We are taking a trip in 7 day July with two adults and again for 10+ days with the family next May/June. We definitely want to purchase the annual pass soon so that we can book FP (staying off-site this trip), but I wasn’t sure of the best way of doing this to save the most money on the purchase for the AP. We usually use Disney gift cards and cash back points from credit cards for our once-a-year trips, but now I’m not sure of the best option since we will be purchasing an AP. Any suggestions for saving the most amount of money?
Is that the only reason? Because with an AP, you don’t get to book FPs any earlier than anyone else. ETA: And, I believe there is actually a limit in number of days you can book FPs per month (like 7). So getting an AP might not be helpful at all.
We are wanting to purchase the AP since we will be taking two trips within the year. But wanting to purchasing them soon so that we are able to book FPs at 30 days before our trip in July.
Okay. As long as you are aware you will only be able to schedule FPs at 30 days out for 7 of the days of your trip!
Yes this ^^^^^^
And, even if you have an onsite stay, if you plan any offsite days within a month either side of it, you will not be able to book FPs for all your days.
It is one of the common complaints about APs.
I think the only way to save on an Annual Pass purchase is to buy whatever tickets you’d need for your first trip from a discount vendor. Use the ticket on day one and then go to guest services and have them bridge the tickets to an Annual Pass (and really you only need to do this before your last day so you have a usable ticket still, but earlier lets you start using the AP discount). That should preserve your discount from buying the original tickets. It’s less clear to me with the variable pricing on tickets now how much you can save, but I think you still can save.
The only way to buy an AP now is direct from Disney so if you decide to do that and just buy the AP immediately I don’t think you will save anything.
FWIW, if you have on property reservations you can book beyond the 7 days for FPs with an Annual Pass. So that may be a consideration for your 10 day trip next year.
If you “bridge” the ticket you can use gift cards that you purchased for a discount, like at Sam’s Club, to save a few more dollars to upgrade. I did that 2 years ago. Between the bridge trick and the gift card savings I think I probably saved about $80, but, it was under the old we-don’t-care-what-day-you show-up system. You can use Disney Visa reward dollars too, but only truly saves you money if you pay off the balance every month.