Our family loves to go to Walt Disney World. We have a lot of reasons but here are a few . It is our second home, I was a cast member there for 4 years, we got engaged there, and it is just the perfect place for a fun family vacation. Being a previous cast member I know a lot of the ins and outs, tips and tricks of Walt Disney World even though it has been 6 years since I worked there. We visit frequently, I read Disney Blogs on the regular and much more to constantly stay up to date. In November of 2016 we decided it was time to get a Walt Disney World Annual Pass and we haven’t looked back.
So is a Walt Disney Word Annual Pass right for our Family? Here are 6 reasons why it might be.
You have a child under the age of 3
Our daughter was just about to turn 1 when she had her first Disney trip . She has been to Disney 9 times already at 3.5 now. We took extra advantage of it until she was 3 since we don’t have to pay for her ticket or food for that matter right now. At Disney 2 and under are FREE. No ticket required, no dining plan or meals have to be purchased. Kids under 3 can get there own plate at character meals at no charge, and eat off ours at others. This just makes things that much easier. I know it seems so young for a child to go to Disney but its free and they may not remember but you will! The memories are absolutely priceless.
You plan to go for more than 10 days in a Calendar Year
When we got our first ever pass in November 2016 we actually got an extra month free which gave us 13 months to use our pass. They do occasionally run specials like this but lately there hasn’t been much. If you plan to be in the parks more than 10 days in a year time frame an Annual Pass might be a great option for you. Price compare the cost of tickets vs. the pass especially if you are planning to add a park hopper. You could take one trip with your pass in 2019 and one in 2020 before its expiration date saving you on trip for the following year. I think so many people don’t realize this is even an option.
This can be confusing to some as its listed as Photo Pass under the pass holder perks, but it’s the exact same thing as the memory maker. It is one of my favorite perks of the pass. If you’re a Florida resident not every pass comes with this, but it is worth it for one person in your party to have the one with photo pass for the perk alone. Memory Maker cost $199 a trip, $199 if booked in advance. Over 2 trips that’s $300 or more you would pay for it close to half the cost of a pass. I wouldn’t do a trip without it, it is worth every bit!
If you ever decide to go and stay off property, your parking with an Annual Pass is FREE! Parking is crazy expensive at $25 a day. When staying off property and only going 5 days this is $125. Do that twice in a year thats $250. Money saved!
Discounts & Perks
Pass holders save on rooms, dining and merchandise. Room discounts can be up to 30% off depending on the type of the resort and time of year. You receive 20% off merchandise and 10-20% off at certain food and beverage locations. We have yet to use the room discount but have easily saved upwards of $100-$150 from dining and merchandise discounts. You can even use your pass holder discount on the shop Disney parks app. Also just this year they have added special pass holder entrances. It was so great to skip the line at the turnstiles on the early mornings. Who doesn’t love a discount, and good perks!
Special Events and Merchandise
There are so many great special events throughout the year at Disney. From Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival, Food and Wine Festival, Mickeys Not So Scary Halloween Party, Mickeys Very Merry Christmas Party, Holidays Around the World , to the New Festival of the Arts Disney always has something fun and new to offer. In the last year they have had some passholder special pop up events at the parks when new things are released. The Fall and Christmas are one of our favorite times to visit, and no it never gets old! With an annual pass you can experience it all, and there is always special merchandise just for annual pass holders.
We go as a family typically 2 long trips and one shorter trip each year. We are also lucky that my husband has work down there and we can often tag along.
Do the math and the research and see what works best for your family.Annual passes may not be the best option for every family depending on how often your family likes to make the trip. Sometimes we like to be spontaneous and plan a last minute little get away. That’s not easy for everyone to do, but if you can sometimes it is fun to fly by the seat of your pants. Happy Disney planning!