Big News on Walt Disney World Passes

WDW News is reporting that big changes are in the works for Walt Disney World Season Passes.

In fact, these changes will start tomorrow.

The current passes are Seasonal, Standard, and Premium. They will be replaced by new passes which will be called Silver, Gold, and Platinum.

  • Silver will be the same as the current seasonal pass
  • Gold will mirror the annual pass.
  • Platinum will be the replacement for the Premium pass.

However, WDW News is reporting one major change which could make these passes extremely valuable. Gold and Platinum passes will now include complimentary PhotoPass downloads.

More details should be available tomorrow.

Below are 7 other reasons why a season pass might make sense for you.

  1. Free Parking

Parking is included if you’re staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel, but many guests choose to stay off property. It is nice to have your car instead of having to wait for a hotel shuttle, but paying the parking fee day after day will add up. If you purchase an Annual Pass, there is no more parking fee. You can keep your car close by and come and go as you please, without adding an extra daily cost onto your vacation.

  1. Park Hopper Included

The Park Hopper option allows you to visit more than one park per day. It is a great thing to have, but it’s an expensive addition to your ticket. If you have an Annual Pass, you can park hop all that you want. It’s one less expense that would otherwise be added to a Magic Your Way ticket.

  1. Previews

When a new ride or attraction opens, sometimes Walt Disney World will have Passholder Previews. An email will be sent out several days in advance, letting Passholders know about upcoming sign ups. A link will later be sent, and all that you’ll have to do is sign in and grab a time. While it sounds easy enough, it isn’t always. When the Passholder preview sign ups opened for New Fantasyland, the system crashed and people were understandably frustrated. Walt Disney World did make up for it by adding several more dates and times, making it easier for Passholders to get a sneak peek.

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  1. Dining Discounts

Food is expensive, but your Annual Pass might help to cut down on the cost somewhat. Many restaurants offer a discount of 10 to 20 percent, alcohol is not included. There is a downside to this. If you’re dining mostly in the parks, you’ll soon discover that too many of the restaurants do not offer a Passholder discount. If you plan on trying out the restaurants at Disney Springs or you love the resort restaurants, you’ll be happier. Annual Passholders are eligible for Tables in Wonderland, which is a dining discount program. Passholders can purchase an annual membership for $100, and then you’ll receive a 20 percent discount on food and beverages at over 100 restaurants, including several in the theme parks. There is a discount on alcohol if you are a Tables in Wonderland member.

  1. Merchandise Discounts

While the dining discounts are rare in the parks, the same is not true for the merchandise discounts. Plenty of stores offer Passholders a chance to save. The discount is usually ten percent, but some stores will offer 15 or even 20 instead. Remember that not all stores on Walt Disney World property are owned by Disney, and you will find some that don’t offer a discount. The Passholder must be the one to make the purchase, it can’t be another member of your party. Have your ID and discount card ready to make the transaction go faster.

  1. Hotel and Other Discounts

Several times a year Annual Passholders will receive emails about discounted Walt Disney World Resort rooms. The savings can be substantial. Usually it’s only a set number of rooms that are discounted and they will often have to be booked months in advance. The rooms will go quickly, so grab them when they become available. There are also Passholder discounts for spa treatments, water sports, car rentals, bowling, golf, movies, special ticketed events, and more.

  1. Bragging Rights

There is nothing quite like bragging to family and friends that you have a Walt Disney World Annual Pass. Disney makes it easy for you to brag. You’ll receive an AP magnet for your car. You will be eligible for Passholder only merchandise for events like Star Wars Weekends. (The Passholder T-shirt clearly lets people know that you’re not just a casual fan.) You’ll also be able to keep up to date on everything that is happening at Walt Disney World. In addition to the emails (you can opt out if you want) you will receive the Mickey Monitor in the mail four times a year. It contains all the latest information on special events and discounts. It will also look great on your coffee table.

About David

David Killingsworth is the son of the founder of DisneyDining.com. As such, he might know more about Disney World Parks and Games than any other 17 year old. David is a technical genius and when he is not writing for our Disney sites he is a video game designer and avid gamer.