Let’s be honest, Walt Disney World Annual Passes are expensive in 2018, but, are they worth the cost? In this article, we will discuss the 10 Walt Disney World Annual Pass discounts & perks that are available to annual passholders. These 10 discounts & perks will help you to determine if a pass is worth it to you.

10 Discounts & Perks for Walt Disney Annual Passholders

These discounts and perks are active for the calendar year of 2018. Each year, has the right to change discounts & perks for all passholders, regardless of when your pass expires. 

1. Park Hopper Access To All 4 Parks

This is the most obvious reason behind having a Walt Disney World Annual Pass. All passholder silver and higher will grant you access to the 4 main Disney parks; Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios and the Animal Kingdom. You can visit multiple parks each day, and even make an attempt at the Walt Disney World 4 Parks, One Day Challenge.

2. Free Parking At The Parks

On all levels, Disney offers free parking for annual passholders. This may not seem like a big savings but it adds up quick. Walt Disney World charges $25 a day for parking. It does not matter if you want to park for just a few quick hours to grab a quick ride or stay all day.

One of the things Disney does that most other theme parks don’t is provide you free parking on your first visit with an annual pass. Yes, there is a way to park for free when you are picking up your passes for the first time. To do this, simply pay for parking at the toll and take your receipt in to guest services after purchasing your annual pass. Guest services will issues you a gift card for your parking amount, which can be used at any Disney store or restaurant. 

Check out our FAQ’s on Disney World parking for more information about parking in and around Disney World.

3. Disney Annual Pass Dining Discounts

Is a Walt Disney World Annual Pass Worth It? 1

This is an area that used to be amazing, however, Disney has cut back some on the number of dining locations and the amount of the discount. In the past, it was a 20% discount on food and beverages at most on-property restaurants.

In 2018, Disney has restricted this discount down to 10% for most restaurants with a few that offer 15% or 20%. The biggest let down over Disney Annual Passes vs most other Theme Park Annual Passes is that food carts and now many of the quick-service restaurants are no longer on the list, requiring you to pay full price. 

Don’t let this get you down though, there are still PLENTY of locations on Disney property that you can receive a dining discount. Check out this list on Disney’s website for the latest locations for Disney Annual Pass Dining Discounts. 

Meals at Disney can add up and add up quick. We try to eat a larger meal before heading to the parks and attempt to only eat one meal while in the park. Even one meal can easily cost $20 a person, so even 10% can add up over time. 

To save even more, Annual Passholders are eligible to purchase the Tables in Wonderland pass. This pass will allow you to have 20% at many locations, including alcohol.

4. Free Memory Maker / PhotoPass Downloads

This is a benefit that can make your trip more magical. As a photographer, this benefit was not as big of a deal until I realized how many photos I was not in. Yes, I can hand over my camera to any Disney Cast Member, even the PhotoPass Photographer, but, they don’t know my camera or my settings so their photo on my camera won’t turn out as great. 

The ease of having a Disney PhotoPass Photographer snapping a photo and sending it to you digitally is simply magical. On top of standard photos in the park, ride photos and even ride videos will be available for download.

This benefit is only available on the Gold Annual Pass and higher. To save money, we purchased a Gold Annual Pass for one member in our family and a Silver Annual Pass for everyone else, which was a $150/yr/person savings. As long as she is with us, she just taps her magic band and we can download all our family photos. 

5. Free Magic Bands

Disney Magic Bands

When you purchase your Disney Annual Pass, you will then be able to order free magic bands. You choose from 6 different color options and the magic band is mailed to you, normally arriving in 2-3 business days. 

6. Disney Special Event Ticket Discounts

When the holidays roll around, Theme Parks, including Disney, like to have special themed events. Unfortunately, more and more of these events require a separate ticket that is not included with your Annual Pass. The good news is there are discounts available only to Annual Passholders. These discounts vary and are only available on select days. 

7. Free Disney Special Events & Festivals

If you live near Disney, an Annual Pass means a lot more than a day at the park. Throughout the year there are many festivals and special events that you can attend without a special event ticket purchase. These include the Flower and Garden Festival, Food & Wine Festival, Candlelight Christmas, and many different concert series. Some of these events have free gifts for Passholders such as Disney Pasholder magnets.

My wife and I will often use these for date nights. If a concert is coming up, we will plan to arrive with just enough time to hit the concert, grab a nice dinner using our discount, try to grab a Fast Pass for a quick ride then end the night with a firework show. 

8. Disney Annual Pass Shopping Discounts

Disney merchandise can be addictive but can also run up the bill pretty quick. Disney Annual Passholders receive 20% off all Walt Disney World owned-and-operated merchandise locations. 20% off is huge and can add up quickly around Christmas time as you purchase gifts for your loved ones. 

9. Disney Annual Pass Discounts at Disney Springs

Disney Springs

This benefit was one of the largest benefits that we took into account when looking to purchase our Disney Annual Passes. Most restaurants and shops at Disney Springs offer at least a 10% discount to Disney Annual Passholders including several of the quick-service restaurants at Disney Springs. Some offer 15% to 20%. Check out this list on Disney’s website for the latest locations for Disney Annual Pass Merchandise Discounts. Use the filters to view just Disney Springs. 

We are a Lego family. Both my wife and I are adult fans of legos (AFOLs) and our teen is also a huge lego fan. We easily spend over $1,000 a year just on Legos. Guess what, the Lego Store at Disney Springs offers a 10% discount to Disney Annual Passholders! This alone is a $100 savings. 

For those that live in the Orlando area, Disney Springs is often a destination when you need something to do. The number of shops and restaurants make it a great place to kill some time. With a Disney Annual Pass, the extra savings from the discounts really adds up. 

10. Discounted Resort Pricing for Disney Annual Passholders

There are always great deals you can find for the Disney Resorts, however, at different times per year, Disney will release special resort pricing for Disney Annual Passholders. These discounts are normally lower than any other advertised offer. 

When you combine this discount with your restaurant discounts and then obviously your free park entry, you can quickly see how easy it becomes to have a weekend stay-cation with the family or maybe a romantic weekend getaway with your spouse. 

Get the Most Out Of Your Walt Disney World Annual Pass

The above perks will help you made a decision on if a Walt Disney World Annual Pass is worth it. Check out our Disney Annual Pass Tip & Tricks article to learn wow you can make the most of your Annual Pass. 

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Posted by Chris Edwards

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