Walt Disney World has announced a number of Annual Passholder special offers for this summer…all of which have been overshadowed by confirmation that there will be AP previews for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. We’ll cover that, plus the ticket deals, dining discounts, exclusive merchandise, and more in this rundown of Annual Pass deals.
We’ll start with the return of the popular Bring-a-Friend offer, which will allow Gold, Platinum, Platinum Plus, and Premier Annual Passholders to purchase up to six 1-day Park Hopper tickets for the special price of $89 plus tax, available for purchase and use from June 18, 2019 until August 8, 2019. Tickets will be available for purchase at theme park ticket booths and must be used only on the date of purchase.
Beginning July 5, Annual Passholders will be able to purchase the new “Summer Splash Pass” to receive unlimited visits to Walt Disney World’s two water parks, Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon. This pass will be valid during the heart of water park season–from July 5 through September 7, 2019. The pass will cost the same amount as a non-discounted 1-day water park ticket, which is $69 plus tax.
AP discounts are also available for this summer’s hard ticket events. Sticking with the water parks, the first of these is the H2O Glow Nights party held at Typhoon Lagoon. Annual Passholders can save $15 off the price sold at the ticket booths when purchasing in advance for this nighttime hard ticket event on select nights. (Typhoon Lagoon is awesome at night, but I’m not sure why Passholders would purchase tickets to this party over the Summer Splash Pass–to each their own, though.)
Annual Passholders can also purchase discounted tickets to Disney Villains After Hours, which is exactly what we did last week. (You can read all about the event in my Villains After Hours Review & Tips post.) This special event is held on select nights this summer at Magic Kingdom, and APs can save $30 off the price sold at the ticket window when purchasing tickets in advance. While at the event, Annual Passholders will also receive a complimentary Villains After Hours ornament featuring Hades.
Last week, Walt Disney World announced that select table-service restaurants will offer Passholders a 20% discount on lunch between now and July 2, 2019. These restaurants include the following:
Liberty Tree Tavern
Tony’s Town Square Restaurant
Akershus Royal Banquet Hall
Coral Reef Restaurant
Rose & Crown
Garden Grill Restaurant
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Hollywood & Vine
Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano
The Hollywood Brown Derby
Tusker House Restaurant
Ale & Compass Restaurant at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
ESPN Club at Disney’s Boardwalk Inn
Grand Floridian Cafe at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
Kona Cafe at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
Olivia’s Cafe at Disney’s Old Key West Resort
Sanaa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
The Wave… of American Flavors at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
Whispering Canyon Cafe at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
This discount applies to the non-discounted price of food and non-alcoholic beverages, and excludes applicable tax and gratuity. The lunch meal period is offered on seatings between 11:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., and is valid for the Passholder and up to 3 guests.
Based upon all of these ticket offers and discounts, our guess is that there’s a pre-Star Wars summer slump happening right now at Walt Disney World. That’s the simple explanation, but there could be more to these discounts than that. Third party hotels near Disneyland are experiencing similar post-Star Wars softness and Disney Cruise Line is offering more discounts this summer.
This makes us question whether this is part of a larger slowdown trend–either with Disney or the travel industry, more broadly. It’s premature to comment on that based simply on these anecdotal observations only a few weeks into the summer travel season, though. Nevertheless, this is something we’ll be keeping an eye on.
Finally, the most exciting news of all is that there will be Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge previews for select Annual Passholders! Walt Disney World has confirmed that Platinum, Platinum Plus and Premier Annual Passholders will be among the first to experience Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios with special preview opportunities planned before the land’s opening on August 29, 2019.
Walt Disney World has not revealed how this will work, aside from indicating that capacity to enter Star Wars Land is limited and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Disney has stated that more information and registration details for the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge AP previews will be shared at a later date.
If recent history with Pandora – World of Avatar, Toy Story Land, or the V.I.Passholder Nights is any indication, Walt Disney World will send out emails with a registration link to eligible APs the moment previews go live. Typically, these emails go out to about ~33% of eligible Annual Passholders, with no rhyme or reason as to who receives the email. (We’ve found this to be the case with all Walt Disney World correspondence, mailed or emailed.)
We can make no guarantees, but if one of us receives this email or if we see people talking about it via social email, we’ll send an email blast to our newsletter subscribers (you can sign up for free here). We’ve done this for all of the past AP events, and know many of you who didn’t receive the official correspondence were able to register thanks to our heads up. These events often fill up fast, so we’ll do our best to get that notification out quickly. (Again, no guarantees–we might miss it ourselves!)
What do you think of all these Annual Passholder discounts at Walt Disney World this summer? Excited at the prospect of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge previews for Annual Passholders, or are you not holding out any hope of being able to register? Do you agree or disagree with our thoughts here? 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!