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Is a AAA membership worth it?

bigmike7801

New Member
My wife and I are headed to Disney World and Universal Studios from September 11 - 19.

The only thing I have purchased so far is our plane tickets.

I have read several articles suggesting that AAA members get discounts on anything from hotel rooms, theme park tickets, car rental etc... however nobody really tells you how much you're going to save with a AAA membership. So I can't tell if it's $5 or $50 savings.

There are a couple of different AAA plans that range from $56/year to $89 per year.

We plan on staying at the Disney's All Star Music Resort for a majority of the time as well as Disney's Port Orleans Riverside for a couple days.

Does it sound like it would be worth my while to get a AAA membership to try and save money durring our stay?

What other perks do AAA members get while vacationing at Disney World?
 

flynnibus

Premium Member
Don't look at buying AAA as a discount program.

AAA is first and foremost an 'insurance' for roadside issues. Towing, assistance, etc.

AAA is good for discounts for generic travel, and they do offer regular discounts on Disney hotels as well. But AAA discounts are best for hotels and car rental stuff. It's not really valuable for restaurants, etc. And you can't combine the AAA offerings with other promotions. So while it's decent for Disney hotels, often if you are staying on a Disney package promotion.. it's gonna be cheaper than AAA. Disney reservations can book using the AAA discounts themselves.. so you can always just call Disney and ask if there is a difference for your existing reservation.

The Travel Service is very nice in terms of free maps, reviews, etc.. but that is a dying service vs internet based stuff you can get for free. Some like using the AAA travel agents, some do not.

I've had AAA for decades, and I primarily use it for hotel discounts (non-Disney) and roadside assistance.

AAA gets special parking permits at Disney - but only if you book your trip with AAA I believe. And if you don't drive, that's not much worth to you anyways :)
 
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bethymouse

Well-Known Member
I don't think it's worth it. Sadly, the triptiks they used to give out are not the same.:( I know that at some shopping outlet malls, AAA has a bit of a discount, but you must insist and ask about it. I don't believe it gives too much of a "travel" discount, but some hotels have a decent discount, but just the hotel stay. This is all IMHO of course.;)
 
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Pooh Lover

Well-Known Member
We sometimes use the AAA discount for hotel room discounts, theme park discounts (Cedar Point/Kings Island) and, since my husband's commute is 1 1/2 hours each way, its a must for us. We have also used it for their towing benefit on more than one occasion. I don't think I've used it toward any WDW discount in many years.
 
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disneygirl76

Carey Poppins - Nanny and Disney Enthusiest
My wife and I are headed to Disney World and Universal Studios from September 11 - 19.

The only thing I have purchased so far is our plane tickets.

I have read several articles suggesting that AAA members get discounts on anything from hotel rooms, theme park tickets, car rental etc... however nobody really tells you how much you're going to save with a AAA membership. So I can't tell if it's $5 or $50 savings.

There are a couple of different AAA plans that range from $56/year to $89 per year.

We plan on staying at the Disney's All Star Music Resort for a majority of the time as well as Disney's Port Orleans Riverside for a couple days.

Does it sound like it would be worth my while to get a AAA membership to try and save money durring our stay?

What other perks do AAA members get while vacationing at Disney World?

AAA is not worth it as a discount program. We have AAA and rarely if ever use it at Disney. You can book through them but it is not worth the cost unless you need AAA. We don't pay for it - my in-laws do. I don't know why as we pay for On-Star but they want us to have it so they pay for it. If they stop paying for it, I will not renew just for the Disney savings.
 
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LizC

Well-Known Member
My parents always get their Disney tickets through AAA, and they do give a small discount. Plus the parking pass they give does let you park closer. If you will use it for other things as well I say get it. The towing option is very useful.
 
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Ariel484

Well-Known Member
My parents always get their Disney tickets through AAA, and they do give a small discount. Plus the parking pass they give does let you park closer. If you will use it for other things as well I say get it. The towing option is very useful.

I think the preferred parking is only if you get a diamond membership...i.e. the more expensive one.

OP: as others have said, this probably isn't worth it if you're just looking for a Disney discount. We booked our honeymoon through them in 2009 but got a discount through Disney, not AAA. Any discount Disney has available will almost surely be better. We did get other small perks - one free Photopass print and a free round of mini-golf I think - but we have AAA for when we need a tow, not for when we need a Disney trip booked.
 
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luv

Well-Known Member
I have AAA. My dad taught me how, but I am not confident in my tire-changing skills. :) I also like knowing that they'll come tow me if need be.

I never booked a WDW trip through them, but I do love the trip tiks, maps, books and road trip stuff.
 
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flynnibus

Premium Member
when driving to FL last year.. and my transmission blew in the middle of no where Georgia... having AAA was helpful. Towed me on a Saturday night to the dealer.

AAA also towed my Z to the dealer when it's engine was misbehaving. The free towing is nice because the costs there can add up REAL quick. On hotels I find the savings to be about 5-10%. Hotels are the only place I regularly use the discounts tho.
 
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LizC

Well-Known Member
I think the preferred parking is only if you get a diamond membership...i.e. the more expensive one.

OP: as others have said, this probably isn't worth it if you're just looking for a Disney discount. We booked our honeymoon through them in 2009 but got a discount through Disney, not AAA. Any discount Disney has available will almost surely be better. We did get other small perks - one free Photopass print and a free round of mini-golf I think - but we have AAA for when we need a tow, not for when we need a Disney trip booked.
As a family we just got the diamond membership this year and have gotten the parking passes for years. I suppose its possible that different states have different rules, but this has been my experience in NY.
 
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Ariel484

Well-Known Member
As a family we just got the diamond membership this year and have gotten the parking passes for years. I suppose its possible that different states have different rules, but this has been my experience in NY.

Interesting...I bet you're right. We have had the regular membership for a few years and have never gotten the parking (as far as I know) here in OH.
 
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HouCuseChickie

Well-Known Member
We have AAA, but we use it for the roadside assistance. This should be your focal point before any other AAA benefit. I have the middle grade plan that allows for towing up to 100 miles. While I have used some of the AAA discounts, things like towing, assistance when you've locked your keys in the car :rolleyes:, dead battery, and flat tire assistance are the big reasons why I have it.

We have never booked Disney travel through AAA, but my parents have and they have been give the AAA Diamond parking pass regardless of plan level...i.e. you just have to be a member and book your Disney vacay through them. I think they also have some preferred viewing passes for some AAA Disney bookings. Beyond that, my parents didn't like working with their AAA agent for WDW travel.

So, basically unless you want the roadside assistance benefits...it's not worth it...IMO.
 
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HouCuseChickie

Well-Known Member
Interesting...I bet you're right. We have had the regular membership for a few years and have never gotten the parking (as far as I know) here in OH.

My parents have booked WDW travel through their AAA agent and they had to request the passes, but they still got them. Ultimately, they found that their AAA agent just wasn't on top of all of the perks and they had to tell said agent when they should be getting. Definitely worth asking for if you book through AAA and drive though. The national office should be able to assist in this if they local office/agent are unable to help.
 
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wolf359

Well-Known Member
I've had AAA for almost 10 years and I've found it to be invaluable just for the roadside assistance alone. Is a great discount plan to go on a Disney vacation? It depends on a lot of variables, but I'd do some research and at the very least get a quote for what you want from Disney directly and AAA and compare the two.
 
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LizC

Well-Known Member
My parents have booked WDW travel through their AAA agent and they had to request the passes, but they still got them. Ultimately, they found that their AAA agent just wasn't on top of all of the perks and they had to tell said agent when they should be getting. Definitely worth asking for if you book through AAA and drive though. The national office should be able to assist in this if they local office/agent are unable to help.
Agree with this. We had to ask for passes, and the agent didn't know as much about Disney as we did. ;)
 
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The Mom

Moderator
Premium Member
I've had AAA for about 40 years. Way back when, it was worth using it to get discounts at WDW, but now the WDW discounts are much better. Since GPS and mapquest, I don't use then for travel - except at hotels along the way if I'm driving and not part of a group discount.

But I've used them multiple times for towing, jumpstarts, etc so still feel it is worth it. I know that our cars have road service, but I think I trust AAA to be more widely available.

If someone wants road service, then get it. But I wouldn't purchase it for any other reason.
 
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dreamfinder

Well-Known Member
As PPs have said, don't look at AAA for the discounts. They do often have discounts of 5-20% at lots of touristy places, but that should be a perk, and not the primary reason for joining. To see how much it would save you on a WDW trip, call the CRO and ask what the AAA rate would be for the time you want to travel and the resort you want. Or talk to any of the Disney travel agents like Kingdom Konsultants, and ask for them to run the AAA numbers for you. The rate will vary by the season, and the resort. To simply use the AAA discount you do not need to book through AAA. Just like if you wanted to use the 10% at Hard Rock Cafe locations, AAA doesn't need to make your dining reservations, just show the card. The same concept applies for the WDW lodging discount.

Some of the discounts are national, and others are regional. If you go to AAA.com, and put in your zip code, the site it redirects you to should have a sections dedicated to discounts, so you can get an idea of what you would be eligible for.

I think the preferred parking is only if you get a diamond membership...i.e. the more expensive one.

OP: as others have said, this probably isn't worth it if you're just looking for a Disney discount. We booked our honeymoon through them in 2009 but got a discount through Disney, not AAA. Any discount Disney has available will almost surely be better. We did get other small perks - one free Photopass print and a free round of mini-golf I think - but we have AAA for when we need a tow, not for when we need a Disney trip booked.

The membership levels differ by the regional AAA you join. AAA itself is a national organization made up of local state and regional AAs. However, the preferred parking is something that most AAA travel agents will provide as a perk for booking through them. Other perks may include things such as free mini golf or pins. These will vary by office and the deal they have running at the time. This is just like how some Disney TAs will offer Disney gift cards if you book through them. Just an incentive to book a package through their TA service.

AAA is not worth it as a discount program. We have AAA and rarely if ever use it at Disney. You can book through them but it is not worth the cost unless you need AAA. We don't pay for it - my in-laws do. I don't know why as we pay for On-Star but they want us to have it so they pay for it. If they stop paying for it, I will not renew just for the Disney savings.

You can book through them (I believe) even if you are not a AAA member. The TA branch of AAA needs to make a profit just like their towing branch.

All in all, AAA is a good fallback discount. They are typically applicable year round, so you may be able to avoid paying rack rates during busy seasons. And if you do book initially using a AAA discount, you can normally rebook (pending availability) if a better discount is released that you are eligible for. If you are a reasonably savvy WDW tourist, you will often not want to book through AAA, but definitely try to use the discount through CRO. Their TAs are typically general TAs, and therefore know as much about WDW as they may about Rome or Tokyo. Some people do like their little perks like the fireworks viewing at MK, and the storytime with Belle (if they still even offer that) but I don't know if those are worth the hassle of having to educate the TA on what you want done and when it needs to be done.
 
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Funfy

Active Member
My wife and I are headed to Disney World and Universal Studios from September 11 - 19.

The only thing I have purchased so far is our plane tickets.

I have read several articles suggesting that AAA members get discounts on anything from hotel rooms, theme park tickets, car rental etc... however nobody really tells you how much you're going to save with a AAA membership. So I can't tell if it's $5 or $50 savings.

There are a couple of different AAA plans that range from $56/year to $89 per year.

We plan on staying at the Disney's All Star Music Resort for a majority of the time as well as Disney's Port Orleans Riverside for a couple days.

Does it sound like it would be worth my while to get a AAA membership to try and save money durring our stay?

What other perks do AAA members get while vacationing at Disney World?
It doesn't help us because we are DVC members-so no need for room discounts and AP's are cheaper than any ticket discounts. And we get our road service through Shell-much cheaper. The one time we tried to buy my MIL's ticket through her AAA, it literally was $3 off and that was negated by mailing costs.

I think their discounts on tickets vary per time of year.
 
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Ariel484

Well-Known Member
My parents have booked WDW travel through their AAA agent and they had to request the passes, but they still got them. Ultimately, they found that their AAA agent just wasn't on top of all of the perks and they had to tell said agent when they should be getting. Definitely worth asking for if you book through AAA and drive though. The national office should be able to assist in this if they local office/agent are unable to help.

The membership levels differ by the regional AAA you join. AAA itself is a national organization made up of local state and regional AAs. However, the preferred parking is something that most AAA travel agents will provide as a perk for booking through them. Other perks may include things such as free mini golf or pins. These will vary by office and the deal they have running at the time. This is just like how some Disney TAs will offer Disney gift cards if you book through them. Just an incentive to book a package through their TA service.

I see...thanks for the clarification! We never drive to or at Disney so we have never looked into the diamond parking. I think I was just going off of what I read in the brochure. :)
 
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