disney magic kingdom annual pass
Disney Orlando Military Discounts

Disney World Annual Pass: When is it a Good Idea to purchase?

disney magic kingdom annual pass

Have you ever wondered if a Walt Disney World annual pass would be a good fit for you? If you go to Walt Disney World a lot, then it probably is. If you have thought about going to Walt Disney World more, or would go more if you had an annual pass, then that’s a good sign too. Here is a brief overview of Walt Disney World annual passes currently available. If you want to know when you should make the investment in an annual pass and when you shouldn’t, read on!

Types of Annual Pass

Currently there are two pass types available if you don’t count the Water Parks Annual Pass. The Water Parks pass is pretty close to what you would pay for two water park visits. It includes Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach. If you plan on going to a Disney water park three or more times in the next 12 months, then you should get this pass.

The other passes are the Platinum pass and the Platinum Plus pass. Both have the same benefits and no blockout dates. The main difference between the two is that the Platinum pass is good for all four theme parks with park hopping capabilities and the Platinum Plus includes the water parks, ESPN sports complex and Oak Trail golf course. The difference in price is only $100 plus tax. The pretax cost of the Platinum pass is $894 per year and the Platinum Plus is $994 per year. That means it’s cheaper to get the Platinum Plus than it is to get the Platinum and the Water Parks pass combined.

When to Buy an Annual Pass


The whole point of the annual pass is to save money. You can do this two different ways. First you can save on park visits. Second, you can save on pass holder discounts. If you are local enough that you can have at least two major Disney World trips within a year, then you should get the pass. That gos for once or twice a month casual visits, or two big trips from within a few hundred miles or so. If you are close enough that you will visit frequently, or have two separate extended stays, then an annual pass is worth it for you.

Not Local

Number of Days

The way that ticket pricing at Walt Disney World works is very unique. It’s all very calculated. A park ticket is at least $109 per day, so an annual pass should pay for itself within ten park visits. However, it doesn’t actually work that way. As an incentive to keep guests on property, ticket prices go down with each additional stay. That means that by the tenth day each ticket costs only $55 for a total of only $550 per person. That’s why you need to make two separate extended visits. The catch is that the hotel rooms are so expensive and the passes do not cover hotel stays.


With both annual passes you get a discount of up to 20% discount on select dining and merchandise, including Shopdisney.com. This is where you could potentially save some money if one person in your party gets an annual pass. You may pay about $500-$700 too much for park admission, but make up for that in dining bills and souvenirs. The longer your stay, the better chance you have of coming out ahead on the deal as the gap in pricing closes and dining and merchandise discounts mount.

One final benefit that may push it over the top for you is that an annual pass comes with PhotoPass downloads. The pass holder can use this benefit at PhotoPass locations around Walt Disney World as well as on PhotoPass Attractions. The value of this benefit works out to be a value of a couple of hundred dollars if you were considering a Memory Maker package.

Are you an Annual Passholder?
These may be the perfect options for military families stationed close to Disney World or Disneyland! Or those that are simply huge Disney fans and travel often yearly no matter where they are stationed (that would be me!)

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