Is a 2019 Disney World Annual Pass Worth It? 8 Substantial Discounts to Consider

Living near Pittsburgh, PA, my family and I still have Walt Disney World Annual Passes. Does it make financial sense why we’d invest in the passes for twice a year visits? For my family, we find that the discounts definitely outweigh the costs. Is a 2019 Disney World Annual Pass worth it? Here’s this year’s discounts and perks to help you narrow down your decision.

Is a 2019 Disney World Annual Pass worth it?

For this post, I’ll be using the Disney Platinum Pass as an example. First, it’s the one I purchased. Second, there are no visit blackout dates unlike the Florida Annual Pass. 2019’s Platinum Pass price is $849 plus tax, so you’ll be looking at $904.19 per person ages three and up. Here’s the quick version of what you’ll get with a Disney Platinum Pass:

  • Admission for a year to all 4 theme parks (No blockout dates)
  • Visit all 4 theme parks on the same day
  • Includes Disney PhotoPass downloads*
  • Up to 20% off on select dining
  • Up to 20% off select merchandise in store or online at Shop Disney Parks
  • Standard theme park parking
  • Free MagicBand

Tip to know before you buy: apart from park admission, only one member of your traveling party needs to have an AP to reap the benefits. And, there are several Annual Pass tiers as well: Florida Resident, Water Parks, and Platinum Plus may work for you. 

IS A 2019 DISNEY WORLD ANNUAL PASS RIGHT FOR YOU?

When I travel to WDW with my family, we average at least 14 days in the parks per year with two visits. This year alone, we’ll have visited WDW at least six weeks in a calendar year (HAD to visit Toy Story Land!).  If you visit the theme parks for more than 11 days in a 12-month period, a 2019 Disney Annual Pass will pay for itself in theme park hopper tickets alone.

Add that fact in with the discounts and freebies you’ll receive and you can begin to see why it may definitely benefit you. Here are the best discounts and perks for 2019.

1. 2019 DISNEY ANNUAL PASS THEME PARK FREE PARKING

Honestly, I find the park ticket prices to be pretty steep and to add in a hefty parking charge is just crazy. Right now, you’re looking at $22+ per vehicle per day if you drive or rent a car. Most of the time we road trip to WDW, so we generally like to drive ourselves to the parks (I really need to write about why we choose to) and, as long as one of us in the car has an AP, parking is free. Taking our 14 days a year as an example, that’s another $308 in savings.

Here’s the full scoop on theme park parking charges:

  • Preferred parking: car or motorcycle – $45 per day
  • Standard parking: car or motorcycle – $22 per day
  • Oversized Vehicle Parking: Shuttle, Limo, Camper Trailer, RV, Bus or Tractor Trailer – $27 per day
Lago Dorado at Coronado Springs Resort
Lago Dorado at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort. Photo Credit: Steven Locke

2. DISCOUNTED RESORT ROOM PRICING

When you stay at an on-property resort, you’re in that “Disney bubble” for your entire stay. You don’t have to think about anything but park logistics like when to eat and what attraction to visit next.

Several times a year, Disney releases special AP resort room pricing that I love taking advantage of. Sure, there’s special room pricing without an Annual Pass as well, but AP holders tend to get a bit more of a discount. Again, this is all a bonus if your pass will pay for itself in theme park tickets alone.

'Ohana Restaurant at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort
‘Ohana Restarant at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. Photo Credit: Steven Locke

3. 2019 DISNEY ANNUAL PASS DINING DISCOUNTS

In 2018, it was a no-brainer for me to have an Annual Pass for the dining discounts alone. There were plenty of on-property restaurants offering a discount on food and beverage. Add up three meals per day times two weeks and you can see where I’m headed.

For 2019, there’s still plenty oDisney dining discounts, but most of them are 10% with a few 15% and 20% off. For a family of three, we average about $200 per day in dining (two quick service, one sit-down meals per day). Even at the lowest discount of 10%, we’re saving 20 bucks a day. That’s $280 a year with 14 days on property.

Have a Disney Annual Pass? Free PhotoPass and Memory Maker photos are included in the cost.
Have a Disney Annual Pass? Free PhotoPass and Memory Maker photos are included in the cost. Photo Credit: PhotoPass

4. FREE MEMORY MAKER PHOTOS

Yes, you can totally hand any PhotoPass photographer your phone or camera and ask to have your picture taken for free, but having access to Memory Maker and free PhotoPass downloads for the entire length of your AP is a definite bonus. I’m able to hop online and customize our photos with cute Disney details. I can also hop on the My Disney Experience app and download photos almost instantly after they’ve been taken.

To purchase Memory Maker separately, you’ll be paying $149 three days in advance or $169 day of but it can be used immediately.

Make a beeline to at least one MNSSHP Magic Shot. LOVE the Grim Grinning Ghost at Haunted Mansion!
Make a beeline to at least one MNSSHP Magic Shot. LOVE the Grim Grinning Ghost at Haunted Mansion!

5. SPECIAL EVENT TICKET DISCOUNTS

I love visiting Disney World during the the holiday off-seasons (think the week before holiday break in school, right after Labor Day, etc.), and with these times of year come hard ticket events, AKA, Magic Kingdom Parties. Yep, we’ve checked out both Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party & Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.  I find them both worth the additional costs. Each is a hard ticket event, meaning a regular theme park ticket won’t get you admission into the parties.

Hard ticket holiday parties at Magic Kingdom also offer the benefit of magic shots that you won’t find unless attending the party, too.

Minnie Mouse toys at Mouse Gears

6. SHOPPING DISCOUNTS

During Magic Kingdom’s 45th Anniversary in 2017, there was a huge 20% discount in most of the on-property shops. For us, especially for my teen daughter that loves pin buying and trading, we saved hundreds of dollars during each of our visits.

For 2019, at the time this post was written most on-property retail locations are still offering a 20% discount with a few 15% and 10% discounts thrown in. 

Is a 2019 Disney World Annual Pass worth it? When does on make financial sense? From dining to shopping to resort recreation, here are 8 hefty discounts to help you decide! #Disney #DisneyWorld #WDW #AnnualPass #AnnualPassholder #FamilyTravel #Orlando #Florida

7. SPORTS, SPA, & RECREATION DISCOUNTS

With a mostly 15% discount across the board on everything from mini golf to bike rentals, you’ll save some cash in this area. Most of these discounts apply to Walt Disney World Resort offerings, so take a look at the list and see if you’ll be using the discounts. If so, it’s another consideration to make.

8. ADDITIONAL DISCOUNTS

There’s so many for 2018 that I’d be rambling on and on for hours. So, here are the basics. You’ll get anywhere from a flat dollar off to a $15 discount on water parks, tours, and even the movie theater at Disney Springs. There’s also discounts on bike rentals, golf, and water sports. For the full list of special discounts, head here.

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2 Thoughts to “Is a 2019 Disney World Annual Pass Worth It? 8 Substantial Discounts to Consider”

  1. Raj

    While I agree with some parts of this. Really it comes dwn to if you visit more than 7 days it pays for itself with parking and nornal admission costs. Anything more is a bonus. As for discount room rates, i have had better deals as a fl resident than a avp holder.

    As for 20% dinning, there are very few restaurants that actually honor 20% off.

    As for pictures, its a great deal to have a 1 year acess and download all your photos and even customize them with disney frames.

    I feel there is not really 8 reasons. Only like 3

    1)parking
    2) more than 7 days in the park paid for itself based on normal admission prices
    3)pictures

  2. Very good summary of the benefits of an AP at WDW. I think for those of us that don’t live in Florida that like to visit 2 or more times a year this really is a no-brainer, especially given Disney’s recent pricing structure change. We took last year off on the APs but are considering doing this again. As you say, for those of us outside of FL, the AP resort discounts are good and I really think if you’re going to fully experience WDW you need to stay on a WDW resort.

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