How to make it work best, Multiple trips in next couple months and buy park tickets or AP, now or later

Gotta love my DW. She just called me at work and says she wants to go to WDW for 3-4 days in the last week of June. I have the week off from work, was already planning on just quiet staycation at home. She said I’m always working hard and I’m happiest when we’re at WDW, so this is my Father’s Day present.

We also have a full week WDW vacation already booked in the last week of September, staying at CSR in a new tower room with 7-day tickets.

We live in Atlanta, so we can get in our car after breakfast, drive to WDW with time to spare for a 6 PM ADR.

We typically go once per year, but I was toying with the idea of upgrading to AP when we are there in September. Now with two trips in a little over three months, getting AP makes a lot more sense.

How do I do this? If I am going in two weeks, I would like to get FP reservations ASAP. Do I buy tickets online today and upgrade to the AP while at the park? If I buy AP on-line today, when can I make FP reservations now? Do I have to activate AP at the Customer Service at the Parks?

What about the tickets with the September reservation, change it to a room only reservation?

Can I sneak in a last-minute on-site reservation using an AP discount? I found a good deal at a nice off-site hotel (thanks Marriott rewards program), so getting a room is covered but I would prefer on-site.

I understand ticketing but really don’t know much about how AP really works.

Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated.

If you buy your APs online now, you will be able to link them immediately to anyone in your MDE profile. You can then make FPs. You should also be able to see AP rates.

You will then go to Guest Services when you get to the parks. They will give you your discount card and activate your AP. It will expire one year from then.

I take it that once you buy your AP you link it to MDE. Will this then include it on our magic bands or do we need to go to customer service at resort to activate and get this done? I don’t imagine you would have to carry the AP card around with you while in the parks but rather use the Magic Bands just like you would if you had bought tickets and added them to MDE?

You do have to activate your Annual Passes once you start to use them, at guest services. Then you can use your magic band or annual pass card as a ticket to enter the park.

You DO need to carry your AP card with you for merchandise discounts. They do not look it up via your magic band or automatically apply discounts. Be prepared to present ID with your AP cards, not every shop will require the ID, but most of them are trained to make sure the names match.


Once you buy the AP online, you can use it to make room reservations with an AP discount. For June there’s a passholder discount of up to 40% off depending on resort - looks like there’s still quite a few options available!

As others have said you will need to activate and get your AP discount card although once you buy the AP and link it to your profile your account will show you have an AP Certificate. This allows you to see the special rates and usually apply the AP discount if you are buying special event tickets or merchandise through Disney.