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Old 02-14-2013, 09:50 AM   #1
Dis703
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Deciding on AP or not

I'm not sure where the appropriate place would be to post this, but I just need a little help figuring out if getting an Annual Pass will be worthwhile for us.

We live in the Northeast so we aren't exactly close to WDW. We are going there this May and have a 7 night 8 day package w/parkhoppers. My thinking on the annual passes is that if we do one more trip next April with another 7-8 days we already save enough to make it worth buying. I think the minimum would be about 13-14 days to start saving? Then with the extra savings on dining, shopping, potentially resort savings, etc. it should work out in our favor.

Park tickets really don't get any cheaper than the current offers right? I guess that's what I'm trying to figure out. Even with the Spring offer we aren't saving much more than maybe $100-$150 for four of us.

For those who have an AP do you find yourself using the additional perks and savings? Even if you aren't local? Or was it not as great a savings as you hoped?

I'm secretly hoping once we have the passes that DH will agree to a possible long weekend trip this fall/winter around one of the holidays. I know he gets tired of too much Disney because he grew up going there all the time, but I think if we are ever going to do multiple trips this is the year to do it since our twins will be free until their 3rd birthday in July 2014. I may even have enough free hotel nights off site to make airfare and food our only real expense that sort of trip.

Oh, that's another question. How advanced is the notice for special events?

Also, if we decided to buy them today, but we don't go to Disney until May are they active from the moment we bought them or the moment we start using them like with regular tickets.

Thanks for any input advice! After a long and hard year and a half with my 18 month old twins I'm really pushing to live it up this next year and enjoy some special time with my family. What better way than more Disney time to do that, right?!
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Old 02-14-2013, 10:16 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dis703 View Post
I'm not sure where the appropriate place would be to post this, but I just need a little help figuring out if getting an Annual Pass will be worthwhile for us.

We live in the Northeast so we aren't exactly close to WDW. We are going there this May and have a 7 night 8 day package w/parkhoppers. My thinking on the annual passes is that if we do one more trip next April with another 7-8 days we already save enough to make it worth buying. I think the minimum would be about 13-14 days to start saving? Then with the extra savings on dining, shopping, potentially resort savings, etc. it should work out in our favor.

Park tickets really don't get any cheaper than the current offers right? I guess that's what I'm trying to figure out. Even with the Spring offer we aren't saving much more than maybe $100-$150 for four of us.

For those who have an AP do you find yourself using the additional perks and savings? Even if you aren't local? Or was it not as great a savings as you hoped?

I'm secretly hoping once we have the passes that DH will agree to a possible long weekend trip this fall/winter around one of the holidays. I know he gets tired of too much Disney because he grew up going there all the time, but I think if we are ever going to do multiple trips this is the year to do it since our twins will be free until their 3rd birthday in July 2014. I may even have enough free hotel nights off site to make airfare and food our only real expense that sort of trip.

Oh, that's another question. How advanced is the notice for special events?

Also, if we decided to buy them today, but we don't go to Disney until May are they active from the moment we bought them or the moment we start using them like with regular tickets.

Thanks for any input advice! After a long and hard year and a half with my 18 month old twins I'm really pushing to live it up this next year and enjoy some special time with my family. What better way than more Disney time to do that, right?!
We live in Missouri and have had APs off and on for several years. We were at WDW for seven days in June, DW and I were there for F&W, and we are going back for seven days in March, so just from ticket costs alone we are saving money. To maximize the dining savings you also are going to want to purchase a Tables in Wonderland card for $100, which will get you 20% off of all food and beverage purchases (including alcohol) at almost all WDW table service restaurants and a few counter service locations. The basic AP discount on dining is only 10% and is good at fewer restaurants and generally only for lunch.

AP holders also get a 10% discount on WDW merchandise at most locations, and a number of other discounts. There also are special AP room rates available at various times throughout the year.

If you purchase an AP in advance of your trip, you will get a voucher that will need to be activated once you get there. Your pass will expire one year from the day it is activated.

Since you have a package booked in May that presumably requires that you purchase tickets, however, you probably should just keep those and upgrade them after you get there. Use the tickets once to enter a park and then go to guest relations. They will apply the gate value of the tickets to the price of the AP and you will pay the difference. You also can buy your TiW card at that time too. If you do this your APs will expire one year from the date you first used the tickets that you upgraded.
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Old 02-14-2013, 10:17 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dis703 View Post
I'm not sure where the appropriate place would be to post this, but I just need a little help figuring out if getting an Annual Pass will be worthwhile for us.

We live in the Northeast so we aren't exactly close to WDW. We are going there this May and have a 7 night 8 day package w/parkhoppers. My thinking on the annual passes is that if we do one more trip next April with another 7-8 days we already save enough to make it worth buying. I think the minimum would be about 13-14 days to start saving? Then with the extra savings on dining, shopping, potentially resort savings, etc. it should work out in our favor.

Park tickets really don't get any cheaper than the current offers right? I guess that's what I'm trying to figure out. Even with the Spring offer we aren't saving much more than maybe $100-$150 for four of us.

For those who have an AP do you find yourself using the additional perks and savings? Even if you aren't local? Or was it not as great a savings as you hoped?

I'm secretly hoping once we have the passes that DH will agree to a possible long weekend trip this fall/winter around one of the holidays. I know he gets tired of too much Disney because he grew up going there all the time, but I think if we are ever going to do multiple trips this is the year to do it since our twins will be free until their 3rd birthday in July 2014. I may even have enough free hotel nights off site to make airfare and food our only real expense that sort of trip.

Oh, that's another question. How advanced is the notice for special events?

Also, if we decided to buy them today, but we don't go to Disney until May are they active from the moment we bought them or the moment we start using them like with regular tickets.

Thanks for any input advice! After a long and hard year and a half with my 18 month old twins I'm really pushing to live it up this next year and enjoy some special time with my family. What better way than more Disney time to do that, right?!
Ok....we also live in the Northeast, and we purchased AP's last year. We knew we would have two trips to use them on...we did an 11 day trip last July, and we have another 11 day trip coming up in April. However, we got our AP's for our family of four (2A, 2C) for $1928!!! (military rate)...If we had bought 2 10 day hoppers for each trip, we were looking at about $2800!!!!
Our savings were obvious right there, so we knew that was the way to go.

Now, they don't have adult/children pricing, it's all the same, so....I haven't worked out those numbers...

We are using the TiW card for this upcoming trip, and will also be able to use it for the trip we are planning in Feb 2014, so we will have value from that. We did use the AP discount in the gift shops at Disney while we were there as well...

Oh, and to answer your question...when you buy them online, you get a voucher and the clock doesn't start ticking until you activate them for the first time.

Hope that helps.
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Old 02-14-2013, 10:21 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Jestocost View Post
We live in Missouri and have had APs off and on for several years. We were at WDW for seven days in June, DW and I were there for F&W, and we are going back for seven days in March, so just from ticket costs alone we are saving money. To maximize the dining savings you also are going to want to purchase a Tables in Wonderland card for $100, which will get you 20% off of all food and beverage purchases (including alcohol) at almost all WDW table service restaurants and a few counter service locations. The basic AP discount on dining is only 10% and is good at fewer restaurants and generally only for lunch.

AP holders also get a 10% discount on WDW merchandise at most locations, and a number of other discounts. There also are special AP room rates available at various times throughout the year.

If you purchase an AP in advance of your trip, you will get a voucher that will need to be activated once you get there. Your pass will expire one year from the day it is activated.

Since you have a package booked in May that presumably requires that you purchase tickets, however, you probably should just keep those and upgrade them after you get there. Use the tickets once to enter a park and then go to guest relations. They will apply the gate value of the tickets to the price of the AP and you will pay the difference. You also can buy your TiW card at that time too. If you do this your APs will expire one year from the date you first used the tickets that you upgraded.
I am kind of in the same boat as the OP, So you are saying we can take our 10 day park hoppers, which are booked with our current package, and walk into MK, go to guest services and upgrade them to APs ?

Just want to make sure you aren't talkign about getting a 1 day pass or something ...

Thanks for this info !
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Old 02-14-2013, 10:41 AM   #5
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We live in MA and have had AP's for many, many years. It works for us because we regularly get ~30 park days per year. It sounds like it would also work for the OP as they will be getting ~15 park days in a 12 month period. Any additional savings from the 10% merchandise discount or buying a TiW card would push the equation further in that direction.
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Old 02-14-2013, 10:54 AM   #6
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we are mainers and we use the AP the same way..
We go usually in May...so we plan the next visit either in the winter and or go the next may but the week before it ends..so we use our TIW card too..It works out really good..
We also had a 300 plus difference on our resort room..sometimes we have to go to another resort then we originally booked..but we like to save the money as we only use our resort for swimming, sleeping and changing clothes...
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Old 02-14-2013, 12:11 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Shaden View Post
I am kind of in the same boat as the OP, So you are saying we can take our 10 day park hoppers, which are booked with our current package, and walk into MK, go to guest services and upgrade them to APs ?

Just want to make sure you aren't talkign about getting a 1 day pass or something ...

Thanks for this info !
Yes you can, and that is what we did in September. We had booked a 10 day Magic Your Way package with park tickets. We were able to go to the ticket booth where they seperated the tickets from our package and credited us with the cost of them towards annual passes. It does not affect your dining plan or anything else on your cards, since they just seperate off the park tickets. Then they issue the APs and that's what we used for park admission from then on.

We live in California very near DL, and getting Premier APs using the credit we had from our already purchased vacation package at WDW meant we were able so save hundereds of dollars over just renewing our DL APs in CA. It worked out great for us, and we get to use the APs on a return trip to WDW by going next September.

Also for the OP, it is a great time to do the passes, since you can take full advantage of going multiple times before the twins turn three and need their own tickets.
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Old 02-14-2013, 12:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jestocost View Post
We live in Missouri and have had APs off and on for several years. We were at WDW for seven days in June, DW and I were there for F&W, and we are going back for seven days in March, so just from ticket costs alone we are saving money. To maximize the dining savings you also are going to want to purchase a Tables in Wonderland card for $100, which will get you 20% off of all food and beverage purchases (including alcohol) at almost all WDW table service restaurants and a few counter service locations. The basic AP discount on dining is only 10% and is good at fewer restaurants and generally only for lunch.

AP holders also get a 10% discount on WDW merchandise at most locations, and a number of other discounts. There also are special AP room rates available at various times throughout the year.

If you purchase an AP in advance of your trip, you will get a voucher that will need to be activated once you get there. Your pass will expire one year from the day it is activated.

Since you have a package booked in May that presumably requires that you purchase tickets, however, you probably should just keep those and upgrade them after you get there. Use the tickets once to enter a park and then go to guest relations. They will apply the gate value of the tickets to the price of the AP and you will pay the difference. You also can buy your TiW card at that time too. If you do this your APs will expire one year from the date you first used the tickets that you upgraded.
I am considering the TiW card as well. The dining plan is not very cost effective for us but I think the card will be beneficial especially if it's accepted at more places than just the AP discount.

I thought about just upgrading after we go, but I wasn't sure if I might miss out on a better resort deal if I bought the AP before going. As I understand it you can't view the deals unless you have the AP or at least the voucher. Right now we are booked with the Spring offer at the BC so 30% off. I don't know if the AP deals are different resorts or different percentages but thought it might be worthwhile to know before we go.
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Old 02-14-2013, 12:26 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Mousemommy1 View Post
Ok....we also live in the Northeast, and we purchased AP's last year. We knew we would have two trips to use them on...we did an 11 day trip last July, and we have another 11 day trip coming up in April. However, we got our AP's for our family of four (2A, 2C) for $1928!!! (military rate)...If we had bought 2 10 day hoppers for each trip, we were looking at about $2800!!!!
Our savings were obvious right there, so we knew that was the way to go.

Now, they don't have adult/children pricing, it's all the same, so....I haven't worked out those numbers...

We are using the TiW card for this upcoming trip, and will also be able to use it for the trip we are planning in Feb 2014, so we will have value from that. We did use the AP discount in the gift shops at Disney while we were there as well...

Oh, and to answer your question...when you buy them online, you get a voucher and the clock doesn't start ticking until you activate them for the first time.

Hope that helps.
That's awesome you got such a great deal. Good to know the clock doesn't start until we use them. As I mentioned I was thinking of getting them now mostly so we can see the resort offers and book them if there is something better, but obviously don't want to eat up any time on the cards.

That does help, thanks!
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Old 02-14-2013, 12:27 PM   #10
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Oh, one other question I thought about. I know they offer discounts on things like the Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party and the Christmas Party, but only on selected dates. Any idea when they let you know about those dates? I do want to go around the holidays to do one of those special events so if they come out early enough I'd obviously try to plan around it. But if it's last minute that won't be any help to us.

Thanks!
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Old 02-14-2013, 12:28 PM   #11
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I think the AP is worth it closer to 10 days, maybe less if you spend a bunch at the park. the discount off items is everything you buy, from sunscreen, to chocolate coins. As long as you think you will do 2 trips.. I would say go for it.

We are in MI and do an AP and get in a bunch of trips in 12 months, (hoping for 4 this yr, but at least 3) then skip going for 12/15/18+ months and get an AP again. it is for sure the best way for us.
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Old 02-14-2013, 12:41 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by OKW Lover
We live in MA and have had AP's for many, many years. It works for us because we regularly get ~30 park days per year. It sounds like it would also work for the OP as they will be getting ~15 park days in a 12 month period. Any additional savings from the 10% merchandise discount or buying a TiW card would push the equation further in that direction.
Agreed! We live in MA and drive down when it's really expensive to fly. Having TiW is an added win for us too, because we were already using valet parking, ordering drinks, and sharing meals before were AP owners. We switched to PAP and.found it makes the summer trips a lot more fun because you can hop over to a water park or DQ on hot & crowded afternoons. Summer trips are now our favorite!
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