AP 101 Help Please


DIS Veteran
Feb 19, 2004
I am new to these boards and am hearing about the AP rates and Visa rates and see that some people are not getting them. Do you have to call as early as 7am ? Does it happen that you can't get the pass rate for all the days you are there?Then what would you do? Are people usually successful in getting the AP rates?. Are there hotels typically that are snatched up first? Lots of questions but I sure would like some answers. Thanks in advance for answering something you probably have done many many times before.::MinnieMo


DIS Veteran
Mar 5, 2003
Hello, thumpersfriend, and welcome to the boards!

I wish I could help, but, I'd like to know these things, too. For our first trip last year, we just got plain old park hoppers.So, request 2 for the same info!

We're considering buying AP's this year. I know you don't have to have the AP in hand to get the rates, but you must show it at check in. Where do you buy an AP before you check in? I heard that you can buy an AP voucher from the Disney Store. Will the resorts take this as proof of an AP? Also, when you purchase an AP voucher, is it considered good on that date or the date that you actually activate it?

Thanks in advance for your help!:D


I want to live in the Castle
Jul 18, 2002
From what I read from the experts (I am not one!) if you are flexible with where you want to stay then getting an AP rate is easier or the Visa room only code. They only have a certain number of rooms at AP rates.

I had a friend going during the Marathon in Jan. She called the second day AP rates came out and couldn't get AKL so she moved to WL and was successful.

Some people are already saying the Visa code is gone for certain rooms at certain times.


WDW addict
Feb 16, 2004
I have been an AP holder for about 2+ years now and this is how it has worked for me in the past. My passes would expire in May, however I had a baby last May and we decided that taking a 2 week old baby may be a bit much! However we quickly got over that and decided to go in August. By then my passes expired. I called down to Walt Disney World Ticketing (407-566-4985), and ordered new passes. They sent me "Annual/Premium Exchange Certificates". These served as proof for my AP discount rate when I checked in at the hotel. I then took the certificates to the park the next day and exchanged them for the actual annual passes. Honestly, it couldn't have been any easier!

The passes anniversary date is calculated based on your date of activation (if memory serves correct!). I've been manipulating my vacations so that I actually go down twice with my annual passes just within my anniversary date expiration. That way it's like going with free passes one time!

Regarding AP rates and the hotels, I have always been able to secure a passholder discount at the hotels, not always my first pick hotel, but never more than my 2nd pick. I am never the first to call when the codes are issued! Another thing to remember, only one member of the party needs to be an annual passholder in order to get the discount. And each passholder can book up to 3 rooms (I think...). A great site to look at is www.mousesavers.com. Mary does a great job summarizing the perks related to the passes, when the discounts have historically been issued for hotels, and many other things. I would definately recommend that you take some time to check out her site!

I hope this helps!


DIS Veteran
Dec 2, 2003
Hi, AP newbies... :)
I have just been "converted" to being an AP holder after reading these boards (and a couple of other discussion boards as well).

I bought my AP online through the WDW website. I wasn't going to *count on it* for a room discount...I knew that I was going to WDW twice this year, so it was going to pay for itself just by virtue of not buying 2 4-day parkhoppers (one for each trip). You with me so far? ;)

You can also get the AP at your local Disney store, if you have one. What I got from ordering the AP online was a little card that looks like a park hopper-type ticket, but it said "voucher" on it. I did not activate it until I arrived at WDW, and even then, I actually activated it the day after I arrived (since our plane didn't land until 10:30 pm). You can just activate it at the entrance to whichever park you visit first, or at TTC (main ticket area). The AP is good for 1 year from the date of activation.

When I made the room reservations...I had first reserved at regular rates, as the AP rate had not been released. And then I watched this discussion board carefully. When someone posted that AP rates for the dates I was going, and said they were (finally) available, I called WDW and changed my existing reservation to reflect the AP rates. I didn't call at 7 am, nor was I too concerned about them running out of rooms at that rate. However, this is maybe where I differ in vacation planning from some other people on the board. I knew I'd be staying at the Poly, no matter what, and was in a position to pay rack rate if necessary. I think some people use the AP to upgrade to rooms that might otherwise strain their budget, which is great for them...I'm all for saving money, but still getting a nicer room!!

If you KNOW you will be using the AP for park entry, and that it is going to be a savings for you, even without a room discount, then you can buy it at anytime. If you are buying it strictly for the room discount idea, then I would wait until AP rates are released for when you are going. Does that make sense? See mousesavers.com for a discussion on when you "break even" by buying an AP.

I have saved a bundle with mine, by the way. Just on the first trip (5 nights at the Poly), with the savings on the room, I saved enough to cover the cost of the AP. And now I have booked another quick trip, and saved another $60/night at POR, not to mention I don't have to buy parkhoppers all year.

Hope this helps...I know it's long, but having just been through the learning process myself, I was hoping to "walk you through it" a little more.



DIS Veteran
Sep 6, 2000
I have a standard room reservation at AKL. When/if AP discounts are released,and I call to apply the discount to my existing reservation,will I get a new confirmation notice in the mail?


WDW addict
Feb 16, 2004
I call and change my reservations alot (depending on the best code available at the time, what family members have decided to go/not go, etc.) and I've always gotten a new confirmation in the mail.


Feb 1, 2004
Some of this had already been covered but here goes:

first of all, buy AP's with the idea of saving money on PARK ADMISSIONS! not on resort accomadations per se...AP's are a good deal if you're a frequest visitor to WDW, you are staying more than 9 nights on any trip, or if you plan on multiple trips within a 1 year period of time.

resort discounts for AP holders are not guaranteed to be released nor are they gauranteed to be offered for the resort you have booked.

now saying that; we have never had any problems receiving AP rates for the times we've been to WDW(with the exception of easter week 2003 when none were offered). the key is to be flexible in your choice of resort accomadations...when you call, it is hit or miss on which resorts have availability at AP rates...for instance: you may want to stay at Poly, but, the only AP rates they are offering may be at CSR...what im saying is that you will most likely be able to get an AP rate somewhere on property, but more than likely not your first choice....so, don't bye an AP and book at the Poly thinking that you will automatically get an AP rate at the Poly...If you do this, you're probably going to be disappointed...

Also, the AP's are good for one year from the date of activation. you activate the passes when you visit the first park on your trip. you will be required to show you AP's at check-in(i know many on the boards will say they've never had to show them, but, I have a feeling this will change because of all the abuse lately). The passes do NOT have to be activated before check-in.


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