Thanks to Disney Parks Blog, We have officially been given a look into what Annual Passes, now called Magic Key, will look like for Disneyland, CA. Disney has also announced the return of Annual Passes for Walt Disney World before the 50th anniversary begins. Since the 50th starts October 1st, we should be getting news on what those passes will look like any day now. While Disneyland and Disney World annual passes have been very different from each other in the past, we may still be able to make some speculations for Disney World passes based on Disneyland’s announcement.
Disneyland really didn’t raise prices. While we are now comparing different types of passes, the pricing from 2020 is very similar. I would like to say that Disney World will do the same. However, Disney World seems to be having far less trouble right now bringing in crowds. Therefore, it seems more likely we will see a price increase for Disney World passes. I just hope I’m wrong or it isn’t a big jump. I don’t think we will see them reach Disneyland pricing. Disneyland has always been a locals park and has always had a huge AP base which is one reason the prices have been so high. Also, California residents have a higher cost of living overall and make higher incomes than Florida residents. So while I think we may see some price increases, I don’t think they will look like CA prices.
One difference for Disneyland is the addition of park passes. How many are able to be held at once are now based on the pass you hold. Disney World Annual Passholders are no stranger now to being tied to a specific number of park passes. Disney CEO, Bob Chapek has recently made comments about the park pass system staying in place in the Florida parks. Because of this, it is reasonable to expect we will see something similar with Disney World Annual Passes. My hope is that the total of park passes allowed at once for pass holders goes up. Three is not enough. Disneyland passes are 2, 4, or 6 depending on which pass you hold.
Parking and Discounts
Another noticeable change for Disneyland is parking. Before, both higher-tiered passes received free parking. That benefit is now only for the highest level, Dream Key holders. The next tier receives 50% off parking and anything after that has to pay full price. Disney World gave free parking to almost all Annual Passes with few exceptions. This is something that could change with new passes. Especially since Universal Orlando only offers free parking to their Premium and Preferred Passholders. Those holding Power and Seasonal Passes have to pay for parking. That one detail was enough to sway us towards the Universal Preferred Pass. Those parking fees will add up otherwise. In addition, some of the shopping and dining discounts for Disneyland Passholders have been reduced based on the pass. Disney World has always had similar discounts for most passes and I don’t plan on seeing them reduced. It would be nice to see bigger discounts for higher-tiered passholders though.
The top-tier Magic Key holders at Disneyland can visit any time of the year. But, the passes under it all have block-out dates. There are definitely more block-out days than there had been in the past. As Disney World Gold Passholders, we are used to being blocked out around Christmas and Easter. However, we have access the rest of the year. Disney World has historically reached (pre-covid) capacity only during those times of the year. So, I am hoping we don’t see extra block-out dates added to the passes.
Disneyland is still allowing California residents to pay for passes on a monthly basis after a $179 down payment. I don’t see any reason why Florida residents wouldn’t be able to continue to pay for their passes on a monthly basis as well. Disney typically limits this payment option to residents of the state in which the parks reside and that is most likely to continue to be the norm.
While this is all just speculation, I’m curious to hear your thoughts. Do you think we will see drastic changes to Disney World’s annual pass program? Do you think things will remain mostly the same? What additions would you like to see? Let us know in the comments your guesses for the future of Disney World Annual Passes and how it will affect Florida residents.
With the excitement of Annual Passes returning, if you are interested in getting started on your Florida home purchase, our Moving to Orlando REALTORS are here to help you navigate the market. Take a moment to fill out our contact form, and someone will be in contact with you!
One thought on “What Disney World Annual Passes May Look Like for Florida Residents”
I have been an Annual Pass holder for WDW on and off for over 10 years now.
We own DVC, but we live in North Carolina
We have had and renewed our annual passes during the pandemic.
As to the pass itself, nothing has changed.
However, how we go to Disney has changed drastically. While we normally spend a week on property each year, the rest of our trips we normally do as long weekends staying at Hilton properties as I have a bunch of points. We have had to change our approach, as you can only reserve 3 days, and cannot guarantee you will be able to pick up a fourth day.
We tried that once, and wound up cutting our long weekend short since we could not get a reservation (I think that was Labor Day weekend).
What is frustrating:
Six Flags dropped their reservation requirement back in May
Cedar Fair dropped their reservation requirement in June, although several parks kept it for a few more weeks
Bush Gardens dropped them in July
However, not Disney. They seem to have no plans to stop the reservations. That is probably the biggest hindrance for Annual Pass Holders, especially one that are not local. It is frustrating because we cannot take full advantage of some 4 and 5 day weekends that our kids have at school.