Disney World does not offer holiday discounts for annual passes

Buying an annual pass to any theme park can be exciting and expensive but if you are waiting to get one cheaper around the holidays, your wait time will be forever.
Walt Disney World in Orange County
Walt Disney World in Orange County / Anadolu/GettyImages

There are theme parks, especially in Orlando that offer holiday discounts for annual passes but if you are hoping for a Disney World AP discount, it won't happen.

If you were savvy enough to watch the Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and even the ramp up to a final Christmas savings push, you probably saved some good money on passes to SeaWorld and LegoLand, Florida but you didn't get a break at Disney World or Universal Studios.

While some parks offer big savings during the holidays, Disney World does not. Part of that reason is the structure of their passholder system. Passes start when you first enter the park unless it is a renewal. That pass will then run for 365 days from either the purchase date or the entry date whichever is first according to your purchase.

Other parks may offer similar purchase options and some may run calendar year instead. For example, at SeaWorld you can get an annual "FunCard" that runs from purchase date to December 31st of the following year. APs at that park will also run date of entry/purchase for 365 as well but those typically are not passes heavily discounted.

Why doesn't Disney offer AP discounts once a year? There is one reason...they don't have to.

Disney passes are available in four different tiers and three of those are for Florida residents only with the top and most expensive tier available to anyone whether they reside in Florida or not.

Nothing with APs have been the same since COVID changed the pass types. Previously there were a lot more options for out of town guests as well as Florida residents. Not any more.

If you are hoping to see a Disney AP discount as Christmas closes in, think again. It isn't going to happen.

While it may be exciting to consider purchasing an AP for the family as a X-Mas gift consider each year should you choose to renew will come on that day in all likelihood. The most important thing you have to decide is when are you most likely going to go each year and make your decision based on that.

For example, if your first trip to Disney World will come in February why are you buying an AP in December? Unless you get the activation of the pass upon first entry, you are throwing away two months each year that you will not use the passes.

Just something to think about before you jump in and buy.