Disney World Exploits Annual Passholders With “Ridiculous” Charge

in Walt Disney World

A PhotoPass Disney Cast Member takes a photo facing the camera in front of Cinderella Castle.

Credit: Disney Parks Blog

Walt Disney World Annual Pass sales reopened in April to the delight of hopeful Disney Parks fans nationwide. Unlike other brief sales, all four Annual Pass categories are still available. This includes the Disney Pixie Dust Pass ($399, Florida Residents only), Disney Pirate Pass ($749, Florida Residents only), Disney Sorcerer Pass ($969, Florida Residents & Disney Vacation Club members only), and Disney Incredi-Pass ($1,399, open to all Guests).

Though these Annual Passes are pricey, the savings on Disney Park tickets and dining and merchandise discounts have long been well worth it for frequent visitors. Unfortunately, some Walt Disney World Annual Passholders feel the Theme Park is exploiting its loyal customers.

Four Disney World Annual Pass holders stand in front of Cinderella castle, looking at their phone.
Credit: Disney

Reddit user and Annual Passholder u/nacoluke shared a screenshot from the My Disney Experience app, noting that their family took five photos with Goofy during their trip. To purchase just those photos would’ve cost $69.99. The app did not offer individual downloads:

This is ridiculous.

I hadn’t taken pictures with cast members in a while, but I took my mom this week for Mother’s Day and we took a few pictures with Goofy at HS. Apparently, not only did they take away photo pass away from pass holders, they charge THIS much for photos. No matter then amount. I took 6 pictures. Why would I ever spend this much on 6 images. I would have genuinely paid maybe $10 for these because they’re nice, I just screenshot them.

This is ridiculous.
by u/Nacoluke in DisneyWorld

As commenters pointed out, individual photos are available for purchase on the Walt Disney World Resort website. But the cost quickly adds up. Many Annual Passholders felt swindled, as PhotoPass used to be included in most Passes.

“Wanna hear something crazy? We didn’t want the photos initially, but then after our last trip my husband decided he wanted the ride photos, so he paid the FULL amount just to get the ride photos from our entire trip,” u/bognostrocleetus recalled. “We didn’t even take any magic shots or anything.”

“It’s clear penny pinching,” u/th3thrilld3m0n wrote. “The fact that it’s $70 for one day, over $100 for a single ‘vacation’ and only $100 for an entire year. Kind of like how they raised popcorn refills from $2 to $2.25. Popcorn already has one of the largest profit margins in the park as cheap as it is.”

Others pointed to declining quality of PhotoPass photos.

Two PhotoPass Cast Members stand back to back in front of Cinderella Castle wearing lime green costumes.
Credit: Disney Parks Blog

“I’ve always been a big fan of memory maker -always recommended it. We visited July 22 and it was awful,” said u/BrightFireFly. “Photographers setting ups weird poses that require you to stare directly into the mid day sun. Poor quality. Missing ride photos – some of which weren’t found even after emailing back with photopass several times. Limited photographers everywhere except MK.”

“The REAL problem with these prices is the insane increase in the number of the photopass boxes they use at the indoor meet and greets,” u/whitepikmin11 echoed. “You basically can’t have more than 2 people talking to the character or else they’ll get cropped out. I HATE those boxes and only put up with them because I’m only paying $100 for the year for all my photos with my AP.”

Annual Passholders can purchase Water Park/golf course access or unlimited PhotoPass downloads for $99 each. If you don’t regularly purchase Disney Genie+ (which comes with complimentary ride photos) or want more than a few photographer photos annually, the PhotoPass add-on pays for itself.

Did you add PhotoPass to your Walt Disney World Annual Pass? Share your experience with Inside the Magic in the comments. 

Please note that the story outlined in this article is based on personal Disney Parks Guest experiences. No two Guest experiences are alike, and this article does not necessarily align with Inside the Magic’s personal views on Disney Park operations.

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