Walt Disney World announces new annual pass program

Posted Monday, August 30, 2021 12:10 PM | Contributed by Jeff

EDIT: It seems like there are two sets of pricing. What we reported below is on the page for "active passholders" and renewals, while new, non-renewal prices are much higher.

Walt Disney World announced a new annual pass program, which renames the various pass levels and increases prices slightly. It appears that reservations will still be required in the near future. Among the changes:

  • The Florida Pixie Dust pass allows 3 reservations and blocks out weekends and certain other weeks, at $339 plus tax.
  • The Florida Pirate Pass allows 4 reservations and blocks out a few weekends, certain holidays and spring breaks, at $594 plus tax.
  • The Florida Sorcerer Pass allows 5 reservations and blocks out only Thanksgiving and the Christmas to New Year's block, at $764 plus tax.
  • The Incredi-Pass has no residency restrictions or block out dates, and costs $1,104 plus tax.
  • The Epcot after-4 pass is gone.
  • PhotoPass is not included with any pass, but available annually for an extra $99.
  • A water park and sports add-on is $99, and includes entry to the water parks, free golf on certain days after 2:30, mini-golf before 4.
Monday, August 30, 2021 12:19 PM
Jeff's avatar

I'm not crazy about yet another price increase, but I'm good until the end of April. It seems kind of cheap to drop the PhotoPass perk, because honestly it isn't valuable (the photos all look the same after awhile). I am intrigued by the water park/sports pass option, because we would definitely get some mileage out of that.

Also interesting that they seem intent on doing reservations for the foreseeable future.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Monday, August 30, 2021 1:07 PM

I expire in January and I don't think I am going to renew. I just don't see the value for the product as it currently stands for the price point. A restriction-free UO pass is a third of the price and half the distance from home. And after a several year hiatus, Icebreaker and Iron Gwazi will get me to get a pass for those parks again.

Or I'll buy 11 Cedar Point Gold Passes for the price of one Incredi-pass.

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Monday, August 30, 2021 1:21 PM
Jeff's avatar

I think the product is essentially what it was pre-pandemic, for us at least. The reservations have not prevented us from visiting yet. But it is getting pretty expensive, for sure.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Monday, August 30, 2021 2:38 PM

Jeff said:

Also interesting that they seem intent on doing reservations for the foreseeable future.


I'm surprised more parks (Six Flags, Cedar Fair) didn't keep their reservation systems as they relaxed capacity restrictions. WDW may be different but I don't think it will ever go away for Disneyland Pass -I mean Key- holders. It is a dream come true from an operations standpoint to be able to prevent thousands of unexpected visitors showing up on a Friday night, which would frequently happen at DL.


"I've been born again my whole life." -SAVED
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Monday, August 30, 2021 2:40 PM

I think that's what is giving me pause. Not that it's a lesser product due to COVID, but it's the same product I've experienced for a while. Once the Tron and Guardians coasters open, I'm sure I will dish out the money. But until then I think I would rather map out a 2022 trip or trips to hit up some new stuff and old favorites I haven't done since before COVID rather than pay $500 or $600 for rides I can literally do with my eyes closed because they are so familiar.

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Monday, August 30, 2021 3:11 PM
Jeff's avatar

Admittedly, if I was closer to Universal and not so close to the parks, I might be in the same boat. As people resume travel here, it's pretty much a given that we meet people at WDW. F&W is pretty core to our year, and really all the festivals.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Monday, August 30, 2021 4:28 PM
Jeff's avatar

The Internet is losing its **** over this announcement, but things aren't really changing that much. Looking back at my own purchase history, here's where I'm gonna land for the Gold/Sorcerer pass:

  • 2022 - $764
  • 2021 - $750 (-ish, in April, I don't remember the exact amount)
  • 2020 - $719
  • 2019 - $699

I never paid the 2020 amount, and I wonder if a lot of people did not, and that's why they see this as a big deal. I think the block out dates are more numerous in the lower passes too, but I thought the old system just blocked you all summer, in which case this is an improvement. I mean, I'm getting spring break back and losing Thanksgiving. The low pass is actually the best deal I think they've offered, compared to the old select passes and Epcot-after-4. It does look like the Pirate/Silver is not advantageous, and maybe that's what a lot of people had.

I think dropping the PhotoPass, while I did say it wasn't that valuable, is kind of dumb, because that's free social media marketing. All I do with ours is put them on Instagram and never look at them again. And if you want water parks, the $99 add-on is a total steal, because it used to be $139 and did not include golf or mini-golf.

I don't know where AP's really fit on the Florida radar in terms of revenue, but if this and the other moves lead to lower attendance but similar revenue, that's probably better. It already reinforced the "Disney hates poor people" thing, but I still tend to think that people will find a way if going to WDW is really important to them. The thing that sure would help all around is if they would get all the new stuff open to accommodate more people.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Monday, August 30, 2021 4:29 PM
eightdotthree's avatar

How do the reservations work? Is that per month or something?


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Monday, August 30, 2021 4:31 PM
Jeff's avatar

Just a rolling number of reservations. We've had 3 since coming back, and that has been plenty for us. We've mostly scheduled them a day out, though we did have to plan a week out to get one for Magic Kingdom once. After you use one, you can book another the next day.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Monday, August 30, 2021 5:10 PM
Jeff's avatar

See the edit at the top of the story... there are two sets of prices out there, and the cheaper is the one sent to me via email, the other is way more expensive.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Monday, August 30, 2021 6:19 PM

And it's things like that always seem to have me kicking myself later when I don't renew and then want it again after a year or two off. I dealt with this years ago when I took a year off Universal somewhere around 2012-2013. I had still been renewing at a rate that was essentially still "pre-Potter" and when I was ready to go back after a year or so off it was quite the shock to not get that renewal rate

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Monday, August 30, 2021 6:46 PM

I can't speak for the Disney photo plan, but I had the Cedar Point photo plan for a couple of seasons, and as you said, pretty quickly they all start looking the same. I don't get to Disney very often, but the last time I went, there were probably about three or so photopass photos that were good enough to really want to keep.

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Monday, August 30, 2021 7:57 PM
eightdotthree's avatar

We keep renewing our Universal pass for that reason (price to buy vs renew) even if we’re not going to visit for another 6 months.

The second tier of the Disney pass doesn’t seem too bad? It costs as much as a few months at my local ski hill…


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Monday, August 30, 2021 8:33 PM
Jeff's avatar

Those are the kinds of comparisons that I think are sorely missing from many discussions (especially among those who do not have expensive hobbies). Interestingly, they were the same comparisons people were making to point out that Cedar Point gold passes we're too cheap.

And if all the Disney bloggers complain hard, then we know that blogging about Disney doesn't pay very well. 😂


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Monday, August 30, 2021 9:39 PM

Jeff said:

It already reinforced the "Disney hates poor people" thing, but I still tend to think that people will find a way if going to WDW is really important to them.

I would suspect that this change isn't pricing out anyone that wasn't already.

I saw a blogger article on Facebook today that was just about the fact that the Annual Passholder logo is changing. So, you know, those people seem to be approaching this with total maturity.


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Monday, August 30, 2021 10:43 PM
OhioStater's avatar

Cool to see a park price its season passes at a price point that accurately reflects its value.


Promoter of fog.

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Monday, August 30, 2021 11:48 PM

Or at least a price point that some on this site believe accurately reflects its value.

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Tuesday, August 31, 2021 8:12 AM

I think they hit it exactly right, at least for non-Floridians.

The general rule of thumb I've had in mind is: Two "long" trips or three "short" ones in a single year == get a pass. Right now the "list price" of a six day PH for our upcoming March trip is $644 + tax. Two of those are $1288 and for an extra $11 I'd get the pass if only to pop in for an hour on arrival day once. The pricing seems to be in reasonable balance at this point. I don't think there is any need for Disney to offer discounts for someone coming for only two trips within a calendar year, but pricing significantly above that makes it hard to get people to bite on the third visit.

Seems like they hit the sweet spot to me.


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Tuesday, August 31, 2021 9:52 AM

Fun drinking game:

Go to a Disney fan page or unofficial Disney social media channel and do a shot every time you see "Walt would be rolling over in his grave" "Disney only cares about money" "Disney doesn't care about families" or "Greed".

Then don't go to the hospital when you develop alcohol poisoning because they're all full of unvaccinated COVID patients.

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