Big Annual Pass Price Increases at Disney World
Walt Disney World Annual Pass prices increased overnight, as Florida prepares for the debut of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. The price hike is as much as $225 on some APs, and is less than a year after the last October’s increase. In this post, we’ll break down the big price increases and offer some commentary.
Worth noting that this comes on the same day that Walt Disney World is set to release 2020 vacation packages (we planned on covering these price increases, but at present that only gets you a “booking is currently unavailable. We’re working to restore availability as soon as possible. Please check back later” error message), and the day after Disney announced a Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge preview for Annual Passholders in the top tiers.
None of this is all that surprising. We’ve been anticipating multiple ticket price increases this year, and have been warning readers to purchase tickets ASAP to lock-in current prices in our 2019 Discount Walt Disney World Ticket Buying Guide, you’re familiar with this. We’ll dispense with more commentary later in the post, for now, the increases…
Disney Premier Annual Pass
This is the U.S. Disney Parks’ flagship AP, with admission to every theme park at Disneyland and Walt Disney World, no blockout dates, PhotoPass & MaxPass included, parking, and the highest level of discounts.
It has increased from $1949 to $2099 (up $150)
Disney Platinum Plus Annual Pass
This is Walt Disney World’s flagship AP, with admission to all four theme parks and both of the water parks, ESPN Wide World of Sports, Disney’s Oak Trail Golf Course, no blockout dates, PhotoPass included, parking, and the highest level of discounts.
It has increased from $849 to $999 for Florida residents and DVC members (up $150) and from $994 to $1219 for everyone else (up $225).
Disney Platinum Annual Pass
This is Walt Disney World’s other AP without any blockout dates, which also includes PhotoPass, parking, and the highest level of discounts.
It has increased from $749 to $899 for Florida residents and DVC members (up $150) and from $894 to $1119 for everyone else (up $225).
Disney Gold Annual Pass
Walt Disney World’s Annual Pass that’s only available to Florida residents and Disney Vacation Club members. This one has very blockout dates–basically just between Christmas & New Years and at Spring Break/Easter. It offers PhotoPass, parking, and the highest level of discounts.
It has increased from $609 to $699 (up $90).
Disney Silver Annual Pass
Another Walt Disney World Annual Pass that’s only available to Florida residents. This one has the same blockout dates as the Gold, plus pretty much the entire months of June, July, and beginning of August. It offers parking and the highest level of discounts.
It has increased from $479 to $519 (up $40).
Disney Theme Park Select Annual Pass
Another Walt Disney World Annual Pass that’s only available to Florida residents. This one has blockout dates that vary park to park, but offers access to at least one park on more days of the year than the Silver AP. (Hope you like Epcot!) It offers parking and the highest level of discounts.
This AP has not increased in price: $439 before and after.
Disney Weekday Select Annual Pass
Yet another Walt Disney World Annual Pass that’s only available to Florida residents. This is valid primarily Monday through Friday, subject to blockout dates. It offers parking and the highest level of discounts.
It has increased from $319 to $349 (up $30).
Epcot After 4 AP
The Epcot After 4 Annual Pass is only offered to Florida residents. It has no blockout dates and allows access into Epcot after 4 p.m., standard parking, plus standard dining and merchandise discounts.
It has increased from $289 to $309 (up $20).
Water Parks Annual Pass
Available for all to purchase, the Water Parks Annual Pass has no blockout dates and offers admission to both Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach for an entire year.
It has increased from $130 to $139 (up $9).
Water Parks After 2 Annual Pass
Available only to Florida residents, this AP has no blockout dates and allows admission to both Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach for an entire year, but only after 2 p.m.
It has increased from $79 to $89 (up $10).
In terms of commentary, even though some of these price increases are staggering, I’ve lost the capacity for surprise when it comes to Walt Disney World ticket price increases. At this point, attendance is up, the parks have a devoted and passionate fanbase, and a slate of new additions rolling out pretty much non-stop between now and 2022. Why wouldn’t they increase Annual Pass prices?
Now, you might point out that there has been attendance and spending softness this summer (as we noted in yesterday’s article about AP discounts), but these increases aren’t aimed at the here and now–they’re about the future. It’s not as if every Annual Passholder (or even a majority) will be renewing between now and September when attendance is expected to be weaker. In the bigger picture and longer term (when the increases will have more of an impact), Walt Disney World has good reason to expect increased attendance, and even more demand for Annual Passes.
Obviously, the Disney Vacation Club membership numbers continue to grow, and we’d speculate that more hardcore out-of-state fans are finding ways to leverage Annual Passes for multiple visits in the same 365 day period. Perhaps most significantly, there has been a population explosion in Central Florida.
Several cities in the Orlando metro area are among the fastest growing in the United States. Many of these new Florida residents are people fleeing the Northeast and Midwest. This is significant because it means Walt Disney World, traditionally a tourist destination with a far lower AP pool than Disneyland, has likely increased its Annual Passholder population in the last few years despite all of these price increases.
The story painted by these top-heavy Annual Passholder price increases is that Walt Disney World wants to discourage purchase of the highest-tier APs (or charge a significant premium to those with significant disposable income who might not notice a difference either way), pushing people instead towards the passes with blockout dates.
Essentially, AP pricing becomes a means of attendance control, just as it has been for years in California. Disney does not want to eliminate or even significantly reduce its herd of Annual Passholders. They are necessary during low seasons for tourism, for buying food & drinks at Epcot’s festivals, and purchasing exclusive merchandise. However, Disney does want to steer people towards certain APs, thereby working to distribute attendance to days that are historically low.
Then there’s the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge factor. Much has already been written about that, so I’ll spare you a regurgitation of the expected tourism boom once that blockbuster new land debuts and is fully open. As noted above, there are several other big additions on the horizon at Walt Disney World, so don’t expect these price increases to cease any time soon.
To the contrary, expect more regular ticket price increases (on both APs and standard tickets) coupled with discounts on select products (and to select demographics) when Walt Disney World deems it necessary to boost attendance for certain windows of time.
Planning a Walt Disney World trip? Learn about hotels on our Walt Disney World Hotels Reviews page. For where to eat, read our Walt Disney World Restaurant Reviews. To save money on tickets or determine which type to buy, read our Tips for Saving Money on Walt Disney World Tickets post. Our What to Pack for Disney Trips post takes a unique look at clever items to take. For what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Ride Guides will help. For comprehensive advice, the best place to start is our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide for everything you need to know!
What do you think of these Walt Disney World Annual Pass price increases? Will you still buy one, or are you priced out? Do you agree or disagree with our assessment? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!
Is it just me or have the prices gone back down today? I’m currently on property and when I checked the annual pass options, it looks like they hav returned to previous pricing.
Welp. Nevermind. I think the system just thought I was a Florida resident based on my location. Oh well.
Hello Jen, here it is. I hope it works for you!
A couple of people were asking where I found the expiration date. If you look in your My Disney Experience (after linking your passes), scroll down to “My Plans, Reservations and Tickets,” then click on “Tickets & Memory Maker” (to the left). This is what shows up for me:
Disney Platinum Pass
Expires: Tue, Dec 31, 2030
I hope that helps!
If I score the Fl. AP Platinum at $749, before the increase is implemented, will I Always retain that price or will Renewal $
at time of Offer prevail ?
You get a (small) discount at renewal, but every year the cost to renew will increase. The past 8 months was a double-whammy. Price increase in Oct 2018 and another in June 2019.
Here are a few examples for new APs. (Prices reflect the FL Resident discount.)
Platinum Plus: June 2018: $829. June 2019: $999 (20.5% increase)
Platinum: June 2018: $729. June 2019: $899 (23.3% increase)
Gold: June 2018: $589. June 2019: $699 (18.7% increase)
As for renewal costs, a Gold pass renews for $632.61 which is a 9.5% discount ($66.39) off the “new” price of $699.
But yes, both New and Renewal costs go up every year.
Wow people talking about saving $1000.00 to $1400.00 on tickets must be alot rich people around. That a house payment and grocery for my family a month or two. I wish I had a magonala vacation sorry Disney. No go anymore for me last year was my last.
I appreciate what you are saying and understand everyone doesn’t have the same resources. I was just stating what the HP tickets cost and not that we bought them. 🙂 I wouldn’t call us “rich.” But, we do work hard for our money and I prioritize vacations and experiences. My living room couch, however, is 21 years old! My best to you.
Just wanted to let everyone know that I saved over a $1000 on a Platinum Pass and got a new Sam’s membership yesterday (ha!). After looking this morning, they still look available. I will note it took longer to process than it said; my guess is that this is a popular item right now.
I’m not thrilled with this steep increase on the out of towner passes. I’m sure there are tons of reasons that Disney has done this–but is does come down to demand. As a Disney fan, it did seem punishing and I was upset by it. I will say when planning a trip to NYC, we looked at $1400 tickets for the Harry Potter Play for 4 people–ouch–it’s crazy. Only the back row of the balcony are cheaper. $500 for 4 for a day at Disney seems like a bargain comparatively. However, if you want to put your $$ elsewhere–consider Disney stock. Since March 22, it’s gone up 30%!
As the current and next year demand for Star Wars declines, hopefully Disney will offer some promotions that will be affordable for more.
$1400 for a play? And Harry Potter? No thanks. Maybe if Scarlett Johansson was naked in it and that was front row… But no. The memories you’ll have from a WDW are a lot more valuable.
Nico–Ha! I’d even opt out of Scarlett. 🙂 The longer running shows are cheaper. The handling fees were $98 a piece, which drives up the cost of even the less costly tickets. Welcome to NYC! Just glad I don’t live there.
Does anyone know, when you purchase an AP voucher at a 3rd party like Sam’s, AAA, or Tickets at Work….. how quickly does it have to be redeemed?
Because if they are valid for more than a year, I’d like to buy NEXT year’s renewals today, hold them until next June, and redeem then… assuming they have a long expiration date, and I wouldn’t have to pay an additional fee to make up the difference between what I bought the vouchers for, and the current AP rate at renewal time.
I didn’t buy a renewal, but my new pass expires 12/31/2030. The clock doesn’t start until you first redeem the pass at the park. When I added it to My Disney Experience to use for Fastpasses later in the year, it gave me the expiration date of 2030. We plan to go in December 2019.
This is what is says exactly:
The Disney Platinum Pass entitles the holder thereof to the following:
Admission to the Magic KingdomÂ® Park, EpcotÂ®, Disney’s Hollywood StudiosÂ® and Disney’s Animal KingdomÂ® Theme Park, standard theme park parking and the freedom to visit multiple parks on the same day for a period of one (1) year starting with the date of first use of this Ticket. Also includes unlimited digital downloads of photos taken during the One (1) year period and linked to the guest’s Disney account, subject to terms and conditions as set forth on the General Terms and Provisions for Tickets.
I have a similar question — when will the AP bought from Sam’s Club expire? I just bought from Sam’s and linked in My Disney Experience, but I didn’t see an expiration date.
Susan, where did you find the 12/31/2030 date? Thanks.
Do you have the link to the Sam’s Club option to purchase, I’m other website, logged in, and can’t find it.
I don’t know if you saw my reply before. But here it is:
WOW! Just saved over $1,000!!! I was planning on buying 4 Platinum Plus passes within the next couple days and my heart sank when I saw the price increase Disney “announced” yesterday. I have been poring over various websites trying to figure out how I could get passes at a lower price when I came upon a separate article posted by Tom referencing to Tickets at Work. I knew my employer had corporate discount offerings but didn’t know if we had this relationship. So I tried registering at Tickets at Work and I was able to get in. Lo and behold, they offered annual passes at significant discounts from the new price. They were actually a bit lower than before Disney raised the prices. I snagged my 4 Platinum Plus passes pronto!! Sooooo happy! What a serious savings!!! I am not sure how long these prices will stay at this rate and assume they will soon change it to reflect Disney’s price increase. So if you are looking for annual passes and your company uses Tickets at Work, I recommend hopping on this now!!
Thank you for this. I just bought two APs from tickets at work at basically the old price for platinum. Whew!
Yah! Glad it worked for you. 🙂
Do you happen to have a link to the tickets? I cannot find them on the website? 🙂
Yes, it is a little clunky finding the link to get to them. Here it is:
I signed up at Tickets and Work and checked on the platinum pass. The web page that it went to is exactly the same web page as Sams Club travel….exacly the same. Is there some relationship in these companies?
Even though different sites add their own logos/branding, I believe it’s the same back-end fulfillment company processing the orders. I also believe it’s the same one AAA uses, but AAA has more options enabled (you can renew passes, as well as buy new ones; an option I didn’t see at Sam’s). The checkout appears identical. The vouchers I bought from AAA were processed and shipped by Ticket Monster.
Ugh. So we did the Florida resident 4 day pass when we moved here earlier this year; to try the parks out first. The kids love it! We were going to purchase our season passes this week (like tomorrow), and now I’m not sure because we have to get 4 passes; that’s a lot of extra money we didn’t account for.
We purchased our DVC membership in 2017, and I decided to take the plunge and purchase the Gold AP last week because if we go 2x in a year it’s worth it. I’m so glad I didn’t wait to make that purchase!
Disney is now raping their loyal family fan base with the unreasonable price hikes on everything. Guess I will stay at my DVC home and park for free and then just drive to Universal for the theme park portion. The annual passes at Universal are a way better value. My kids have also wanted to go to Lego Land and Bush Gardens in Tampa, but my loyalty has always been to Disney … until now. Thanks Disney for helping me decide to spend my hard earned money elsewhere!!!!!
I bought my AP earlier this year and planned to buy my husband’s when we go this summer – a trip we specifically planned for the purchase. That $225 price bump just changed everything. It’s a huge letdown. I wish you could opt out of Memory Maker, drop park hopping, or choose parks a la carte – build your own pass! We’d gladly forgo hopping or HWS to get the cost back down to a “doable” level.
They are $865 plus tax at Sam’s Club right now, June 19 @ 9:00 am EDT. If you missed the link from an earlier post, it can be found at https://serviceshub.samsclub.com/pages.php?sub=wdw#walt-disney-world-resort-annual-passes.
If you’re not a Sam’s member, it might be worth it to sign up – can always cancel the Sam’s membership later for a full refund if you find it’s not worth it.
Matt, Thanks so much for the tip and link! I saved over a $1000 and have a Sam’s Club membership now! This worked perfectly this afternoon, so is still available.
Last I checked Sam’s doesn’t accept Disney gift cards as payment :o) and that’s how we had been saving the money. Also had planned on “cashing in” park tickets toward the price. But besides that this is just a gut punch. Like some other commenters have said, this is the straw that has broken our back.
You said, “However, Disney does want to steer people towards certain APs, thereby working to distribute attendance to days that are historically low.”
This doesn’t make sense, really. Out of state folks can only get Platinum and Platinum Plus APs, and those are the ones that took the highest rate increases. Out of state AP holders are also the ones who do spend on hotels and food when they visit, unlike most Florida resident AP holders, who took far less in price increases.
I would LOVE to be able to buy a Gold AP, as we avoid the heavy crowds at the holidays anyway. It would be almost half what we pay for the Platinum.