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Activation time frame for Annual Passes

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“Hi Dad,

I’m wondering if you can help me. I am planning to purchase Walt Disney World Annual Passes for my family, but I’m not sure how far in advance the passes can be purchased. I think I read on your site that they have to be activated within 1 year. I read on another panel that we have until December 31, 2030. Then, in a chat session on disneyworld,, I was told that there is no expiration date for activation – that the passes can be purchased any time and activated any time in the future. Do you know the real answer? I sure don’t want to spend all that money on annual passes just to have them expire before we can get them activated.

I appreciate any information you may have that can clear this up.

Thank you, Dad!


Jackie R.”

A Great Question


Boy, that’s a really good question. I thought I knew the answer, but the more I dig, the less sure I am.

It looks like the 2030 date is correct IF you are talking about an Annual Pass Voucher, not an Annual Pass.

Let me explain.

If you buy an Annual Pass at a Park Ticket Window it will be a Pass and not a Voucher. If you purchase at the Disney Store, online, or at a Guest Services location you will get a Voucher that must be activated at a Park Ticket Window.

Passes are activated immediately.

The Vouchers have a 2030 expiration date on them. That means you have until 2030 to activate them.

Destinations to Travel

Dad’s Bottom Line

The bottom line is it all boils down to what kind of Annual Pass you purchase. A “Pass” at the Parks activates immediately. A “Voucher” anywhere else expires in 2030 but must be activated prior to use.


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Comments for

Feb 28, 2019 AP vouchers
by: Anonymous

Thanks for the info Dad. I will definitely check again. I still have the paperwork that came with the pass and it, it no way, states that there are any stipulations on activation. Jackie, unless I misunderstood your comment, Dad said that the new policy states that they have to be activated within one year. You definitely need the worry about activation!

Feb 27, 2019 Annual Pass Activation Rejected
by: Joanne

Due to a “series of unfortunate events” I never activated an annual pass I bought several years ago. I attempted to activate it at Disney Springs guest services and was told I could only trade it in for the price I paid for it! I’ve read many times that an AP needed to be activated by 2030!! Could I have been given incorrect information?

Dad Answers

Disney changed their policy last year on Annual Pass activation. Now they have to be activated within one year.

But that shouldn’t affect AP’s purchased before the new policy went into effect. You need to check with another Disney ticket location and verify it. It’s possible, but I would get a second opinion.

Jun 18, 2018 Annual Pass vouchers
by: Jackie

Thank you, Dad, for taking the time to research this and posting the answer! I didn’t realize Annual Pass vouchers and Annual Passes were different. I don’t live in Florida, so I will be purchasing Annual Pass vouchers and now I don’t have to worry about them expiring before we can get them activated. I appreciate your help!

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