The 50th anniversary is officially over, and starting tomorrow, a new Walt Disney World Annual Pass design will debut.
Walt Disney World Annual Pass Design
Passholders who already have the 50th anniversary Mickey design can continue using their ticket media, but the new design will be given for new and replacement cards moving forward.
These do not have an expiration date on the back, so Passholders will continue to need to verify their validity in order to receive discounts.
The 50th anniversary regular tickets were already replaced in December 2022. You can see the current designs here.
Walt Disney World Annual Pass Program
Walt Disney World Annual Passes were sold continuously from September 1982 until March 2020. Since then, the price had increased dramatically, multiple tiers were introduced with various blackout dates and benefits to match. At times, the resort even encouraged guests to become Passholders through advertising at the parks, around Central Florida, and through benefits like discounts on merchandise and food.
Of course, at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, that all changed. While Walt Disney World did not go the route of Disneyland and Tokyo Disney Resort by canceling every Annual Pass and issuing refunds, nor did they resume sales immediately as the Paris, Hong Kong, and Shanghai resorts did upon reopening. Passes remained valid and renewable after the COVID-19 closure concluded in July 2020, although new sales were halted almost immediately upon reopening. At the time, Disney assured guests it was a “temporary” measure due to capacity restrictions at Walt Disney World.
In August 2021, Walt Disney World announced an overhaul of their pass system, replacing the four tiers introduced in 2015 with a more confusing character-based system. New passes then went on sale in September 2021, and remained on sale for nearly three months before being suspended in late November. The two middle tiers were briefly on sale last June for a single day before halting again.
At this time, only renewals are allowed for existing Annual Passes, except for the lowest tier Pixie Pass, which is only available to Florida Residents and blocks out all weekends and holiday periods. And it seems Walt Disney World quite likes it that way.
That leaves Central Florida locals and frequent guests at Walt Disney World in a bit of an awkward position, with the possibility higher-tier passes could return to sale looking increasingly unlikely. The AP program exists and is actively maintained by Walt Disney World with offers and benefits, but the option simply does not exist for new people to buy into the program except at the lowest and most restrictive level.
Starting April 18, Walt Disney World Annual Passholders will be able to visit the theme parks after 2 p.m. most days without a park pass reservation.
This does not include Magic Kingdom on Saturdays and Sundays, when a reservation will still be required.
What do you think about the latest design? Let us know in the comments.