Tips & Tricks

Walt Disney World Annual Passholder Details For Newbies

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*Updated Feb. 11, 2020 with latest Annual Pass price increase

Have you thought about purchasing a Walt Disney World Annual Pass? There’s actually a lot you need to know about signing up for the magical yearly pass, so here are some Walt Disney World Annual Passholder details for anyone looking into shelling out a lot of money to visit the most magical place on earth multiple times a year.

Being able to travel to Walt Disney World (WDW) more than once a year is certainly a luxury. I recognize how lucky I am to be able to visit my happy place multiple times a year, especially when so many people never even get to go once in their lifetime. I also know that I am extremely fortunate to be the owner of an annual pass (they are expensive, to say the least).

As many times as I’ve visited WDW, I only bought my first annual pass in March 2019. I officially became an Annual Passholder (AP) in October 2019, when I finally picked up my physical pass in person at Magic Kingdom.

Even though I’m a newer AP, I still have learned quite a bit about the process and what being a passholder entails.

So, allow me to answer a few questions you might have about becoming a WDW AP. Hopefully the following will help you determine if purchasing an annual pass is right for you.

1. How Much Does It Cost?

It depends on what type of pass you purchase and whether or not you’re a Disney Vacation Club member or if you’re a Florida resident.

Also, Florida residents can also choose to participate in the Monthly Payment Program. You can contact Passholder Payment Services at (888) 701-4100.

Here’s what I paid for a Platinum Pass prior in March 2019:

Walt Disney World AP Payment summary

Here’s the current pricing structure and what each pass includes, like free PhotoPass downloads and standard theme park parking (as of Feb. 11, 2020):

Disney Platinum Plus Pass ($999 for Florida Residents; $1295 for general public)

Walt Disney World Platinum Plus Annual Pass

Disney Platinum Pass ($899 for Florida Residents; $1195 for general public)

Walt Disney World Platinum Pass

Disney Gold Pass

Walt Disney World Gold Annual Pass 2020

Disney Silver Pass

Walt Disney World Silver Annual Pass 2020

Disney Theme Park Select Pass

Walt Disney World Theme Park Select Pass

Disney Weekday Select Pass

2020 Walt Disney World Annual Pass Weekday Select Pass

Epcot After 4 Annual Pass

Epcot After 4 Annual WDW Pass 2020

Water Parks Annual Pass

Walt Disney World Water Parks Annual Pass

Water Parks After 2 Annual Pass

Walt Disney World Water Parks After 2 Annual Pass

2. How Do I Become An AP?

There are three different ways to purchase a pass:

  • In person at any WDW Guest Relations or ticket location
  • Online via the official WDW website
  • By calling Disney at (407) 939-7679

3. When Does It Kick In?

Passes are good for 366 days from the date of activation. So, if you pick up your pass in person on Jan. 27, 2020 it will kick in that day and be good through Jan. 27, 2021.

However, if you purchase your pass online or over the phone, it won’t officially be activated until the day you pick it up in person. For example, I purchased mine online on March 25, 2019 and didn’t officially receive my pass in person until Nov. 1, 2019. This means my pass will expire on Nov. 1, 2020.

4. Where Do I Get My AP?

If you don’t purchase a pass in person, you can get an activated pass at any WDW Guest Relations or ticket location across WDW.

*Make sure you have your photo ID and your voucher on hand in order to receive your pass

Walt Disney World AP voucher

Walt Disney World Platinum Pass

5. How Do I Enter A Park?

You enter a park just like you normally do with your MagicBand. You don’t need to scan your AP card to enter, but can if you prefer. Your pass should be automatically linked to your MagicBand.

There are separate “Annual Passholder Entrance Only” queues that are sometimes shorter compared to other regular entry points, but you don’t have to use the designated AP lines if you don’t want to.

Photo of Walt Disney World Annual Passholder entrance at Animal Kingdom

6. Do I Get Discounts?

Yes, there are many AP discounts, including:

Dining: up to 20 percent off at select locations

*APs can also join the Tables in Wonderland program for $150, which gives them 20 percent off on food and beverages (yes, this includes alcohol) at 100 WDW dining locations. Valet parking is also included. The Tables in Wonderland discount is good for up to 10 people, including the member.

Merchandise: up to 20 percent off at select locations

Events & Entertainment (like party tickets for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party): the discount varies, but usually around 15 percent off depending on the location and activity

Sports, Recreation, & Spa (golf, bike rentals, spa treatments, bowling, etc.): up to 15 percent off at select locations

You can also check out the special offers, deal, and discounts page for resort deals that are sometimes offered for APs and are available for only a limited-time. I recommended booking resort hotel offers ASAP, because there are only a select number of spots open and they fill up fast.

7. Are There Special Offerings?

In addition to the above discounts, there are many other extras available to passholders called “Passholder Extras”. These are available for a limited time. For example, usually with each Epcot festival, APs can pick up a free passholder magnet (as seen below) at a designated location in the park.

Sometimes there are other perks, including V.I.Passholder Events, which offer exclusive events, previews, and merchandise to APs. This type of information is usually either emailed directly to passholders (FYI: not all passholders receive these emails and I’m not sure why), shared on the WDW website, or published on the Disney Parks Blog.

Walt Disney World Annual Passholder Chip and Dale magnets

8. How Does FastPass+ Work?

FastPass+ works exactly like it normally does. Passholders can make selections up to 30 days in advance. However, if they have reservations at a WDW resort hotel, they can book FastPass+ reservations up to 60 days prior to their check-in date.

9. When & How Do I Renew?

When your pass expires (366 days from the activation point), you can either renew (up to 60 days before and 30 days after expiration) in person at WDW Guest Relations or a ticket location, online, or over the phone by calling (407) 560-7277. Florida residents using the Monthly Payment Program cannot renew over the phone, but you can renew passes online or in person.

10. Are There Resources Online?

There are multiple resources online available for APs to keep them up to date on new offers and to help if they need assistance. They include:

V.I.Passholder Support is available seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. EST:

  • Email: DisneyWorld.com/PassholderHelp
  • Phone: (407) 939-7277
  • Chat: online with a Cast Member on your V.I.Passholder Support page
  • In Person: Liberty Square Ticket Office at Magic Kingdom, Ticket Central at Hollywood Studios, Ticket Corner at Animal Kingdom, or Ticket Center at Disney Springs

Photo of Walt Disney World Annual Passholder magnets

If you’re planning on visiting WDW multiple times a year, then an Annual Pass is most likely the smartest option, especially when you factor in all of the discounts and benefits.

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