Last June I visited Disneyland Paris for the second time with the intention of upgrading my tickets to an Annual Pass. I based this off of not at lot as I found there wasn’t a lot online that was there to help sway my decision. I did however ask lots of fellow Disney fans on Instagram which was really helpful. I thought I’d put this together as a big brain dump as I’m hoping it will help at least one person!
Is It Worth It?
I get this question quite a lot and it 100% depends on your own circumstances, I don’t think anyone could tell you if it is or isn’t for you.
Things you need to factor in are things like how often are you going to visit? Obviously the more you go, the cost per day of your AP is less, you can use your AP discount on food and merchandise and take advantage of Extra Magic Time every day.
How much will it cost per stay for travel and hotels? I live in London and can jump on the Eurostar and if you book that far enough in advance or when they do their £29 tickets it’s not bad at all. If you are getting the Eurostar you need to factor costs to get from Paris to Disneyland if you aren’t taking the direct to DLP line. Flying? You’ll need to price up options to get from the airport to your hotel. Talking of hotels, they can be super expensive if you go over peak periods, so are you able to visit during school time? Do you have enough annual leave at work to make it worthwhile? I find myself on hotels.com all the time checking different dates of different hotels – I also have a blog post which chats through my experiences in Disney hotels vs partner and offsite.
You also need to decide whether you want to visit Disneyland Paris more than once in a year. For me it was 100% a yes, it’s my first year living in London which makes it easier than when I was in Chester and I wanted to experience the magic at different times of the year!
Which AP is right for you?
So, you’ve decided you want an AP, but which one should you get?! When I was looking at which pass to get I knew I was happy with some blackout days but I also wanted to be able to get discount in the restaurants. The other things I thought about was the level of discount you receive on merchandise and how many discounted tickets I was eligible to for any friends I visited with. Think about how you will get there and align the perks to that, if you are going to drive then you at least want a Magic Flex to ensure you get free parking.
For me I was happy with 10% discount as I’m not a huge merchandise collector and I knew I wasn’t going to need more than the 10 discounted park tickets allowance for friends. This made it so easy as I made my decision and had my hart set on the perfect pass for me, the Magic Plus! There is over a 100€ difference between Magic Plus and Infinity so you need to weigh up whether you’ll take advantage of all the extras you are paying for if you are considering an Infinity pass. I know people who find Infinity perfect for them as they love spending Halloween and Christmas in the parks and for others they love alllll of the merchandise and that 20% is a sweet deal.
You can also consider buying one person in your party an Infinity pass and taking advantage of 20% off merchandise and food discounts for your party.
You can check out all of the perks really clearly by clicking here.
Buying your Annual Pass
Now this is from my own experience but once you’ve decided on which annual pass is perfect for you there are a few considerations.
If you’ve already booked your tickets and are planning to upgrade you’ll need to make sure they are ticket only and not part of a Disney package. We booked our trip via a travel agent before we decided we wanted to buy Annual Passes which meant tickets are classed as having 0 value and therefore if you want to upgrade, you have to pay full price. This wasn’t really an issue for us as we knew we’d be going back and would get our moneys worth! My boyfriend also works for a travel agent in their finance department so got us a really good package deal, so we didn’t feel to hard done by!
You can also have the option of filling out a form ahead of time and trusting Disneyland Paris not to fuck it up before you get there. Now, I love Disneyland Paris and I’m sure this method works for some people but I’d much prefer to have control over it and actually be there when I part with my hard earned cash!
My suggestion (and of course this isn’t gospel!) is to buy your ticket ahead of time, enter the park and upgrade at the AP centre or buy it outside and do the same.
In terms of payments, you can choose to pay this upfront or monthly. I don’t have any experience with setting up a direct debit and paying it monthly as I wacked mine on the credit card (probably shouldn’t recommend that!) but I’ve heard it is easy enough to do!
We found out experience in the AP centre really quick and simple. The cast member who served us was really knowledgable and didn’t try to give us the hard sell on upgrading to infinity. She also told us that if you have a Magic Plus pass you can visit the park on the blackout days if you are staying in a Disney hotel, so something to look in to for sure.
Booking Hotels with your AP
In theory it sounds great that you can get rooms in Disney hotels from 66€ a night with the Magic Plus Annual Pass. In reality, it’s a pain in the arse and I’ve found cheaper rates on Hotels.com. If you are buying an AP because you think you’ll get a sweet deal on Disney hotels, don’t bother.
I’ve rang a few times for different trips and each time it’s been ridiculous. I’m sure some people have success with this but not only do you have to pay a lot to call the reservations line I’ve always ended up frustrated afterwards. For my latest trip I’ve booked a night at Sequoia for £100, room only where as when I rang the reservations line they quoted us more and refused to remove breakfast when we really didn’t want it.
Having said that, having an Annual Pass is actually really good when it comes to booking the Disney hotels from the likes of Hotels.com as you don’t have to worry about park tickets.
My Favourite Things about having an AP
The main thing I like about having my Annual Pass is that it’s an excuse to go back. I’m constantly browsing hotels, looking at my work calendar and trying to drag someone with me!
Extra Magic Time is a clear favourite as I love taking advantage of that quiet hour to ride Crush’s Coaster at rope drop! It also means no wait for Ratatouille and you can have everything you want done quickly, just in time to meet Minnie at 10am and head over to the Disneyland Park for the rest of the day.
Getting discount on merchandise and food is always a nice one, I have no idea how much I’ve saved since I got my pass but I will have definitely saved the amount I paid for the pass, by the time it ends in January. I know technically it isn’t *saving* as you have to spend the money to save but as 10% on each item can seem pretty small, I only buy things I’d buy anyway… it just ends up adding up to loads, if that makes sense?!
Other things include not having to pay for the bag drop and when I asked my boyfriend what his favourite perk was, it was this hands down. We’ve taken to doing one night trips recently as we need a bit of Disney magic and have been so many times we know what we like and don’t like to do in a small period of time. The bag drop outside Disneyland Park has been a life saver as we can check out super early (HELOOOO Extra Magic Time) and throw our bags in for free until we are due to head home.
We also love the separate entrance at both parks, especially if we are park hopping to Disneyland Park from the studios around 10am as you can stroll in past all the queues!
Another thing which I know is really popular is the photo pass which is included in the price of an Infinity pass, but you get it at a discounted rate if you have either of the Magic passes. The reason I didn’t go for it is that I don’t think the photo pass opportunities are that great, but I do kinda wish I had just for the ride photos!
I hope this has been helpful to someone and if you have any questions or any extra tips just comment below or slide into my DMs on Instagram (my username is bethanyfrancesca_).