Walt Disney World Annual Passholders No Longer Need a Park Pass in Afternoons

Shannen Ace

Updated on:

Partners Statue with Cinderella Castle

Walt Disney World Annual Passholders No Longer Need a Park Pass in Afternoons

Starting today, April 18, Walt Disney World Annual Passholders can visit the theme parks after 2:00 p.m. on most days without a park pass reservation.

Partners Statue with Cinderella Castle

This perk does not include Magic Kingdom on Saturdays and Sundays, when a reservation will still be required.

The original announcement reads, “Walt Disney World Annual Passholders will be able to visit the theme parks after 2 p.m. without needing a park reservation, except on Saturdays and Sundays at Magic Kingdom Park. Pass blockout dates will continue to apply like they do today. While the theme park reservation system remains important to manage attendance in our parks, especially on busier days, we realize our Passholders enjoy more spontaneous visits – and this change will make that possible.”

Walt Disney World Annual Pass Sales Resuming

Minnie and Mickey Annual Passholder magnets

Walt Disney World Annual Pass sales will resume for all four tiers on April 20, 2023, for the first time in a year and a half. Disney Vacation Club members were able to purchase the Sorcerer Pass a week early.

Existing Annual Passholders will also be able to renew their pass outside of their renewal window.

A limited number of passes will be available during this opening of Annual Pass sales.

Three out of the four Walt Disney World Annual Pass tiers have not been available for purchase since November 2021. The four new tiers launched in September 2021. Before that, Annual Pass sales were suspended since March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Walt Disney World Annual Passholders have still been able to renew their passes, and the lowest tier of Annual Pass (Pixie Dust) has been available.

Price increases for Annual Passes were announced last year. 

Walt Disney World Annual Pass Program

Walt Disney World Annual Pass Design 2023

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.

new Walt Disney World Annual Pass design has launched with the end of the 50th anniversary.

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Author

  • Shannen Michaelsen

    Shannen has been a Disney Parks fan and lover of dogs since childhood, despite Pluto's attempt to eat Shannen's Minnie Mouse doll the first time they met. They've made up now. You can email Shannen at shannen@wdwnt.com.