We Live in Colorado, and We Are Annual Passholders

Hey there! Bryson checking in with our Disney community for another post and yes you read that right. Crystal and I recently became Disney annual passholders (at Disney World)! Yay! A lot of you may be saying “Bryson, you live in Colorado, why would you spend that money to become annual passholders?”

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Well ‘m going to tell you! Let’s shed some light on why being an annual passholder made sense for my wife and I. Now before we get going here is a little tidbit about myself, I oversee the operations for a decent size company and with that I look at analytics all day and put that to work on the logistics side of our company. So creating different scenarios and how they play out is literally what I do for a living, so when it comes to something like our Disney vacations I play out many different possibilities before we book anything.

Are the in depth itineraries we make for each and every day of our trip making a little more sense now that you are getting to see just how analytical and detailed we are? Between Crystal’s itineraries, and my planning, we always have a very detailed map of how we would like our trips to play out. However it is Disney, so impulsiveness is always in play and is always some of the best parts of the trip.

357.jpgNow let us dive into what being an annual passholder entails, first though let me state, I will only be talking about out of state annual passes. Since we do not live in Florida (maybe someday) I do not have the exact knowledge of what those passes exactly include (if you are an annual passholder and have experience with them, please shoot us an email so we may know). So for out of staters like us you have two options, the Disney Platinum Plus Pass or the Disney Platinum Pass. For those who just want to go to the water parks, there is an annual water park pass you can get for $125 (plus taxes) which allow you to enjoy those water rides you covet, without having the cost of the parks included. So here is what you get with the Disney Park Annual Passes (Plus tax on all passes):


Photo courtesy of https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/passes/


So with both the Platinum plus and the Platinum pass you get the park hopper option, photopass downloads, theme park parking, 20% off merchandise, and neither pass has block out dates for admission.  When you go to the Platinum Plus Pass you add such things as: Admission to both water parks (Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon), ESPN Wide World of Sports, and Golf at Disney’s Oak Trail Golf Course where annual passholders get a discounted golf rate and discounted events and offers.

ballsaCrystal and I went with the Platinum Pass (the most common pass sold) because we do not go to the water parks and even though we do golf, we usually do not have time to fit that in to our Disney trips. Let me show the numbers I used to justify why spending just over $1600 (after tax) for 2 Platinum Annual Passes worked for us.

We have two trips planned for the year that our annual pass is good for, one for Crystal’s Birthday and the holiday time, and another for my birthday in May where we will finally go to the Flower and Garden Festival. So (stay with me, numbers are coming) first, I figured just what we would spend on our theme park tickets that we would have bought outright if we were going not as annual passholders. This is what we have purchased for our past trips before knowing the benefits of the annual pass.

6 day Theme Park ticket W/ Park Hopper option – $930.00 for both of us

Disney Memory Maker/Photopass – $169 if bought before 30 days out from your trip ($199 if bought within 30 days of your trip)


So right there we are at $1,099.00 for our Holiday trip.


Now using the same formula for our May trip we would have spent:


4 day Theme Park Ticket W/ Park Hopper Option – $850.00 for both of us (amazing how much you save for going longer)

Disney Memory Maker/Photopass – $169 if bought before 30 days out from your trip ($199 if bought within 30 days of your trip)


The total for just the tickets and options for our May Trip: $1,019.00


So for both our trips we would spend $2,118.00 for all of our park tickets and the options we would want for us. Now some of you may not care about Park Hopper and Photopass so if we remove all that we would have still spent $1,480.00. So at that number the annual pass just does not make sense, Right? Well take into account the other benefits given. As a passholder you get a 20% discount on merchandise (online at home or in the park) so say we spent $100 each trip. We would save $40 with both trips combined. We eat in the park more than not and what is not listed above is 10% off food at most places on Disney properties. If you drove to the park you would spend $20/day (if you stayed off property), so for the average 5 day trip you save $100 right there! Say you stay on property, you get exclusive passholder offers and if it is not a special you get a passholder of 10% on resort stays, so even at a value resort like the All-Star Resort that has an average stay of $145/night you are saving $14.50/night (it all adds up).


To wrap this up you may say “That is all well and good Bryson, but we just do not have $800+/each to spend on an annual pass”, and I 100% get that, but in typical Disney fashion they have also thought of that. If you ask them about a payment plan you only have to give a minimal deposit on your annual pass and they will set you up with a monthly payment plan, and as long as you are current t with your payments your pass will be active just like if you had paid all of it at once. So at the end of the day, you have to sit down and think about what works for you, Crystal and I are lucky enough we are able to get time off from our jobs this year to enjoy multiple trips to Disney World this year and the plan worked for us.

Maybe you only get to go every few years, or maybe you are still working towards making your first trip, obviously this is not the plan for you. I just hope that you opened your eyes to a way for you to save some money down the road if the opportunity ever comes to you to do this. We all work hard for our money and every penny we can save is a great thing. Hope you all stayed with me in this post, and for the love of a mouse, never forget, that it all started with a mouse!

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