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The Year of Disney: Annual Passes to Disneyland Made Possible with Southwest’s Rapid Rewards Program

Explorer C

My family’s love of Disney started from a young age. When my mom was six-years old, she went to Disneyland for the first time shortly after it opened in 1955. That magical trip ignited her lifelong love of Disney and, by extension, for my entire family.


One of our long-running family daydreams (always talked about, but never expected) has been to buy Annual Passes to Disney. Sadly, it just never made sense as we live in New Mexico and wouldn’t be able to put it to good use. Last year, however, something rather magical happened.


In 2016, due to a series of events that are unlikely to repeat themselves, I somehow earned 110,000 Rapid Rewards Points. With those points, I had earned something I didn’t even know existed before then—the Southwest Airlines Companion Pass! If you’re like me and don’t know, Southwest’s Companion Pass is the benefit that allows you to choose one person to fly with you free of airline charges every time you purchase or redeem points for a flight. To qualify, you need to fly 100 qualifying one-way flights or earn 110,000 qualifying points in a calendar year to earn a Companion Pass for the following full calendar year, plus the remainder of the year in which you earned it.


     Heart     Interested in learning more about our Rapid Rewards Program or sharing your knowledge with others? Check out our Rapid Rewards® Discussion Forum.


Even though it was all new to me, I knew exactly how I wanted to use this fun benefit. I added my mom as my Companion and we were able to buy Annual Passes to Disney for 2017! We made a game plan and set out to travel to Anaheim one weekend or two every month in order to take full advantage of our passes. We lovingly referred to 2017 as “The Year of Disney.” It was everything we had hoped it would be and more!


Although our Year of Disney ended in December, we still remember it fondly. I opened my wallet the other day and saw my Companion Pass and my Disneyland Annual Pass next to each other, now just a special memory from last year. In that moment, I wished we could continue our magical year just a little while longer. But the truth is that it was, in its own way, perfect. I couldn’t ask for a better year and remain extremely grateful!


Thank you, Southwest! This past year wouldn’t have been possible without the Companion Pass. In a world full of amazing destinations, it’s good to know that your goal is to get us there.


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