After putting a pause on selling annual passes throughout the pandemic, Disney has now announced the rollout of a revamped Walt Disney World annual passholder program — which will coincide with its 50th-anniversary celebrations this year.
The annual pass holder program allows frequent Disney guests to save money on park tickets, parking, in-park purchases and more.
Passes will go on sale on Sept. 8 ahead of the Oct. 1 kickoff of Disney’s 50th-anniversary celebrations in Orlando. Here’s everything we know about the new pass system.
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There are four new pass options
Disney is rarely (if ever) a one-and-done kind of company, so it’s no surprise that there are a variety of pass options.
Disney Pixie Dust Pass: This pass is for Florida residents only and can only be used on off-peak weekdays. It comes with the ability to make up to three advance park reservations (more on that later), as well as the other perks listed below.
Cost: $399 plus tax (or $19 per month for 12 months, plus a $205 down payment).
Disney Pirate Pass: Another pass just for Florida residents, this one is more extensive — and expensive — and allows users to visit most weekdays and weekends (with the exception of peak days and holidays). Passholders can hold up to four park reservations at a time, plus the additional perks below.
Cost: $699 plus tax (or $45 per month for 12 months, plus a $205 down payment — for Florida residents only).
Disney Sorcerer Pass: Both Florida residents and Disney Vacation Club Members can take advantage of this pass, which can be used most days (with some exceptions during select holiday periods). The pass includes the ability to hold up to five park reservations at once, plus the other perks below.
Cost: $899 plus tax (or $63 per month for 12 months, plus a $205 down payment — for Florida residents only).
Disney Incredi-Pass: Anyone can purchase this option, which allows holders entry to the parks without blackout dates (yes, even on holidays), and the ability to hold five park pass reservations. Of course, the standard perks that come with all passes (listed below) are also included. It’s the most expensive of the options, but also the least restrictive.
Cost: $1,299 plus tax (or $99 per month for 12 months, plus a $205 down payment — for Florida residents only).
All passholder levels can visit multiple parks each day
Annual Passholders will be able to park hop to more than one theme park per day regardless of which pass they purchase.
You will need to make a theme park reservation via the Disney Park Pass reservation system for the first theme park you wish to visit. After you visit that first theme park, you can visit additional theme parks starting at 2 p.m.
All passes will have finance options for Florida residents
As mentioned above, Florida residents will have financing options regardless of which tier they purchase. They’ll have to put down a $205 down payment and then pay a monthly rate (with 0% APR) for the duration of their one-year pass.
Related: Guide to visiting Walt Disney World
You still need a reservation to enter the parks
Under the current Disney Park Pass system, everyone who enters a Disney park must hold a reservation in addition to a valid pass.
For annual pass holders, you’ll be able to not only make park reservations for a current stay but also hold a number of park reservations for the future. These are determined by your pass level (see above).
Starting Sept. 8, Disney World will also introduce an enhanced theme park reservation calendar that shows booked reservations, park availability and blackout dates for passholders.
Free parking is included with all passes
Here’s a great pass perk: Every pass level includes free parking at every Disney World park. This perk alone could easily save you more than $100 during a multi-day trip to the parks.
There will still be merchandise and food discounts
We’re not sure what the exact discounts will be, but Disney is promising this special perk to annual passholders — up to 20%. And yes, annual passholders will still receive limited edition magnets.
Expect some special perks during the 50th-anniversary celebration
Disney has yet to announce exactly what additional perks will be available, but passholders who plan to attend throughout the official celebration dates will be in for a few surprises. We expect a few specialty merchandise options to be available for passholders, and maybe some special access to celebration events.
Current passholders will get additional park reservations
Current passholders — Silver, Gold, Platinum and Platinum Plus — will all still be able to use their passes as normal until their renewal date. At that time, they’ll be able to choose from one of the new plans.
However, all current passholders will gain access to additional park reservations starting Sept. 8. Silver will get four days of reservations, and the top three tiers will receive five park holds.
Renewals for current pass holders will be discounted
After Sept. 8, 2021, current pass holders will be able to purchase the new passes at a 15% discount.
Related: Is the Disney Visa worth it?
Disney World annual passes aren’t valid at Disneyland
No more free PhotoPass
And you’re going to have to cough up some dough for photos. If you currently have a Disney pass that includes unlimited PhotoPass, enjoy it. That will soon be a thing of the past.
No Disney pass plan will include the option for free, but you can add it to any plan for an additional $99 plus tax. Current passholders who renew will get a discount.
Featured photo by Madison Blancaflor/The Points Guy.