If you’ve been following Disney news the way that I do, you’ve probably heard about the Disney World annual pass price increase. And if you haven’t, I’ll try to explain it: basically, Disney World has changed the way they do annual passes, now giving several different options for the type of pass you can get at different price levels. And those prices are much higher than the comparable passes that were currently available until this month. There are a lot of options for Florida residents and DVC members (Disney’s timeshare), but those of us who are neither are rather limited.
Platinum Plus Pass: this gives you access to all 4 parks with no block out dates, the two water parks, ESPN sports complex, and Oak Trail golf course. Disney is now also including photopass downloads. This pass costs $829 (previously $779, increase of $50).
Platinum Pass: This is access to all 4 parks with no block out dates and the photopass downloads. It costs $749 (previously $659, an increase of $90).
And by the way, when I mention these increases, these are the increases just since February 2015 – only 8 months ago.
DVC members and Florida residents get a discount on these passes, as well as other pass options including the Gold pass ($549 but blocks out the busiest times of the year, around Christmas and Easter). It seems Florida residents only can also get the Silver pass ($389 but blocks out the the previous times mentioned plus pretty much the entire summer from June to mid August), a weekday select pass, and an Epcot after 4 pass.
As an annual passholder, these changes obviously affect me directly. I’m lucky that I just renewed my pass so I don’t have to worry about it until next October. But here are my thoughts on a couple of things:
The Price Increase
Obviously this is the biggest issue. To maintain the pass that I currently have, I would be paying $800 after taxes. I bought my pass only about three years ago, in May 2012. Want to know how much it cost then? $519. That’s over a $200 increase in three years. If I knew 100% I was going to Disney 3 times in year, then I think the new pass would be worth it. But in the past I’d always bought it because I went twice and it seemed worth it, and then I had the freedom to book a third trip if I wanted to. At this point, looking at our finances and our plans for the next couple of years, I don’t think I’ll be an annual passholder anymore.
Block out Dates
I actually would love to have the option to buy the gold or even the silver pass. I would never go during the Christmas or Easter times anyway, so the gold pass would actually be a great deal for me. I’d even be willing to do the silver pass and avoid the summer if I was a little tight on cash. But sadly I don’t have the options because I don’t live in Florida and I don’t own DVC. The only silver lining is that this is more incentive to become a DVC member – so I can get the gold pass instead.
I feel like this was just thrown in to ease the blow. Yes, I’ll use it, but I didn’t normally purchase memory maker. I know some people love it, but I feel like annual passholders are some of the least likely people to use photopass because they are the ones who are there all the time so they didn’t need to pay a ton for “once in a lifetime” type photos. To me it makes no difference.
Disneyland has it worse
As much as this is bummer for us, the Disneyland annual pass with no block out dates is now over $1,000. And they only have 2 parks to our 4. If you’re curious for more details about Disneyland, Mindy over at Budget Fairy Tale did a great post about things on their side of the country. Also, the annual pass that gets you into both Disney World and Disneyland is up to almost $1,500. I can’t imagine anyone being able to go to both parks enough for this to be a good deal, but there must be some people.
We all know Disney isn’t cheap, but at this point it’s gotten expensive enough that I might have to lessen my trips. The truth is that Disney is getting more and more crowded and they have the ability to charge more because of it.
What do you think of the Disney World annual pass price increase? Has Disney gone too far?