Articles | Disneyland | Walt Disney World
Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: To Pass or Not to Pass

  1. #1
    MousePlanet Staff
    MousePlanet Staff
    MousePlanet AutoPoster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    MousePlanet Global HQ

    To Pass or Not to Pass

    To Pass or Not to Pass by Gregg Jacobs

    Gregg crunches the numbers to decide whether buying an annual pass is worth it.

    Read it here!


  2. # ADS

    Join Date
    Location
    Posts
     

  3. #2

    I have a couple of thoughts on this. You accurately pointed out that the math is harder this year, because of the dramatic price increase for annual passes, but you don't mention the risk that tickets will have a similar price hike before one or more of your upcoming trips. Back in October 2015 there we a massive annual pass price increase, followed by a huge jump in (peak) ticket prices in February 2016. You also pointed out that you enjoyed being able to pop into Epcot to have lunch with your brother. While I agree that isn't worth $125, was it worth $15? 30? If so, that should be factored into the advantages of having an annual pass. Even if you couldn't have bought a ticket for that price, it did provide a value and should be monetized for your comparisons if you think it might happen again.

    You also mentioned that you go 3-4 times per year, with trips planned for March, June, and October. What about 2021? Will you go at least once between your October 2020 trip and March 2021? If so, why aren't you considering letting this pass expire and buying a new one on your next visit. While you would have to justify the full price of $1,191.74 after tax, that would be a lot easier to do if you had a fourth trip either planned or extremely likely. Another 2 day March trip before a new annual pass expires at the prices you posted would add $270.51 to the ticket costs, for a new total of $1,208.13. So the tickets would then be slightly more expensive than a pass, ignoring potential ticket price increases, annual pass discounts, etc.

    Back when Disneyland had actual Annual Pass renewal discounts, I would calculate the cost-per day to determine what the break even point was between renewing a pass and just getting a new pass on the next visit. At $1,208.13, a new annual pass has a cost-per day of $3.31. The renewal price is $1,012.82, a difference of $195.31. At $3.31 per day, you need to let your pass lapse for 59 days (or more) before buying a new pass is more cost effective than renewing your current pass. You wrote that your current pass was purchased December 10, 2018, to coincide with a holiday trip. Assuming your current pass expires sometime in December, you have at least 59 days before your March trip, which would make letting this pass lapse and purchasing a new pass on your next visit appear to be more cost effective.

    Ultimately, it is your decision whether an annual pass makes sense for your family, but you indicated that you were making a mathematical decision and it appears that you may not have considered all of the relevant data.


  4. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Gulf Coast of Florida

    Thanks for doing this for us. I had a similar experience this year but I did not whip out an Excel file. The price increases really hit me where it hurts and so we are definitely spending some of our vacation dollars elsewhere in 2020.
    So an easy calculation. We will use some of the Florida resident discounts and try and go when it is a little slower. But not as much as in the past.
    I think you did a great job of outlining a lot of the variables.


  5. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    New Providence, NJ
    Quote Originally Posted by currence View Post
    I have a couple of thoughts on this. You accurately pointed out that the math is harder this year, because of the dramatic price increase for annual passes, but you don't mention the risk that tickets will have a similar price hike before one or more of your upcoming trips. Back in October 2015 there we a massive annual pass price increase, followed by a huge jump in (peak) ticket prices in February 2016. You also pointed out that you enjoyed being able to pop into Epcot to have lunch with your brother. While I agree that isn't worth $125, was it worth $15? 30? If so, that should be factored into the advantages of having an annual pass. Even if you couldn't have bought a ticket for that price, it did provide a value and should be monetized for your comparisons if you think it might happen again.

    You also mentioned that you go 3-4 times per year, with trips planned for March, June, and October. What about 2021? Will you go at least once between your October 2020 trip and March 2021? If so, why aren't you considering letting this pass expire and buying a new one on your next visit. While you would have to justify the full price of $1,191.74 after tax, that would be a lot easier to do if you had a fourth trip either planned or extremely likely. Another 2 day March trip before a new annual pass expires at the prices you posted would add $270.51 to the ticket costs, for a new total of $1,208.13. So the tickets would then be slightly more expensive than a pass, ignoring potential ticket price increases, annual pass discounts, etc.

    Back when Disneyland had actual Annual Pass renewal discounts, I would calculate the cost-per day to determine what the break even point was between renewing a pass and just getting a new pass on the next visit. At $1,208.13, a new annual pass has a cost-per day of $3.31. The renewal price is $1,012.82, a difference of $195.31. At $3.31 per day, you need to let your pass lapse for 59 days (or more) before buying a new pass is more cost effective than renewing your current pass. You wrote that your current pass was purchased December 10, 2018, to coincide with a holiday trip. Assuming your current pass expires sometime in December, you have at least 59 days before your March trip, which would make letting this pass lapse and purchasing a new pass on your next visit appear to be more cost effective.

    Ultimately, it is your decision whether an annual pass makes sense for your family, but you indicated that you were making a mathematical decision and it appears that you may not have considered all of the relevant data.
    Thanks for responding, and you raise a lot of good points. As I said, your mileage may vary and even when using math, you have to be a little creative and figure out what's important to you in making this kind of decision (the I must be with Mickey at all costs side of your brain:-).

    One very good issue you do raise is the idea of just buying a new pass at the beginning of the first 2020 trip (likely in March). Based on your 59 day break even, renewing in December wouldn't make sense for me (pass would go unused for over 90 days). At the bottom of the article, I raised the possibility of doing just that, buying a new pass in March, as hopefully I could add another trip at the back end (in early 2021).

    Thanks again for the insights!

  6. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    New Providence, NJ
    Quote Originally Posted by wdwchuck View Post
    Thanks for doing this for us. I had a similar experience this year but I did not whip out an Excel file. The price increases really hit me where it hurts and so we are definitely spending some of our vacation dollars elsewhere in 2020.
    So an easy calculation. We will use some of the Florida resident discounts and try and go when it is a little slower. But not as much as in the past.
    I think you did a great job of outlining a lot of the variables.
    Hi Chuck! Thanks for the kind words. I definitely agree with you on the price increases. I expected they'd do something, but was blown out of the water when I saw the new pricing. I think you and I aren't alone in rethinking vacation plans.

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •