Is a Disney Annual Pass worth it?

With Disney’s recent announcement that annual passes will be on sale soon, there is a ton of buzz about whether or not it is worth the cost. I have been an annual pass holder for a few years now and I do not live in Florida so I decided to share why I decided an annual pass was a prudent use of my money.

If you’ve done much reading about the Disney annual pass offerings, you know that out of state, non-DVC members only have one option for which annual pass they can purchase and that’s the Disney Incredipass. This level of annual pass will set you back $1399. There’s no mistaking this is a lot of money up front but…if you use it right it can be a smart financial move in the long run.

For my crew, we decided that if we were to go at least 8 days in a year, it would be beneficial for me to have an Annual Pass. Now, I will admit we did not buy Annual Passes for the whole family, we only bought one for me. No, this wasn’t anything against the other members of the family and it’s not because I go more than they do. It was simply because some of the extra savings you get from the Annual Pass could be applied to the whole group even if I am the only one with the AP. These discounts included parking, dining and merchandise.

Be Our Guest restaurant is an example of where you can use the AP dining discount to save money for your crew.

Here’s a sample of the numbers to show why we felt the AP would be a good value for me.

  • Avg park ticket = $125/day x 8 days = $1000
  • Parking x 8 days = $200
  • Memory Maker – $169 for standard tickets vs. $99 with an AP = $70 savings
  • Total = $1270

So, I know this is not a savings…however this doesn’t take into account the merchandise and dining discounts. My crew really enjoys trying some of Disney’s nicer sit-down restaurants. At most of these locations the AP discount is 10% and is applied to your total bill. For a family of four that adds up quickly. Passholders also enjoy a 20% off merchandise discount at most locations. With the prices of Disney merch, this can also add up quickly.

Here are some actual numbers for what my AP savings were in 2022.

  • 8 park days = $992
  • Parking 8 days = $200
  • Discounted Christmas party tickets = $40
  • Discounted Memory Maker = $70
  • Dining discount = $94
  • Merchandise discount = $140 (Don’t judge me…I wouldn’t be writing this blog if I didn’t love Disney things)

Total = $1536

So, as you can see the AP can add value if you use it right. There are several things to keep in mind when you are evaluating this. Here are some of the top things to consider.

  • You will need to go to the parks at least 7-8 days in a year. If you are not a local, this will probably mean that you need to commit to going Disney at least twice a year.
  • If you fly and use Disney transportation, the parking discount will not help you.
  • Merchandise, Memory Maker and dining discounts are subject to change and only add value if you know that you will use them a lot.
  • the merchandise, dining, and parking discounts can be used if one person in your group has an AP.
  • Annual Passholders are also occasionally offered discounts on other things like cruises or hotel stays but these aren’t guaranteed.

The decision to buy a Disney Annual Pass is something you will want to give some thought to especially if you are not a local. This can add value to your vacation and admittedly, if you are a big Disney fan, it’s kind of fun just to know you’re an Annual Passholder. Hopefully this information will help lead to the right AP decision for you! Have a question about being a Disney Annual Passholder? Drop it in the comments below.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s