I will start by saying that I am definitely not the most logical person. For as long as I have been a hard-core Disney fan, I have wanted an annual pass.
The main reason why I have been unable to get one in the past: we live 16 hours by car to Disneyland.
If we were any closer, we would have one every year, but since that isn’t the case, we have waited and waited and waited until the time has been right. Luckily for me, this year the time was right!
Now, I will tell you a little secret… I didn’t care how much the pass was going to save me. I really just LOVED the idea of being able to go to Disneyland at any time. Luckily this year, based off of our schedule we were planning at least three trips to the park. Once we started using the passes though, the savings did seem to add up.
Now down to the nitty gritty:
We purchased the Disney Signature Passport, which as long as you aren’t planning on being in Disneyland during the two weeks covering Christmas and New Year’s (which you REALLY shouldn’t) then this is the one to go for.
It will give you entrance to both parks on every other day of the year except for the two weeks listed before. Plus, the pass will give you 15% off of select dining and 20% off of select merchandise.
The dining applies to full meals rather than snack stands. You can check in with the restaurants to see which will take the annual pass discount. As for merchandise, I haven’t really found something that wasn’t covered with the 20% discount.
When we bought the pass we spent $849 per person.
With our three trips we would have spent (1 five-day park-hopper pass, 2 three-day park-hopper passes and 1 one-day park hopper pass) $1145 per person.
Unfortunately, I didn’t keep track of our first trip, and we haven’t had one of our three-day trips, but I did manage to keep an account of what we saved on our five day trip. Based off of both food and merchandise purchased over the trip for six people, we saved close to $450.
All told, we managed to save $1,042 for our purchase savings and tickets for two people.
This certainly isn’t an option for everyone, but even if only one person in your group gets an annual pass, you can still use the pass to get discounts on everything for the group. It is definitely something to keep in mind if you are planning an extended trip to Disneyland with a family.
Will we buy it again this year? Probably not, since we have a lot of other trips planned this year not to the parks. Would we ever get it again? Definitely!
Feel free to let me know if you have any other questions about annual passes down in the comments and I will try to answer them!