Big changes coming to Disney Parks for Annual Passholder discounts

The Disney parks are changing some things for annual passholders and it will take some getting used to.

Disney Annual Passholder entrance sign. Credit: Brian Miller
Disney Annual Passholder entrance sign. Credit: Brian Miller /
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There are few things that make you smile really big when you head to a Disney World park than flashing your Annual Passholder card when you enter. That is going to change soon.

Recently I spent a week at Disney World and when I tried to checkout from one of the gift shops I was asked to see my pass. I pulled out the hard card and was told they couldn't use the cards anymore. Now, I had to show them my barcode located on the Disney Parks phone app.

I found this to be a bit annoying because it isn't like the barcode sits at the top of the app. You have to open the app, click the section, then click "tickets and passes" and there it will be. It isn't a big deal but when you are not ready for it, it can be frustrating.

This is not just a gift shop necessity now either. Kiosks around the park are also requiring you to use the app to show your pass-holder status.

After speaking with one cast member regarding this, I was told that Disney wants to get away from hard cards altogether and that in the future the idea is for all pass holders, entry will come via the phone apps as well.

For many AP holders, this will be a drag as there is something nice to be able to hold in your hand that is tangible but the future always changes and this appears to be a big change coming on the horizon.