August 17, 2015
1- you will make several trips in a year
2-you will be staying on Disney property
3-you will spend a lot on dining in the restaurants included in the food card discount plan
4-you will be driving your car to the parks instead of using resort guests transportation
5-you will be spending a lot in the gift shops
6-you will be traveling with a large group
We run the numbers every time and even with our gang we would not quite even break even on the annual pass for one visit. However, do your research and run your numbers because everyone's circumstances are a little different and it may pay off for you. Pay close attention, though, because there are tricks and exclusions. For example, annual pass holders do receive a 20% discount on restaurant dining. However, the card is an additional $100 and not good in every restaurant. The ones included tend to be the more expensive ones. So be sure to consider where you want to eat and if there will be reservations available during the time you plan to visit.
The first time we went to Disney we were a little concerned about buying third party tickets but Touring Plans said they were trustworthy so we gave it a whirl. Back in 2003 the savings were very substantial. After paying for a five day pass each additional day was only about a dollar a ticket. We bought 14 day tickets and weren't bothered at all about whether we used all the days or not. It was far cheaper than park hopper tickets and all the Disney options to give you the flexibility we were looking for. We bought the tickets and had no trouble and we have bought our tickets this way for every single trip we've taken to Disney since. Just one more reason I love the Unofficial Guide.