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Do You Know These 6 Secrets About Annual Passes At Walt Disney World?

Paula K

Annual Passes at Walt Disney World are expensive, but they can be worth the cost. Some families will purchase one Annual Pass so that they can take advantage of the benefits. Other families will plan their annual vacations around their passes, for example visit the first week of August one year and the last week of July the next so that they can use the Passes for two vacations. There are two basic Annual Passes available to most people. The Platinum Annual Pass works for the four theme parks for a year, including Park Hopping. The Platinum Plus Annual Pass includes entrance to the four parks, the two water parks, ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, and Disney’s Oak Trail Golf Course. Here are six things that you may not know about Annual Passes. You might just discover that they’re more affordable than you think.

6. Florida Resident Options

If you live in Florida and love Walt Disney World, you should look into purchasing an Annual Pass. There are more choices, many of which include blackout dates. An added bonus of being a Florida resident is that you can use a payment program. When you first buy your pass you’ll be required to pay a down payment, and then you can pay monthly. The passes are also cheaper for Florida residents than they are for others. Proof of Florida residency is required. Don’t think that you’re going to fool Disney without proof that you are eligible for the discount, they’ve seen it all before.

5. Some Dining Discounts

Annual Passholders receive a discount of ten percent or more at many Walt Disney World full service restaurants. The problem is that many of the theme park restaurants don’t offer the discount, and others have restrictions. (It’s a good idea to ask at the restaurant if they have a discount, you don’t want to miss out.) As an Annual Passholder you’ll be eligible to purchase a Tables in Wonderland Membership, and with that the list of restaurant discounts will grow substantially. With Tables in Wonderland you will also receive discounts on alcohol at participating locations. Some people love their memberships, while others think that it is a waste of money.

4. Free Theme Park Parking

If you have your own car you’ll be able to come and go a lot more easily. You won’t be tied down to waiting for buses to get back to your hotel. If you’re staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel your parking is included, but there are plenty of people who stay off property. Parking can take a large bite out of your vacation budget, but with an Annual Pass that’s one less expense that you’ll have to pay. The driver doesn’t need to be the Passholder, he or she just needs to be in the car.

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3. Resort Discounts

Accommodations take up a huge part of most Walt Disney World vacations, and it is always nice to find a way to save on your room. There are often deals and discounts that Annual Passholders are eligible for that aren’t available to the general public. It could be a room discount, or a package could be what is offered. Disney does a great job of keeping you informed, Passholders will receive emails and sometimes snail mail to let them know about upcoming offers.

2. Other Discounts

Annual Passholders are eligible for many other discounts as well. There are plenty of shops inside and outside of the parks that will give you a ten percent discount or more. Just ask when you make your purchase. There are recreational discounts, such as Splitsville Luxury Lanes and the Walt Disney World miniature golf courses. If you want to relax, use your spa discount. You can save when you parasail or rent a boat. Go fishing, or ride a horse. These are just a few of the discounted activities that you can enjoy if you purchase an Annual Pass.

1. Memory Maker

One of the best benefits for Annual Passholders is that Memory Maker is included. You won’t have to worry about getting the perfect shot, just look for a PhotoPass photographer. Your pictures will all be loaded into your account, and you’ll be able to edit and download as many as you would like. All of your ride photos will be included as well, and if there is a video that will also be yours. Not all Florida Resident Passes include Memory Maker, so if that’s important to you, make sure you buy the right pass.

About PaulaK

I grew up in Western Massachusetts. When I was nine my family went to Disneyland and I was hooked. I grew up, attended New England College in Henniker, NH and eventually moved to Virginia. I worked as a disc jockey, married and became a full time mom when our daughter was born. Fast forward several years. In 2010 we moved to Central Florida and my Disney obsession grew. I now work as a freelance writer and spend my spare time in the parks. Under the name Paula Brown I penned the novels Dream Wanderers and The Coffee Cruiser. I also am a co-author of Dining at Walt Disney World: The Definitive Guide. I'm obsessed with Star Wars, so this is a good time to live in Central Florida. I've been a vegetarian for well over a decade, a choice that my daughter eventually made as well. While my husband still hasn't joined us fully he has given up most meats except for seafood. I was relieved to find that vegetarian dining is not difficult at Walt Disney World.