Are Disney World Passholder Perks Worth The Price of a Pass?

With the recent increase in price for Disney World Annual Passes, many current and future Passholders may be wondering if the Passholder perks are still worth the price of the pass.

2019 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival Passholder Magnets ©Disney

We took a look at the perks, which increase the value of a pass for Passholder, and here’s what we found.

For our evaluation we looked at one annual pass, the Platinum Annual Pass for Non-Florida Residents, which is $1,119.00 each. We assume you will visit the parks 10 times at various times throughout the year, so we will compare the price of the Pass and its perks to a 10-day Park Hopper Ticket, which costs around $585.00 per adult depending on the season you visit. Keep in mind, the 10-day tickets expire within 14 days of first use, while Passes are good for 365 days.

Now, let’s see if the Passholder perks are worth the price of a pass.

Annual Passholder Perks include:

We assigned some values to the perks above and came up with the following based on 10 visits.

  • 10 days of theme park parking: $250.00 ($25.00/day)
  • PhotoPass Downloads Memory Maker: $169 (advance purchase; on-site purchase is $199)
  • MagicBand: $14.99 for basic, solid color MagicBand

Off the bat you save $433.99 which almost covers the entire price difference between an annual pass and a 10-day ticket of approximately $534.00. To recover the rest of the difference you need to save an additional $100.00 in dining, event tickets, tours, and merchandise discounts. That can be a lot of shopping and eating! However, when you add in any resort discounts, event ticket discounts, and tour discounts you might just reach that number and find the Passholder perks are worth the price of a pass.  Remember, as the number of people in your traveling group or family grows, the amount you need to save also grows!

Cupcakes at V.I.Passholder Night

There are several priceless perks including the flexibility an annual pass offers that should also be factored in your analysis. Remember, those 10-day tickets are only good for any 10 days within 14 days after the first day of use. The annual passes are good for limitless entries for a full 365 days.

Other priceless perks include Passholder Previews (there are some coming up for Disney World’s Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge land), V.I.Passholder events, Passholder gifts including car magnets, Food & Wine Festival gifts, and the opportunity to attend merchandise previews, and more.

2018 Food & Wine Festival Passholder Gift after Four Visits ©Disney

When making the decision between a park ticket or an annual pass it is important to “crunch the numbers” for your personal situation and your family, as well as assign values to priceless perks and know your budget.

AllEars has completed a break-even analysis for annual passes, plus we have all of Walt Disney World’s menus online, with prices. If you pre-plan your trip and know where you will be eating you can even come up with a rough idea of how much the Annual Passholder dining discount can earn you. If you are staying at a Disney resort you can also compare the non-Passholder rate with a Passholder rate and add that in to your analysis.

Perhaps the perks will be worth the price of a pass for you.

Past, present, and future Passholders — are the perks worth the price of a pass? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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Sarah has built a career in communications and marketing that started when she was the editor of her high school newspaper. She has written for since 2018, and enjoys sharing Disney news and updates with the AllEars community. She's been a Disney fan ever since her first visit to Walt Disney World when she was 5, and has been known to arrange trips around visiting a Disney park!

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19 Replies to “Are Disney World Passholder Perks Worth The Price of a Pass?”

  1. The Annual Pass does not give you an automatic discount at the resorts. I found out the hard way when I booked a room in March for a stay in November. When the Annual pass holder discount finally was announced for that time period, I tried on that day, to adjust my reservation to get the discount and was told that they had no more rooms allotted for the discount ( even though I already had the room reserved). I called Disney’s customer service and told her that not allowing me to get the new rate on the day that it was announced sounded like false advertising to me. That is one of the reason’s people buy the Annual Pass. She finally agreed to give me a discount and explained that they only allow a certain amount of rooms for this rate and they go very fast.

  2. The parking savings is only true for one person in a family if everyone has an annual pass. Family members 2 to whatever have to find $250 more in savings compared to the one vehicle’s parking savings to justify their annual passes

  3. With the parking cost many people are staying on site so parking is free at the parks or they are on the Disney transport.

  4. I am going down with family for seven nights with a 6-day park hopper later this fall. I am also going early 2020 with a 4-day hopper. Just crunching the numbers on the hopper tickets, I will break even. Just adding the memory maker, without any possible early 2020 passholder discounts on resort, and it appears the annual pass would be worth it in my case.

  5. And don’t forget adding airfare to this cost if you travel from a good distance. If you use the example of 10 trips, that’s another $2000 or more a year to be added.

    1. 10 days is different than 10 trips, some people go for 10 days at a time, ourselves for example, we will often go for 14 days at a time, this makes the AP even more attractive.

  6. The article is assuming that you will use all those perks every time you go to the park which you do not. The price of the food even with a discount which you don’t get in the quick serve restaurants are very high so that kills an advantage right there. Disney is getting out if reach for most average families and I will not be renewing my annual pass. I have been going there for 28 years and looks like there will be a rare visit from now on. 😕 So sad

    1. So by that logic, I am assuming that sporting events, live theater, heck even the movies have become unaffordable for most families, after all these all have a higher cost per hour of entertainment than Disney World does and many even have higher food and merchandise costs than at Disney.

      1. Yes, Chris exactly what Donna’s “logic” says. A movie may have a higher cost per hour, and only be 2 hours long, but $15+ for a movie (2 tickets, snacks, drinks = $50+) certainly does stop many, even middle class, people from going. Same with sporting events. He didn’t say that Disney is the only entertainment venue getting out of control, just one that he used to enjoy that has now priced him (and millions of others) out.

  7. You can’t count both free theme park parking AND Disney Resort discounts at the same time. If you stay at a Disney Resort, theme park parking is included regardless of whether you have an annual pass or not.

  8. Once again, as with almost every writing on this site, you assume that a person can afford to spend the money you are talking about in the first place. And that gets harder every day. I have held a platinum pass for years. But this will likely be the last. And my desire to visit Disney has not diminished. Only my means has.

    You neglect to mention how hard it is to get an affordable resort room with the Passholder discount. You also neglect to mention that many of the decent restaurants (those not run by Disney) will not accept the discount.

    IF you are planning a family trip, it can make sense to get one pass for one member of your party. But that makes it harder to take advantage of package incentives for the rest of your party.

    I’m planning to pay as I go and purchase tickets and forego park hopping in most cases. I will spend more time outside the parks enjoying other things the area offers.

    If I go with a group again I may reconsider a pass for the reasons already given.

    However the base price of everything now makes frequent visits from out of state extremely prohibitive. Unless you are among the rich that this site appears to cater to.

    1. Or you have DVC or are willing to stay at one of the Disney Springs hotels that aren’t owned by Disney, all of these make things much more affordable.

      Really with DVC, we can make a trip cost around $1200 including airfare, food and hotel and that is for a 14 day trip. And yes, that is factoring in the cost of our DVC and dues.

      People just need to rethink how to make things work for them. It won’t work for everyone, but works for a lot of people.

      1. $1,200 for 14 days. Sorry, Not buying that for a New York second. And when you include your annual maintenance fees into the equation that makes it a really tall tale.

      2. I don’t see how that is possible. My DVC annual dues on 150 BW points is slightly more than $1,000.
        Using your $1200. figure for food alone is around $85.00 per day for the whole family.

          1. Sorry, I should have added a last initial when replying to the original comment. I’m Chris 2.

  9. Also, don’t forget you can get discounted passes, if you are a DVC member or Florida Resident you can get the Hold Pass for a little over $600. Yes it is blacked out around Easter and Christmas for a couple of weeks, but very minor for the savings and now it becomes a no brainier that it is worth it.