Disney Prices Out Families, Raises Passholder Prices

in Walt Disney World

Disney World Annual Pass being held up in front of Cinderella Castle at Disney World

Credit: Inside the Magic

Over the years, The Walt Disney Company has garnered recognition for its consistently innovative approach, a tradition rooted in the visionary era of its founder, Walt Disney. By fostering a seamless partnership between Walt Disney Imagineering and Disney Animation Studios, the company creates immersive experiences that enchant a global audience.

Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana attraction
Credit: Walt Disney World Resort

Related: Disney’s Reworked Annual Pass to Debut With “Unusable” Benefits

In keeping with Walt Disney’s principle of constant enhancement, otherwise known as “plussing,” Disney parks steadfastly welcome advancements. This is all evident in their endeavors to improve guest experiences — from augmented reality elements in older attractions such as the Haunted Mansion, as well as their ongoing dedication to pushing the frontiers of technological progress within theme parks, including the utilization of drone technology in their nighttime spectacles.

Given Disney’s longstanding commitment to providing an exceptional experience for their guests, it’s only natural that there will always be visitors seeking to maximize their Disney vacation.

Spaceship Earth at EPCOT inside Walt Disney World Resort
Credit: Disney

What is Disney’s Annual Pass?

Throughout Disney Parks’ history, The Walt Disney Company have offered Annual Passes (AP) to their guests, providing exclusive year-long access to the respective Disney Resort or Park. These passes come with a variety of benefits and privileges tailored to those who intend to visit the Disney parks frequently. This program is especially advantageous for locals or individuals who can commit both time and budget to regular Disney visits.

Surprised Mickey Mouse on the right side and Disney Passholder Image on the left
Credit: Inside the Magic

Related: Fans Find Proof That Disney “Hates Walt Disney World”

The Disney Annual Passholder program allows individuals and families to avoid tightly scheduled days filled with continuous, lengthy lines for attractions and Disney Character meet-and-greets. Annual Passholders have, therefore, always enjoyed the flexibility to indulge in relaxed half-day excursions or casual dinner outings, which is particularly beneficial for those residing in close proximity to the Parks.

Magic Kingdom turnstiles, parking entry closed
Credit: CNN

Unfortunately, it seems like frequent Disney guests might find themselves slowly priced out of such perks as the Annual Pass with this price update.

Why Be a Walt Disney World Annual Passholder?

Well, the entire Disney Resort just far too big to be reasonably completed in a day — that’s why!

Guests look on inside the Magic Kingdom besides the Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse statue, Partners, at Walt Disney World Resort
Credit: Disney

Over the years, Disney’s influence has expanded worldwide, encompassing destinations such as the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. Originally modeled after the Disneyland Resort located in Anaheim, California, often known as the “The Happiest Place On Earth,” (a phrase originally coined by Walt Disney himself), Walt Disney World started with the Magic Kingdom.

One could make the case that the focal point of the Walt Disney World Resort is the Magic Kingdom Park, known for its extensive collection of beloved rides and attractions. Guests have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the thrill of Space Mountain, join the adventurous Captain Jack Sparrow (bearing a resemblance to Johnny Depp from the films) on Pirates of the Caribbean, or partake in enchanting interactions with Disney Princesses near the enchanting Cinderella Castle.

Dad with mouse ears excited with son
Credit: Disney

But that’s not all Disney World has to offer. Apart from shopping district Disney Springs, visitors to the resort’s other Disney Park offerings like Disney’s Hollywood Studios can immerse themselves in the captivating realm of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Meanwhile, Disney’s Animal Kingdom provides the opportunity to venture into Pandora – The World of Avatar. EPCOT Center further enhances the resort’s unique appeal by featuring themed areas devoted to innovation and creativity. These include World Celebration, World Discovery, World Nature (formerly a part of Future World), and the one-of-a-kind World Showcase Lagoon, which highlights 11 international Pavilions.

The sheer size and scope of Florida’s premier theme park is absolutely why the the Disney World Annual Passes are a valuable commodity.

Main Street, U.S.A. at Magic Kingdom decked out with Disney Halloween decorations.
Credit: Disney

Frequent visitors to Orlando’s Walt Disney World were met with disheartening news today — as independent reporter Scott Gustin reported on Disney’s new Walt Disney World price hikes.

The new Walt Disney World Annual Pass prices are now seeing increases dependent on the type and tier. Gustin shares the following pricing breakdown for the Disney Incredi Pass, Disney Sorcerer Pass, Disney Pirate Pass, and Disney Pixie Dust Pass:

NEW: Walt Disney World Annual Pass prices have increased $30-$50 depending on the pass type. Here’s a breakdown (all prices plus tax):

Incredi-Pass: $1449 (was $1399)
Sorcerer: $999 (was $969)
Pirate: $799 (was $749)
Pixie Dust: $439 (was $399)

These new prices come with new information from Disney as well, specifically regarding the Annual Passholder park reservations system and theme park reservation blockout dates:

WDW will offer “good-to-go” days for Annual Passholders starting in Jan. 2024 – which means no park reservation will be required to visit specified theme parks on those days.

Disney will release additional information about “good-to-go” days at a later date.

(continued) Annual Passholders will keep the perk that allows APs to visit any park without a park reservation after 2pm (except Sat. and Sun. at Magic Kingdom).

There are even more price hikes for Disney fans, future guests and Disney World Annual Passholders to be aware of, including the following:

Some other notable price increases at Walt Disney World:

Memory Maker:

Advance purchase: $185 (was $169)
Regular price (during and post-vacation): $210 (was $199)
One day: $75 (was $69)

At the end of the day, Disney appears to be upholding their reputation as a theme park franchise with money in mind. Whether these choices are actively pricing out families and singles who might have considered getting Annual Passes otherwise appears to be a loss that Disney is willing to take.

Guests definitely aren’t happy about this park pass change. See @WVChemist on X (formerly Twitter), who posted:

“Unfavorable Attendance Mix”

Disney be like:

(text: F*ck you and I’ll see you tomorrow!)

Along with these AP changes, the park pass tickets and park hop system are also undergoing a significant rework.

Do you think Disney is pricing out guests at their theme parks? Do these Disney Annual Pass price hikes still make the pass worth it? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Get your Walt Disney World tickets here at the official website.

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