Walt Disney World Annual Pass Info
Disney World Annual Passes – The Basics
Special Note: Walt Disney World will resume sales of annual passes starting September 8, 2021. Current Annual Passholders can renew their existing annual pass, but after September 8, any renewal will be to one of the new annual pass options.
New Walt Disney World Annual Passes are good for 366 days from the date of activation. In other words, if you activate your new pass on January 8, 2021, it will be good through January 8, 2022! (Yep, you get an extra day, except in a Leap Year.) Renewal Annual Passes, which are discounted, are good for 366 days starting from the expiration date of the previous pass, whether you use them right away or not.
You should carefully calculate your costs with and without Annual Passes before buying them. As a very rough rule of thumb, Walt Disney World Annual Passes are worth the money purely on the basis of ticket cost if you will be going into the theme parks for more than 18 days in 1-2 visits or 14 days in 3+ visits in a 366-day period. If your plans are in that ballpark, it’s probably worth actually calculating whether you’ll save money with a pass. In some cases an annual pass can still save you money for shorter stays because of the substantial benefits that are often available to Annual Passholders: hotel discounts, discounts on entertainment, restaurant discounts and free parking.
If you buy a Walt Disney World Annual Pass in advance by phone at (407) W-DISNEY (934-7639) or online, you will get a confirmation number via email (they don’t mail passes or exchange certificates any more). To get the actual annual pass card (which you will need to get discounts on merchandise), you will need to collect it at a Disney World ticket booth, Guest Services outside of one of the Walt Disney World theme parks, or at the Guest Services Offices in Disney Springs. You’ll have to show photo ID (for adults) and you’ll get a finger scan that links your pass to you personally (which prevents sharing of the pass). Each time you enter the theme parks with the Annual Pass, you’ll have to put your index finger in a scanner. If the scan fails, you’ll be asked to show ID.
The code number you get via email can be linked to your MyDisneyExperience account for the purpose of making theme park reservations, but you’ll still need to show up at a ticket booth to get the actual card. The expiration clock doesn’t start ticking down until you actually go through a park gate with it the first time.
The booths and customer service locations at the parks can issue you an annual pass exchange certificate, but may try to discourage you from doing so, since you’ll have to come back later to get the actual pass.
It can be useful to buy an annual pass certificate (or emailed code) in advance, for the following reasons:
- Even if you haven’t yet collected the activated pass, you can enter the code numbers from your email into MyDisneyExperience and make theme park reservations.
- If you’re worried the prices are about to go up, advance purchasing will lock in the current price. Even if the price goes up after you purchase it, your confirmation code is valid (apparently for years) without paying any extra. MouseSavers.com reader Patricia K reports that she has redeemed annual pass vouchers 3 years or more after purchasing them and was not required to pay an upcharge.
- There are a few sources for discounted annual passes, for members of certain groups or local residents, and some require you to get them in advance.
- Guest Services offices in Disney Springs sell activated passes and activate pre-purchased vouchers
- Guest Services windows and park ticket booths at any of the Walt Disney World theme parks sell activated passes and activate pre-purchased vouchers
- Disney’s Character Warehouse* stores in Orlando
- Orlando Auto Club South office has in the past sold discounted Annual passes for AAA and CAA members. We have not yet verified if they will continue to do so with the newer (2021) passes.
*These locations sell new, fully-activated passes only and cannot activate pre-purchased exchange certificates. They also do not offer the Florida resident discounted passes at these locations — only full-price Annual Passes.
You cannot buy an Annual Pass at the front desk of the Walt Disney World resort hotels.