Though Walt Disney World annual passholders got quite a shock earlier this week when Disney announced four new "tiers" of annual passes (which will end up costing passholders a lot more). However, even though costs are rising for annual passholders, Disney is at least trying to inject a little bit more value into their annual passes with some new perks this year.

While some of these perks are ongoing, others are tied to limited time events, and annual passholders will need to make a few trips to Walt Disney World over the next few months in order to fully take advantage of these new benefits. 

1. The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights passholder preview

Image: Disney

Earlier this week Walt Disney World sent out a monthly email newsletter to passholders that made mention of a special limited time event that will grant special early access to this year’s final installment of the The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. According to the email, this limited time event will take place from November 1st through the 5th, after which the light display should open up to everyone. 

Though we are still waiting for official details on this event (the email newsletter contained a non-functional link that redirected guests to the regular Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights event website), there actually is a precedent for annual passholder previews for this event. Though the last one was held in 2002, we’re guessing since Disney is expecting record crowds for the final year of this event, Disney is bringing this event back in an effort to get passholders in to see the lights early so that others can enjoy it as it becomes more crowded during the holiday season.

Image: Disney

Though specifics are scarce at the moment, hopefully we'll be learning more about this passholder-exclusive limited-time event in the very near future!  

2. Free souvenir glass at Food & Wine Festival

Image: Disney

In order to help annual passholders celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, Epcot is offering passholders who visit this year's event at least three times the chance to get a commemorative port wine glass etched with this year's festival logo for the low price of...free! In order to get this special gift, guests will need to stop by the Festival Center, show their annual pass and then grab a special passholder festival passport. 

From there guests can then proceed to Innoventions East in Future World each day that they visit the Food & Wine Festival from 11:00AM to 7:00PM to receive a stamp in their passholder passport. Once you've accumulated three stamps, the commemorative glass will be yours to take home. Though Food and Wine Festival enthusiasts may visit this year's event more than three times, there is a limit of one souvenir glass per passholder. 



They took a survey months back about what perk you would like most, and one of the options was freedom to use the swimming pools at any resort. That would've been cool!

I didn't renew my premium annual pass after Pleasure Island closed. Just wasn't worth it.

Wine glasses were already gone as of Sunday 10/4.

In reply to by JJI (not verified)

I saw people picking them up on Tuesday when I was getting my first stamp.

The "free" photopass downloads for renewals are no "perk". The increase in prices in the new tiers is to, among other things, supplement the costs of "free" parking and "free" PhotoPass downloads, whether you want them or not. There is nothing "free" about them.

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