If you renew online, before the expiration date, you save $20.00 on each pass, provided it’s one of the higher end passports.
We get the premium. The most expensive you can get (here in Southern California). We get entry into either park 365 days of the year and we get free parking. Doesn’t matter what we’re driving, we get free parking. If we drove a big ass motorhome into the lot, we’d get free parking. As it is, parking for just a regular vehicle is $14.00.
Well, a couple of years ago, it started that we could also use the rewards from our Disney Chase Rewards card. I did this back in 2008, it offset a good portion of the cost of the passes. And I intended on doing it last year. I waited until the very last minute to order my rewards card so I would get as many rewards dollars as possible.
The card didn’t get here before the 25th. It got here the week after. Imagine my surprise to find out I could no longer renew online. I’d have to pay for brand new passports. No twenty buck discount. I had a sad.
I went over to one of the many Disney forums and asked about a grace period for passport renewal. There is a thirty day period, but you have to renew at the park. You have to do it in person. We’d made plans to go up one of the first weeks of January. I really wanted to go when it was raining. On our walk the morning of January 11th, Brian said “let’s go to Disneyland today”. I said no, let’s go next week when it’s raining. But when I got home, I found out one of my friends was going to be there for her birthday, so at the last minute, we decided to go up.
I gathered all of my Disney related stuff. We were going to try to get the cost of the passes down as much as we could. We still had our birthday rewards cards (being annual passholders and going on our birthdays, we got merchandise cards for the amount of a day pass, good for a year). I had my Chase Rewards card. I went armed with the renewal forms.
We had to pay to park, which we would try to get refunded. Since the passports would be backdated, we really shouldn’t have to spring for parking.
I looked at the ticket prices. Premium passes were now $439.00 each. It had gone up $10.00 since the beginning of the year. So, to get new ones would cost $878.00. A nice chunk of change. I’d tried to get Brian to get one of the cheaper passes, but he didn’t want to. He liked being able to go whenever he wanted, even though we don’t go during the summer.
We got up to the window and I explained the situation. I handed over the forms. I asked about the $20.00 discount per pass.
Here’s what happened.
We were charged what was on the form.
$429.00 x 2 (the cost of the passes) - $40.00 (discount per pass for paying *koff* early) = $818.00
$818.00 - $274.00 (Disney Chase rewards) = $544.00
$544.00 - $72.00 (my bd rewards) - $69.00 (Brian’s bd rewards) = $403.00
We ended up paying $403.00 for two premium annual passports. An $878.00 value!
And we got our $14.00 cash for the parking.
It was a great day!
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