First Stay at DVC....Best Pass??


Earning My Ears
Mar 21, 2001
This is our first stay at our home at OKW in October. What is the best pass to purchase? We are five with kids aged 8, 6, 4.

We are arriving October 14th..Sunday and leaving October 21st.

Tentative itinerary...

Sun>undecided...arrival time unknown
Mon>breakfast at CP then MK
Tue> TL
FRI> AK a.m.
SAT> relax by pool, pirate cruise

Any comments on intinerary or best pass to get??

Thank you in advance!
If you are planning to visit WDW again with a year, I would suggest getting Annual Passes. As DVC members, we make multiple trips and have found the Annual Passes to be the best value for unlimited park trips. We love being able to come and go as we please without worrying about using up a day on a hopper ticket. :D
Your annual passes are good for one calendar year from the date they are PROCESSED. We bought ours last year in around (I think) July. We took the vouchers down with us in September and had them processed our first evening there. They will not expire until September of this year.

Last September we stayed for 9 nights. This May we are staying for another 9 (got confused and posted 12 earlier!) So we will get 18 days off our passes. I believe that an annual pass is the equivalent of an 8 day hopper--if there was such a thing. So if you plan on being there more than 8 or 9 days in a one year period, it's a GREAT bargain!!

We plan to get new AP's in December for our 12 day trip, and then will use them in May of 2002 for another 12-14 day trip. That's a deal!!

Besides, maybe you just want to go to a park for a short while...maybe only for a meal, or possibly a show like Fantasmic. You won't be using up an entire day on a hopper pass if you've got an AP!

Hope this helps!

ohiominnie :p
A new annual pass is good from the first day of activation. In other words, if you buy your AP at the Disney Store, it will not be activated until you take your voucher to Guest Services at one of the parks. A renewal is good for a year from the date of expiration of the previous pass.
Can you get them processed at Guest Services at the parks?

I thought we *had* to take ours to TTC, but that may not have been a requirement, it may have been just because TTC was convenient for us to get to that day.

Of course, I just go along with DH...if he says we have to go to TTC for pass processing, then that's where we go. HE'S the Disney expert in the family! :) I'm lucky, I just get to go along for the fun! ;)

ohiominnie :p
You can exchange your voucher for an Annual Pass at any of the Guest Services windows at any of the parks.
There is a discount if you automatically renew instead of letting your AP expire and then getting a new one. Don't quote me on the exact figure, but it is a small discount, somewhere in the $15-$25 range. We have yet to have to renew as we just got our first passes last September. But we plan to go in December and May each year, so when we renew it will still cover two trips.

Guess you could call it our AP use year! :)

Hope this helps,
ohiominnie :p
Actually, the renewal discount is bigger than that now. Here's the current info from the DIS ticket price page:
Annual Pass (New) $369.94 $314.82 $354.04 $301.04
Annual Pass (Renewal) $327.54 $278.78 $316.94 $269.24
Premium Annual (New) $497.14 $422.94 $475.94 $404.92
Premium Annual (Renewal) $444.14 $377.36 $428.24 $363.58
first price is adult, 2nd is child, 3rd is adult with Disney Club discount, 4th is child w/DC discount.
As DVCers we had planned on taking two trips within twelve months.... Oct 28 to Nov 4 was the original trip, 8 days on that trip. Rather than returning in September 2001 we returned in March 2001 because airfare credit for family of 6 expired in May (spring break was our best option). March 3 to March 10, 8 days again. We then found out family was arriving on the 10th so we extended our trip two more days. As of the end of spring break we had 18 days on our AP's. Well, we added points on in January and the came with 24 points that needed to be used by Feb. 2002. DH and I decided to go on a Adult trip in Septmeber for 5 days.

The grand total for our passes will be 23 days....
Annual Passes are definitely the way to go is making multiple trips in a 1 year span of time. We went in December and bought AP's. We used them for that trip, our trip the first week of this June and the trip we will be taking in November.

Just a note. Check with your local Disney store because our store could not get us annual passes for some reason.

Originally posted by David&Danielle

Tentative itinerary...

Sun>undecided...arrival time unknown
Mon>breakfast at CP then MK
Tue> TL
FRI> AK a.m.
SAT> relax by pool, pirate cruise

Any comments on intinerary or best pass to get??

I'm a really huge fan of the AP (get them myself) but I'm not entirely sure that an AP is right for you. First of all, you are only planning to spend 4 days in the major parks and one day at a water park. Realize that the prices quoted for AP's do not include water parks, just the 4 major parks so if you intend to go to typhoon lagoon you will have to add a one day admission (about $30 for an adult) to your estimated cost of tickets.

Parkhopper plus tickets are also an option and the days never expire (like an AP expires at the end of the year) and they include admission to the "minor" parks. The prices are as follows (and include tax):

5 day (2 plus options) adult $261.84 ; child $208.83
6 day (3 plus options) adult $293.64 ; child $235.34
7 day (4 plus options) adult $325.44 ; child $261.84

Regular annual passes are:
adult $369.94 ; child $314.82

Premiums (including the minor parks):
adult $497.14 ; child $422.96

Annual passes are a bit like length of stay passes in that their relative value increases the more you use them. We always get annual passes because we go 3-4 times a year and for all of the days we spend in the park, even with the premiums it averages about $20/day.

Friends of ours recently traveled with us and I convinced them to get parkhoppers instead of length of stay passes (mainly because they were spending the first two nights offsite). They had planned on going to the parks every day but actually we ended up spending quite a bit of time at the pools and doing things other than the parks. At the end they were REALLY glad they had gotten parkhoppers because they still have 2 days left on their passes that never expire.

I think with the number of days you plan to spend in the parks and the fact that you would like to go to water parks that even if you are able to plan your next trip one week sooner, the AP is probably only marginally worth it for you and it puts constraints on when you can travel next year because otherwise you will have wasted money.

I'm not saying the AP won't be worth it for you... I'm just trying to give you the rest of the information on tickets and share some personal experiences. I don't know how you vacation but even when friends have visited with us, they almost always overestimate the number of days they will spend in the parks and end up with days left on the parkhoppers. The good thing is that they never expire.

But yes, if you are intending to spend more than around 8 days at the major parks in a one year period the AP is definately worth it (beware of having AP's burning a hole in your pocket combined with last minute deals on airfares though!

Lisa :bounce:
I am a BIG believer in the AP!;) We took three trips in the past calander year and had 29 use days on our APs. Most years we try to plan 2 trips in 12 months so we get at least 16 days, but anything over 8 is cheaper. As was stated earlier in this thread, you are more relaxed with the aps because you aren't "wasting" a day if you only want to go into the park for dinner or one event on a evening. The APs used to work better because you got a $30 discount when you renewed within 30 days of expiration. They would not reactivate until your first visit. Now they reactivate from the date of expiration, so it is no longer feasible to renew. Just buying a new one with the Disney Club discount is still a deal though. We are planning two 10 day trips next year, but we already have our AP vouchers purchased so we aren't hit by the price increase before our January trip.;)
While the annual pass can be a great buy, I would also agree that the type of trip you have outlined does not necessarily fit the pattern of getting the best use out of an annual pass.
Our first trip as member was in December and I too bought an AP. Actually my DH is a very part time CM and gets in free. We will be visiting again within the year so it made much more sense. We will be visiting a total of 20 days between both trips. Prior to becoming DVC members, we usually purchased LOS passes but I learned that for us the hopper passes made much more sense. The trip before we bought DVC we did the hopper passes and still have a couple of days left on those, which don't expire. With the LOS passes, we always had a day or two that we didn't go to the parks and as you know they expire, where the hopper passes don't.
We're big fans of LOS passes. We've taken 3 trips to WDW (before joining DVC), stayed at the BC, and had a separate reservation for the last night so that it did not include the LOS pass (we left at 10 AM the last day).

I've heard you could also just eliminate the first and/or last day of LOS passes for your reservation. We like having access to the parks immediately on arrival (we arrive fairly early in the day), and go to the parks everyday, particularly EPCOT, since we all LOVE EPCOT and we're right there...we love to go there at least for a daily stroll.

We also do DisneyQuest, and Blizzard Beach a couple of times.

We go once a year, during a particularly week...the week after Thanksgiving...and stay for 7 days, and intend to continue doing this, so we would not get the value from an AP. However, as time goes on, our habits could change...we may go during a different time of year, make more trips per year, or spend less time doing the parks on a daily basis, and more time exploring other attractions around Orlando, so we might consider other passes.


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