Well, my friends- our time as annual passholders has drawn to an end. As you may remember, we did the math to decide if being passholders was worth it for a family of out-of-staters and by the numbers it all checked out. Also important to keep in mind is we don’t stay on property, so things like paying for parking are a consideration for us.
So, was it really worth it?
YES! Oh my gosh, YES!
I would highly recommend anyone that plans to take yearly trips, go ahead and buy the APs. In our case, ticket prices went up in October, after the yearly price hike in February- so we saved twice on the costs of our tickets!
We took three trips- two in May (2018 & 2019) and one adult-only trip in October. We received dining discounts on table service meals, merchandise discounts and a MNSSHP party ticket discount! None of these were initially factored into our savings, so it was all a bonus as far as I was concerned.
We brought home numerous special passholder magnets that changed with the seasons and an adorable cutting board that we got signed by some of the characters. It’s a fun little perk for Passholders, and our fridge is Disney festive right now! We have little passholder orange bands for our magicbands- ooo fancy! We were also sent magic bands, but because we didn’t activate our passes until the beginning of our first trip, we already had other bands- so while this was nice, it was also unnecessary, as we had already spent money on bands.
On our October trip, we were able to attend a special passholders only Trick or Treating event at Disney Springs- a bag of goodies, free tastings of Ganachery Hot Chocolate, and special upcoming Starbucks drinks? Yes please!
We did have the opportunity (through luck) to attend several other events, which we passed on, as they mostly seemed to be “get in early to buy something before other people” type events. Thanks, but no thanks- I was much more excited by the free magnets. We also had the opportunity to buy exclusive passholder merchandise, but we didn’t buy any of that either.
The special “Annual Passholder” entry lines were hit or miss for us. Occasionally, it was much shorter. Occasionally, the line was much longer. Most of the time, it was just as crowded- and just because it’s the Annual Passholder line does not mean the people in it go any faster. This perk was a complete wash for us, but it does make you feel special when you get to use it.
Overall, as we knew it would be, the biggest savings was in the ticket prices and in the cost of parking! Our last trip, we did six park days- that would have been $150 in parking ALONE. Not to mention the costs of memory maker for three trips, and tickets (with prices that kept increasing) for three trips. What an unexpected savings those APs gave us on tickets with that extra price hike!
Did you know that with an Annual Pass, you also have the option of renewing at a 15% discount? We could renew our two adult passes (remember, the kiddo didn’t get a pass) for $1616.68 (after taxes), versus the $1904.22 for the same two passes. Just remember that with renewal, especially for out of state, you’ll want to make sure that the numbers work out for you. In our case, it would only be a $108 more to renew than to pay for a single 7 day trip with park hopper, memory maker and parking for my husband and I. That’s craziness!
Even at a glance you can see the value of annual passes just from the monetary side. If you’re someone that stays on property, you can add in those glorious pass discounts on rooms!
We would most definitely do annual passes again in the future! Especially if you like to do longer trips, or multiples in a year, you really can’t go wrong.