Vote of the week: Annual passes - yes or no?
Are annual passes a good deal for you, or do you visit on day passes?
Explain your choice in the comments, and if you did own a pass this year, tell us for which park(s).
Yay, 3rd person to vote! Well I have passes to BGE cause it's like 5 minutes from here and it's awesome.
I live too far from any parks and work too much for it to be worth it. If I ever move close to ANY park, I would definitely buy one!
A Steal at Six Flags!
I have season passes to Cedar Fair, Six Flags and Busch (platinum). Most of the passes pay for themselves in two visits, and are more than worth it with a single trip outside of your "home" park.
I own a platinum passport for Busch Gardens Europe. It is worth buying the platinum passport because we vacation in Florida once or twice a year, and get admission to all Anheuser Busch parks except Discovery Cove. The free preferred parking is also a nice perk.
I have a Universal Orlando Preferred pass. I got it mainly because they have the flex pay system and it helped alot with my first trip last year money wise. Ive had it for a year and a half now and I'm keeping it. It has paid for itself numerous times. Free parking, Unlimited access to IOA and Universal, 20% discount at Merchandise Stores, and 10% at certain restaurants..Like I said Im on flex pay, and decided to keep it once it was paid for (after a year of 15.99 payments)..I love it. Ill be returning for Halloween Horror Nights this year and it'll save me cash with that as well. Oh..and by the way, I live in Nashville, 10 hours away!
I currently own one to both Disney World and Universal Studios....And that's even coming from someone who lives in Minnesota.
My wife and I have passes for Disneyland, but we'll be letting them expire in a few weeks. One of the main reasons I got them was so that I could go to the park at will and get top-notch photos of all the most picturesque locations at DL and DCA. Since we're planning to go to Orlando in 2010 to see the Harry Potter addition to IOA, I'm letting them lapse. I honestly don't know if I would have otherwise renewed or not. As it is, I'd rather not see any attractions for a few years, so it will be fresh when I go to Florida. We do really enjoy walking around the two parks on Sunday evenings though... and we would never do that if not for the passes.
One of the reasons I picked this topic for this week's vote was my realization that... I *don't* have an annual pass to any park anymore!
In my opinion annuals are a great investment whether you are a local resident or live within decent driving distance. I live in Orlando, but we were passholders to some parks before we moved here because if you vacation twice a year to Orlando, some passes pay for themselves that fast.
I agree with Mark. We have owned the annual pass to Disneyworld since we moved to Orlando. We had the passes to Universal, but did not go enough to make them worth while.
I don't have one at present, but planning on getting a DLR AP very shortly. I'm 2-3 hours away but in SoCal. A SoCal-discount AP the cost of two gate admissions, plus maybe a $30 blackout ticket or two if I must go those days, for ~5-6 visits over the next year seems reasonable. Plus the parkhopping capability is the only way I'll ever justify going to DCA, which I want to see but haven't had any desire to pay gate admission for.
One of the great things about being in Central Florida is the plethora of parks within an hour or two. In the past, we've alternated between Disney and Busch annuals, but for the last few years we've been sticking with the Busch annuals - in fact, we're on year two of our Platinum passes and anticipating renewing in the Spring. The neat thing about Platinum (in addition to the other benefits already mentioned) is the ability to get into each Busch property -- our original incentive was a vaca in summer 2006 where we hit Sea World Orlando, Busch Gardens Africa and Busch Gardens Europe in close succession...the passes have since been amortized a couple of times, since we like to go to BGA about once a month. Now, if Disney annuals included both US resorts, I'd think twice about going that way again, but it'd still be a hard sell, since the fam is getting Disneyed out, even on just once or twice a year. I'm still lovin' it, but...if mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.
Yeah, annuals at Disney is done in my family too! We get a good use out of them, being from Chicago. You can also get them now in your local Disney Store. I am not sure if just because we are DVC, but they gave us a bunch of discounts with the Annual Passes
I live in So Cal and have a Universal Studios Hollywood pass and a Disneyland pass. I have gone to Disneyland Resort more than enough times to make it worth it. Universal is too far to go to on a whim, so I've only gone there twice since June.
Unless you plan on going to disney at least 4 times a year, its not worth it...to me......to get their annual passes.
I have had a Six Flags season pass for the aaprrox. 10 yrs. For my family it is a very good deal as I go to the park about 12 times a year while other family members go about 6 times a year. And we usually hit one other Six Flags park besides our own so that is another bonus. We find the coupon book that comes with it to be of little use but get more than our moneys worth. Like Robert N. I will be buying 10 day wdw passes that dont expire for our visit next year as we usually spend 5 days at the park so we will be setup for our next visit after that.
Don't you go to Disney World at least four times a year Erik? I thought you would especially for the special events at EPCOT. Still, that seems like a good deal (at least if I were to live around there). Still, Six Flags seem to be the best deal!
This is our fourth consecutive year owning annual passes to the Disney waterparks. What a deal! A hundred bucks a piece. You can bring coolers into the park (no booze [they sell it there] no glass containers).
Anthony, our AP's expired on Dec. 26th last year.....and there was nothing new coming this year.....so no, we havent been once.
I have the Cedar Fair pass. Not really much of a choice when you are surrounded by Cedar Point, Kings Island, and Geauga Lake, not to mention passing by Carowinds on occasion.
I have passes for Disneyland. My kids are in their 20's and my wife and I are still fans. We have a tile for the 50th. We are only 20 minutes away and enjoy going in the evening to Downtown DIsney for dinner then heading over for a ride or two. If you do this a few times, it more then makes up for the cost. I have some friends that also have passes and we meet for family trips. It is also a great place to put in a few miles for evening walks.
We have passes for Busch Gardens Europe (aka Williamsburg) and have bought them for years. They really do pay for themselves (free parking, 10% discount on food and merchansdise, advance information about special events, etc.), but the best aspect of a season's pass is that if we go and the park is super busy, we just leave and come back later or another day. Also, we can stop by, ride a coaster or two, and head home.
When we first moved to Florida six years ago, we had premium passes for Universal. They were (and actually, still are) an incredible value. We kept them for 3 years, until we got tired of the place. We then got Seasonal passes for Disney World. We did the math, and decided the price for the Seasonal Pass was better for us than going with the Annual Pass (while we have to pay for parking and have black out dates, it would still be alot more $$ with the Annual. Black out dates aren't a problem for us since we wouldn't visit the parks during those dates anyway). We are definately getting our money's worth - we try to get there at least twice a month and occasionally go for the weekend. With my daughter going to college next year (probably in Tampa), we will let the Disney passes expire and go with BGA. You cannot beat their offers for Florida residents.
My Wife and I have WDW annual passes, even though we don’t live in Florida, we do travel there for business. They have proven to be more economical in that regard.
My wife and I own Premium passes to Sea World/Busch Gardens. I am 49 and she is 50+. We own the tickets as we love the parks and believe in why SeaWorld does for the animals.
Such passes can indeed be a good deal, but I don't have any parks within easy reach that are interesting enough to me to warrant purchasing such.
Well, I don't have a pass because I live 2 1/2 hours away from the nearest theme park (Kings Dominion). Also live 3 hours from Hershey Park and BGW (or BGE if you like). Also about 2 hours from the Six Flags park in Largo MD but have heard so much negative about it I haven't even been there.
I find the season pass at Six Flags Great Adventure to be an absolute dream. WHile I live about an hour from the park, my girlfriend lives only about twenty minutes away. With the season pass we have found our niche to be to take a ride down on the weekends, before or after the main summer operating season, and on the occasional weekday as well during the summer months. Being so close and not having to pay for admittance every time we attend, our routine usually consists of going on four or five rides, viewing the shows offered, having lunch midday and then just walking around for some exercise and relaxation. We don't have to feel frustrated if a line for a specific ride is too short because we can always come back and do it another day, and the perks for having the pass (rise and scream at Great Adventure) make sure we do everything we could want to. We have done this for approximately the last three years and I think I have enjoyed the park more now at 23 than I ever did when I was younger. Plus paying a little over $100 for my season pass and a parking season pass is well worth it considering that some people will spend more than that in a single day buying their ticket, parking, and then needing a flash pass to do everything in the park.
We've got Six Flags, Cedar Fair Maxx passes, Universal Preferred passes, Busch Platinums, and Dollywood. Only one that hasn't paid for itself is Dollywood, and that's no one's fault but our own.
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