What do you think about Walt Disney World's new 'weekdays during the school year' annual pass?

October 21, 2009, 10:30 AM · Walt Disney World is offering a new annual pass to Florida residents, one that is good for 180 weekdays - basically, Mondays through Fridays during the school year. Think of it as the east coast equivalent of Disneyland's highly popular "Southern California Select" AP.

That Disneyland AP is $144 for 179 days, and the new Disney World version is $169 for 180 days. (But you do get double the number of theme parks.)

On the plus side, Disney World is offering a kids' version of the pass, for $149. Disneyland does not offer kids' prices on annual passes.

On the negative side, Disney World is not offering a parking add-on, as Disneyland does. So you're stuck paying $14 to park each day you visit using this pass. (Disneyland's parking option on the AP costs an additional $79, so it pays for itself on the sixth visit.)

Replies (19)

October 21, 2009 at 10:52 AM · No free parking means I won't be getting this pass. I think many people will not get it for the same reason. If they had a parking option I'd consider it or if they gave a discount for parking like it only costs a couple of bucks to park. The add-on parking option would make so much sense.
October 21, 2009 at 11:34 AM · I think it would be cool if it was available to more than just Florida residents. For those who plan to visit Disney World twice in one year, it pays for itself.

For my family, it would work.
We are military, so we can get the $99-$124 tickets for 5 days, but if we had that option, we would go twice in one year.

We stay at a timeshare that includes a shuttle, so parking isn't an issue.

We ONLY go Mon-Fri during the school year. It is just WAY too crowded to go at any other time.

We live near Busch Gardens Williamsburg. If they offered this for BG, I would say no. We would need the parking option. We enjoy all the perks of having the Platinum to BG!

October 21, 2009 at 11:54 AM · Hmmm....Doesn't this encourage people to skip school? It would be great for a family already homeschooling, and marketing-wise, it may bring in a lot of traffic. I suppose people can't buy food and toys if they aren't walking through the gates.
I hope people will take their kids in the evenings and during teacher work days, though, otherwise it really seems like an incentive to skip (and skip often). That being said, today my kid had a field trip, lunch, some book fair shopping, and was finished by 1:00. If Disney were an hour away, I'd be there right now.
October 21, 2009 at 12:11 PM · How about give me a weekend AP and parking option and I'll think about depending on price. The weekday does nothing for me with my job.
October 21, 2009 at 12:12 PM · Now that my work schedule is the Mon-Friday it would not benefit me to have it. Give me a weekend AP and parking add-on option and I'll be more likely to have it.
October 21, 2009 at 12:36 PM · Why don't they give half price tickets to the water parks when there is a hurricane warning? I don't get it--- we will give you a discount to skip school!!
October 21, 2009 at 12:43 PM · Why don't they give 1/2 price tickets to there water parks when there is a hurrican warning in effect? I think discounts on school days are just wrong.
October 21, 2009 at 12:54 PM · Um... not everyone has kids. And Florida is a retirement haven. Seems like this pass would be aimed at retirees, folks who work untraditional shifts... and people who write theme park websites and need a cheap way to get into the parks and report. (That's why I bought the SoCal Select AP!)
October 21, 2009 at 1:50 PM · I still say a better way to sell annual passes is to add a 'Share the Magic' day in which you can bring a friend to a park of your choice for a select number of days each year.
October 21, 2009 at 1:54 PM · I always find it amusing when outsiders are critical about Disney's decisions regarding its ticketing products. They often make eloquent points, but no matter what is posted all I ever read is "What the heck does Disney know about pricing tickets for theme parks?"
October 21, 2009 at 2:01 PM · Yes, why is it that some people feel the need not just to reject -- but to attack -- options that they do not want?

What's wrong with simply allowing an institution to offer a new option and letting those who want it to select it?

Hmmm, I feel like I've been making this same point in reference to something else recently.... ;-)

October 21, 2009 at 2:32 PM · Personally I think it sounds great. I wish I lived in Florida for I would take advantage of this. With a two almost three year old, I would have him there and love the low crowds. I am also a mother of a kindergartner. His school allows us to check him out at nap time and it not count towards attendance. I can just see his face, if I checked him out early just to spend the afternoon and evening at one of the parks. It stinks living in an area with nothing worthwhile around to take my children to. Memphis is mostly just known for it's adult venues (which also stink). Well, now I'm ready to move.
October 21, 2009 at 2:54 PM · This is just what I need and was waiting for. I live in Clearwater, don't drive, no kids, retired. Greyhound in on a weekday. Perfect little getaway.
October 21, 2009 at 6:12 PM · Well, you *could* resolve your parking problem by parking at Downtown Disney and taking a bus over to your park of choice.... ;)

I don't think this pass is a horrible option, but it clearly has a targeted audience (as previously pointed out by Robert). I'd have to do the math to see if I could get enough days in to make it worth it. (Well, perhaps in 2011; Afghanistan is NOT in FL unfortunately! LOL)

It is strange that WDW doesn't have the parking add-on. I'd be curious to hear why, if the right person could be asked AND they give an answer.

October 21, 2009 at 8:33 PM · The lack of a parking option is indeed strange. Because of that, I think that the pass itself is what I would call a "repackaging strategy". Same product but different name, and lower price for less of it. When you strip away all of the wording, it is a 9 month Disney pass that you can't use on the weekends and can't add on a parking option. I guess it could be seen as the value meal option. Nothing wrong with that though, because it makes the Disney season pass affordable.

If it's a good deal for you, then great. It wouldn't work for me because I have a day job and my kids are starting school, and paying 14 bucks to park isn't really getting in for free now is it. Call me spoiled, but I get free parking included in my Cedar Fair Platinum pass for no extra charge.

Repackaging product is a funny thing though. They could sell a ton of them, and still sell their usual number of regular annual passes, or they could sell 2 tons of them and far less regular annual passes. Lots of people may buy them and not even use them because of all the blackout dates. It would seem that this particular version of the pass would have a higher percentage of people who buy and never use or only use once or twice.

October 22, 2009 at 2:30 PM · So as I see it, if someone uses all 180 days, that's $2520.00 in parking fees, not bad huh?
October 23, 2009 at 8:08 AM · If you used 180 days, then you'd be better off getting the regular annual pass which includes parking.

The weekday annual pass is great for people who want to occasionally go to the parks, especially with friends who may have an annual pass that includes parking.

October 23, 2009 at 9:30 AM · How about you just stay on the property and not worry about the parking??? Parents who would take their kids out of school 180 days Wow..........that is legal issue is it not? Give Disney a break, they are being good to Florida Residents who in turn have been good to them..........
October 24, 2009 at 5:49 AM · It's just another option to accompany the Seasonal Annual, which also does not offer parking. If parking's such a deal killer, buy one regular Annual Pass and everyone else gets the Weekday Annual...

That way everyone can take advantage of the Annual Pass lodging, tour, and event discounts (as long as they're there on a weekday during school).

I think WDW is seeing the weekend crowding familiar to AP holders at the Mother Park, and is looking for ways to reduce locals on weekends...

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