So you bought your Walt Disney World Annual Pass or are thinking of buying an annual pass and want to get the most out of it. We have gathered tips and tricks from several Walt Disney World Annual Passholders to make the most out of your annual pass. 

Tip #1 – Don’t Over Do It

The biggest mistake most people make with an annual pass is trying to do everything at once. Some will try to do rope drop to goodnight kiss. The best part of being a Disney World Annual Passholder is that you have 365 days (minus blackout days) to come back and try different things. 

Instead of trying to do it all at once, pick a mission for your day and spend 4-6 hours at the park. If going to Epcot, pick 2 or three countries on the World Showcase to explore, then come back another day and explore a few more. 

Take your time and explore all the parks in detail over the life of your pass. Walt Disney World has so much to offer from shops, restaurants, shows, attractions and just general theming. Take time to enjoy it all. 

Tip #2 – Use Your Discounts

As a Walt Disney World Annual Passholder, you have lots of discounts available. These discounts range from merchandise, food, resort stays, special events and more. You can view your passholder discounts on Disney’s website, however, the best way to know if a discount is available is to just ask. Whenever you are purchasing something from Walt Disney World or on Disney Property, simply just ask “Are there any annual pass discounts”.  The worst they can say is no.

Don’t Forget to Maximize Your Discounts

One of the places you don’t get discounts is at snack kiosks. If you’re craving a bottled water or a bottled soda, buy these items from a merchandise store rather than a kiosk. Most ride exits have a small gift shop or visit any of the merchandise stores. Instead of no discount, you will get your 20% merchandise discount on your food item. 

Tip #4 – Mix and Match Annual Pass Types

Walt Disney World has multiple annual pass levels. Each level comes with it’s own set of benefits. For Florida Residents, the hardest decision can be between the Silver Annual Pass and the Gold Annual Pass. The biggest difference between the two (besides price) is the Silver has blackout dates during the the summer months, blackout dates during a few of extremely busy weeks, and Photopass. For most, the blackout dates are days that you would not want to attend anyways so it comes down to just the Photopass. 

You do not have to get the Gold Pass for everyone in your family. Instead, pick someone in your family who will attend with the family for most visits and upgrade just their pass to Gold. With their Gold Annual Pass, they will have access to Photopass and just need to scan their Magic Band wherever Photopass is used. 

Tip #5 – Keep Up With Special Passholder Events & Gifts

 Food & Wine Festival Cheeseboard

Walt Disney World has a lot of extras for their Passholders. These include special discounts, special events and even exclusive gifts and merchandise for Passholders. For example, during the Food & Wine Festival 2018, Passholders received an exclusive Passholder magnet on their first visit and an exclusive Cheeseboard on their fourth visit. They also offered several passholder only items for sale including a Magic Band.

These offers are constantly changing. Our recommendation is to bookmark the Walt Disney World Annual Passholder Program website. Check this website often to make sure you don’t miss out on anything!

Tip #6 – Social Media Groups

There are social media groups dedicated to Disney Annual Passholders. These groups can be a great source of information. From tips & tricks to news and special events, these groups can help you connect with other Annual Passholders and share information. 

One group to check out is the Annual Passholders – Walt Disney World Resort Facebook Group. This group has over 50,000 members and growing.

Tip #7 – Use My Disney Experience App

Be sure to use the My Disney Experience app. This app allows you to view wait times, find your way around the park, make dining reservations, mobile ordering for quick-service, view your photopass photos and make FastPass + reservations. 

You can access this app from outside the park. It is useful for checking how busy the parks are to make a determination of which park to visit. You can also use this app while in the park to find what attractions have the shortest wait times. 

Tip #8 – Fastpass+

Fastpass+ is amazing and using your My Disney Experience App makes it super simple to reserve your Fastpasses ahead of time from home. There are a few limits and tips to getting your Fastpasses too.

You are able to reserve your Fastpasses 30 days out. You can reserve up to 7 days in that 30 day time period unless you are staying at a hotel then you can reserve for your days/nights checked in. You can reserve 3 Fastpasses at a time but all for the same park.

There is a tier system at every park so be aware that you can only get 1 Tier 1 Fastpass at a time a 2 Tier 2. This means at Hollywood Studios you can only book 1 of the rides in Toy Story Land as all 3 rides are Tier 1.

Tip #9 – Early Registration for RunDisney Events

Are you a runner? Do you participate in runDisney events? The great news is you can register early as a Walt Disney World Annual Passholder for all runDisney events. Registration normally opens about 4-5 days early for Annual Passholders. To register, visit this page and log in. 

Tip #10 – Tables in Wonderland

Dining at Disney adds up pretty quickly. Tables in Wonderland expands your already expansive Annual Pass Discount from 10%(excluding alcohol) at Table Service restaurants around property to 20% (including alcohol). This also covers Valet parking around the properties for dining purposes. An 18% Gratuity is automatically added for most restaurants with a few minor exceptions.

There are special events, wine tastings, and chef-inspired meals that only Tables in Wonderland members can attend. The cost to Tables in Wonderland is currently $150 for Walt Disney World Annual Passholders (a $25 discount off of the full price). If you mainly eat quick service this might not make sense, but it is a great one to do the math on for if it fits your family.

Posted by Chris Edwards

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