Posts Tagged ‘annual pass’

How to Make a Disney World Vacation Affordable

by on October 24, 2016

It’s true that a Walt Disney World Vacation isn’t cheap. It’s one of the complaints you hear the most and is a big hurdle for families and individuals eager to experience the magic but must keep to a budget. But a Disney World Vacation may not be as out of reach as some might think! The price tag attached to the ultimate vacation destination can be significantly less if you know a few tips and tricks and money-saving strategies. So read on to learn how to make a Disney World Vacation affordable for you and your family.

Photo - Disney

Make Your Disney Visa Work For You

I applied for a Disney Rewards Visa Card from Chase several years ago, and I love it! It was free to apply, there’s no annual fee, and if you accept another cardholder’s recommendation, they get a Disney gift card and so do you. Cardholders also earn 1% in reward dollars and enjoy discounts and perks at a Disney Store, DisneyStore.com, and at the Disney Parks.

A Disney Rewards Visa Card can help you pay for your vacation if you can make the card work for you. For instance, I use my card to pay for the majority of my daily purchases, but immediately pay off what I charge to avoid accumulating debt or interest. Then, throughout the year, I allow my reward dollars to accumulate to apply towards the cost of my resort, tickets, or Annual Pass. It’s great knowing that each tank of gas or bag of groceries is helping to trim down my vacation costs; and of course, the card’s discounts help with those costs too.

Visit During the Off-Season

One of the best ways to save on a Disney World Vacation is to visit during the off-season. When the crowd levels drop, so do the rates for airfare, the resorts, and even park tickets due to Disney World’s new tiered ticket system. Seriously, a Disney World Vacation in the off-season may be half the price of the same vacation in July. But how do you know just when the off-season is? A good rule is to avoid the summer months and holidays; but for the rest of the time, the best source is the TouringPlans Crowd Calendar.

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New Perks for Walt Disney World Annual Passholders

by on October 3, 2016

Walt Disney World Annual Passholders

©Rikki Niblett

It’s a good time to be a Walt Disney World Annual Passholder. With the 45th Anniversary of the Walt Disney World Resort taking place this past weekend, Disney announced that they would be offering their AP holders special perks to celebrate.

To start with, Guests who purchase a 12-month pass will actually be able to enjoy 13 months of Passholder benefits. New passes must be purchased between Oct. 2, 2016 and Jan. 3, 2017.

In addition, Passholders will receive new dining and merchandise benefits. Passholders will receive 10 percent off food and nonalcoholic beverages at select table-service restaurants at theme parks and Disney resort hotels. In addition, Disney is bringing back the 20 percent discount on purchases at Disney owned-and-operated merchandise locations. These new benefits will continue even after the anniversary comes to an end on Sept. 30, 2017.

Speaking of restaurants receiving discounts, to celebrate the 45th Anniversary, 45 select restaurants will offer a 20% off discount during all available meal periods. This includes some counter service theme park restaurants for the first time! This offer runs from now until September 30, 2017.

Here is a look at the restaurants where discounts will be available for Passholders, as well as how much the discount will be:

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As Annual Pass Prices Increase, Theme Parks Add Perks

by on September 18, 2016

Not too long ago we saw Walt Disney World drastically change their annual pass structure adding new features and a wide variety of blackout dates. Universal Orlando has followed suit. They also recently announced new annual pass features like early park admission. Universal has also rolled out a new seasonal annual pass which is the most budget friendly but also has the most blackout dates, and the least amount of perks.

uoap_hands_blog-1170x731

Universal Orlando loves their AP Holders – photo from Universal Orlando

It’s not all bad news, however, Besides adding features to the annual passes themselves, all of the major theme parks offer various perks and benefits throughout the year. It seems as though this year there are more perks than ever before–perhaps this is because the prices are higher than they’ve ever been. Some guests who are on vacation are purchasing an annual pass rather than a multi-day ticket, even if they’re only going to visit once in a given year. For locals like me it is often seen as a mandatory purchase in order to do Orlando living right.

Let’s take a look at some of the really fun benefits and perks that are being offered to annual pass holders at each of the major theme parks. It is important to note that for the purposes of this blog post I will not be discussing the features that are already included in your annual pass such as free parking, but rather I will focus on different, added-on perks that are offered throughout the year.

Walt Disney World

Perhaps the Walt Disney World Resort faces the greatest of expectations. Because of their four theme parks vs. two at Universal Orlando and one theme park plus water park at SeaWorld Orlando, the Walt Disney World annual passes are the most expensive. This typically raises the expectations of consumers, creating stronger desires for more bang for their buck.

©Rikki Niblett

©Rikki Niblett

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Maximizing the value of Disney Vacation Club

by on October 20, 2015

Previously, I wrote about various uses of Disney Vacation Club points in order to demonstrate the great variety of location and length of stays available at similar point levels. Along those lines, we’re going to take a look at the best way to maximize the value of a Disney Vacation Club membership. Whether you’re already a member, or just thinking about becoming a member, here are ways to leverage Disney Vacation Club for maximum touring enjoyment.dvc-logo

  • Lower your initial point investment: No matter how many points you own, the perks are the same. So don’t be afraid to scrimp on that initial purchase of Disney Vacation Club points. Currently, the minimum buy-in from Disney is 100 points. You can also start with even fewer points by looking to the resale market, where points go for much less. One caveat to buying a DVC contract from a resale broker: The points cannot be used destinations in The Concierge Collection, The Adventurer Collection and The Disney Collection. But in general, these uses –which include cruises, Adventures By Disney and non-DVC Disney resorts — are not the most economical use of points. If your primary concern is value, you’re going to be using your points for DVC resorts only. A lower number of points also means a lower amount of maintenance fees you’re paying out each year. Of course, as many DVC members can tell you, “add-on-itus” is a real thing. It may not be long before you’re in the market for additional DVC points. On the other side of the coin, if you decide that DVC doesn’t work for you, a smaller contract is easier to sell on the resale market than a larger contract.

Now, more tips:

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Disneyland Resort Sees Pricing Increase in Annual Passes

by on October 4, 2015

IMG_3863Disney is on a roll, because not only does Walt Disney World have a new pricing structure for its Annual Passes beginning this morning, but Disneyland Resort does as well.  It appears that there were some major changes that occurred with this restructuring, so because things like this can be confusing, let’s take a closer look.

With this new change, there appear to be three major passes for Disneyland Guests to choose from. These new Annual Passes are the Disney Signature Plus Passport, the Disney Signature Passport, and the Disney Deluxe Passport.

The Disney Signature Plus Passport costs $1,049.00 for ages 3 and up and includes admission to the two theme parks every day of the year, including Park Hopping. Guests will also get theme park parking, the new ability to download Disney PhotoPass photos, special offers for stays at Disney Resort hotels and valuable discounts on dining, merchandise, recreation and tours.

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Walt Disney World Increases Annual Passes, Parking, and More

by on October 4, 2015

MYW_Ticket_Logo

©Disney

This morning, in a surprise twist, Walt Disney World Annual Passes have a new pricing structure. The structure can be confusing, so let’s take a closer look.

For regular Walt Disney World passes, there is now the Deluxe Platinum Pass and the Disney Platinum Pass.

The Deluxe Platinum Pass will cost $829.00 ages 3 and up and gives Guests one year of admission to all four Walt Disney World theme parks and the ability to Park Hop. Plus Guests will get theme park parking and admission to Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon, ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, and Disney’s Oak Trail Golf Course, special offers for stays at Disney Resort hotels, and valuable discounts on dining, merchandise, recreation and tours are also included. Of course the biggest change is that now Annual Passes include the ability to download Disney PhotoPass photos and videos as part of their pass.

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Walt Disney World Annual Pass: Not Just For Locals

by on July 31, 2015

Annual Passholder Box

This box could be yours! – © John Kivus

If you’re going to Walt Disney World for a once in a lifetime trip, or even a once-a-year trip, it has probably never occurred to you to get an Annual Pass.  Honestly, why would you? Those things are expensive and are only appropriate for locals that go regularly, right? Well, sometimes you have to spend money to save money, and believe it or not, a Walt Disney World Annual Pass can pay for itself and then some even if you only intend to go once in your entire life! How? Find out after the jump!

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Offsite Options: Is a Disney World Annual Pass Worth It?

by on July 28, 2014

I. INTRODUCTION

I have a confession to make: I stay offsite when I visit Walt Disney World. I know, I know. Go back and re-read my previous articles here on TouringPlans and wonder how you ever could have believed anything I said. While you do that, however, I’ll address Walt Disney World Annual Pass Savings, especially for those staying offsite.

Annual Passholder Box

Annual Passholder MagicBands – © John Kivus

The Disney World Annual Pass certainly seems to come at a substantially higher cost than other ticket options. If we view the passes at face value, then this is an accurate conclusion – an annual pass does cost more than any other pass, even a 10-Day Park Hopper. You may think this means you have to visit the parks at least more than 10 days to get your money’s worth out of an Annual Pass.

The problem with this reasoning is that there is so much more to everything Disney than face value, and having at least one Annual Pass for your party can be very valuable, especially for offsite guests.

Before we get into the details, I do want to warn you that there is no easy answer to the question of whether or not an Annual Pass is a good value for a particular party’s Walt Disney World trip. In fact, the analysis will require planning, and DUN DUN DUN: math.

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Shocking Savings of a Universal Orlando Annual Pass

by on July 23, 2014

Universal AP

Universal Annual Passes are a great way for even infrequent guests to save money.

We have been vacationing to Florida for the past seventeen years; visiting Universal Orlando Resort on each trip. During this time, it had never occurred to me to purchase an annual pass. After all, annual passes are more for those people who live close and can visit many times in the same year, right? I couldn’t have been more wrong.

It wasn’t until recently that I discovered the potential savings of purchasing an annual pass for Universal. The annual passes can be a money saving option for people visiting as few as two days. Not only do you get unlimited day passes to the parks, but you also get free parking, discounts on food, merchandise, admission and special event tickets, and onsite hotel discounts.

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FastPass+ Tips for Annual Pass Vouchers and Frozen Meet and Greet

by on March 25, 2014

As I’ve detailed in my recent blog posts, navigating Walt Disney World now that FastPass+ has fully rolled out for Annual Passholders is a whole new adventure that seems to evolve on a daily basis. Here are some updated FastPass+ tips on two of the hottest topics among users of My Disney Experience and the associated MyMagic+ programs: Annual Pass vouchers and the new Frozen meet and greet.

FastPass+ Tips for Annual Pass Vouchers

New FastPass+ tips for Annual Pass vouchers and Frozen meet and greet (photos by Seth Kubersky)

New FastPass+ tips for Annual Pass vouchers and Frozen meet and greet (photos by Seth Kubersky)

One of the most frequently asked questions in the comments to my recent blog posts has been if Annual Pass vouchers that have not yet been activated can be tied to a My Disney Experience account for FastPass+ access. This is important to guests who wish to purchase an annual pass in advance of their visit to make FastPass+ reservations without having the 365-day timer on their ticket start ticking until their arrival. Multiple readers have reported inputing their voucher number as a linked admission pass in My Disney Experience, and being unsuccessful in attempts to then make FastPass+ reservations.

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