To know when an annual Disney World pass will save you money if you don’t live close enough to day trips, you need an analysis that fits less frequent trips with multi-day tickets. We’ll break down what’s profitable for out-of-category people in this post, but if you’re resident in Florida and looking for a level-based analysis that’s calculated on day trips, stay tuned for a specific post in Florida later today .
Today we will be using regular ticket prices starting in 2022 and looking at the new annual Pass levels announced in August 2021. I will focus on the Sorcerer Pass ($ 899) and the Incredi-Pass ($ 1299), which are the only two levels you can buy if you are not a resident of Florida. PhotoPass add-ons ($ 99) and water parks ($ 99) are available for both levels and there are only two real differences:
- The Sorcerer Pass can only be purchased by out-of-state residents if they are DVC members
- The Sorcerer Pass is blocked for Christmas and Thanksgiving and for upcoming dates.
I start here because all the things I’ll talk about in this section can be reasons to buy an annual pass (an AP), even if the numbers don’t seem to add up and you’re tempted to quit reading. More specifically, there are a number of AP benefits that can be applied to an entire group from a single person ticket. Even if it seems like you don’t need to go to math when you look at the graph for the first time, take a second look at it and see if it may make sense to buy an AP just for one person in your group.
If all members of your group are linked to your friends and family list, only one person should have any rights to PhotoPass. This is the same if you bought Memory Maker or an AP purchased individually with the PhotoPass plug-in. Memory Maker costs $ 169 if purchased in advance; the AP PhotoPass plug-in costs $ 99. If you only take one trip and feel less than $ 70 worth, this could tip the balance toward an AP. In two trips, the PhotoPass plug-in saves about $ 240. Of course, this is only true if you were first planning to buy Memory Maker; it’s not a great value proposition to end up with two things you would never have bought and didn’t want, just because it’s on sale at BOGO.
All new Disney World annual passes include free parking at theme parks. Amusement park parking currently costs $ 25 a day, so if you’re staying off-site and renting a car you can add up quickly. More than a week of vacation that saves $ 175.
Discounts for dining rooms, merchandise and hotels
The average merchandise discount is about 20%, which means you’ll have to spend $ 500 to save $ 100 with a point of sale. The average discount for food is 10%, which translates into a saving of about $ 25 at dinners for 4 adults and 1 child at Chef Mickey. Yes, there are cheaper and also more expensive table service restaurants. If you enjoy cooking meals and you have a large family, you can get a couple of hundred dollars savings pretty quickly. Please note, however, that the dining room discount only applies to a maximum of 5 guests in addition to the passport holder, and does not apply to taxes and gratuities.
Disney did not specifically call for hotel discounts in its announcement, but historically most public room-only deals have been accompanied by a 10% increase in ticket holders ’offer. The wording of the annual pass note is “Savings of up to 20% on dining rooms, merchandise and more,” which is vague enough to allow them to offer almost anything and change it at will; in the end there is no reason to believe he has won. There will be no hotel discounts for shareholders in the future.
The value of these discounts will depend a lot on your individual circumstances. If you don’t buy a lot of merch and get used to eating Quick Service, there won’t be much here. If you are a DVC member, most of these same discounts are available with your subscription and you will not be able to duplicate them if you also have an AP. So I won’t even try to guess your personal holiday style in order to do this math for you, but it’s definitely something to think about.
Without further ado, let’s break down the numbers.
Less than five days
You may not live close enough to spend the day there, but it’s a short enough trip for a hot hotel deal to drop you off on a quick getaway. You may live in Chicago, but you want to fly all the time to work and you have planes to burn coming to long weekends in the world. If you’re the type of visitor who comes a few times a year for a short visit, the chart above picks you up.
The first column is the normal ticket type we are comparing with. The second column is the number of days before the ticket expires, based on the start date you have chosen. The third and fourth columns are the cuts; this is the number of tickets where you will go ahead choosing the annual pass. As an example, a 3-day hopper costs $ 453. Two of them are worth $ 906, so if you make two trips with a three-day ticket to each, you should buy a Sorcerer Pass if eligible. (Unless one of these trips falls during the lock dates.) The remaining columns show the price of the specified number of tickets. If it doesn’t make the AP obvious, this is where you can start thinking about whether to offset the benefits.
Some of you may be wondering why there seem to be two prices for a one-day ticket. The prices of “-S” tickets are for visitors whose short trips are usually made on weekends. These visitors can arrive on Friday evening and dine at Disney Springs and then spend the day in the parks on Saturday with a day ticket, closing the trip on Sunday with a relaxing morning by the pool. Therefore, the price of the “-S” ticket is only based on the average of the tickets with Saturday dates. For a one-day ticket, the difference between the general price and the price specifically for tickets with Saturday start dates is nearly $ 10. This can add up to $ 50 or more before you get to the point where you could buy an AP.
At 4 days, the Sorcerer Pass is advanced on the second trip for all types of tickets and the Incredi-Pass is advanced on 3 trips. This is a pattern we will continue to see as we take a look at the length of the longer entries.
Five to ten days
The graph on the right shows the value of a single ticket. In general, regardless of the duration of the ticket, we see the same thing we saw on all four days: twice a year to save with a Wizard pass; three times by Incredi-Pass. The exception is tickets with bold prices, where even the top-level pass comes out if you want to make two trips a year.
One thing to keep in mind if you buy longer tickets is the Park Pass booking system. If you stay at the Disney property, you can make a reservation for each day of your stay, in addition to the five-day reservation you are entitled to make at any time. If you are staying away from the place, you may not be able to make a reservation in advance for all the days of your holiday. In practice, this is very unlikely to be a big problem, as pre-pandemic capacity limits were high enough for parks to only take guests away three or four days a year. However, it is something you need to know if you plan to visit it at times of the year.
Ten days or more
What if you come on a very long vacation? Like, two weeks. And you just have to be in the parks every day. Even if you only use it on one trip, how many days does your visit have to pass before the annual pass is your savings ticket?
If that’s the point where you go “Hey, now it’s just being ridiculous,” well, I wouldn’t blame you. Still, I really like to be thorough and there are some useful remarks to be made here.
- In all ticket classes, a combined 10-day and 1-day ticket are cheaper than the Sorcerer Pass
- Most of the time, two long tickets, even a 10-day one and a 10-day one. – are cheaper than Incredi-Pass. This is because after the first four days, the price for each additional day falls precipitously.
- For more than 10 days, there are many different tickets you can combine for the target number of days; 10 + 1 = 11 and 9 + 2 = 11 as well. But your best price always belongs to the option that the 10-day ticket has; 9 + 2, 8 + 3, etc. they are more expensive.
What to take?
If you are visiting two trips of 4 days or more and can purchase the Sorcerer Pass, you should. If you visit three trips of 4 days or more, Incredi-Pass will pay; if your normal ticket would only be a hopper, that pass could pay on the second trip, so do a double check.
If you regularly visit Disney World once a year for a week and chronicle your travels to get a second before the Pass expires, you won’t save money by doing so unless you can buy the Sorcerer Pass. At each level, two 7-day tickets are cheaper than the Incredi-Pass.
If you do a lot of lunch or shopping, or plan to drive to the parks, an AP may make sense even if it doesn’t save you money on tickets.
Remember that you can always update a regular ticket by adding days, add-on options, or converting it into an annual pass, until the end of the day you use the last ticket to the park for that ticket. If you’re already on vacation and wish you had thought about buying an AP because you suddenly remember having a conference in Orlando later that year, it’s not too late. See Relationships with Guests, they will sort you out and apply the price of the ticket you already purchased to the cost of your AP.
After all these numbers, are your eyes envious? Do you think you could buy an annual pass? Let us know in the comments.