Annual Pass, TiW etc. for larger group

I have been tasked with planning a trip for 11-12 people in 2021 (likely January or February). It seems like an annual pass and tables in wonderland would result in some pretty good savings with a group this size. We are going for 6 nights during a time when APs seem to have good hotel deals (i.e. 25-45% off the last two years from what I’ve read online). We will require at least 3 (likely 4) rooms. AP costs about $1100-1200 depending on which pass we choose. A 6 day park ticket for one person would cost about half the AP cost, which would be saved if we purchased the AP. Adding the likely hotel discounts (even for a single room) and the food discounts (especially with TiW) it seems like a big savings.
Obvious downsides appear to be the upfront cost and that the AP has to pay for all of the meals (can’t split the bill by family). I’m not overly concerned as I trust the people we are travelling with to pay us back.

I am just starting my research so if you have any good sources for this sort of info I’d be happy to receive it.

I have a few questions:

I’ve read conflicting information about the number of rooms one AP holder can book. Is it two or three? Or more? Even if we needed to purchase two APs it might still save money, but if we can get away with a single one we would do that. Are the AP discounts on rooms normally available for all levels of hotels (i.e. value, moderate, deluxe) and room types (i.e. studio, 1 bedroom, villas)? Or are there normally restrictions like other discount offers.

It seems many (if not all or most) restaurants will limit APs to up to 4 people for the discount (up to 10 with TiW). It seems I can add a spouse to the TiW to get up to 20 people on the discount of 20% for only about $50. I assume I’m going to have to split the group in 2 or 3 groups to get the hard to find ADRs. Is this going to be an issue for AP and TiW discounts?

I’ve also read that you can add the dining plan to an AP discounted room. I’m trying to figure out why that would make sense. If you have access to the 20% discount on food why would the dining plan be a good option? For convenience alone? It seems unlikely to save money.

I originally planned to rent DVC and cook more food than always buy food, but the AP/TiW combo seems like a better option.

While some things are in common with us, I can’t say definitely. Our family of 10 went this past Aug/Sep for 10 days. My wife purchased a AP and TiW. We did not stay on site, so we saved $250 in parking. We used valet 3x for saving $99. Then all the the souvenirs were discounted. What was even better was that I paid 2018 rates for tickets and AP (got them before Oct price increase). We saved money - however watch out - just because you get a discount doesn’t mean you (actually I) should buy everything in sight…lol.

Unless it has changed, you can buy your AP today at today’s prices. Then when you go to WDW, you activate it then. So it somewhat protects you from price increases. Please double check that but that is how it worked for us.

Hope it all goes well!

But you save more money that way! :wink:

Yes. I bought my AP for next year several months before they increased the price of the AP. Glad I did…saved me quite a bundle.

Like a mantra, I keep telling myself that. I am happy with how it turned out. I enjoy my shirts, stuffs, the dresses for my wife, tiki mugs, etc.

Thanks. That is helpful. We have a trip in January 2020 and planned this larger one for later in January or early February of 2021. I might see about moving the second up and getting an AP to cover both trips. I have to crunch the numbers and talk to the rest of the group.