View Full Version : Free Dining vs. AP Discounts

06-25-2009, 08:20 AM
This is my first post, so please bear with me!
I had booked a free dining package at YC Sept. 27 - Oct. 3rd for 3 people; myself, hubby, and 14-year-old daughter. I saw that AP discounts for those dates have been announced, so I decided to compare. Here's what I found in a nutshell: if I include the cost of upgrading my 7-Day MYW w/ PH to a basic AP, and add on $120/day for dining ($40 x 3 people), I actually save $70 on the cost of my trip by sticking with the free dining versus the AP discount. While I'm glad to have gotten such a great deal, it seems to me that discounts to AP holders should be better than those available to the general public.
(Did that make sense? I hope someone finds this post informative/useful!)

06-25-2009, 08:37 AM
You are paying more to buy the AP then the MYW tickets. The AP gets you another trip or many trips without paying the tickets and you can get the Tables In Wonderland (TIW) card rather than the DDP. You save 20% at select restaurants.

We prefer the AP/TIW route (cheaper for us) and both are good for a year.

06-25-2009, 08:45 AM
You are completely right, wall*e2008! I should have mentioned that we only get to come to WDW about every other year, and thus would gain no benefit by having one of the MYWs upgraded to an AP, other than room and dining discounts (and minuscule shopping discounts, I guess). And while the Tables in Wonderland is a great deal for frequent visitors, I just can't see my family of 3 getting our money's worth in one visit. I definitely should have specified that my post was more of a "snapshot" for one vacation's finances, as opposed to an AP holder who can visit frequently. Thanks for the info!

06-25-2009, 09:14 AM
DH and I are questioning the AP/TIW discounts vs. the free dining--we always get APs and TIW but with all the great package deals coming out now, we do wonder if we've made the right choices!

We live fairly close (2 hours away) and usually go for 8 weekends a year. Due to DH's work schedule, we can't go to WDW for long stretches of time so we can't take advantage of 7-for-4 types of deals.

06-25-2009, 11:44 AM
Why should WDW give a significantly better deal to AP holders? They make more money off of out of towners that stay on site for long periods of time vs. locals who visit often, take up park space, but don't spend as much money because they go frequently (don't splurge as much, don't spend as much on souveniers or dining perhaps, etc.). Too may AP holders taking up places for guests who would spend more money would be a bad thing, not a good thing - sweeten the AP deal too much and WDW comes out behind, not ahead.

06-25-2009, 02:11 PM
Hint -- we have AP's and we still book the free dining package. We buy one day base tickets with the package and then hang on to those until the next time we need to buy AP's or park tickets and just apply them to the price. Works like a charm and you get the best of both worlds! :thumbsup2

06-25-2009, 03:29 PM
Well AP's might not spend as much on suvies like the normal dated 2009 t-shirts or mini mickey dolls, or buy as many sodas. But if an AP family goes for a half dozen weekends a year, they're still going to spend quite a bit of money in the parks.

I have a house full of stuff from disney, from my kitchen set to all the pins we've collected over the years. Many people come to Disney for the dining experience. I love trying to get reservations for Canada. Part of the reason why Disney still offers Florida Residents Epcot after 4 annual passes. So locals can go have a nice stroll around world showcase, have a nice dinner, watch the fireworks.

If I go to the parks in the morning and plan to spend the day, I don't waste the gas to drive off property for a 5$ meal at Mcdonalds (although I might if I was spending the day at AK, which I never do...). I just know where to go to get the best meal for the price. We might spend our money on different things, but AP's can still spend quite a bit of money.