One money saving tip that I will often suggest is that one member of a party buy an Annual Pass. I’ve had people look at me like I’m insane when I say that, but hear me out. You need to look at the benefits of becoming a Passholder, and also what you’re planning on doing on your vacation.
If you’re planning on buying a lot of souvenirs, you’ll be happy to know that there are Passholder discounts in most stores. The discount is usually 20%, but for some stores it’s 10%. Remember that not all stores at Walt Disney World are owned by Disney, and those stores might not offer a discount.
Most quick service restaurants do not offer a Passholder discount, but many full service restaurants do. The discount is usually 10%. It used to be that there were few restaurants in the theme parks with a discount, but fortunately that list has grown. There are also plenty of dining discounts to be found at Disney Springs and at the resorts. Some restaurants may offer a discount only at one meal, so check before you make your reservation to make sure you don’t miss out.
My favorite Passholder benefit is free theme park parking. You won’t need this if you’re staying on property, but if you stay off property the savings add up! For some people the savings on parking alone will make up the extra that is paid for the pass. It depends on the length of your vacation.
If you’re trying to save money you might not consider adding Memory Maker to your plans. With an Annual Pass, you don’t need to, it’s included with the purchase. (It’s not included with all levels of Florida Resident passes.) Memory Maker is a nice extra, I never realized how much easier it can make things until Disney included it with my pass.
There are other benefits of being a Passholder as well. Park Hopper is part of the deal, so you won’t have to pay extra for it. Sometimes there are fun gifts for Passholders such as magnets, but you usually have to pick them up in the park so that won’t work for everyone. There are movie discounts, miniature golf discounts, lodging discounts, and other benefits as well.
Do the math, and you just might see that an Annual Pass for one member of your party makes sense. The hard part is deciding which person will become the Passholder.