10 Ways You Might Be Doing Walt Disney World Wrong

annual passholder magnets

3. You don’t buy annual passes.

If you’re a Guest who only visits the parks once every few years, there’s no need for you to purchase annual passes, obviously. But if you and your family live in Florida and go to the parks all year long, it might be the best option for you. If you live out of state, but you and your family rush to your happy place in the parks every time school’s out for the summer, you may want to consider an annual pass. Why? There are several reasons. Annual passholders receive discounts on merchandise purchased in the parks—up to 20% savings. During certain promotions, you can get discounts on dining at specified restaurants in the parks.

There are also savings on tickets prices, if you play your cards right. For example, my family and I visit the parks every summer—usually in mid-June through late June or early July. We live in Dallas, but we stay in Florida for 2 to 2 ½ weeks. We have four children, so we need 6 tickets, and each one is a 10-day ticket. With the park hopper option, after tax, we can easily spend over $3,000 for tickets in one trip to the parks. In addition to that, we will pay $20 per day in parking. Ten days in the parks will cost us $200 in parking. Then we purchase Memory Maker, at $149. This doesn’t include any meals or souvenirs, both of which we purchase almost daily in the parks—and without annual passes, those meals and souvenirs are full price. Before meals and souvenirs, we’ve already spent $3,349, and we have no discounts on dining or merchandise. Plus, in 11 months when we return, we will have to spend the $3,349 again, and that’s if there’s no price increase. So the grand total for 2 vacations to the parks in one year’s time, without any meals or souvenirs, will cost us $6,700.

But if we purchase six Platinum Annual Passes to the parks, it costs just under $5,000. Parking is included. Park Hopper option is included, and we get the discounts on dining and souvenirs, which adds up quickly. Finally, as long as we take our next trip within 365 days of our first day in the parks this year, our park admission on next year’s trip will cost us $0. Parking will also be free. So with an annual pass, our family can take two vacations to the parks (which we would be doing anyway), and the cost before souvenirs and meals is just under $5,000. Right off the top, we’ve saved $1,700, and that doesn’t include any of the discounts we will be receiving.

So if you and your family go every year, you might want to consider purchasing annual passes. The savings can be substantial.