Disney lover’s dream. With it comes with the ability to head to the ‘Most Magical Place on Earth’ anytime over the year without buying theme park tickets for each visit. This can lead to savings if you are visiting Walt Disney World more than once during the year.

Disney Annual Pass Theme Park Ticket Savings

The current cost of the Disney Platinum Pass is $829.64 (including tax). This comes with admission to all four theme parks, park hopper option, Memory Maker and no blackout dates. Sounds like a good deal, yes? But is it?

To calculate the cost savings, you have to figure out how many times you are going to visit and how many days you will be going to the theme parks each time. I will tell you right now that if you aren’t staying well over 10 days in a single visit then annual passes will not be worth it. To get the cost savings out of the passes you need to have two separate visits totaling greater than 12 days.

To see this laid out for easier consumption check out the table below. Starting on the left column, find the number of days you will visit Walt Disney World on your first trip. Now read across top row for the number of days for your second visit. The amount at the intersection is what you would pay for two sets of theme park tickets. If that amount is more than an annual pass ($829.64) then you will save money.

Buying a Disney Annual Pass

As you can see, the savings for two visits totaling 12 days or more start as little as $1.00 all the way up to a $107 savings.

So far we have only looked at the savings for two trips to Disney. However, this savings jumps exponentially if you add a third, fourth or fifth trip. Using the spreadsheet linked below, you can calculate your own savings.

Buying a Disney Annual PassDisney Annual Pass Cost Calculator

Disney Annual Pass Resort Savings

But wait there’s more…. Just like the infomercials tell us, there’s more to the story. Something that people don’t always remember is that Passholders are also privy to certain discounts throughout the theme parks such as dining discounts, merchandise discounts and resort hotel discounts. It’s these resort discounts which will make purchasing an annual pass, even for one trip, a smart idea.

Below is a comparison of how much it would cost to book a resort room while only purchasing regular theme park tickets vs. booking a resort room and replacing one of the theme park ticket with an annual pass.

Buying a Disney Annual Pass

As you can see, significant saving start with a stay as short as three nights. By replacing one theme park ticket with an annual pass, you can save $200 on a three night stay at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. Now look at the savings of starting at the Grand Floridian for 10 nights!!! Wowza!! And this savings is just for one trip!

Disney Annual Pass Combined Savings

Now that we have shown the ways to save money buying an annual pass for multiple visits and also using it for the resort discount, let’s take a look at combining the discounts over your multiple visits:

Trip Plans
Trip #1 – 7 days – Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort
Trip #2 – 5 days – Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
Trip #3 – 3 Days – Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

Ticket savings:   $308.85
Resort savings: $109.82 + $769.01 + 200.91 = $1,079.74
Total savings:    $1,388.59

Let’s put this savings in prospective for a minute: The cost of a Disney Platinum Annual Pass is $829.64. Your savings alone on your three trips exceeds the cost of buying that annual pass meaning the passholder is basically visiting Disney for FREE and who doesn’t like free?

Do you purchase an annual pass just to receive the discounts on resort, merchandise and dining or to save on theme park tickets? Let us know by tweeting us @MQPodcast.

Sue Nowicki is an alumna of the 2014/15 Disney Parks Moms Panel. She used to spend her time being team mom all of her daughter’s sports teams where she filled the roles of secretary, navigator, head cheerleader, treasurer, athletic trainer and team psychologist. Now that she her daughter has gone to college, if you can’t find her, check the closest corner where she is likely crawled up in a ball crying. Just kidding, she is now trying to find her new place in life all while keeping her love of Disney close to her heart. You can follow her on Twitter @MQPodcast.

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Buying a Disney Annual Pass

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4 thoughts on “Why Buying a Disney Annual Pass Can Save you Money… Even if you Only go Once a Year

    1. Hey Patty! While they do typically keep ‘similar’ promotional rates year-to-year, they tweak them as time goes on. A perfect example of this is the ‘Free Dining’ promotion. While it’s still offered, it looks vastly different than the original promotion.

    1. Thanks for stopping by! It’s crazy how the savings compounds with Annual Passes! Come back and check our comparison spreadsheet again if your plans change.

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