It’s been well over a year since Disney was forced to close due to the pandemic, stalling the sales of Walt Disney World annual passes in the process. After months of agonizing over when Disney season pass sales would resume and what they might look like when they do, at long last, we know the answer.
Following the launch of the new Magic Key passholder program at Disneyland, pixie-dust-lovin’ guests will finally be able to buy Disney annual passes again for Walt Disney World beginning on Wednesday, September 8, 2021, just in time for the start of Disney World’s 50th-anniversary celebration on October 1. Read on for everything you need to know about making your love for Mickey Mouse and DOLE Whip official by becoming a new Disney passholder.
4 New Walt Disney World Annual Passes Revealed
Disney World’s new annual passholder program has been streamlined significantly, dropping from seven different Disney season pass possibilities – goodbye Epcot After 4, Weekday Select, and Theme Park Select – down to a meager four options. Of those, the three most inexpensive choices (relatively speaking, of course) are reserved exclusively for Florida residents and, in the case of the Disney Sorcerer pass, Disney Vacation Club members, while the newest and priciest top-tier annual pass is the only option available for out-of-state guests.
When it comes to Disney World annual pass costs, prices haven’t really gone up much since being previously raised, those rate increases went into effect only a few months prior to the suspension of annual pass sales. So, if it’s been a while since you’ve been a Disney World passholder, you may get a bit of sticker shock – especially when you find out that you’ll be getting fewer perks for more money (more on that later).
Having said that, this jump in Disney World annual pass prices shouldn’t come as much of a shock given the impending arrival of Disney Genie+, the Florida resort’s new paid FastPasses, spendy special After Hours events like Boo Bash and the upcoming Very Merriest Christmas party, and Disney’s highly anticipated, $1,200-per-night (per person!) Galactic Starcruiser Hotel. As long as people continue to pay sky-high prices, Disney will surely keep pushing the pricing envelope.
Fortunately, Disney still plans to make buying an annual pass affordable and convenient for Florida residents. Those that call the Sunshine State home will not only be able to make monthly payments after an initial $205 installment, but current Disney passholders will also receive a discount if they choose to renew.
If you want to purchase Disney annual passes, here’s everything you need to know about Disney World’s four new options:
Disney Pixie Dust Pass
Disney World’s most slimmed-down annual pass, the Pixie Dust Pass will be blocked out on the weekends along with major holidays and other busy travel times like Spring Break
Price: $424.94 (including tax) or a $205 down payment followed by $19 per month for 12 months
# of Blockout Dates: 161 days
# of Park Reservations at a Time: 3 allowed
Who Can Buy?: Florida residents only
Similar to: Weekday Select Pass
Disney Pirate Pass
Disney World’s Pirate Pass will have blockout dates most months – largely major holidays, busy travel periods, and the start of the 50th-anniversary celebration – with the only current exceptions for 2021 and 2022 being September 2021, June 2022, and August 2022
Price: $744.44 (including tax) or a $205 down payment followed by $45 per month for 12 months
# of Blockout Dates: 75 days
# of Park Reservations at a Time: 4 allowed
Who Can Buy?: Florida residents only
Similar to: Gold Pass
Disney Sorcerer Pass
A Disney World annual pass with limited blockout dates, guests with the Disney Sorcerer Pass will be able to enter the parks most days with the exceptions being the days of and surrounding Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve
Price: $957.44 (including tax) or a $205 down payment followed by $63 per month for 12 months
# of Blockout Dates: 18 days
# of Park Reservations at a Time: 5 allowed
Who Can Buy?: Florida residents & DVC members only
Similar to: Gold Pass
With zero blockout dates and an incredibly steep price tag to match, the Disney Incredi-Pass is perfect for guests who want to experience Walt Disney World with no limitations
Price: $1,383.44 (including tax) or a $205 down payment followed by $99 per month for 12 months
# of Blockout Dates: 0 days
# of Park Reservations at a Time: 5 allowed
Who Can Buy?: Anyone
Similar to: Platinum Pass
For everyone not keeping track, the Disney Incredi-Pass costs around $400 more per year than the Disney Sorcerer Pass, the next annual pass tier. That’s a $400 difference for only 18 blockout dates, making the Sorcerer Pass a heck of a deal if you’re ok with not celebrating Christmas or Thanksgiving in the parks.
New Disney World Annual Passes: What You Will Get
Just like with the previous passes, Disney annual passholders will get to enjoy several exclusive perks no matter which annual pass they choose. However, we’re sad to report that for some Disney World passholders, that list of benefits won’t be as long as with past annual passes. That being said, as long as you plan to visit enough, there are still plenty of highlights to make becoming a Disney World season passholder worthwhile. They include:
More Theme Park Reservations
That’s right, theme park reservations aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. Luckily, the new annual pass program ups the number of reservations Disney World passholders are allowed at one time. Previously, the most park pass reservations that could be arranged at once were 3 regardless of which type of pass you had. Now guests will be able to make as many as 5 theme park reservations at a time depending on which tier of pass they have. “Bonus reservations” are even in the works, meaning that passholders will sometimes even be able to go above their hold limit.
Additionally, Disney annual passholders staying at one of the Disney World hotels will also be able to make park pass reservations for each date of their stay without them counting towards their total hold limit. For example, if someone with the Disney Sorcerer Pass was staying for 3 nights, they would be able to make 5 Disney park pass reservations in addition to theme park reservations for the duration of their stay.
Best of all, current passholders will get to enjoy this benefit as soon as annual pass sales resume on September 8. Guests with the Silver Pass will be able to have up to 4 reservations at once, while those with Gold, Platinum, or Platinum Plus Annual Passes will be able to hold up to 5 reservations at a time. Of course,
A Convenient, Integrated Calendar
Even though My Disney Experience makes planning out your Disney day simple – and it’ll get even easier once Disney Genie launches later this year – making a Disney park pass reservation has previously been finicky at best, especially for passholders trying to cross-check pass blockout dates with reservation availability. Fortunately, everything is set to get a whole lot easier thanks to a newly integrated calendar.
Access to One or More Theme Parks on Non-Blockout Dates
No more having to worry about certain theme parks being unavailable with the more basic annual passes. Now guests will be able to make reservations for and park hop between all four of the Disney World theme parks on any given day as long as they have a valid Disney park pass reservation.
Free Theme Park Parking
While some freebies may be going away (more on that in a bit), one free perk that we’re thrilled is returning is complimentary standard parking. At $25 a day, parking your car at Disney World isn’t cheap, so this is one benefit that can really add up if you plan to go to the theme parks a lot.
Up to 20% Off Disney Dining & Merchandise
Everyone loves a discount, and without a doubt, one of the highlights of being an annual passholder is getting to save a little cash when you eat or shop at Disney World. As with the past annual pass program, Disney World passholders will continue to receive up to 20% off at participating food and merchandise outlets.
Exclusive Disney World Passholder Merchandise
Speaking of merch, keep an eye out for specialty merchandise that’s exclusive to passholders. The start of Disney World’s 50th anniversary is just around the corner, bringing with it a slew of limited-release items, along with some especially for Disney passholders. You might even be able to score special access to exclusive anniversary events. And of course, don’t forget about those popular magnets that get sent out with your perks each year. Newly revamped annual passholder magnets will be mailed out soon to currently active Disney World passholders.
Renewal Discounts for All Current Disney Passholders
As some of Disney’s most valued guests, existing Disney World annual passholders will be able to purchase a new Disney year pass with a special discount off of the updated Disney World annual pass prices when it is time for their renewal window. Renewal prices for Disney annual passes are:
Disney Pixie Dust Pass: $339 (plus tax) or $31 per month for 12 months
Disney Pirate Pass: $594 (plus tax) or $53 per month for 12 months
Disney Sorcerer Pass: $764 (plus tax) or $68 per month for 12 months
Disney Incredi-Pass: $1,104 (plus tax) or $98 per month for 12 months
What You Won’t Get With Your New Disney Annual Pass
Unsurprisingly, not everything made the cut with Disney World’s new annual pass program. We are sad to say that free PhotoPass downloads are no more, so be sure to take advantage of your complimentary photos while you still have the chance. Luckily, you will still be able to capture all of your magical memories with Disney PhotoPass – you’ll just need to pay for the optional add-on to get them (more on that next).
Top-tier passholders also won’t be able to use their annual pass to get into other Disney World attractions like the two Disney water parks, Blizzard Beach or Typhoon Lagoon, or the most family-friendly Disney golf course, Oak Trail.
WDW Annual Pass Add-Ons
The above perks may no longer be included in Walt Disney World annual passes, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to enjoy them – you’ll just need to pay for them now. This is great news for those who would like an annual pass to the water parks but who previously couldn’t afford the steep price to get it.
Now, Disney passholders can choose to add on the benefits above. Going to miss all those PhotoPass downloads? For $99 plus tax per year, you won’t have to miss one magical moment (although you will surely miss being able to enjoy the same perk for free). Also for $99 per year plus tax, guests can enjoy the water parks, ESPN Wide World of Sports complex, and Disney mini-golf courses any day of the year, subject to availability.
Well, for all you current and prospective Disney passholders out there, that wraps up everything we know about the new Walt Disney World Annual Pass Program. What are your thoughts on the changes and updated prices? Will you miss the free PhotoPass service? Do you think you’ll renew? Let us know in the comments below!
And for those who would rather skip the annual pass but don’t want to miss out on an affordable Disney vacation, don’t miss out on our discounted Walt Disney World tickets.