For those who have an annual pass, when would you say it’s better to have an annual pass? For example, how many days at UOR would it be like you might as well pay the annual pass price? Or, is it really not worth getting one? I’m on the fence about possibly getting one for myself. It would be for the cheapest one, without VB. I could possibly try squeezing two trips out of it, but it wouldn’t be 100% certain because I don’t live there, and airfare would be a factor.
This post is going to be long because it is definitely an “it depends” situation. The math isn’t even consistent between different dates because there are so many variables.
Short Version - always a good idea to compare Seasonal Pass prices to multi-day passes if you are going for 3 or more days and/or staying onsite. Only purchase the AP after determining if it will save you more money over other options.
The Seasonal AP (2 park) is $324.81 (including tax).
Blockouts include Christmas-New Years peak season, spring break peak season, the whole month of July (summer peak) and concert nights during Mardi Gras (USF park only).
Variable 1: What Multiday ticket offer is available?
The Seasonal AP is about $25 more than a 3 day park-to-park ticket purchased through Undercover Tourist. However, Undercover Tourist is currently offering a 5 day park-to-park ticket for $270.95. It’s a 2 day plus 3 days free (no VB). Normally the price between a 5 day park-to-park would be higher than a Seasonal Pass.
Variable 2: Onsite or Offsite hotel?
It usually make sense to get an AP if you are staying onsite and there is a hotel savings offer for APs during your dates (depending on how much the AP discount is of course and whether there are any other discounts offered). You can check the hotel offers for APs before buying a pass. For example, the AP discount saved us $100/night on Portofino Bay in June 2017. We were there for 4 nights.
Variable 3: How many nights onsite?
If you are staying for 4 or more nights, you qualify for a “Stay more, Save more” discount that may be as good or better than the AP discount. For example, Royal Pacific did not have any standard rooms available for the AP discount during our June 2017 trip. It did have standard rooms available for “stay more save more”(the price ended up being the same as PB with AP discount so we went with PB).
Variable 4: Which onsite hotel?
Savings at Cabana Bay from an AP discount will be lower than savings at PB.
Variable 5: Other Room Offers
I currently have an AP and booked a standard room at CB with the AP rate for a May trip with my parents and sister. My mother who is not an AP received an e-mail offer for discounted CB rooms more than the AP discount did. We re-booked at the new rate and saved an extra $60 over our 3 night stay.
There a probable lots more factors that I am not considering as well.
I agree that there are a lot of variables to consider. I had the 3 park Preferred pass from August 2017 - 2018 and used it for 2 trips, 1 7 day trip in August and 1 3 day trip in December. The AP discounts basically paid for the pass with what I saved.
I just got a new pass in March taking advantage of the get 6 months free promotion to get the 2 park Premier pass. I did a 3 day trip the weekend I got it and have a 4 day trip planned in about 2 weeks. I plan on staying off-site for that trip so the savings I get daily parking.
I created a spreadsheet/table that might help you to figure out the best deal. It shows how much credit you receive for each ticket type and how much you potentially could save using a ticket reseller like undercover tourist.
It can be found here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/11ZgFaz9aoDS4sANd3ANAFDNVYOVS-m57zCRIvDudBzc/edit?usp=drivesdk
Very impressive! Thanks!
This is awesome, thanks!
Are the concert nights (blocked out dates) every night? I know April is blocked out for the season pass, but do you know if they block out a lot of March for the concerts?
Currently, the website shows the following 2019 concert dates blocked out for the seasonal AP, with 2020 dates to be announced.
2019 Concert dates*: Feb. 9, 16, 17, 23, Mar. 2, 9, 10, 16, 17, 23, 24, 30, 31
Thanks, I was looking for the dates, but seemed to have missed that. Do you know if IOA is closed to season pass holders on those days as well?
Seasonal Pass blockouts are at USF only on concert dates.
IOA is open to Seasonal Passes on those days.
2020 concert dates haven’t been announced yet.
There was also this text which looks to appear to concert dates in general.
Additional concert dates will be announced at a later date and are subject to change.
Thanks for that spreadsheet link!
RIght now I have a seasonal AP and the rest of my family have 2 day-plus-3-bonus-days tickets. Just this week I noticed that August 18th, the evening we’ll arrive, is the Passholder Appreciation party night. If we get in early enough we may decide it’s worth the $60 to upgrade the 3 tickets to APs and sleep in the next morning.
You’re welcome! Glad that you found it to be helpful! Very exciting that you’ll be in town for the pass holder appreciation party night!