It’s been well over a year since Walt Disney World stopped selling Annual Passes. Now Disney World Annual Passes are returning and available for sale April 20, 2023 but with big changes.
If you’re considering purchasing a Disney Annual Pass, this guide will break down the options. And if you’re already a Passholder, I’ll walk you through what’s different.
As of April 20, 2023, new sales of the Disney Incredi-Pass, Disney Sorcerer Pass and Disney Pirate Pass can be purchased online! Please check https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/passes/ for the latest information.
What are the new Walt Disney World annual pass options?
There are now four different levels of Disney Annual Passes available to Florida Residents.
The two main differences between each pass level are the blockout dates and the amount of Disney park pass reservations you can hold at one time. A reservation is required to visit any Walt Disney World theme park, on any day.
Disney Incredi-Pass – Sales begin April 20, 2023
- $1,399 plus tax for Florida residents
- No blockout dates
- Five park reservations at a time
Disney Sorcerer Pass – Sales begin April 20, 2023
- $969 plus tax for Florida residents
- Blockout dates apply – Thanksgiving and last half of December
- Five park reservations at a time
Disney Pirate Pass – Sales begin April 20, 2023
- $749 plus tax for Florida residents
- Blockout dates nearly every month, including Valentine’s Day
- Four park reservations at a time
Disney Pixie Dust Pass – Currently Available
- $399 plus tax or $19 per month for 12 months after a $205 down payment for Florida residents
- Blockout dates on weekends, plus some weekday holidays and peak periods
- Three park reservations at a time
Changes to Disney Annual Passes
Hold more park reservations
Depending on the pass type, Passholders may now hold up to five Disney Park Pass reservations at a time. “Bonus reservations” will be added to the park pass calendar from time to time, so Passholders can make an additional park reservation without it counting against the reservation hold limit.
These “bonus days” are days with park pass availability that will not count against your total park reservation allotment. These make for a great last-minute Disney day without large crowds.
Walt Disney World Annual Passholders: Park Reservation Requirements updated for visits after 2 p.m. starting April 18
While the theme park reservation system remains important to manage attendance in our parks, especially on busier days, we have heard our Passholders tell us that they would like to enjoy more spontaneous visits. Starting April 18, 2023, Walt Disney World Annual Passholders may visit the theme parks after 2 p.m. without needing a park reservation, except on Saturdays and Sundays at Magic Kingdom Park. Pass blockout dates will continue to apply like they do today.
Disney Resort hotel stays
Passholders staying at Disney Resort hotels or other select hotels will now be able to make park reservations for each day of the stay – in addition to the reservations already scheduled as allotted with your pass type. Just keep in mind blockout dates associated with each pass type still apply.
Water Parks and PhotoPass
This is a big change. PhotoPass is no longer included in ANY of the Annual Passes — which is a bummer. But, it can be added to any Annual Pass for $99, which includes unlimited free digital downloads for the year. On the bright side, the Water Park and Sports option can be added to ANY Annual Pass. This used to only be an option with the Platinum level, which is somewhat equivalent to the Incredi-Pass.
Access a new integrated calendar
A new integrated calendar is coming that lets Passholders see blockout dates for each pass type, view available days for pass reservations, and make, modify or cancel a reservation all in one place. This is a great improvement compared to the original system.
What do I need to do if I am an existing Annual Passholder?
If you are a current Passholder, your Annual Pass can be used just as you use it today. Plus, beginning September 8, 2021, Silver, Gold, Platinum and Platinum Plus Annual Passholders will also be able to hold more reservations at a time! Visit this page for more information.
When it is time for you to renew, you will be able to renew into one of the new passes (at a special renewal price). Tip: This may be a good time to change tiers. In the past, once you were at a higher level pass, like Gold or Platinum, you couldn’t renew into a lower tier. With this change to the Annual Pass program, and the end of Silver, Gold, and Platinum levels, you can switch to one of the new levels at renewal time.
If you compare your most recent price paid for your annual pass to the new tiers, you’ll notice an increase in price when comparing equivalent levels. And, the removal of PhotoPass feels like a loss of a great perk. Time to break out a mini tripod for your phone and set a timer!
Tips and Date Ideas for Annual Passholders
Which pass is right for you as a couple?
If you’re a Disney couple, you may want to chat about which Annual Pass options make the most sense for you as a couple. For example, when the new prices and levels came out, I was tempted by the Pixie Dust Pass so that I could save money. I have the flexibility to visit the parks on a weekday once in a while. But it quickly hit me that my husband and I would miss out on quality park time together on the weekends.
Park Reservations and Park Hopping
Park Pass Reservations are required, so that means no more popping into the parks whenever you feel like it. Hopefully, the new integrated calendar makes impromptu visits to the parks easier than they’ve been with the current system. If you and your honey thrive on spontaneity, you may get a little frustrated with having to make reservations anytime you want to go into a Disney theme park. But, let’s say the park you want is not available, which may happen if you’re booking a reservation last minute. You can park hop to your preferred park. You just have to enter the park at which you have the actual reservation first. Park hopping is currently available anytime after 2pm.
Linking your Disney Accounts
Another thing to consider is that in order to make Park Pass Reservations together your Disney accounts need to be linked. Once you make a Park Pass Reservation together the reservation will show up under both of your accounts. On the occasion that you may want to surprise your honey with a Disney day, and there’s no way to keep them from checking their Disney account before you go, consider making a dining reservation as a surprise. I would suggest making the reservation over the phone rather than online so you can let the Cast Member know it is a surprise and they can help make sure it does not show up under your sweetie’s Disney account.
A few of our favorite Disney date ideas:
- How to do an Epic Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Food Crawl
- 5 Hidden Gem Lounges and Bars at Disney for Date Night
- Where to Have Brunch at Disney – No Park Ticket Required
- Guide to Viewing Disney Fireworks Outside the Parks
Check out all of the posts under our Disney category for loads more date ideas.
Image credits: Dani Meyering; feature image: @datingindisney (photo by Jesus La Rosa)