We’re creeping up on August which means all of the lower tier Walt Disney World Annual Passholders who have been blocked out all summer long are counting down the days until the magical golden gates open back up!
After taking a two year hiatus from the Disney APH membership (for me to survive pregnancy with Linc, then get used to life with 3 plus, our move), we decided that when it came time to renew (last year), we would down-grade our Annual Passes from Platinum to Weekday Select! I know i know, Yes- that’s a jump FOUR tiers down on the APH totem pole!
We love Magic Kingdom just as much as the next family but, we also love a lot of other things about Walt Disney World outside of the parks! This huge jump down in our APH membership made creating memories at those other places SO much easier to achieve!
WHY such a huge jump, you ask?!
A few reasons:
- COST: We don’t do direct pay from our bank account for anything, including bills (yep, it’s all manual and set in our calendar for pay days). Which means, rather than paying a monthly payment to Disney World for our AP, we pay for passes ALL at once, out right! K is above the FREE age requirements now so, that means considering the price of another AP as well. With a Weekday Select pass, we still get tons of benefits like FREE parking, the same passholder discounts as the top tier APH ticket, and the ability to visit all 4 parks in 1 day! So, with the Weekday Select pass for 4 people in our family, the difference in cost with our down-grade from Platinum to Weekday Select means we’re saving a total of $2200 EACH YEAR (*and that savings will go up when we have to start buying a pass for Linc in 2021)! If you are a Florida Resident considering a stay at Walt Disney World, compare pricing on traditional Florida Resident tickets with this Weekday Select Pass! If your schedule allows you to do part of your stay during the week, this pass could not only SAVE you money on your trip BUT, it could also help you create more family memories at Disney within the same year!
- RESORTS & Other On-Site Experiences: Since the Weekday Select AP only allots visitation in the parks during the weekdays, it opens our “Disney Agenda” to other opportunities on Walt Disney World property on the weekends! Often, we will have no plans for a weekend and the boys will want to go have a Disney day! Rather than doing the parks (because we’re “blocked out”, this gives us a chance to do something we otherwise wouldn’t have (dine with characters at a resort, take the full circle on the monorail, go on a dessert cruise, take a carriage ride, explore the grounds of a resort we’ve been wanting to stay at, have tea for lunch, snack on beignets, and more!) I can’t tell you the amount of things that we’ve done in the last year on Walt Disney property outside of the parks, compared to years past! And because of the savings in cost difference, we’re able to spend our savings on more resort stays, special dining experiences, dining plans during our stays, and limited time events!
- Blockout Dates: Although the Platinum tier for the APH tickets does give you a full calendar of dates you can visit, where the Weekday Annual Pass blocks out dates all the way from June through August, we actually haven’t even missed visiting during the Summer! During this time, school is out all over the world and people are flocking to WDW daily to give their families a magical summer to remember! Rather than fighting the crowds and being miserable in heat, we use our summer to recharge, let the crowds die back down, and save money for the WDW holiday events right around the corner! PLUS, it gives the boys a chance to miss visiting the parks and makes our first day back a BIG deal!
- Crowds: For obvious crowd-level reasons, we LOVE visiting on the weekdays, and always have (even when we were Platinum APH). We’re grateful and super lucky that James has a flexible schedule that allows him to spend some weekdays with us in the parks but, even on the days that he can’t join us, it’s easier to get in and out of the parks with 3 kids solo on the weekdays than on the busier weekend days!
Top tier Annual Passholder memberships DO have their perks but, as a family of five with a schedule that allows weekday visits and the want to spend more of our time (and money) on other Disney World experiences, I don’t know that we will ever go back to being Platinum APH!
If you’re considering becoming a Walt Disney World APH but, convince yourself out of it time and time again because of the price, consider starting with the Weekday Select APH! Also, if you’re a large family looking for ways to afford WDW Annual Passes, check out THIS post from my friend Aseky to see how she affords for her family of SIX to visit Disney on a monthly basis!