Annual Pass Upgrade(to Premier)/Military Salute/9-10 day tickets/Universal?

My family (DH and DS20) are current Signature Passport holders at DL. Our renewal date is September 15th.

In September 2017 we’re going to WDW. We’re taking the red eye in, so we’re going to arrive at 6:30am on the day we check in. We did the same flight last time and it worked well for us. We took the the day to get acclimated/oriented/settle in. We had Military Salute tickets and we did 4 full days, one day each park. The 5th day was check out day and it was low key as well. I’m not sure if we would’ve went back to any parks if we could’ve…but maybe.

So here is my quandary…our trip is MUCH longer this time - by double. We have the red eye in and lets call that day A, we have 9 full days in the park, then our departure day that we will call day B.

If we do strictly Disney - we would need tickets for a MINIMUM of 9 days. So - for the 3 of us…9 day hoppers $1351.71.

We are butting up ($87.92) against the cost of a Premier Pass right there! It would make our next year at DL essentially FREE. We would downgrade the pass the next time renewal came about.

HOWEVER - we’re a military family, so we could purchase the military salute tickets, $209-4 day park hopper and $224-5 day park hopper. $433 for 9 days. Add that to the cost of the current annual pass we have ($849) and we’re at $1282.00 (ish - taxes and what not)

That’s $157 per person less than the Premier Pass.

Things get sketchier still if we decide to visit Universal. We said, “Next time we’ll do it.” Well it’s next time. So fewer days at Disney pulls the numbers further apart. Say 2 days at universal, now the difference is ($1317 - 7 day park hoppers, or $418 - since we’d have to buy 2x 4-day Military Salute tickets.)

Oh, well I guess I should’ve done the math, it’s only $175 per person less than the Premier Pass.

Did I just talk myself into Premier Passes?

Not quite yet - That $175 per person is still bugging me. That comes out to $525 for the 3 of us. That’s a fair chunk of change. Is there something I’m missing? Something that would offset that?


Isn’t the premier pass $1439 per PERSON plus tax? Whereas the 9 day park hoppers are for all three of you together? So you’re really comparing $1351 to $4317. Or, less the cost of the annual pass you currently purchase (3X849), $4317-$2547=$1770

So really the difference you’re talking about between the premier pass and the 9 day park hoppers and your regular DL annual is $1770-1351=$419 or about $140 per person less than the Premier pass.

So it would cost you $140 per person more to buy a premier pass. And you’d get no blackout dates at WDW or DLR.

I think I got the 9 day hopper price from touring plans ticket thing. I guess I was going apples to oranges to kiwi. So straight up, no tax involved.

BUT WHOA!!! How did I miss that the 9 day hopper price was for all 3 of us? I was thinking the $1351.71 was PER PERSON - and thinking that, I was like - right there Premier Pass done and done. But then, when compared to Military Salute tickets, the field was much narrower. To get 9 days through the salute we were looking at $433 - which is still less than the per person price of 9 day hoppers. Not by much, but still, less.

I am so used to Disneyland prices where a 5 day park hopper is $335 so it didn’t really seem out of line to me that it was 1K plus for one individual. Lets go whole parts to whole parts. I just want to wrap my head around this.

We pay 849 pp now for our annual passes. 9 day hoppers are 459 pp. Added together that gets us to $1308 per person (taxes not included). The premier pass is $1439 leaving me a difference of $131 to make up for.

We’d use the salute tickets though because they are still cheaper than the 9 day hoppers. We could do two 10 day tickets, but lets keep it apples to apples here. The 4 day plus the 5 day for 9 days is $433 leaving me a difference of $157 to make up for $471 for all 3.

I am far more comfortable with $471 than I am $525 - I know it’s only $50, but still it’s a more comfortable number for me. And the Premier Pass would allow us to get into the park the day we arrive AND the day we leave. The cost for that privilege with other tickets I think would for sure tip in favor of the Premier Pass, but I don’t want to include that as a factor since it is not something we would do without the pass. Like I wouldn’t pay extra for it. Not sure if that makes sense.

Someone check me. Is my math correct - how can I get that $157 value out of the Premier Pass. I mean $471 for the 3 of us. We wanted to do Victoria & Alberts this trip so that $471 looks like dinner to me. But that’s just ONE dinner. Will the value in discounts make up for it? We don’t buy much merchandise, but we do eat. BOY do we eat.

The Premier Pass would let you buy Tables in Wonderland for $150 which would save you 20% at many restaurants. Unfortunately Victoria & Albert’s isn’t one of them. And of course you’d need to drop $750 just to pay for TiW and then another $2355 to make up the $471. Doubt you can eat THAT much, but it would likely be a start in putting a dent in the difference.

750 is doable - EASY even. But don’t passholders get 15-20% off some places anyway?

AP gets you 10% - TIW gets you 20%

BUT (there always is one) there is this: Beginning now, Passholders receive 10% off food and nonalcoholic beverages at select table-service restaurants*—at theme parks and Disney Resort hotels—during all available meal periods! In celebration of our 45th anniversary, Walt Disney World Annual Passholders are also eligible for a special 20% discount off 45 select table-service and quick-service dining locations.
This runs until 9/30/17 - which includes our dates of stay.

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Looks like they just expanded the list for the 45th anniversary to 45 restaurants & 20% off. Previously it was much more limited & many were just 10%. Given that update for '17, Tables in Wonderland might be redundant now depending on where you plan to eat. Here’s a link to the 45th Anniversary list:

The good news, if you plan to eat at those places you can put that 20% off straight to your savings for that $471 and not have to worry about covering TiW. Do note, you should only need to upgrade 1 person to the Platinum pass to get the 20% off dining - so even if you can’t get the math to work for all of you, it still may make sense to do 1 upgrade for the discounts…

Oh & the Annual Pass gets you a free Memory Maker so if you were planning on paying for that, you can take another $149 off - again you would likely only need to upgrade 1 to make that work…

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I was just looking at the same thing you saw re the 45th.

Upgrading one pass! That is BRILLIANT! I’ll do the math on that tonight.

Really? I didn’t know about the memory maker thing. Much to think about.

Last visit 4/5 days - I’m almost embarrassed to admit, but I think we spent $1600 on food. I’d have to look it up to be sure. So with a 10 day visit, $3200 wouldn’t be impossible, but I’d really like to be better about it this time.

At first I was thinking ~$300 a day for food was ridiculous, but a Signature restaurant is going to run around $200 for 3 adults. Add in one other decent meal and you’re easily over $300 before snacks etc. If you’re eating very well for your 10 days, I could see hitting $3k - and since you’re talking Victoria & Albert’s you might even top that… :astonished:

We did Artist Point 2x, Jiko 1x, 50’s Prime Time, Bongos, Raglan Road, Whispering Canyon 2x, I’m sure there’s more, but yea, it adds up. So with Memory Maker, which yes, I was planning to get, I’m now looking to make up $322 - that is by far more reasonable. It is very close to each of us spending 1 extra day in DL or going on an A or B day. I’m going to up my monthly pass savings allotment to plan on the premier pass. And when it comes time to purchase tickets, I’ll revisit. But I think it’s pretty much in favor of it. We visit DL nearly once a week. We’re going tomorrow as a matter of fact.

I’m stuck again!

I think I’ve pretty much decided to get the premier passes for the visit. But the issue is with the renewal date. Our passes renew the last day of our WDW visit, and the earliest we can renew is 40 days before that. Which means we couldn’t make FP+ reservations until 30 days before, not the 60 like I was planning.

Then I was thinking I could upgrade our current passes before the 60 day window so we could make FP+ reservations like I intended. But then, when the AP came for renewal do the downgrade back to our regular passes. I don’t really like this option, but I’m not completely opposed. If I’m going to pay for a premier pass I’d rather enjoy the benefits for a full year ya know.

THEN I thought I could still buy 10 day park hoppers so I could get in on the 60 day window - and could I then apply the cost of those tickets to a renewal. Or would that not work? I think that’s the biggest question there. I’ll probably have to get on the phone with WDW tomorrow, but does anyone have any experience with such things?


PS: Something to note - we had DL Military Salute tickets that DH and I upgraded to annual passes about 7 days after first use. They wouldn’t let me use the ticket to upgrade DS’s ticket to an annual passes since he wasn’t there. DH and I put our passes on the payment plan. We weren’t able to get DS to the park until yesterday (he’s at college and came home to vote). When we upgraded his ticket, they said no to the payment plan because it was more than 30 days since first use of the ticket. I get it, but it would’ve been good info to have in advance.

I’m putting this up here in case anyone needs the info. I will verify at the ticket booth on Thursday when I go to DL, but here is the conclusion a CM and I came to over the phone tonight.

I had some bad thinking in my first paragraph of my last post. Even if we renew into the Premier pass, we won’t see the benefits of it until the day after our passes expire - which also happens to be the day after we leave WDW so that thought can be completely disregarded.

What I needed to do was change my way of thinking about upgrading my current passes before they expire.

Here is the reasoning:

You can upgrade your AP at any time by paying the difference between your current pass and the new pass. We can upgrade to premier now and downgrade when it comes time for our renewal. We have signature passes - blocked out only the 19th of Dec to 1 Jan - upgrading right now only affords me the ability to go to the park on those dates - which, to be honest, I won’t go anyway because it is way too packed. All the discounts are the same so there won’t be any benefit to upgrading sooner rather than later.

So if everything is how I think it is, I’ll be upgrading my current passes early next year to the premier passes.

I had to go back to the math, and it really does make sense. Lets just say an even 10 days for tickets for the sake of comparison.

Cost difference between the Premier pass and our current passes are $469 per person.

10 day tickets that include everything because the premier pass includes everything and we’re going apples to apples here are $261 for every 5 days (Salute tickets are a max of 5 days) $522 for the 10 days and BAM the premier pass is the easy winner. Buying the same tickets but in 10 day form direct from Disney puts me at $495 per person. Premier is still the winner.

However, I don’t think we would visit the water parks - we might if it was an option, so if we don’t want to count that and just go straight up park hopper tickets, military $448 and from Disney believe it or not $469 - the exact difference of the premier passes. So even if I want to cut some costs it’s only $47 per person and we could clean that up in dining discounts easy.

So, the Premier Pass it is. I’ll probably make the switch sometime in March or April so that we can buy MNSSHP tickets when they go on sale for annual pass holders.

I’ll let you know how it goes at the ticket booth and if anyone sees anything off in my thinking please point it out to me.