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Old 12-06-2012, 06:16 AM   #1
momtotwoteens
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AP's with an 8 hour drive??

Has anyone purchased AP's who have a long drive to Disney? We are around 8 hours away and I'm considering purchasing them. We ALWAYS drive...flying is not an option for our family. I haven't gotten into comparing costs yet, but I will do that before I decide for sure. I need to see how many times we might go and compare free dining vs. room discounts to see if it's worth it. We already have SeaWorld annual passes and they definitely have worked for our family, but of course they are a lot cheaper than Disney World's AP's. Just curious to hear who drives multiple times a year and how far you drive.


***Updated***

I just bought the AP this evening and booked a room at WL (where I've wanted to stay forever!) using an AP discount. We'll see how many trips we make and how it works out, but I figured out that if we take this 3 night trip, a 3 night trip that's planned for Feb. and a December trip we'll save lots of $$. They will most definitely pay for themselves. So excited!! Now to tell DH that I splurged for WL...
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Last edited by momtotwoteens; 01-09-2013 at 06:18 PM. Reason: Update
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Old 12-06-2012, 06:45 AM   #2
BridgetBordeaux
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We are 7.5 hours away and go to WDW about 6 times a year. We stay on property 2 times and off property 4 times. Using the AP while staying off property gets us free parking----that really adds up at 14 bucks a day.

You need to make sure you go for at least 3 visits to make it worthwhile in my opinion.

If you stagger your visit dates you can squeeze in an extra visit something like this..............
---if you normally visit in June, make your first visit on the AP occurr a little later than normal (by a few days) and then on the next June, have your visit end on the day your AP expires.
This way you get 2 June visits on top your other visits throughout the year.

We go during Spring Break, early summer, mid summer, Labor Day weekend, Thanksgiving, and a December trip. This seems to work well with the school schedule in our county.
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Old 12-06-2012, 07:15 AM   #3
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We live 10 hours away. We got APs in March and have had three trips this year with them.

Our trip in March was Free Dining and we upgraded our tickets. Our second trip was the week after Easter staying offsite and our third trip was in August also offsite.

We'll be going again in January but got good (enough) flight prices so we'll fly this time and stay onsite with AP discounted room.

In total we'll have spent 18 days in the parks.
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Old 12-06-2012, 07:59 AM   #4
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We live 8 hours away, and during our last AP year we went 7 times for a total of 24 park days. That year we did a lot of short weekend trips. Normally we take a couple of week long trips with maybe a weekend or two thrown in. We always drive as well.

The conventional "test" of whether to get an AP or not is if you know you'll visit the parks at least 10 days in one year. I say it is less than that. If you factor in the cost of PH and NE you are ahead on the AP on your 9th day. If you are more likely to purchase your tickets as you need them, then you may be ahead before then. That's what happened with me when a planned two day trip suddenly turned into a 5 day trip. There wasn't anything I could have done since the change in length happened well after our first trip that year, but when I looked back I realized how much money I could have saved with an AP. So that factored into my decision to take the plunge and buy an AP the following year.


I'll also tell you that free dining is not a bargain for us when you factor in the room discounts you can get and the fact you can get a TiW card for meals when you have an AP. That of course will vary with the family, but just something to keep in mind as you calculate the cost.
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Old 12-06-2012, 08:02 AM   #5
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We live 7 hours away and have APs. We found that after we bought them we started going to WDW more. It's easier to fit in a long weekend if you already have the tickets. We've been lucky enough to get AP discounts for every trip but we've never done free dining.
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Old 12-06-2012, 08:06 AM   #6
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We are about your distance and have gotten APs.
We did the free dining one September and upgraded those tickets to our APs. We got 10 days out of that visit. We went in December using our DVC points and stayed 12 days. In February we went again for 10 days. When they had Summer Fantastic or whatever and brought back Main Street Electrical parade we went down for a long weekend. We went Labor Day. There was a promotion going on for DVC APs good for 15 months so we got anoter fall trip using free dining and just got 1 night ticket for package which we still have and then stayed DVC one more time in December. We easily used about 60 days.
Another advantage to APs is that when we drive down on Friday nite. Epcot has extra magic so we check in to hotel and go to Epcot few hours. The day we leave we can go to park till lunch. If we had hoppers we would not use a day's ticket to go for just the few hours we have on arrival and departure day.
Another advantage is AP discounts on hotel room.
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Old 12-06-2012, 08:07 AM   #7
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14 hours away and bought the DVC discounted premium annual pass for our trip this december. have additional trips planned for may & october (2013). december and october trip will be driving, may is flying but we are going to antigua after a few days at disney.
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Old 12-06-2012, 08:08 AM   #8
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We are 12hrs away and purchased an AP in Feb. for a 6 night trip (3 nights on site/3 nights off site). We are going back in Feb. 2013 for another 6 nights on site. Just the cost of two 6 day park hoppers is more than the cost of an AP.
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Old 12-06-2012, 08:08 AM   #9
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And don't forget the discounts at some of the restaurants and stores.
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Old 12-06-2012, 08:36 AM   #10
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We live in Illinois, normally fly but if we drove it would be about 18 hours and we have AP's
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Old 12-06-2012, 09:10 AM   #11
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We are 16 hours away and have had AP's quite a few years now! We ONLY drive and make sure we get 4 trips on each AP as they're pretty costly for 6 of us!

We bought our current AP's in July. 11 day trip

Will be there over Christmas and New Year's. 10 day trip

Spring Break 8 day trip

End of June 9 day trip

So we will get 38 park days out of our AP's.

If we lived only 8 hours away I know we would be hopping down there atleast every month!
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Old 12-06-2012, 09:13 AM   #12
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From new jersey and we drive 17 hours. We buy AP's and get 14-20 days out of them.

Plan our trips so that they are 51 weeks apart. For example arrive Nov 10th 2012, and the following year we depart on 11/9/2013 so we use the same AP. Then we buy our next AP on 11/10/2014.

So one AP lasts 2 years in a sense.
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Old 12-06-2012, 09:24 AM   #13
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We're in NY and would always be flying down, and we're considering AP's too. Since we fly, we tend to take longer trips, and most likely the AP cost would be about the same as two long trips - if we can get any kind of room discount on my next visit, it would be the tipper into buying them.
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Old 12-06-2012, 09:34 AM   #14
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Yeah it really doesn't matter if you are 7 miles or 7 hours or a multiple day drive from the parks. Whether you get AP's or not revolves around how often you will go into the parks. You should be able to figure that out and see how many days admission you normally or might use in a year. Once you know that you can make the decision and enjoy your vacation! Have fun!

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Old 12-06-2012, 12:21 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rkdahl View Post
Yeah it really doesn't matter if you are 7 miles or 7 hours or a multiple day drive from the parks. Whether you get AP's or not revolves around how often you will go into the parks. You should be able to figure that out and see how many days admission you normally or might use in a year. Once you know that you can make the decision and enjoy your vacation! Have fun!
I agree completely.

We live an 8 hour FLIGHT away, out in WA state, and we have had APs, and probably will get them again in Feb. How far away we are doesn't matter at all. It's what our plans are, and what the best option is for our wallet.

NC is a hop, skip, and a jump from WDW compared to where we are, but if the AP works, it works.
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