Should I get an AP


#1

I am going for 6 days with park hopper in September. I am also getting the memory maker.
I think that if I go for almost any amount of time again in the next 12 months I will be saving money.
I always get memory maker, I usually do character meals (when I am with my bf we do a sit down every day) and I do tend to buy a lot of souvenirs.
I asked my boyfriend and he thinks that is is very likely we will go again in the next year. I am just not 100% sure.
Thoughts?
Also, I am pretty sure I read that I can roll over what I purchased for tickets for this trip into the cost of the AP, but if not how close to the trip can I do it?


#2

When you have an AP, you WILL visit again during the next year, at least once maybe more. There will be room discounts, airfare sales, and long weekends. Your AP will be whispering, “ use me, use me, admission is practically free”.

For your upcoming trip don’t buy MM. Book your package with an AP, or upgrade to an AP on day one, that will get you MM.


#3

Howdy, I have a Google spreadsheet where you can enter your costs and trip info and it will give you an idea of whether it might be worth upgrading to AP.

See this post for the link and some screen shots: Cheat Sheet: Worth it to Upgrade to AP?

You can of course use your tickets to upgrade, but there are some things to know:

  • There has to be at least 1 UNUSED park day on your tickets when you try to upgrade.
  • If you got discounted tickets with an MVT package and they are convention tickets, they are still upgradeable but at full price (as if you just bought the tix from Disney.)
  • If you purchased through a discount reseller, if you use the tickets to enter a park at least once they should bridge the ticket value to the Disney gate price - so you get to keep the reseller discount. (But, it is not consistently handled by CMs so might take a few tries at GS to get it done.)

If you do plan to upgrade you should probably do it at the beginning of your trip since you can then use AP discounts for merch and food etc.

If upgrading both of you doesn’t work out in savings, it still can be worth upgrading just one of you to AP - the food & merch savings (or parking if off site.)

If you are people that always buy MM, the value of that included in the AP really makes the AP worth it fairly quickly - e.g. just plugging in two (3) day base tickets and selecting MM in my sheet already makes 1 person getting an AP ahead by about $100 - and that doesn’t include food/merch discounts.

If you’d like to just jump to my spreadsheet, I left some sample numbers in it - hope it helps!


#4

hmm

This could be what I am afraid of LOL


#5

That you so much! This is very helpful.
I went through a TA - but not anything discounted. Since I always get MM, it does seem like the cost of that would pretty much make it worth it.


#6

Oh, you should be afraid of this. I use this all the time to justify trips.
But so worth it.


#7

A couple of follow up questions :slight_smile: if you happen to know
To upgrade I will have to go to Guest relations in the park - I can’t do it at the hotel?
Also if I cancel MM, do I have to upgrade to the AP before I get any pictures taken?
I just want to know if I have to actually go do it first thing when I get there, or if I can do it a little later in the day or on my way out of the park


#8

No, fraid not. Guest relations is it. There’s one in each park or at Disney Springs, but nothing at the hotels.

You can have pictures taken before you upgrade. They will become “unlocked” after you activate your pass.

To activate/upgrade you to an AP takes a really short amount of time. I would do it as soon as you arrive if the line isn’t long at Guest Relations (which is possible depending on what time of day you get there)


#9

thank you so much - I am actually taking my first day slow - ish and not doing RD - only day I am not LOL, Going to go to EP and wander a bit see some of F&W before going to AK in the late afternoon. So that actually would work out ok from a timing standpoint


#10

I’m trying to play around in the spreadsheet, but its assuming that I want to buy an AP for each person in my party of 4; I’d actually only buy one, and likely in advance, so I could be sure to get any hotel discounts when we check in. What’s the best way to account for this?


#11

(LATER EDIT: My info in this post is off - see later replies for better info!)

To just have the sheet calculate for the one person, just enter 1 adult and 0 children at the top left.

You can enter the total food for everyone and other costs since your 1 AP could get the discount for all of that.

If you are not going to bridge tickets to get the AP and are just going to buy it outright, you can just enter the AP cost in the ticket override column in the main table.

Think that should get you where you want to be.


#12

Just wanted to follow up quickly: I realized there is an error in my logic on that last advice I gave you for putting the straight from Disney AP cost in the override. I am working on fixing that right now… will post again when I have it done!


#13

All righty, so long story not so short, I realized that if you used my previous advice from last night a couple of formulas would not take into account the amount paid vs savings correctly.

After trying to fix them, my formula logic got complicated and I ran out of coffee. So I decided to just simplify:

There is now a box at the top marked “Buying Full Price AP Straight From Disney?” that you can set to “YES” and it will ignore any ticket bridging savings.

I should have thought of that earlier methinks, but didn’t have anyone mention that scenario and my brain didn’t thunk it. (Probably similar to my weird awareness thing that if something isn’t sitting in the usual place in our refrigerator or cupboard, my brain doesn’t see it. :smiley:)

Also, when fixing all of that, I also noticed an issue in how the sheet used the amounts in the ticket override boxes. I added those override boxes a little while back so people could enter actual prices they paid rather than have the sheet find the current highest discounted tickets.

Until today, if one used those override boxes the sheet didn’t look up the bridging savings properly and just used the maximum savings listed at the top of the sheet.

However, the sheet WAS using the total price paid correctly, so the difference in accuracy was likely only a small amount : the difference between the maximum savings at top and the actual savings if you entered an override ticket price. (Probably in the neighborhood of $20-$40 at most I’d guess.)

Below is a summary screen shot of this info which may make it more clearer.
I’m also going to add this all to my Worth It? forum thread for posterity.


#14

I was going to toy around with it, but it is so complicated, I couldn’t figure out how to use it. I just wanted to do a comparison, for example, of buying tickets through UT versus buying an AP for a single trip. But the spreadsheet apparently forces you to pick a second trip. Also couldn’t tell where you put the price you’d pay for the tickets without the AP. Not sure what “Hotel” means, or why it factors into the AP.

I’m not saying it isn’t a good spreadsheet that I can see you put a LOT of time into, but it isn’t intuitive to me. That’s not a complaint, though. Just an observation. I have a budgeting spreadsheet I created, for example, that makes perfect sense to me, but if anyone else tried to use it, they would be completely lost! :slight_smile:

Ultimately, it probably doesn’t matter in my case. But I find it a cool tool (in theory) and think it is worth refining and making available as you have done. For that, I’m expressing extreme gratitude. I appreciate those who are willing to share something to help others with no direct benefit to themselves. Kudos!


#15

This is super helpful! I applaud your masterful use of excel. Thank you so much! For us, with ballparking food amounts and buying in advance, it is worth the upgrade with as little as a 10% hotel discount, but not worth it if there is no hotel discount. I wish I knew if there would be a discount, or if we could get a discount if we had the AP at check out as opposed to check in. The trip isn’t even for a year of half! I may be thinking about this a little too far in advance. :grin:


#16

I hear you - it is hard to create an interface that both covers all the bases and is easy.
When I keep it simple, people ask how they can do something more complicated.
When I add the extra feature to help those people, those who want it simple can get confused.
Just the way of tech.

The sheet doesn’t force you to pick a 2nd trip, just leave trip lines 2 through 4 blank.
Of course, it is much harder to make an AP worth it with a single trip. Even if you plan to buy 10 day PH+ tix, get MM and spend $1700 on food and merch, you still may not break even.

Hotel is there in case people wanted to include an AP discount price in their savings. You can see in my notes at right in the sheet I don’t think that one is very valuable, since often people can get similar hotel discounts without AP. But I keep it there for the odd time the AP hotel discount saves you more money. Normally, I’d just leave hotel costs blank unless there’s some crazy AP deal you are using.

As way of background: This sheet was originally designed using the core my other sheet that finds the tickets with the best discount at any given time if you know you intend to bridge to AP.

So, this one looks for those cheapest tix as well by default (the prices you see that pop up when you enter trip days and ticket type.) You can enter different ticket prices in the override column if you paid something different already and it will use those.


#17

You may notice in my notes in the sheet that I don’t think the AP hotel discounts always have that much value - if you can get better prices through regular sales, or Magical Vacation Travel rates etc, then the AP hotel discount doesn’t really add value.

I just keep it in there in case at some point an AP discount on hotel beats all of the others for a particular trip. But I usually don’t enter anything in that column myself.


#18

This is kind of like our AAA membership. Almost every hotel offers a AAA membership discount. But if you reserve a room on-line, there are other discounts offered to everyone that are generally the same, or even better, than the AAA membership discount…which of course makes the AAA membership discount rather pointless! :slight_smile:


#19

I wanted to screen shot a few things to help with this part of you post: See in this first image I have entered 1 adult, “No” to the new field “Buying straight from Disney”, selected MM and entered 8 day PH tickets, and sample expenses for food and merch.

Below what I captured here, the sheet tells you to buy 10 day PH+ from UT to get the biggest savings when bridging.
02

Estimated for this single trip with these settings: you would be down $22 if you upgrade to AP. Still, pretty darn close to being worth it.

If you use all of those same settings, but change the “Buying AP Straight From Disney?” to YES, you can see buying the AP vs using discounted UT tickets now has you down $99. (The change is the $77 you saved bridging the tickets to AP in the first screen shot.) Hope that scenario helps a little.


#20

Okay. So what you’re saying is that IF you were going to upgrade to the AP, it makes better financial sense to first buy the tickets from UT and then upgrade them, versus just buying the AP outright and forego buying tickets through UT. (Although, it also shows that in this case, it really doesn’t make sense to buy AP tickets at all instead of UT tickets.)

It is amazing how different it is. For example, at Six Flags, if you plan to go to the park 2 days or more, it makes financial sense to buy their premium annual pass. At Disney, you have to go like 12 days before it pays off! :slight_smile: