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2021 Walt Disney World Annual Passes | Guide & FAQs

While the Disney parks in Orlando reopened more than a year ago and you can buy single or multi-day tickets, Disney has yet to start selling annual passes again. When will annual passes return to Walt Disney World?

Disney World Annual Passes

Walt Disney World Annual Passes are going on sale to the public once again starting on September 8, 2021.

In this post, we are going to go over go over all the new changes to the WDW Annual Pass program including AP ticket types, prices, perks, blockout dates, add-ons, and more.

While many aspects of the new annual pass program are the same, there are a bunch of changes to be aware of before deciding whether it makes sense to buy one for yourself or not. We’ll update you on all of the changes and everything you need to know about the new Pixie Dust Pass, Pirate Pass, Sorcerer Pass, and Incredi-Pass at Disney World.

Before we get started, read our post on Disney World Reopening FAQs to learn about all the new changes in the parks you need to know about.

If you want the Latest Updates on the Disney World Annual Pass Program, don’t forget to sign up for our FREE Weekly E-Mail Newsletter. You can sign up here: Join our E-Mail Newsletter

When are Disney World Annual Passes Coming Back?

Before the parks closed in 2020, Disney World had tens of thousands of annual passholders, mostly Florida residents or DVC members who make multiple trips to Florida each year. While the majority of guests visiting the vacation kingdom buy park tickets just for the few days of their vacation, for guests who visit more regularly, an annual pass is a much more economical solution.

The only problem is that they suspended new annual passes before the Walt Disney World parks reopened. During the reopening phase, guests have been able to renew their passes, just not buy new ones.

So why the change and when will Disney World start selling new annual passes again?

New Disney World Annual Passes are available for purchase starting September 8, 2021. That means they will be ready in time for the start of Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary.

Disney World Annual Passholder Entrance

This was confirmed when Disney unveiled the new annual pass system coming to Disneyland when they said:

And for those wondering about Walt Disney World Annual Passes, new pass sales will become available in time for the start of the 50th anniversary celebration! Walt Disney World Resort will be sharing additional information and details later this month…”

That’s a big relief since many fans were worried that the Annual Pass program was being eliminated completely. With this update, we know it will be back at WDW for sure!

WDW Annual Pass Highlights

First of all, the Walt Disney World annual passes have 4 tiers, each with different blackout dates, perks, and of course price levels.

The new Disney World Annual Passes are:

  • Disney Pixie Dust Pass
  • Disney Pirate Pass
  • Disney Sorcerer Pass
  • Disney Incredi-Pass

Even though these 4 new passes have new names, they still have many of the old features such as free standard parking, park hopping, and discounts on food and merchandise.

Some of the highlights for annual pass types include:

  • More Park Reservations: Depending on their pass type, Passholders can now hold up to five Disney Park Pass reservations at a time. Not only that, “bonus reservations” will also be added to the calendar from time to time which Passholders can make without it counting against their normal reservation hold limit. As before, passholders staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel can make park reservations for the length of their stay.
  • Annual Pass Add-Ons: Different add-on options are available for purchase with any of the 4 annual passes according to your preferences. Some options include the Water Park and Sports package or Disney PhotoPass downloads.
  • New Integrated Calendar: A new calendar will let guests easily see blockout dates for each pass type. Enhancements to the reservation system let Passholders quickly see available days and make, modify or cancel a reservation all in one place.
  • Enjoy Passholder Perks: Passes will continue to offer benefits including the Park Hopper option, standard theme park parking and discounts on merchandise and dining. And, there will be a few special surprises throughout the 50th anniversary celebration.

Annual Pass Types & Prices

Here is a breakdown of each annual pass type and how much they cost:

Disney Pixie Dust Pass – $399 plus tax

  • For Florida Residents Only
  • $399 plus tax or $19 per month for 12 months after $205 down payment
  • Hold up to 3 theme park reservations at a time
  • 20% off select dining and merchandise
  • Free Standard Parking

Disney Pirate Pass – $699 plus tax

  • For Florida Residents Only
  • $699 plus tax or $45 per month for 12 months after $205 down payment
  • Hold up to 5 theme park reservations at a time
  • 20% off select dining and merchandise
  • Free Standard Parking

Disney Sorcerer Pass – $899 plus tax

  • For Florida Residents and Disney Vacation Club Members Only
  • $899 plus tax or $63 per month for 12 months after $205 down payment
  • Hold up to 5 theme park reservations at a time
  • 20% off select dining and merchandise
  • Free Standard Parking

Disney Incredi-Pass – $1,299 plus tax

  • For ALL Guests
  • $1,299 plus tax or $99 per month for 12 months after $205 down payment (Payment Plan for Florida residents only)
  • No Blockout Dates
  • Hold up to 5 theme park reservations at a time for different dates
  • 20% off select dining and merchandise
  • Free Standard Parking
  • Standard theme park parking included

Annual Passholders can visit DisneyWorld.com/Pass for more information and updated details about our new Annual Passes.

Add-Ons

One big change to the new annual passes is that there are fewer perks built-in automatically, and more you have to now pay for. For example, the popular PhotoPass option was always included with the higher level passes, but it’s now an add-on only and you have to pay $99 plus tax if you want it.

The Water Park and Sports option is also $99 plus tax and includes admission to:

  • Typhoon Lagoon
  • Blizzard Beach
  • Oak Trail Golf Course
  • FootGolf at Disney’s Oak Trail
  • Winter Summerland Miniature Golf Course (one round before 4 PM)
  • Fantasia Gardens Miniature Golf Course (one round before 4 PM)
  • ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

So even though the Incredi-Pass is $1299, if you want these add-ons the cost is really $1499.

The one we are most upset about is the PhotoPass not being included. But since we use it so much, it’s worth the $99.

Annual Passes and Park Reservations

Just like all guests, annual passholders are required to make a Disney Park Pass Reservation for each day they want to visit the theme parks.

Before this update, annual passholders were limited to 3 park pass reservations at one time. Now, however, the Pirate Pass, Sorcerer Pass, and Incredi-Pass each allow for 4 or 5 park pass reservations at a time. The Pixie Dust Pass is the only one that is still limited to 3 reservations.

Annual Passes Booking Limits

On top of the normal reservation limits, annual passholders staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel will be able to reserve a park pass for each day of their stay. So if you are staying for 7 days, you can make 7 different park pass reservations, plus you will have your normal allotment of 3, 4, or 5 on top of that.

If you still have an old annual pass, you also can now hold more park pass reservations. Starting September 8, 2021, Platinum Plus, Platinum, and Gold Annual Passholders can hold five reservations at a time, while Silver Passholders will be able to hold four.

Making Park Pass Reservations

Park Pass reservations for annual passholders can be made either on the Walt Disney World website or in the My Disney Experience app.

Disney Theme Park Pass Reservations

Whichever one you are using, go to “Make Theme Park Reservations”. There you will choose between making a park reservation for an annual passholder or for someone with only regular theme park tickets.

As an annual passholder, you will then be brought to a screen where you will then choose between regular park pass reservations, or park pass reservations for guests staying at a Disney World Resort hotel (remember, these are unlimited).

Disney Park Pass Reservations screen

You then select the date and the park you want to visit:

Disney Park Pass Reservations Select your date and park
Select a Park Park Pass Reservations

Review and then confirm your reservation:

Review and Confirm Park Pass Reservations

Bonus Reservations

We are also waiting to hear more about these “bonus” park reservations Disney has mentioned. They said that these will be in addition to the current passholder limits. They will be added to the calendar periodically, likely when crowds are light.

You can see the “Bonus Reservations” on the Disney World Annual Pass Blockout Calendar:

Select your date and park

The dates with the gold stars are bonus reservations and don’t count against your regular annual passholder limits.

Overall, these are welcome changes and make it much easier for annual passholders to plan days in the parks in advance.

For a more in-depth look, read our Disney Park Pass Reservations Guide.

Disney World Annual Pass Blockout Dates

Disney World Annual Pass Blockout Calendar

Except for the Disney Incredi-Pass which has unlimited dates, the other 3 annual pass types have blockout dates when you cannot visit the parks. The less expensive the pass is, the more blockout dates are on the calendar, limiting when you can go.

How to Use the Annual Pass Blockout Calendar

Using either the Walt Disney World website or the My Disney Experience app, go to “Make Theme Park Reservations,” then under “View Current Availability” choose “Annual Pass.”

Disney World Annual Pass Blockout Calendar Select pass

On the next screen, select which annual pass type you are using and then choose the park you want to make a reservation for. This will show you the available dates and which dates are blocked out.

When you look at the calendar, if a date has a line slashed through it, that means those dates are blocked out for your annual pass type. If you see a green dot underneath the number, that means park pass reservations are available for that date. Again, yellow stars signify bonus reservations available.

Disney Park Pass Reservations Select your date and park

The lockout dates themselves will not change throughout the year, but park pass availability will change so check regularly.

The Pixie Dust Pass has the most blockout dates, followed by the Pirate Pass, and then the Sorcerer Pass. Let’s take a closer look:

Pixie Dust Pass Blockout Dates

The Pixie Dust Pass has availability on most weekdays throughout the year. Weekends are out, as well as all the holidays.

WDW Annual Pass Pixie Dust Pass Blockout Dates

Pirate Pass Blockout Dates

The Pirate Pass gives guests more available dates as it opens up the majority of weekdays and weekends throughout the year. Peak and holiday seasons are blocked out.

WDW Annual Pass Pirate Pass Blockout Dates

Sorcerer Pass Blockout Dates

The Sorcerer Pass has availability almost every day of the year. The only dates that are blocked out are the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday periods. Other than that you can make a reservation any day of the year.

WDW Annual Pass Sorcerer Pass Blockout Dates

We think the Sorcerer Pass is the best value for your money as it knocks $400 off the price from the Incredi-Pass and still has 97% of the same dates available.

Current Passholders

If you are a current passholder, you may be wondering what happens now with all these changes. Guests may continue using their existing annual pass until its expiration. Then you can renew by choosing one of the new passes, at a discounted rate as always. Usually, this means taking $100 or more off the full price.

Here are the current annual pass renewal prices:

  • Disney Pixie Dust Pass: $339 plus tax (a $60 discount)
  • Disney Pirate Pass: $594 plus tax (a $105 discount)
  • Disney Sorcerer Pass: $765 plus tax (a $134 discount)
  • Disney Incredi-Pass: $1,104 plus tax (a $195 discount)

Current Annual Passholders should also be on the lookout for a new exclusive magnet coming their way soon.

Upgrading Regular Tickets to AP

Disney World Annual Pass

What if you have already purchased regular theme park tickets but now want to upgrade to an annual pass? Not a problem. Guests with an existing theme park admission can upgrade those into an annual pass starting September 8, 2021.

Guests can apply the entire price of their current tickets to the cost of an annual pass. Let’s say you have an upcoming trip and you have already spent $500 on your tickets. In that case, if you trade those tickets in for an annual pass, you will get a $500 credit towards that purchase.

How to Upgrade Annual Passes?
Guests can upgrade from regular tickets to an annual pass both in-person at the theme parks. It’s not currently possible to upgrade your ticket on the Walt Disney World website or My Disney Experience.

If you want to upgrade them in person, head to the ticket window at the entrance of one of the Walt Disney World theme parks. On the phone, you can call 407-W-Disney (407-934-7639).

Monthly Payment Plan

The monthly payment plan for Disney World annual passes is only available for Florida residents. You can get the monthly payment plan with any of the 4 annual pass types, just as long as you live in Florida.

Each pass requires a down payment of $205, then a monthly fee for 12 months. Your monthly fee will depend on which annual pass level you choose and they range from $19-$99 per month.

Unfortunately, if you aren’t a Florida resident, you can no longer use the monthly payment plan to purchase your annual pass.

FAQs

New Annual Passes at Walt Disney World

Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about the new Walt Disney World annual passes. We’ll continue adding more as more information comes out:

How do the New Annual Passes Compare to the Old Passes?

Besides renaming all the passes, there aren’t that many differences between the old annual passes and the new ones. Annual Passholders can now hold more park pass reservations at a time (a maximum of 5) and some of the old perks are now gone like PhotoPass.

The new tickets are more expensive but not as bad as we were originally thinking. Here is what annual passes cost before the new ones went on sale:

  • Disney EPCOT After 4 Pass: $309
  • Disney Weekday Select Pass: $369
  • Disney Theme Park Select Pass: $439
  • Disney Silver Pass: $539
  • Disney Gold Pass: $719
  • Disney Platinum Pass: $1,195
  • Disney Platinum Plus Pass: $1,295

Which old passes do the new ones replace? It’s not an apples-to-apples comparison because there used to be 8 different annual passes and now there are only 4.

Here is a general look at the current passes and the old ones they replaced:

  • Disney Pixie Dust Pass replaces the Weekday Select Annual Pass, Theme Park Select Pass, and Epcot After 4 Pass
  • Disney Pirate Pass replaces the Silver Pass
  • Disney Sorcerer Pass replaces the Gold Pass
  • Disney Incredi-Pass replaces the Platinum Pass & Platinum Plus Pass
Pandora: the World of Avatar in Disney World

Which APs can Florida Residents Purchase?

Florida residents can purchase any of the 4 WDW annual passes they desire and are not restricted in any way.

Which Annual Passes can Guests Who Live Out of State Buy?

Unfortunately, the only APs that regular Disney guests can purchase is the Disney Incredi-Pass, the highest-tiered one. This was also the case before the update.

The only exception is for DVC members, who are also able to purchase the Sorcerer Pass. The Pixie Dust Pass and Pirate Pass are only available for Florida Residents.

What If I Live Close to Florida?

Sorry, that doesn’t help you.

Which Annual Passes can DVC members purchase?

DVC Members can choose between the highest two tiers, the Incredi-Pass and the Sorcerer Pass, though the Sorcerer Pass is likely restricted to “Blue Card” Members only.

Explain “Blue Card” DVC Members and the Sorcerer Pass?

Inside Mexico pavilion

At this time we aren’t sure but it’s likely that only “Blue Card” DVC members will be able to purchase the Sorcerer Pass. “Blue Card” DVC members are those who have a blue membership and the only way to get that is by either buying it directly from Disney or buying a membership under the old rules (before 4/4/16).

It’s possible that other members can get the Sorcerer Pass, but we’ll update you when we know for sure.

Are There Any Disney Vacation Club Discounts?

No there are not. There used to be a $200 discount on the top-level Disney World annual pass, but that is no longer the case with the Incredi-Pass. This could always change in the future, but as long as DVC sales are strong we don’t expect it to.

What Happens to Current Passes on September 8, 2021?

If you are a current AP holder, nothing happens to your annual pass until you renew it or purchase another one in the future. The only thing that changes is you can have more Park Pass Reservations now than previously. Everything else stays the same.

What about Unused/Unactivated Vouchers for “Old” Annual Passes?

Entrance to Rise of the Resistance

If you have a voucher for the “old” annual pass, those can be redeemed between now and September 7, 2021. You will then receive the old pass. If you redeem your voucher on September 8, 2021, or after, you will receive a new annual pass with the corresponding add-ons in line with the voucher you purchased.

What Renewal Options Do Current Annual Passholders Have?

If you are within your renewal window before September 8, you can renew your AP with the old options. If you renew on September 8 or after, you will be subject to the new prices and rules.

What About Renewal Discounts?

One positive is annual passholders still get a discount every year when they renew. The current renewal discount for current passholders is 15%.

Here are the new prices for Walt Disney World Annual Passes after the renewal discount:

  • Incredi-Pass: $1,104
  • Sorcerer Pass: $764
  • Pirate Pass: $594
  • Pixie Dust Pass: $339

Can I Get a Renewal Discount for the PhotoPass and/or Water Park Add-Ons?

Yes, you can. There is also a 15% percent discount on the PhotoPass or Water Park add-ons which means those will cost $85 instead of $100.

Japan pavilion gate and World Showcase Lagoon in EPCOT

Does Everyone in a Family Need to Purchase the PhotoPass Add-On? 

No, they don’t. As long as you normally travel with your family, one person needs to purchase the PhotoPass add-on. That account can share the family photos with everyone else.

Is There a Genie+ Add-On for Disney World Annual Passes?

No, there isn’t an add-on for Disney Genie+ available for purchase with Disney World annual passes nor any discounts. If you want to use the new Disney Genie+ service you will have to pay for it on a daily basis like everyone else.

Can I Upgrade Regular Tickets to an Annual Pass?

Yes, you can. If you have already purchased regular Walt Disney World theme park tickets, you can upgrade those into annual passes. This is easy to do and the amount of money you have already paid toward your theme park tickets will be carried over into the final price of an annual pass.

When are the Blockout Dates?

We’ve posted photos of the lockout calendars earlier on in this post. You can also click these links below for the individual blockout calendars for each AP type directly from Disney:

Checker Board Tom Sawyer Island

As an “Old” AP, Do the New Blockout Dates Apply to Me Starting September 8, 2021?

No, they don’t. As long as you have your current annual pass, those are the blockout dates that apply to you. As soon as that AP expires and you renew, then the new blockout dates will be applied to your AP.

How Many Disney Park Pass Reservations Can AP Members Hold at the Same Time?

This depends on which annual pass you have purchased. Here is a list of each AP type and the corresponding number of park pass reservations you can have:

New Annual Passes:

  • Disney Pixie Dust Pass: Up to 3 reservations at a time
  • Disney Pirate Pass: Up to 4 reservations heldat a time
  • Disney Sorcerer Pass: Up to 5 reservations at a time
  • Disney Incredi-Pass: Up to 5 reservations at a time

Old Annual Passes:

  • Platinum Plus, Platinum and Gold Annual Passes: Up to 5 reservations held at a time
  • Silver AP: Up to 4 reservations held at a time

What are “Bonus Reservations”?

Disney hasn’t fully explained the “Bonus Reservations” at this time, but they will be dates that APs can make Disney Park Pass reservations that don’t count against their normal limit. So if your pass normally allows you to make 5 park pass reservations, these will be above and beyond those.

Why Did Disney World Suspend Annual Passes?

Refrigerator from Disney's Carousel of Progress

As you are well aware, Disney World has greatly modified the guest experience during the reopening phase. Obviously, with the current health crisis, some of the ways the company did business before were just not possible to continue.

Unfortunately, some of the attractions and shows were closed and some restaurants are still not open yet.

Other programs like the Disney Dining Plan and FastPass+ were also suspended or eliminated.

Included in all of those suspended experiences and programs were the Disney World Annual Passes. Now, guests who didn’t let their passes expire have been able to renew them, they just haven’t been able to buy new ones up to this point.

The only exception to this has been small children who were under 3 at the time of the closure who had parents with existing annual passes. Those children have been able to get new passes, but that’s it.

When are Annual Passes coming back to Disney World?

The biggest reason for suspending annual passes is Disney wants to control what type of guest enters the theme parks and how many at one time.

Since Disney World reopened, theme park capacity has been limited and they haven’t been able to get nearly the same number of guests in the parks at one time. Because of that reduction in overall numbers, Disney prefers high-paying guests that come for a week-long vacation over annual passholders who come on the weekends for a couple of hours and then leave.

By suspending annual passes, they were assured to make the most money per guest possible at this time.

Why Bring Back Annual Passes Now?

Pirates of the Caribbean Magic Kingdom

In recent months we’ve seen a huge uptick in the crowd levels and even though things have slowed in recent weeks, it’s clear things are slowly getting back to normal. Disney has increased the park capacity multiple times already, allowing for more and more guests.

They haven’t announced the exact theme park capacity percentage, but just by walking through the parks, it’s hard to imagine that it’s under 75% right now.

So with park capacity increasing, there is enough space to bring back the less profitable more annual passholders. Also, with the Disney World 50th Anniversary starting October 1, the company wants as much buzz around the parks as possible, which is a great reason to bring back their #1 fans and promoters.

BB-8 Rise of the Resistance in Galaxy's Edge

As soon as we hear more about annual passes coming back to WDW we will update you with all the info so stay tuned.

If you are going to Disney World soon, make sure to read our Disney World Planning Guide for all the tips and info you will need to cover everything! Also, check out our Disney World Crowd Calendar so you know when the best time to visit is!

Also, don’t forget to sign up for our FREE Weekly E-Mail Newsletter. There we bring you the latest updates in Walt Disney World as well as vacation planning tips. You can sign up here: Join our E-Mail Newsletter

Your Thoughts

I want to know what you think about annual passes coming back to Disney World…

  • What changes would you like to see?
  • What is the most you would pay for unlimited access?

Let us know in the comments section below!

If you enjoyed this article, as always I appreciate it if you’d share it with others via social media.  I work hard at making this website a useful resource for you and your family to plan your visit to the Disney Parks, and I hope it can help you! Thanks 🙂

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