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Old 08-07-2013, 04:54 PM   #1
DisneyJillian18
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Yes! Another post on annual passes, bear with me!

Yes, really. I have been stalking threads for about a week now on everything annual passes and there are a ton out there, but I still don't feel satisfied, I have more questions!

My first question being a broad one, Is it worth it? We live in Louisiana, about a 12 hour drive after food and potty breaks. We're not crazy on flying, too expensive and it freaks out DB and I! But, the whole family and I (DM, DD, DB) love going! (duh) and it's always our happiest vacations! I feel like it could be worth it, if we have the tickets we'd make time to go! We've been once a year for the past four years and we could probably squeeze in three weekend trips plus a 5-7 day trip. Thoughts?

Next question, Is the room discount really worth it as well? I have read that AP discounts are very worth it. We have either stayed at value or offsite and I would love to be able to try moderate or my dream resorts WL/Poly! What about dining? We have done the dining plan before and didn't have a bad experience, but I feel a sit down meal takes longer than a quick service. But if we had annual passes, we could tour the parks at a slower pace, making time for dining, since we'd be back in a few months! So many choices!

Last question, how does TiW play into this, I've heard of it, but never really did any research on it. Is this worth getting? What kind of experience have you had with it? Just wondering if someone can give a general overview of this!

Sorry this was so long, and has probably been asked a 1000 times. Thanks in advance!
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Old 08-07-2013, 05:11 PM   #2
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It is worth it if it saves you money. Write out how many trips to disney you plan on taking over the next year and add up the costs of buying tickets for those trips for your family. Be sure to include parking fees if you stay offsite and other perks you may not have.

Then simply compare that to the cost of annual passes. If you save money, do it. If not, don't. I would caution to plan your tickets around your trips, not your trips around your tickets. The cost of tickets is only a small part of the cost in going to disney. You don't want to find yourself feeling pressured into going more than you would enjoy because you bought annual passes.
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Old 08-07-2013, 05:14 PM   #3
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OMG, another question about annual passes. In short, if you visit WDW more than twice, buy the annual pass. If you just visit once, don't waste your money.
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Old 08-07-2013, 05:15 PM   #4
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We are also from Louisiana. We had a trip planned this past January then found out my daughter would be playing ball there in July. After doing the math we decided it would be cheaper to get AP instead if tickets for each trip... Well,we did 5 days in January, we then returned in february(3 day weekend), april( me and hubby only for a week), May(me,my sister and my 5 for 6 days). We just came back from a 10 day trip( ball tourney), will be going for 2 day weekend for Friday the 13th( September) and are debating a 4-5 day trip over thanksgiving. Our AP expires in January and we certainly got our money's worth. Room discounts were not too bad. Never did dining plan cause it was cheaper to eat OOP. We don't do dessert every meal and prefer ice water to drink anyways.
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Old 08-07-2013, 05:15 PM   #5
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www.tablesinwonderland.com is a good (official) resource. Look for other threads on it and find Cheshire_Figment's post with the breakdown of how much food/drink you need to buy at included places for you to hit the breakeven point and beyond.

We live in WA and have APs.
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Old 08-07-2013, 05:15 PM   #6
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Deb gives a good rundown on Table in Wonderland here...

http://allears.net/din/dde.htm

I have had it for years now and works well for me. $500 in eating expenses covers the fee. Anything more than that, you are saving money.

Room discounts are good, but often the non AP discounts are comparable, just offered a bit later.

Personally though, a 12 hour (24 hour round trip) seems a lot for a weekend. But if that is fine for you, then it is good.
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Old 08-07-2013, 05:24 PM   #7
DisneyJillian18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capo View Post
It is worth it if it saves you money. Write out how many trips to disney you plan on taking over the next year and add up the costs of buying tickets for those trips for your family. Be sure to include parking fees if you stay offsite and other perks you may not have.

Then simply compare that to the cost of annual passes. If you save money, do it. If not, don't. I would caution to plan your tickets around your trips, not your trips around your tickets. The cost of tickets is only a small part of the cost in going to disney. You don't want to find yourself feeling pressured into going more than you would enjoy because you bought annual passes.
I can defiantly see your point, will have to work on this! Thanks!
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I've eaten at 30 out of 245 restaurants at Walt Disney World (12%)
I've eaten at 21 out of 87 quick service/counter service restaurants at Walt Disney World (24%)
I've eaten at 8 out of 73 table-service restaurants at Walt Disney World (11%)
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I've eaten at 1 out of 3 dinner show restaurants at Walt Disney World (33%)


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Old 08-07-2013, 05:25 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by disfan4life1 View Post
We are also from Louisiana. We had a trip planned this past January then found out my daughter would be playing ball there in July. After doing the math we decided it would be cheaper to get AP instead if tickets for each trip... Well,we did 5 days in January, we then returned in february(3 day weekend), april( me and hubby only for a week), May(me,my sister and my 5 for 6 days). We just came back from a 10 day trip( ball tourney), will be going for 2 day weekend for Friday the 13th( September) and are debating a 4-5 day trip over thanksgiving. Our AP expires in January and we certainly got our money's worth. Room discounts were not too bad. Never did dining plan cause it was cheaper to eat OOP. We don't do dessert every meal and prefer ice water to drink anyways.
Did you find the weekend trips to be hard? We did a weekend trip last year, but we flew, so not really comparable!
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I've eaten at 30 out of 245 restaurants at Walt Disney World (12%)
I've eaten at 21 out of 87 quick service/counter service restaurants at Walt Disney World (24%)
I've eaten at 8 out of 73 table-service restaurants at Walt Disney World (11%)
I've eaten at 0 out of 18 signature restaurants at Walt Disney World (0%)
I've eaten at 1 out of 3 dinner show restaurants at Walt Disney World (33%)


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Old 08-07-2013, 05:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bumbershoot View Post
www.tablesinwonderland.com is a good (official) resource. Look for other threads on it and find Cheshire_Figment's post with the breakdown of how much food/drink you need to buy at included places for you to hit the breakeven point and beyond.

We live in WA and have APs.
Thank you!
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I've eaten at 30 out of 245 restaurants at Walt Disney World (12%)
I've eaten at 21 out of 87 quick service/counter service restaurants at Walt Disney World (24%)
I've eaten at 8 out of 73 table-service restaurants at Walt Disney World (11%)
I've eaten at 0 out of 18 signature restaurants at Walt Disney World (0%)
I've eaten at 1 out of 3 dinner show restaurants at Walt Disney World (33%)


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Old 08-07-2013, 05:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Murphy View Post
Deb gives a good rundown on Table in Wonderland here...

http://allears.net/din/dde.htm

I have had it for years now and works well for me. $500 in eating expenses covers the fee. Anything more than that, you are saving money.

Room discounts are good, but often the non AP discounts are comparable, just offered a bit later.

Personally though, a 12 hour (24 hour round trip) seems a lot for a weekend. But if that is fine for you, then it is good.

Thank you! I will look into it, I'm sure we spend more that $500 per trip in food!
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I've eaten at 30 out of 245 restaurants at Walt Disney World (12%)
I've eaten at 21 out of 87 quick service/counter service restaurants at Walt Disney World (24%)
I've eaten at 8 out of 73 table-service restaurants at Walt Disney World (11%)
I've eaten at 0 out of 18 signature restaurants at Walt Disney World (0%)
I've eaten at 1 out of 3 dinner show restaurants at Walt Disney World (33%)


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Old 08-07-2013, 05:37 PM   #11
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Hope this helps

Quote:
Originally Posted by DisneyJillian18 View Post
Yes, really. I have been stalking threads for about a week now on everything annual passes and there are a ton out there, but I still don't feel satisfied, I have more questions!

My first question being a broad one, Is it worth it? We live in Louisiana, about a 12 hour drive after food and potty breaks. We're not crazy on flying, too expensive and it freaks out DB and I! But, the whole family and I (DM, DD, DB) love going! (duh) and it's always our happiest vacations! I feel like it could be worth it, if we have the tickets we'd make time to go! We've been once a year for the past four years and we could probably squeeze in three weekend trips plus a 5-7 day trip. Thoughts?

My drive is about 7.5 so not as long as yours, and weekend trips are very tempting! So having that AP makes it easy to justify going for lots of weekends. Last year we decided on a Friday afternoon on the way to the movies we'd rather be at Disney, turned the car around and went to Disney. That said, I would say it is only a worthwhile expenditure if your are fairly (90%) certain you will go enough to justify the cost. You must be honest with yourself b/c even at around an 8 hour drive I find myself about 5 hours into the drive wishing I was there already b/c I'm sick of driving.

Another thing to consider is if you don't think multiple short trips are really feasible w/ the drive if your annual trips are at a time of year that you can be flexible with your travel dates (ex. this year we went the second year of June so next year we'll go the first week of June), then it can be worth it. If your annual trip is at a set time (Christmas week)then you probably won't get two trips out of it and thus it is not worth the money.


Next question, Is the room discount really worth it as well? I have read that AP discounts are very worth it. We have either stayed at value or offsite and I would love to be able to try moderate or my dream resorts WL/Poly! What about dining? We have done the dining plan before and didn't have a bad experience, but I feel a sit down meal takes longer than a quick service. But if we had annual passes, we could tour the parks at a slower pace, making time for dining, since we'd be back in a few months! So many choices!

The AP resort discounts tend to be not much better than what they general public offerings are. The thing is you have a longer time to book them. We tend not to book too far in advance of when we plan to travel, so this is very helpful for us.

If you like the dining plans, then you can still get them with an AP room only reservation. The only thing you can't do with an AP is free dining. For that you must book a room at rack rate and buy a minimum number days MYW tickets.

Last question, how does TiW play into this, I've heard of it, but never really did any research on it. Is this worth getting? What kind of experience have you had with it? Just wondering if someone can give a general overview of this!

TiW is the way to go if you want to try table service dining. It is 20% off your bill, including any alcohol. I loved being able to order what I wanted (unlike the dining plan), and it was nice that we could use it at a small handful of CS places as well. I used this instead of buying the dining plan. If you don't think you'll do a lot of TS dining then it will probably not be worth it. The rule of thumb used to be that if you would spend at least $375 on TS dining for the year the card is good, then it was worth the money. On the downside, it is not good at all TS places (but is good at most), there are blackout dates, and for at least the HDDR, there are restrictions on what shows are eligible for the discount. Learn more here. http://tablesinwonderland.com/

Sorry this was so long, and has probably been asked a 1000 times. Thanks in advance!
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Old 08-07-2013, 05:41 PM   #12
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Hope this helps
Very helpful! Thank you so much!
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I've eaten at 30 out of 245 restaurants at Walt Disney World (12%)
I've eaten at 21 out of 87 quick service/counter service restaurants at Walt Disney World (24%)
I've eaten at 8 out of 73 table-service restaurants at Walt Disney World (11%)
I've eaten at 0 out of 18 signature restaurants at Walt Disney World (0%)
I've eaten at 1 out of 3 dinner show restaurants at Walt Disney World (33%)


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Old 08-08-2013, 12:01 AM   #13
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My belief is if you visit for more than 13 days in one trip, or are going for at least 2 trips in one year (both inside of 366 days really) totalling 13 days or more, yes the AP (annual pass) is worth it!

Visiting 13 days in one year of ordinary tickets is about the break-even point. Any more than 13 days, an AP really starts to pay off just in terms of the ticket prices.

Also there are discounts that depending on your resort, dining and shopping, the break even point moves back to fewer days.
You can get similar discounts in other ways (WDW website has special offers year round, almost), but the AP resort discounts are up to 30% for deluxe, and up to 15% off for value resort.
There are other discounts too including - free parking at all the parks; 10% off park merchandise and some Downtown Disney stores; and 10% off dining at a handful of restaurants (at least two at each park, several at Downtown Disney and Epcot, but ZERO at MK!).

Then there is Tables in Wonderland card if you do table service a lot, for $100 extra you purchase a card that gives you 20% off your meals at most (but not all) WDW table service locations, and some quick service. That card gives an 18% automatic tip at table service keep in mind, so there it will appear like you got only 2% off but your tip was included. Break-even point on TiW card is if you spend $500 at table service (easy if staying 13 days or more!).


If you're on the fence, or very close to 13 days total in a year, just get one AP -- you can enjoy the resort, dining and shopping discounts, and possibly get a TiW card for extra, with just ONE annual pass.

PS - My advice is do not get a premium annual pass unless you plan to use the water parks and/or Disney Quest at least twice. That extra cost on the PAP is not worth it if you don't utilize those, in my opinion.

Hope this helps!

Last edited by omurice; 08-08-2013 at 12:14 AM.
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Old 08-08-2013, 08:11 AM   #14
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My belief is if you visit for more than 13 days in one trip, or are going for at least 2 trips in one year (both inside of 366 days really) totalling 13 days or more, yes the AP (annual pass) is worth it!

Visiting 13 days in one year of ordinary tickets is about the break-even point. Any more than 13 days, an AP really starts to pay off just in terms of the ticket prices.

Also there are discounts that depending on your resort, dining and shopping, the break even point moves back to fewer days.
You can get similar discounts in other ways (WDW website has special offers year round, almost), but the AP resort discounts are up to 30% for deluxe, and up to 15% off for value resort.
There are other discounts too including - free parking at all the parks; 10% off park merchandise and some Downtown Disney stores; and 10% off dining at a handful of restaurants (at least two at each park, several at Downtown Disney and Epcot, but ZERO at MK!).

Then there is Tables in Wonderland card if you do table service a lot, for $100 extra you purchase a card that gives you 20% off your meals at most (but not all) WDW table service locations, and some quick service. That card gives an 18% automatic tip at table service keep in mind, so there it will appear like you got only 2% off but your tip was included. Break-even point on TiW card is if you spend $500 at table service (easy if staying 13 days or more!).


If you're on the fence, or very close to 13 days total in a year, just get one AP -- you can enjoy the resort, dining and shopping discounts, and possibly get a TiW card for extra, with just ONE annual pass.

PS - My advice is do not get a premium annual pass unless you plan to use the water parks and/or Disney Quest at least twice. That extra cost on the PAP is not worth it if you don't utilize those, in my opinion.

Hope this helps!

Thank you! It defiantly did! We looked into TiW and I'm sure we would get our money back, and save some!
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I've eaten at 30 out of 245 restaurants at Walt Disney World (12%)
I've eaten at 21 out of 87 quick service/counter service restaurants at Walt Disney World (24%)
I've eaten at 8 out of 73 table-service restaurants at Walt Disney World (11%)
I've eaten at 0 out of 18 signature restaurants at Walt Disney World (0%)
I've eaten at 1 out of 3 dinner show restaurants at Walt Disney World (33%)


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Old 08-08-2013, 09:14 AM   #15
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We justify getting our AP's by usually getting two vacations out of them. We always go during end of May/June so the year we get our AP's we go like the 2nd week in June then the next year we plan our vacation a couple of weeks earlier. That more than pays for the AP's and then any trips we take during the year are just extras. The 10% discount on merchandise also really adds up during a week long vacation.
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