Yes you can upgrade your package tickets to an AP. Make sure you use them at a major park's gate at least once before you do the upgrade, and if they don't mention price bridging ask about it. Disney recently announced they'll no longer be bridging prices from third party authorized sellers, but they should still do it for their own tickets. Also, make sure the full gate value of your ticket is less than the AP you intend to buy.I've already booked the discounted room rate using my DV for this fall. I did not inquire about free dining because we will be part time Florida residents starting this summer. I was planning on purchasing Florida season passes. My friend told me that I could add our tickets onto our reservation so we could qualify for free dining. Then upgrade to season passes when we get there and just pay the difference. Is this true? If so, do I have to pay the full balance or can I do the payment plan for the season passes?
Since you mentioned you'll be a part-time resident, I'll remind you that for Florida resident tickets or APs you need to have a Florida state ID or drivers license (or a military ID and evidence you are stationed at a Florida base) when you do the upgrade. If your ID is from your other state, no Florida resident pricing.