Welcome to another...
Oh, who am I kidding? It's WEDNESDAY!!! Why am I just now getting to Tip Tuesday?!?!?
Mea Culpa, my friends.
Anyway, on with the show and this week's tip...
When friends and co-workers hear that my family and I are WDW annual passholders, they often ask me, "Why?" or "Is it worth all that money?"
The answer really depends on how much you plan to visit Walt Disney World in a 12-month period.
Take my family for example. My wife and I have three children. In Disney's eyes, we are three adults and two children (under 10). We knew that we were going to WDW in January 2010 for the half-marathon and we knew we wanted to take another family trip in the spring/early summer to experience both Disney and (dare I say it!) Universal's new Wizarding World of Harry Potter. As we looked at the ticket costs for those two trips alone we started thinking about the usefulness of an annual pass.
Let's look at this in a bit more depth.
In January, we were planning to get a four-day park hopper pass (per person). The cost for three adult and two child hoppers is $1,319 (at $69.25 per adult and $61 per child).
This spring/summer, we are planning at least seven days at Disney (maybe more, but we'll go with seven for now). The cost of five seven-day park hopper passes is $1,364 (at $40.86 per adult and $36.14 per child).
Adding these together, we get a total ticket cost of $2,683.
Now let's look at the cost of annual passes.
Annual passes (for this year) are $489 per adult and $432 per child. For my family, annual passes cost $2,331 -- a savings of more than $300.
As you can see, it was readily apparent that we should consider the annual pass (which we did).
But wait, there's more.
We quickly realized that we had tickets for an ENTIRE YEAR! So the question was when to start that year. Originally we weren't considering a WDW trip for the summer of 2009. With the annual pass, all of the sudden, that summer trip was possible. We had to shoulder the financial hit of the passes, but knew we were saving in the long run.
The next thing we know, we're heading down to WDW every chance we can get!
For less than the cost of our two originally planned trips, we've already taken one WDW trip and are planning three more. That's four trips for the original price of two.
But wait, there's more.
WDW annual passholders also enjoy some serious discounts. How about 10% off all purchases at the World of Disney in Downtown Disney, discounts at certain Epcot restaurants, discounts on tours, discounts on theme park tickets (for friends or family), and HUGE discounts on room-only rates at many of the Disney resorts. The room-only savings can be as much as 40% off the rack rate.
So before you head down to Walt Disney World on your next trip -- think ahead. If you might be going more than once in a calendar year or going for longer than 10 days, you might want to think about getting an annual pass. The savings could be well worth the investigation. Do the math.
For more about annual passes, see the official Disney Web site.