Virtually all theme parks, including the Disney parks, offer season or annual passes. Typically, the passes are designed for fans who live near the park and plan to visit often. Some companies, such as Six Flags, offer passes that include access to all of the parks in the chain. With so many regional parks, it might make sense for someone to consider purchasing such a pass; it could be used to frequently visit a nearby home park, make a trek or two to a second park that is a few hours away, and perhaps plan a trip somewhere that includes a third park.
The Disney Premier Passport, however, is for the ultimate Disney park enthusiast. It includes access to all of the parks in both the Disneyland Resort in California and the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. And it costs plenty of cheddar to get unlimited visits to both Mouse Houses. Is it worth it? Maybe. Let’s break it down.
The Basics of the Disney Premier Passport
Simply put, this ultra, uber, extreme, super-duper, and, er, premier pass will grant you admission to all six of Disney’s U.S. theme parks for one year. And unlike other annual passes, you wouldn’t have to worry about any blackout dates, because there aren’t any. You could park hop—that is, visit any combination of the parks at either resort for a day—to your heart’s delight. And the Disney Premier Passport comes with all kinds of other perks as well.
Parking, which costs non-pass holders $25 a pop, is included. Those with passports are also entitled to unlimited PhotoPass downloads, up to 20 percent savings on park merchandise and dining, and discounts on special events, entertainment, and other special offers.
In addition to the benefits listed above, Disney Premier Passport holders receive the following at the Disneyland Resort:
- Admission to Disneyland Park
- Admission to Disney California Adventure
- Disney MaxPass (which regularly costs $15 a day) is included with every visit
Here is what Passport holders get at Walt Disney World:
- Admission to Magic Kingdom
- Admission to Epcot
- Admission to Disney's Hollywood Studios
- Admission to Disney's Animal Kingdom
- Admission to both of the resort’s water parks, Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon
- Admission to select events at ESPN Wide World of Sports
- Greens fees at Disney's Oak Trail Golf Course
The Cost of the Disney Premier Passport
Get ready for some sticker shock. For 2020, Disney is charging $2,199 for the pass. That represents a huge jump from 2018 when the cost for the Passports was $1,579. The steep increase is likely tied to the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at both resorts; in anticipation of the huge demand for the new lands, Disney raised its prices accordingly across the board.
The fee for the Disney Premier Passport is less than the combined cost of the top-tier passes at the Disneyland and Walt Disney World resorts, which for 2020 is $1,449 and $1,295 respectively. (Note that Florida residents and Disney Vacation Club members pay less for Disney World annual passes.)
Pros of the Disney Premier Passport
If you are absolutely bonkers over the Disney parks and frequently visit both resorts, the Passport is tailor-made for you. But if that description fits, you are a fairly small subset of the population.
If you don’t live in either Florida or California, and you are planning at least three visits to both Disneyland and Walt Disney World for a year, a Premier Pass would likely make sense for you. Run the numbers for the dates you might visit and compare the costs. Three trips within 12 months may not qualify you as “absolutely bonkers” over the Disney parks, although you would certainly be considered a Disney parks enthusiast.
There is another scenario in which you’d come out ahead with a Premier Passport. Let‘s say that you live in or near Southern California, and you typically purchase a Disneyland annual pass (as is the case for many West Coasters). You might want to consider purchasing a Premier Passport instead if you are planning a vacation (or two) to Walt Disney World.
During the highest-demand seasons, the cost of a six-day Disney World Park Hopper Plus pass added to a Disneyland Signature Plus Passport would be about the same as a Disney Premier Passport. With the Passport, you could spend more than six days at the parks and save some money (not to mention the other discounts your pass would afford you). Of course, if you planned two or more Disney World visits for a year, you'd really come out ahead.
It's a bit harder to make a case for Disney World pass holders who live in or near Central Florida and are planning to visit Disneyland. For one, Disney World passes cost less for Florida residents. For another, since Disneyland Resort only has two theme parks and no water parks, it’s unlikely visitors would want to spend as much time there as they would at Disney World. Adding the cost of a three-day Disneyland Park Hopper ticket to the price of a reduced-price, Florida resident Disney World Platinum Plus Pass would be much less than the cost of a Disney Premier Passport. Even two three-day visits to Disneyland on top of a Disney World pass would cost a Florida resident less than the fee for a Disney Premier Passport.