Is an Annual Pass really economically viable?

Discussion in 'Australia' started by IvanovaTC, Oct 3, 2012.

  1. IvanovaTC

    IvanovaTC Earning My Ears

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    I've heard a couple of podcasters saying that it is more economical, for a stay of longer than 6 days, to get an Annual Pass for WDW, purchase the Tables in Wonderland card and try to get a room with the AP discount. They claim that the AP discounts on a deluxe resort room will more than pay for the cost of the AP itself and the TiW card.
    I was wondering if any Aussies had tried this, and if so, is it really worth it? I may have left my run a little late, I leave on my trip for an 8 day stay (6 days park tickets) at the end of November.
    It just seems a little ridiculous: buying an annual pass when I don't live in the country and will not be returning to the park. Am I crazy?
     
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  3. backinoz

    backinoz Mouseketeer

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    We did buy an AP (& the TIW card) for our trip a few years back, however we were stayed for 14 days, albeit in a value resort. The AP RO discounts alone were more than the cost of the upgrade from a 10 day hopper, plus the TIW card. The $$ we then saved on food, drinks and other AP discounts was money in our pocket (as opposed to Disney's).

    However, we are going back in December this year, this time for only 8 days (+ 3 days at HRH in Universal), and we're not getting the AP, partly because we're only getting 5or6 day park hoppers, but mainly because we've booked with free dining at POFQ - with two teenage daughters who're happy enough to share a bed, and are adults on the DDP, this was the best deal for us by a mile.

    What you need to do is to work out the difference in cost between your park hopper and the cost of the AP + TIW card, then call Disney and find out if there are any AP RO discounts for your resort while you're there. If the AP discount is close to the difference in the price of your tickets, then grab it, and the savings you make with the TIW card will be extra spending money.

    If there's no AP RO discount available, then the savings will depend on how much you're going to spend on food and drink over your stay. Hope this helps :thumbsup2
     
  4. cola

    cola Mouseketeer

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    I don't think it would be worth it for 6 days, unless you are planning on going full bore on the dining option with the Tables of Wonderland and there are a few of you in your travel party. If you are 3 or less in your travel party it's not worth it for 6 days.

    Probably out in the general WDW section of this message board you will get more replies - a few in the Australian section have purchased annual passes for the discount, but not many - out in the rest of the board you've got a lot more than have done it, but I expect they will say for only 6 days of park visits, not worth it.

    For November, they are offerring 30% discount on accomodation anyway (other than Thanksgiving week), getting an Annual Pass for an additional 10% would be crazy. You're not going to find any discounts if you are there Thanksgiving week.
     
  5. zanzibar138

    zanzibar138 DIS Veteran

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    I can't help with whether it's worth getting an AP for WDW specifically, but I just wanted to say don't let being in a different country put you off. If it works out to be better value, go for it :thumbsup2 I am currently an AP holder for HK, and plan to get an AP for Paris in the next few months. We didn't use our APs for accommodation in HK as we found a better deal through Expedia. But we were amazed how much the savings on dining and merchandise added up - it was well worth it! Not saying that will be the case for your family at WDW, but don't be put off investigating just because it seems a bit ridiculous ;)
     
  6. BecBennett

    BecBennett Statistically, 6 out of 7 dwarves are not happy.

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    Keep in mind that only 1 of your party needs to get an AP to take advantage of all the discounts, :goodvibes
     
  7. hjd0411

    hjd0411 DIS Veteran

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    I purchased and annual pass last time I was at WDW, but I was there for 3 weeks! Weel worth it for that amount of time. We were staying off site, so I can't vouch for the onsite discounts, but it saved us a bit for shopping and parking each day. Plus we could visit a park for a few hours and not feel like we "wasted" a day of a ??-day pass!! :)
    Whether it is good value is quite a personal decision depending on lots of things as others have said before me! :thumbsup2
     
  8. ColinA

    ColinA DIS Veteran

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    AP pass will get you 10% discount on merchandise, free parking if you are staying offsite and the TIW card. As Cola says the TIW really only works for the larger groups or enough ADR's to make it work. You only need the one AP for the group.

    Work out the maths is the best idea.
     
  9. australiankaren

    australiankaren I do love me my free H20...thank you Mickey.....DV

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    I loved my AP.....the discounts added up especially with merch. I keep pointing the savings out to dh and he finally agreed it was good value for us....we wre ther 9 days the first time, then 4 days after the cruise so it worked out cheaper than 2 lots of hopper tickets.....and with our DVC discount on the pass (aprox 130 saving each).....:cool1:

    So just add up what you need it for, and as mentioned before you only need one AP to get the accom discounts......and merch, food etc...princess:

    Sitting here in the delta club at Orlando waiting for our flight to lax.....we did outlet shopping today and our bag count has now got to 6:confused3
    Plus carry on....oh dear
     
  10. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    Safe Flying!
     
  11. ColinA

    ColinA DIS Veteran

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    I wasn't going to mention the DVC discount. This year DVC gets the Premium AP for not much more than the 10 day hopper ticket!
     
  12. Aust

    Aust DIS Veteran

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    Well this is for Disneyland, not WDW, but still - we are just back from 2 weeks at DL, my husband and I both got deluxe AP's, and the kids had 14 day passes. We ended up well ahead (by my estimate about $1000). Most of that was on the onsite hotel discount, then the rest on food and merchandise discounts. All those 10%'s add up!

    I did an estimate on a spreadsheet before the trip and worked out it would be worth it. I based it on a 10% hotel discount (the usual minimum AP discount) but ended up saving more here as they bought out a higher AP saving.
     
  13. DizOz

    DizOz DIS Veteran

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    Doing my sums now and want to make sure I get this right.

    With an AP i get

    10% discount on food and merchandise.

    You may get a discount on accommodation depending on type and when. (We are staying at a Deluxe resort at Christmas what is the likelihood of a discount and how much)

    The card holder gets entry to the parks. Is the access the same as a Park Hopper? What about Disney Quest etc?

    :confused3 :confused3 :confused3
     
  14. ColinA

    ColinA DIS Veteran

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    10% discount on merchandise.

    I am not sure about AP discount on ADR and I do not think counter service would be discounted. We have DVC and TIW so we do not need AP discount on ADR. Someone else may know.

    With an AP you can get a TIW card which is $75 and then you get 20% discount on ADR, Some dates like Christmas eve and day and NY not covered.

    Do not know about discounts with AP on deluxe resorts as again we stay on DVC.

    AP gets you 12 months entry to any of the 4 WDW parks, like park hopper, does not include the water parks or Disney Quest.


    PAP will include the other parks.
     
  15. Sugarglider

    Sugarglider DIS Veteran

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    I'll just add a bit to ColinA's advice - the 10% food discount is REALLY limited - like only 6 places - not worth counting. That's why people buy TIW.

    this year the AP discount annoucements came out very close to the general public and were only 5% more off.
    I've never seen the Christmas period discounted under any scheme - it is full rack rates - even DVC most expensive point time.
    BTW - TIW are also blacked out on a couple of peak christmas days - Christmas eve, Christmas day, NYE, NYE day - so if you are there that week don't make your expensive restaurant bookings on those days!

    The access is the same as a Park Hopper - and there is an upgraded (more $) version of the AP to add Water Parks and DQ

    A couple of people have mentioned doing a spreadsheet - and I agree - took a bit of working out the numbers. I think it really only works once you are looking at more than 10 days and can secure the other discounts

    it works for me cause i am there 12 days, I am using an unused ticket from last year to subsidise, I got the extra 5% off the room, being solo Free Dining doesn't work for me - so TIW is a better deal.
    There is a lot of maths to do to work this out!!:teacher:
     
  16. ColinA

    ColinA DIS Veteran

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    Just to confuse the issue. For the TIW block out dates we can get DVC 20% on some ADRs, not many places but there are some that accept it!
     
  17. Sugarglider

    Sugarglider DIS Veteran

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    Ahhh the perks of DVC.
    the combo's are endless and everyone's situation is unique - requires A LOT of planning. But as I said to DH - no more planning than if I was driving across Europe and had to find hotels and restaurants and sights for every day! :teacher:
     
  18. Disney_Princess83

    Disney_Princess83 DIS Veteran

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    If you stay longer then 10 days, it works out better straight out. With the discounts and TiW discount, you generally break even from about day 7-8. We did an 18 day trip and this saved us alot of money over the time.
     
  19. DizOz

    DizOz DIS Veteran

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    Sorry one more question. :confused3:confused3:confused3

    We are staying 16 days so from what everyone is saying it should be much cheaper through an AP. Is that an AP for each person or just one to get the discounts and get standard park hopper passes for the rest of the family?
     
  20. ColinA

    ColinA DIS Veteran

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    If you want to go to Disney parks for more than 10 days I would get the AP for every person in your family.

    If you only want to spend a total of 10 days in the Disney parks I would suggest an AP for one person and the rest of your group a 10 day park hopper. With one person having the AP you get the 10% merchandise discount and if you are going to the dining you can then buy the TIW card. The TIW covers up to 10 on dining.
     
  21. battymum

    battymum DIS Veteran

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    If free dining is offered during your stay, would you still be eligible as I think you need to be on a magic your way package?
     

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