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True Cost of an AP

scorp16

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Anybody ever put down the equation of true cost for your AP? No wrong or right here. Just curious as to where I stand vs some of the other AP's.

The basic assumption is that we'd all go to Disney using the same pattern, frequency, spending habits as we do now. Not going to include tickets in this and calculate the difference between a FL AP vs General AP vs Park Hoppers etc.

Family of Four - Annual FL AP cost ~$2,400

I visit a park about 30 days out of the year so the value is $750 from parking - bringing my true cost down to $1,650
I stay on property about 14 nights so I'll add back $350 - true cost $2,000
On average my spend is $200 per day for things (merchandise/dining etc) that qualify for an AP discount of 10% - so another $600 in value. True cost at $1,400

Of the 14 nights I stay on property the AP rate is usually getting me about 3% lower than a FL resident, Fun and Sun, or other promotion I would qualify for. So based on an average room rate of $350 - there's another $140. Taking me down to $1,260 which is where I think my true cost is. (Round about)

Which is about $315 per AP.
 

DisneyJoe

Well-Known Member
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The basic assumption is that we'd all go to Disney using the same pattern, frequency, spending habits as we do now. Not going to include tickets in this and calculate the difference between a FL AP vs General AP vs Park Hoppers etc.
I only purchased an AP in 2019 because I knew I'd be going to WDW 5 times that year, otherwise, I have only been visiting twice per year, and usually 1 of those 2 trips is business, the other pleasure.

Prior to that, I purchased an AP in 2005 for similar reasons - so I am not sure how valid your assumption is, unless I am missing something?
 

dmw

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
No
For us we tried a simpler approach to break even. We simply looked at the number of visits and the cost of non-hopper tickets for those visits. The AP came out to be less expensive so that's what we did last year. All of the other benefits were a bonus (tour, dining, other discounts).
 

scorp16

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I only purchased an AP in 2019 because I knew I'd be going to WDW 5 times that year,
I guess that's what I'm getting at. If you purchased the AP at X. What was the value you received for having the AP (outside of admission) when factoring the benefits you received over those 5 times solely attributable to the AP. It's like any value proposition when somebody tells you that you'll spend $1,000 (example), but receive a measurable $800 in value. Making your true cost $200. (again, purely example)

Prior to that, I purchased an AP in 2005 for similar reasons - so I am not sure how valid your assumption is, unless I am missing something?
More than likely you are correct the assumption is somewhat flawed, because having the AP will impact behavior. However, the assumption allows for the formulation of a baseline that can then integrate variables for that change of behavior. As an example: Had I not had an AP maybe I would have only gone 12x vs the 30 I did go. But what I'm interested in is the value that offset the cost of the acquisition of the pass.
 
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SourcererMark79

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
No
I would never visit as often without the AP. Florida resident here, so at most would be the 3 or 4 day deals they offer to residents. Having the AP greatly impacts how often we visit. Without the AP, we never would have become DVC.

The value is very subjective to each family. The daily parking is a huge savings, though I'd never buy 25 day passes so it's hard to put a true value on the AP.

The Mouse still collects a little $ from each paycheck, because it's hard to visit a day and not spend any money on food or drink.
 

RememberWhen

Well-Known Member
We’re doing Gold passes this year (DVC) only because we’re going twice and will be there a total of 10 days but with a 5 day cruise in the middle. We couldn’t figure out how to make park hoppers work, so APs it shall be. Which means we may go again in December (we’ll have to upgrade the pass) which saves us (costs us?) money somehow...
 

scorp16

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I am not going to compute the math of whether or not the "extras" added value to the AP as I was not considering them in my decision. I do know that we have benefited more from them than we thought we would.
You won't compute it - but you just know it did? OK - I'll take that.
 

scorp16

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
The tickets themselves would have been $7000 for us and we paid less than half that for the APs, so no need to compute it for exact numbers. That is a waste of time to do so as just doing surface math, we are in the negatives after subtracting just the ticket values--everything else is a bonus and adding further value to the APs.
Maybe I should have prefaced it better. I wasn't asking about break-even's nor whether an AP was worth it. Maybe I should have phrased it as a FL AP only type question. There are a lot of us (living within 200 miles) that go frequently. Based on the AP price vs the benefits. That may have been a better way to approach this.
 

scorp16

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I don't live in Florida. When I did, I did not have an AP as I was a teacher and FL doesn't pay teachers squat---I couldn't afford one--even the ones with all the blackout dates. I did participate in the "give a day, get a day" promotion and upgraded to multi-day tickets.
And I can appreciate that. But there are seasonal passes at about $32 a month. I'm sure (relatively confident) a teacher could afford those - provided they live within a reasonable distance for it to make sense.
 

thomas998

Well-Known Member
We just look at the number of times we expect to go in a given 12 month period. Look at the price with no bonuses for the kids and wife and then factor in the bonus on mine because you only need one AP for the parking or discounts. If we are aware of a AP only discount on the hotels during the time of one of our trips we will also factor that in as well but only on my AP... It has been a long long time since it made sense for everyone in the family to get an AP, the last couple of times I got the AP and the rest of the family just got park hoppers. I seriously doubt we will ever be doing AP in the future though, we've started branching out to Universal now for at least 50 percent of out trips and often find that we prefer to stay in their hotels the entire time as they are simply a better deal for the money than Disney even with the Disney perks.
 

ELG13

Well-Known Member
All I did was compare our trip with normal Florida resident tickets for the duration versus AP ..... For our one trip alone it saved us money so we went for it. We will go at least twice while we have them. We stay in the cabins. We don't spend much, if anything really, on souvenirs aside from my coffee mug and the two kids get to pick one thing they want....and sometimes we make it out with out them wanting anything. Staying at the cabins we cook alot. Our biggest expense is always tickets and cabin. We are excited to see how much we will save on our Blizzard Beach tickets!!
 

Phonedave

Well-Known Member
Since I am a DVC member, many of the AP perks are a wash for me. I get similar discounts with my DVC membership, so I don't count the same perks on a AP as an additional perk.

I have not had an AP now for years. Same thing goes for TIW. They are just not worth it for me. We have cut back on the number of times we go, and when we do go, how often we do TS dining. Coupled with existing DVC perks, there is no value in a AP or TIW, even with the DVC discounted rate on an AP.
 

JustAFan

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
No
Are you only talking about the price of park tickets? If so, it paid off for us with our 2nd trip within the year. Of course, you incur other costs such as travel, dining, etc.
 

Hank Hill

Well-Known Member
I live locally, so I try to compare it to non theme park entertainment I may have done instead. It's difficult to compare because we rarely do full days at a park. Like Saturday, we drove over to HS at 5 pm, left about 7:30, maybe if I would have gone out to a movie that night it would be about $60, maybe $100 if we ate. If that is the only time I go to Disney in a month that isn't worth the AP. I think 3 times a month like that is worth the cost of about $45/month for a silver pass. But that is also times three for the whole family.

But with so many limited FP selections available, that is a big negative to just going for a few hours Vs planning a trip. On the Monday before goinj

The discount doesn't apply to QS stuff which is mostly what I get. So 2 drinks w(with little booze in them) plus a soda was $35 bucks. That is a negative to the value. We do eat at Disney TS restaurants sometimes, I like the atmosphere and it gets us to the parks, but IMO much of the food quality at Disney places is Applebes/ Chillies chain type meal, that even with a discount, cost a lot more at Disney that the chain, so I consider that a loss in the value money wise. But a plus in enjoyment.

I like being able to go just about whenever I want, but we did end up stopping passes for a while, and after this year is up, will probably skip another year or two before going again.
 

macefamily

Well-Known Member
We're on year three of our AP's. My daughter did the college program three years ago, and that's when we decided to go with the AP. My daughter, wife, and myself have the AP's. My two sons don't go with us every time so it's not worth it for them. We're from Pennsylvania and we probably go to FL three times a year. That's about 10 visits to the parks. I also factor in the parking because that seems to go up every time we visit. We're also in our second year of DVC. I haven't compared the savings of AP vs DVC. We do seem to do more park hopping with the AP versus when we used to pick one park per day to minimize the ticket price.
 

dryerlintfan

Well-Known Member
Does the FL AP have Photopass added in?

I find that the ticket prices for the way we do trips currently are close to a wash after the last increase. But having the PP included and the discounts on food and toys puts us over the edge for savings.

But to answer the original question, yes, I do the math every single time we go. Like with the dining plan, AP purchase price worth will be different for every family. For ours, sometimes it makes sense and sometimes it doesn't. But we calculate it every time.
 

danyoung56

Well-Known Member
For us we tried a simpler approach to break even. We simply looked at the number of visits and the cost of non-hopper tickets for those visits.
I do a similar calculation. The only real dollar amount I need to worry about is the difference between the cost of an AP and the cost of non-ap tickets (and for me park hopping is a must). If I save enough on room rates to justify the purchase of an AP, I'll do it every time.
 

wishes2013

Well-Known Member
Does the FL AP have Photopass added in?
Gold pass member here 🙋🏼‍♀️ I have FP on my FL resident pass. I’m also a teacher who has decided that my AP is important to me and I budget for the $54 monthly payment. While our pay is low compared to many states (not here to get into that) myself and many of my coworkers have APs. We often say we can’t imagine not having our happy place to go to on the weekends. Just like any other non-essential living expense (rent, food, gas) it is a personal choice as to what we buy or don’t buy 🤷🏼‍♀️
 
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