Friday, August 26, 2011

A Walk Around The World With Ridge--Annual Passes

When I am telling people the joys of taking a trip to Disney, tickets are always a huge topic because as we all know they aren’t cheap and they have lots of options to choose from and in that add to the expense. There comes a breakeven point where it becomes just as cost effective to purchase an annual pass but that depends greatly on the amount of time you’re going to spend in and around the parks throughout the year. Also there are passholder perks available like dining and merchandise discounts, special events, and Tables in Wonderland.

There are a couple of different types of annual passes, Florida resident, everyone else, and then you can make them premium passes for a little extra money. If you live in Florida and you’re reading this, there is a great chance you either already know about or have a Florida AP so I am going to cover the “everyone else." It should also be noted that if you are a DVC member there is a discount available for the purchase of your AP. It’s almost 100 dollars off so it’s worth having an AP for the additional 10% discount on things that the DVC member discount doesn’t cover or a 20% discount for the premium AP.

OK so you just made your decision to go ahead and purchase your AP, you’ve decided that this year will be the year of multiple trips and it will just make sense to do it. Do you get just the regular pass or the premium pass? There is about 100 dollars difference in the cost from regular to premium but the step up in perks in very nice IF you will take advantage of them. Both passes entitle you to unlimited admission into the theme parks, free parking and a subscription to the Mickey Monitor, a quarterly publication with news and highlights from the parks. If you take the premium pass, you also get unlimited admission to the water parks Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach, Disney Quest at Downtown Disney and ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Also there is a passholder discount at 10% for regular and 20% for premium APs at some dining and merchandise locations. Not to forget that there are special AP holder only events that you can participate in. I got to ride Mission Space on AP weekend when it first opened. That was a blast. I think I rode it 20 times before even I felt like it was time to do something else.

Now if you do like I did and upgrade your pass after you already purchased you regular AP, be warned that it will still cost you the same price if you upgrade 1 day after or 6 months after you buy your initial pass. As far as I know there isn’t a prorated fee. Lucky for me I upgraded on my second trip of the year only 2 months after my first trip so I didn’t feel like I was getting a raw deal and I had it for the second part of my Star Wars Weekends trip. Hello 20% discount. It really came in handy for the last day of my trip when I picked up a Dooney & Bourke bag for my sister. That one purchase saved me half the cost of the upgrade in the AP. So over all I got my money’s worth out of the additional discount it provided and discounts are available almost everywhere. Never and I mean never be afraid to ask. When I hit a register I always ask “any AP, DVC or Tables in Wonderland discount available?” Never miss an opportunity to save a little money.


  1. My favorite perk is the Tables in Wonderland. With the way my 2 teen boys eat- it saves us a bundle!! Thanks for the great AP overview :D

  2. Cool we're going to be purchasing AP in the near future we just moved to Florida and we've been going back and forth for WEEKS "Premium vs regular" we still don't know...part of us is maybe we should get t he annual and then waterparks after 2...oh well we'll figure it out eventually lol

  3. UPDATE: we have purchased the Waterparks after 2 passes and went this past forgot how much walking you do at waterparks! I'm exhausted! We probably will be purchasing our AP in the spring since right now we have Universal passes (ducks...don't hurt me! But we HAD to go see the HP stuff!!) and are afraid if we buy the Disney passes too early we will stop using the Universal Passes...imagine that!

  4. Catholic Couponer, sounds like a good plan. And I want to see the Harry Potter stuff too!


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