Yes! Another post on annual passes, bear with me!

Discussion in 'Theme Parks Attractions and Strategies' started by DisneyJillian18, Aug 7, 2013.

  1. DisneyJillian18

    DisneyJillian18 Mouseketeer

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    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:confused3!

    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! :thumbsup2
     
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  3. Capo

    Capo Mouseketeer

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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.
     
  4. Kona65

    Kona65 Taking it slow and easy!

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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.
     
  5. disfan4life1

    disfan4life1 Mouseketeer

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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.
     
  6. bumbershoot

    bumbershoot DIS Veteran

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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.
     
  7. Dan Murphy

    Dan Murphy We are family.

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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.
     
  8. DisneyJillian18

    DisneyJillian18 Mouseketeer

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    I can defiantly see your point, will have to work on this! Thanks!
     
  9. DisneyJillian18

    DisneyJillian18 Mouseketeer

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    Did you find the weekend trips to be hard? We did a weekend trip last year, but we flew, so not really comparable!
     
  10. DisneyJillian18

    DisneyJillian18 Mouseketeer

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    Thank you!
     
  11. DisneyJillian18

    DisneyJillian18 Mouseketeer

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    Thank you! I will look into it, I'm sure we spend more that $500 per trip in food!
     
  12. Pixie Princess

    Pixie Princess DIS Veteran

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    Hope this helps

     
  13. DisneyJillian18

    DisneyJillian18 Mouseketeer

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    Very helpful! Thank you so much! :grouphug:
     
  14. omurice

    omurice Mouseketeer

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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!
     
  15. DisneyJillian18

    DisneyJillian18 Mouseketeer

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    Thank you! It defiantly did! We looked into TiW and I'm sure we would get our money back, and save some! :thumbsup2
     
  16. kakiegirl

    kakiegirl DIS Veteran

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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.
     
  17. disfan4life1

    disfan4life1 Mouseketeer

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    We usually have at least 2 drivers. So we an take turns sleeping during the drive. We will leave after school on Thursday. Get to bed around 3 am on Friday. Sleep a few more hours. Spend Friday and Saturday in the parks. Get up Sunday morning around 7ish to head home. Usually home by around 4-5ish. Again take turns sleeping on way home. The weekends are always such an adrenaline rush for us. We love seeing how much we can get done in those 2 days.
     
  18. wfjny

    wfjny Mouseketeer

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    We have had APs for a few years now. Here is my story:

    When we lived in NY, we did the AP if we were doing two or more trips in a year. I should mention, we have a DVC, so our prices is a little lower than the price to the general public. Not uncommon from us to schedule this year's week long vacation in August, and next years in June.

    Two years ago, we moved to North Carolina (an 8 hour drive to WDW). For a long weekend (at least 3 day) trip, we will leave after work/school, drive about 6 hours (Jacksonville area), and stop. The next morning, we will leave and be at the parks by RD. On the last day, we leave the parks after lunch, get home by about 9PM.

    I have never used the AP to get a hotel. Again, we have DVC, but for our weekend trips, we normally just stay at the Hampton Inn or Homewood Suites in Lake Buena Vista. Again, AP includes free parking, and since we are driving, we have our car. If you do it right, even a last minute weekend trip can be surprisingly affordable if you already have an AP.

    AP also gives you the merchandise discount. Sadly, they changed the premium annual pass to only now have a 10% discount (it was 20% when we first bought it). However, add in TIW, and you can realize quite a bit of savings...

    Lastly, yes, it is only a mindset, but with the APs, I don't think about a plan as much. I am ok just spending a few hours in a park. Once we changed plans at the last minute, and skipped the parks to head home on the last day due to the "Sunday Surprise" homework that nobody had mentioned until the "Dad, what time will we get home tomorrow night?" question. We have also planned a trip in just a couple of days.

    We have not done a literal weekend only trip, but with family and friends still in NY, I could very easily see someone telling us they will be in Disney one weekend, and my wife asking if we could basically "go for the day Saturday". I know it will happen at some point.
     
  19. wfjny

    wfjny Mouseketeer

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    To be clear, I think it is changing, but the last time we bought a TIW card, it was good for 13+ months.

    In other words, I showed up on October 31st 2011, and wanted to buy a TIW card. The cm asked me if I was going to use it today. I said no. they then informed me that a card bought on Oct 31st would be good until the end of the next 13 months, or in other words, Nov 30, 2012. However, if I bought it the next day (Nov 1st) it would be good until Dec 31, 2012.

    The bigger point being, it is not break even at $500 per trip, it is break even at $500 per year (or really per 13+ months).

    It is only for sit down meals (not quick service), but when we went with my sister and family, we could easily spend $300 or more on the 10 of us at one dinner. I am sure if you drink, with a group you could easily pay for itself in one meal.

    Lastly, some of the restaurants at DTD take the card as well. Since the TIW card does not necessarily expire when your AP does, you could be in a situation where you have no active Disney Park Tickets (say a separate Universal only trip after your APs expired), and still be able to use the TIW card.
     
  20. DisneyJillian18

    DisneyJillian18 Mouseketeer

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    Thank you! This helps!
     
  21. DisneyJillian18

    DisneyJillian18 Mouseketeer

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    This seems really do-able! Thanks!
     

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