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Old 06-16-2019, 06:28 AM   #1
One Bedroom
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 253
Default Purchasing AP

I saw another thread about people getting rid of their AP. Instead of tagging on there, I figured I should start a new one.

We just went on a family vacation in January and have another scheduled in November (both renting DVC points). We just bought a DVC membership at DRR that gives us our first points in December. We are going to bank those points and use all our points in the 2020 UY which is really 2021 for us.

I called Disney in March when we booked our November vacation and they let me convert our 7 day park hopper ticket with memory maker to an AP. I called member services once we closed our contract and they let me convert to a gold pass. Essentially we are paying around $20 each to convert from our January 7 day ticket to a Gold Pass (saving us over $1,000 worth of tickets).

My question is, do most people group their points into the same 'year' to take advantage of the AP? Our planned vacation is going to be banking points and using 200 points every other year. If we end up borrowing some points from another UY, we can essentially take two 1 week vacations every other year like we did this year. For example, We could go in January 2021 and November 2021, then skip 2022 and do January and November 2023. This lets us save some serious coin by getting the gold pass versus 13 or 14 days of park tickets. Is this pretty common practice?

Last edited by walnuts24; 06-16-2019 at 07:02 AM.
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Old 06-16-2019, 06:59 AM   #2
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: PA
Posts: 4,972

Yes - we take full advantage of our AP. When we first joined DVC we made a few mistakes with timing our vacations with our AP but we've learned. We use to vacation in March and October so if I varied the March vacation then we could get 3 vacations on one AP. Most times we'll let the AP lapse if we've a long gap until our next vacation. We have gone on a few vacations with no park visits because I couldn't get multiple vacations to work unless we waited. Now our last AP we renewed in December and haven't gone since (we cancelled the April vacation) however we'll go shortly so the AP will include June, August (replaced April) and November. Then I will let it lapse because our next vacation is May.

Pre-DVC we purchased APs for the hotel discounts (how we became hooked on Deluxe level) and we would go annually but play with the dates so the AP worked for both vacations.

I just realized I didn't really answer your question: we have one small contract that we group to use every other year. The rest we use/borrow/bank at will to fit in when we want to go and which villa size to select - we've never lost points but we have been point poor
Janet & Dan

Last edited by bakerworld; 06-16-2019 at 08:22 AM. Reason: Answer the grouping
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Old 06-16-2019, 07:44 AM   #3
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Central Ohio
Posts: 12,749

At this the price of a renewal for Gold is like a 6 day hopper for the time of year we go. It's more cost effective to just renew the Gold pass. We usually get a couple trips a year, but even if we do only 1 longer one, it's worth to renew for us.

So no, we don't group it to get it, but with prices we still get more than our value out of it.
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Old 06-16-2019, 09:39 AM   #4
Grand Villa
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Tennessee via South Louisiana
Posts: 1,757

We tend to make it a 'year of Disney' when we plan our vacations.
For example. We often went from May-May, going 2-3 times in that year. Then take about a year or so off
This year, we're starting our 'year of Disney' in either Oct or Nov, and will plan a minimum of 2 trips, but probably at least 3 during that time, and hopefully one of those will be for 2 wks
So to accomplish that, there will definitely be banking and borrowing. But then we'll take 1 year to 18 months off of Disney....we're on month 13 now...and the withdrawal shakes have subsided somewhat.....but counting the days until we go back!

When we do our year, we will buy APs. That's the real motivation to plan the year as such, get the absolute most we can from those APs. Since tickets already paid for, more motivation to make Disney the destination. Does mean we will probably not go elsewhere, which is what our year off is supposed to mean, actually trying other places.
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Old 06-16-2019, 09:42 AM   #5
Grand Villa
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Tennessee via South Louisiana
Posts: 1,757

and Congrats! on the purchase. Lots of wonderful and magical vacations to come for y'all!!!
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Old 06-16-2019, 09:48 AM   #6
One Bedroom
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Missouri
Posts: 269

We have two UY for our two contracts and buy APs every other year, but work the contracts and APs to go every year.

For example this year, we'll activate our APs in July and go in October (possibly February according to DD for the fine arts festival) and the following June on those APs. We won't renew when they expire but buy new ones in 2021.

Currently, we're using our OKW contract for vacations in 2019, and we're using our SSR contract for vacations in 2020--no transferring of points between the contracts, no skipping years, with the expense of APs every two years.

This could all change for us because soon both kids will be in college, and I'm close to retirement, so our vacation patterns could change. For now it works.
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Old 06-16-2019, 05:44 PM   #7
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 2,802

We moved closer to WDW and our vacation patterns changed.

We used to buy an AP and cram in three vacations and then take a year off.

Now we simply renew our gold APs. This is because we now take multiple short trips per year instead of 2 to 3 longer ones. We even sometimes make last minute trips. Without the big gap between trips, it makes sense to simply renew the APs.

We have also made non-park trips in the past when we were between APs. We really enjoyed these trips and wouldn’t hesitate to take non-park trips again.
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Old 06-16-2019, 05:46 PM   #8
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: 12 Grimmauld Pl
Posts: 7,847

Oh yes. If I buy an AP I definitely try to maximize its use and get in a minimum of 14 days of use over the course of the year.

Where I'm Going 2020:
All Personal Travel is Under Construction
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Old 06-17-2019, 01:02 AM   #9
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Bay Area, CA
Posts: 18,059

We get APs every year, so no grouping necessary. We have enough points for each year. We usually get UT tickets and bridge to save like $50-$60/ticket.

"...And your head is spinning from a loud guitar"
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Old 06-17-2019, 08:23 AM   #10
Two Bedroom
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Posts: 963

Tagging on with a different question: We are going in December this year. An AP (unfortunately, not Gold, since we're going over Christmas) isn't a ton more than the 9 day PH starting 12/20; so decided it was worth it just in case we are able to go again in the next year. With two kids that will be finishing high school and gearing up for college, fitting in another trip might be tough, but still possible. It's been awhile since we've done APs before heading to the park (rather than doing an upgrade once there).

So my question: Can we still link it to MDE and make FP+ reservations, even though we won't be able to activate the pass until we're at the park? I think the answer is yes, but want to be sure before I pull the trigger.

October, 1992 - Yacht Club - Honeymoon
May/June 2008 - BWV - New DVC Member
May/June 2009 - AKV (Kidani) and BCV
May/June 2010 - VWL
July 2010 - VGC
Christmas 2010 - BLT
May/June, 2011 - Dream Cruise and BWV
July 2011 - Grand Villa at Kidani!
October 2011 - BLT for MNSSHP
May/June 2012 - BCV
Christmas, 2012 - BLT
June, 2013 - AKV (Kidani) and BWV
December, 2013 - VGF and BLT
December, 2014 - BWV
June, 2015 - AKV (Kidani) and SSR
December, 2015 - Christmas Cruise on the Fantasy
October, 2016 - BLT
May/June 2017 - BWV
October, 2017 - AKV (Kidani) and CCV
June, 2018 - BWV (No kids!)
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