If you’ve missed the first few WDW AP posts, go back and check them out before you read on! This post will answer some of the most pressing questions about being a Walt Disney World annual passholder. As always, leave a comment or connect with us on social media for more in depth discussion!

What is an annual pass to Walt Disney World?

An annual pass to Walt Disney World gives the holder unlimited access to the four Walt Disney World theme parks for a year. There are several different levels of annual pass that can be purchased. Some have black out dates when it cannot be used (specific to discounted passes for Florida residents and DVC members) and some also include access to other attractions such as water parks, golf courses, etc.

When does the year start?

An annual pass year begins the first time it is used/activated. This means that you can purchase an annual pass online in advance of a trip, but the year does not officially start until you arrive at a Walt Disney World ticket counter and formally activate the pass. The pass is then good for a full calendar year from that date.

What is included in an annual pass?

  • Access to all 4 Walt Disney World Theme Parks
  • Ability to hop between parks on a single day (equal to a “park hopper” ticket)
  • Free parking at the theme parks
  • If you upgrade to the Platinum Plus Pass: admission to both water parks, ESPN Wide World of Sports, and the Oak Trail Golf Course

What are extra perks of being an annual pass holder?

  • 20% off select dining and merchandise while on Disney World property
  • Free PhotoPass downloads
  • Magic Bands
  • Discounted tickets for special events (i.e. Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party)
  • Ability to purchase Tables in Wonderland – a discount card for 20% off dining (including alcohol and complementary resort valet parking)

How much does it cost?

The cost of an annual pass depends on a variety of factors such as which level of pass you choose and whether you qualify for any discounts (Florida resident, Disney Vacation Club member). You can see all the options online. Annual passes are fairly costly – but may make sense when you consider your trip plans and the perks that come with it.

Can I make FastPass reservations before my pass is activated?

Yes, you can. Your My Disney Experience account will recognize that you have active tickets and let you make FastPass reservations at the appropriate time: 60 days out if you have an on-site hotel reservation and 30 days out the rest of the time.

Can just one person in a traveling party have an annual pass?

Yes. A traveling party can be made up of individuals with all kinds of ticket types. It might make sense to get an annual pass for a single member of a traveling party to gain access to the added perks of being an annual passholder, while buying single trip tickets for everyone else.

Do annual passholders still get magic bands?

Sure do! You will get a set of magic bands for being an annual pass holder. You can go online and customize them in your My Disney Experience account as soon as you have purchased your pass(es) and they will be mailed to your house.

Will it work at Disneyland?

No, unfortunately most Walt Disney World annual passes do not extend access to the Disneyland Resort in California (or any other Disney theme parks across the globe). For those probably rare individuals who visit both Disneyland and Disney World frequently in a single year – there is a Disney Parks Premier Passport that does provide access on both coasts.

Should I get an annual pass?

Whether or not an annual pass makes sense for you depends on a variety of factors and your specific situation. You can read more about annual passes and how to determine whether it makes sense for you in this post.

Thanks to AP Disney fan Kelly for this great FAQ post!