Spreadsheet: Best Tix to Buy to Maximum Savings on AP Upgrade

Howdy All,

June 2019 Update: For any archaeologists finding this thread in the distant future: The maximum savings spreadsheet went the way of the dodo in the year 2018.

Disney’s introduction of tiered ticket pricing that ultimately led to the Great Mouse Wars of 2020, as a by-product also made it too labor intensive to keep the spreadsheet up to date for resellers and Disney ticket prices. I’m sure I or someone else could cobble together a more elegant solution that would continue to work, but you know, this was for fun and just trying to help the community.

You can still do this manually of course: Find the Disney ticket prices for your trip dates, then note all of the reseller prices for the same dates. Often, the longer trip-day tickets have larger discounts, but not always, but a few minutes of pencil scribbling could save you $60 - $80 when upgrading. :slight_smile:

For future readers: The UT Flash Sale tickets mentioned below reported as sold out as of the evening of 6/21.
Leaving the update below for reference on timing in case it happens again in the future!

UPDATE 6/20/17: Thanks to a heads up by @LissaKay in another thread, I’ve updated my spreadsheet to include the current Flash Sale at UT: 4 Day tix with 3 days free! Adult tix are $430.95, Kids $409.95.

If you were a family with 4 adult tix to buy, that is a $428 savings - by far the largest savings right now.
(Previously the best deal would have saved that family of 4 $273.)

Also, LissaKay let me know that Disney uses their GATE price when bridging discount tickets, as opposed to the slightly lower price you get when buying them before you are on site. That comes to $20 per ticket or $21.30 if you include tax. (This is for any number of park days.) I didn’t even know that was a thing!

So, I’ve updated the spreadsheet to include the additional $20 in the Disney ticket price table - which means your actual savings when bridging is that much more per ticket! Wahoo!


I posted this link over on the chat, but thought I’d also place it our here for posterity in case others find it useful.

I have a personal Mongo Ginormo How Much Money Can I Actually Save Working This Plan™ spreadsheet that I have frankensteined into existence using Microsoft Excel, used Mickey Bar popsicle sticks, and an almost maniacal devotion to the framed photo of Roy Disney on my desk.

(At least one of those items is not true.)

If you’d like to give it a whirl, you can Click this linky link to try out the spreadsheet on Google Sheets, no Excel needed. All you have to do is enter the number of Adult & Children tickets you need at the top of the sheet. Everything else is automagic.

What you’ll get:

  1. A list of the cheapest reseller tickets by the number of park days
    (TP’s ticket search does that for you, but this has a bit more detail in one place.)

  2. If you are hoping to upgrade to Annual Passes (and who isn’t?) it will tell you the reseller to use, type of tickets to buy to maximize your savings, and how much you should expect to pay when you bridge these tickets to Annual Passes.

  3. The intensely warm feeling of having additional funds in your pocket as THE CALLING draws you towards Orlando.

Again, this creation was for my own use, so hoping it helps others.
I cannot be held responsible for errors, omissions, subsequent limps, ticks, blurry vision, or pretty much anything else.

If you have any suggestions or see any errors, feel free to reach out and I’ll do my best to take a look.

Below is a quick summary of what the sheet looks like, with some additional notes written in the hover-y blue boxes. I threw in some red arrows at no extra charge. Because that’s the kind of guy I am.

(NOTE: I have changed the interface since this post in an effort to simplify, and to add a way to select a minimum number of park days. So, many moons later I have updated this screen capture below with the new version.)



Thank you for posting this information!

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@Principal Tinker, I need a basic understanding (education) of upgrading to an Annual Pass. Never tried it. We typically visit WDW once per year and are looking at ticket prices for our June '17 trip. Right now, the best deal (according to TP) for us is from UT. (6 Day PH + 1 day free) for $1,857. DH wants to buy annual passes. Forum posts make me think it is better to buy tickets, then upgrade. I am worried about the expiration date. Does your next trip have to be completed before the anniversary date of your AP purchase? I looked at this spreadsheet (which is amazing), but I am confused by the whole price bridging discussion. Also, do you have to buy the Tables in Wonderland membership to get the restaurant discounts? If you buy tickets, but not memory maker, then convert to AP, is the free MM valid for your current trip?

Looks like the UT 6+1 day tickets do have the biggest savings as of today - (that offer wasn’t there when I updated my sheet this weekend, so thanks for the heads up!)

The bridging does sound confusing, but is as simple as this: if you buy discounted tickets, Disney doesn’t know what that discount was. So, when you are upgrading they give you credit for whatever their current ticket price is. You get to save original discount amount. Mickey bar for everyone!

If you upgrade the tickets to AP after entering the park once (with all of the people/tickets), then the start of your AP should be the first day you enter the park. They will be good for 366 days, so you can enter the parks with them until 1 year and 1 day later. I believe the MM should kick in as soon as you upgrade to AP, so I wouldn’t buy MM if you know you are upgrading.

I haven’t done it yet, so someone else will have to chime in if there’s any chance for hiccups on the MM not capturing photos if you don’t upgrade as soon as you enter your first park and you did not buy MM before… I doubt it, but some confirmation from others would be useful. If I were rope dropping, I’d hate to be standing at Guest Services while the hordes stream by. :wink:

I see Mousesavers says the current break even point for buying APs is if you are visiting the parks 11 days within 1 year. (Hmm, maybe I should add that calculation to my spreadsheet.) But, if you factor in the dining and other AP discounts, it can be worth it for less days.

When it comes to dining discounts, AP Holders already get 10% or 20% discounts at various restaurants without Tables in Wonderland. You can see see the current list here.

If you have a Disney Visa, you can get 10% off food (and other perks) at some locations you can check here.

Tables in Wonderland might take some work to determine if it is worth it for you - It costs $150 and gives you a 20% discount on food and beverage (including alcohol) at a long list of restaurants you can check at the TiW site.
(Discount is valid for a party of up to 10 Guests including the member)

So, you might want to look through each of these lists and see which restaurants you might visit - then visit the Disney Dining Calculator to see what a typical meal might cost your family and see you’d save more than the $150 TiW fee by using it over other discounts.

Hope that helps!

Thanks. I am still a little confused by the spreadsheet though. Should I buy the tickets reported by TP as the best deal for the number of days I need them (like the 6+1 deal above)? (Otherwise, I wouldn’t have enough ticket days to select my FP’s at 60 days.)

Hmm, My sheet doesn’t take into account how many ticket days you need to make FPP. Sorry, just never occurred to me.

The UT 6+1 tickets for a total of 7 park days will give you the biggest savings when upgrading.

If you happen to be going more than 7 days this trip, then you could look in my sheet at the “Cheapest Tickets by Days & Type” Charts. (I’ve included a screen shot below with the same info for a better visual.)

Buying the 8 or 9 day tickets (from Boardwalk Tix) will still save you $180 or $184 dollars, respectively - not much less than the 6+1 day tickets.

If you need 10 day tickets to get all of your FPP days in before the trip, OTC has the best savings at $113.30 - but that is a LOT less savings than the lesser number of day tickets, but probably a good trade-off if it gets you FPP you want on that last day.

Hope I’m not too confusing.

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If you can buy a discounted ticket and upgrade later that will save you money. Tickets bought today would need to be activated before the end of December 2018. They are not activated until you enter the park. If you need more than 10 days for your onsite stay then buy the AP now. You activate when you get to the park and it expires one year from that date. Currently there is a 20% discount at 45 restaurants but who know if they will extend that? That discount is not good in bars/lounges or on alcohol. The TiW card can be used in most TS restaurants and lounges.

Thanks. The lightbulb finally went on. The advantage here is that the discounted ticket I buy today will be converted at current Disney prices later.


We have a Disney Premier Visa, which I think gives us discounts at certain WDW restaurants. Do you know if you can get the AP (and/or TiW) discounts in addition to the Visa discount?

Unfortunately you can’t stack AP, Visa and/or TiW discounts - but would be nice!

The AP discount seems to be available in many more places. I always used my Disney Visa discount shopping but you needed to spend $50. With the AP discount you could buy a $5 item and get the discount.

Thanks for your patience. A couple more questions about the AP…If I buy the 6+1 PH tickets from UT, Disney will convert them at the 7-day price, not the 6-day price, right? Also, does everyone in my party have to go the Guest Services? Will we be able to keep our Magic Bands, or will we get new ones? How much time would you allocate to completing the conversion at Guest Services? (I am trying to convince DH that it is worth doing the conversion rather than just buying the AP from Disney, but he anticipates problems.)

Usually you would have to use the ticket once to lock in the cost. I was able to upgrade a ticket in February without using it but I knew exactly what I had and what I wanted. They made a mistake but I caught it and they fixed it. If you are upgrading, I needed the magic bands and my ID (it was not my MB but I paid for the ticket and it was under my reservation). You can continue to use your MBs but will be able to customize others once you activate.

Only you will know if it is “worth it”. I, like your husband, generally get the AP voucher. You need to still go to guest services (but before you enter a park) but I like having the extra time to look at the passholder pages and to have access to those discounts.

Right. “6+1” is a marketing ploy, as they are actually selling you a 7-day ticket.

OMG this is awesome. (I’m a spread sheet nerd and I just squee’d a little!)

Just before the recent ticket price increases, I went ahead and bought two UT 4+3 PH tickets for $418 each for DH and I in anticipation of a April 2018 trip. Since then, the opportunity for me to go TWICE - this May, and again in September came up, and I bought another 4+3 ticket before it occurred to me that I could upgrade the first one to cover all three trips. Oh well. It’s good until 2030.

So, if I understand this correctly, when I upgrade the first ticket, Disney will credit the full price of a current 7 day Park Hopper ticket to the price of an Annual Pass, correct? And that is $485 w/ PH ($516.53 with tax) and the AP is $779 ($829.64 with tax), so I would pay 779.00 - 485.00 = $294 to upgrade? Or $313.11 including tax. Right?

Which gives me about $98 savings on the AP … Sweet! :joy:

One more question … if I make Fast Passes on the 4+3 PH ticket, will they transfer to the AP when I upgrade? Someone said they’d be canceled if the ticket is upgraded to a pass.

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Glad I made your your spreadsheet nerdness squee. :slight_smile:

Deleted my original reply and screen capture of spreadsheet with incorrect numbers. See reply reply below.

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As I’m driving home I realize that your number is correct. You have to pay the 313 but your savings is the 98. I have to make sure my spreadsheet is doing that correctly. Hope this is transcribing correctly I’m using voice to type this!

Editing this the next morning
In my previous response and spreadsheet screen capture, I mistakenly doubled up the discount. End of day brain cramp! 15 minutes later I was sitting in traffic and the salmon of knowledge hit me smack in the forehead. :oncoming_automobile: :tropical_fish: :man:

Then I got worried that I did the same thing in my live spreadsheet - but realized I did not. whew

Here is an updated screen capture - although you probably don’t need it as you had it right all along!
(I deleted the incorrect one in my previous reply to not spread my confusion.)

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Can you please elaborate on the AP voucher and having time to look at the passholder pages and access to discounts? We currently have a “basic” package booked at a WDW resort with no tickets, not an RO reservation. Last year, when I added the discounted tickets from Parksavers to my MDE, that gave me access to FPP at 60 days. Everything went through the magic bands, and we didn’t need to stop at Guest Services for anything. I was hoping if I bought the APs directly through WDW, we could avoid Guest Services. It sounds like we will still need to stop there. (My biggest concern is that I want to be able to get my FPP reservations at 60 days, second concern is not having to go to Guest Services.) Thanks!


Now I’m getting really excited. I have THREE stinkin’ Disney trips in the works!

May - semi-solo trip, staying off site while DD and her family are at AoA. I will upgrade to AP on this trip.
September - DSister-I-L and I will take in F&W festival. I have a RO booked at CBR, hoping the AP discount can be applied.
April '18 - taking the whole fam-damily, staying off site in our timeshare villas (we have 9 adult children, most with spouses/SOs, and will have 11 grandchildren by then)

So an AP makes perfect sense!


The voucher links your AP to you MDE account but you still need to stop at guest services. They activate your AP but more importantly they give you your card. The card gets you a discount at most stores (even a $10 pen) and a lot of restaurants . I guess it would activate Memory Maker too?