I know, there's been a slew of these lately, and I really am sorry if this question is a bit redundant, the last thread that addressed this that wasn't "upgrade-focused" was 3 years ago and I'm not sure if the rules have changed since then, so hoping for updated (or confirming) information. And Disney's site leaves a lot to be desired in the explanation of it all.
Anyway, I've crunched some hypothetical numbers and I am thinking an annual pass could be a smart move on my part for my trip next year. Right now, I'm only looking to get 1 Annual Pass as any more than that I think would be wasted. (at least I think so). However, a few things need to be worked out before I can fully commit.
I read @JJT's awesome threads and it seems to indicate that if you plan to upgrade tickets to AP, you have to physically get to a park, activate your tickets, and then go stand in a line at a customer relations booth to upgrade to AP. Additionally, any room discount that could be offered to you by being an AP holder will not be available because your pass would not have been active until that first day at the park physically (and you would have already paid in full for the hotel). Am I correct in this?
If so, I'm not looking to upgrade tickets and instead buy outright and early as I'm hoping to take advantage of room discounts that maybe offered as we get closer to the trip. Now is THAT possible without being physically at the parks first? Or do you have to actually visit the parks and activate the pass before that benefit can kick in (so in a sense, you get a room discount on your 2nd trip)?
Additionally, when it comes to FPP, what happens if one is renting DVC points and buys the AP early? Are you restricted to not be able to choose your FPPs until, again, you are physically in the park for that first day?