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Old 03-24-2019, 03:34 PM   #51
Crafty
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We are terrible at planning. We buy APs for that reason.

We will frequently squeeze in a last minute trip or extend a trip by a day or two. Sometimes we will cancel and reschedule for a different resort. We do different things at different resorts and therefore have different ticket needs. For example, at OKW we do less park days and more DS.

Some years we get a LOT of use from the APs, other years we get less use.

It just makes sense for us to simply renew the APs. Then we can do whatever we want.

The gold blackout dates are a problem for us. We always go in early Dec, so the holiday blackouts are not a problem. It is the Spring dates that cause us problems. They move around. I am never sure exactly when they are and how they will impact a potential reservation. It seems that sometimes the dates are not even announced until after the eleven month window opens.

We have pretty much given up on WDW for March and April. I would not be pleased to be at DVC during blackout dates. We have gone in May for the last couple of years. And we try for Halloween. We did Valentines Day last year and will try that again.
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Old 03-24-2019, 05:22 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by Crafty View Post
We are terrible at planning. We buy APs for that reason.

We will frequently squeeze in a last minute trip or extend a trip by a day or two. Sometimes we will cancel and reschedule for a different resort. We do different things at different resorts and therefore have different ticket needs. For example, at OKW we do less park days and more DS.

Some years we get a LOT of use from the APs, other years we get less use.

It just makes sense for us to simply renew the APs. Then we can do whatever we want.

The gold blackout dates are a problem for us. We always go in early Dec, so the holiday blackouts are not a problem. It is the Spring dates that cause us problems. They move around. I am never sure exactly when they are and how they will impact a potential reservation. It seems that sometimes the dates are not even announced until after the eleven month window opens.

We have pretty much given up on WDW for March and April. I would not be pleased to be at DVC during blackout dates. We have gone in May for the last couple of years. And we try for Halloween. We did Valentines Day last year and will try that again.
someone can correct me if I am wrong but, as far as I have seen, the spring blackout dates have always been the week before and the week after Easter.
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Old 03-24-2019, 05:34 PM   #53
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Using a periodic AP in connection with banking and borrowing is key strategy to how we keep our Disney costs down, while still scratching the family itch.

For example, I grabbed some of those "buy 12, get 13 months" DVC gold APs a couple of years ago. And I used those, plus banking and a dash of borrowing, to fit in two spring breaks, one thanksgiving, and two RunDisney weekends into a single AP purchase.

At the end, we paid and average of less than $20 per day / per person in ticket costs to be in the parks. Fantastic year . . . and I'm very much ready to not have an AP for awhile.
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Old 03-24-2019, 05:36 PM   #54
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someone can correct me if I am wrong but, as far as I have seen, the spring blackout dates have always been the week before and the week after Easter.
Nope. This is correct and why the spring blackout dates move around.
Avoid Easter and you don't have to worry about the blackout dates.
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Old 03-24-2019, 06:27 PM   #55
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someone can correct me if I am wrong but, as far as I have seen, the spring blackout dates have always been the week before and the week after Easter.
That could be. I am not sure. It is certainly possible that it is Easter that moves and takes the blackout dates with it.

All I know is that the Spring blackout dates are always different year to year.

Christmas, Halloween, and Valentines Day, for example, are always consistent. That makes planning simpler. Planning blackout dates around a holiday that moves is bound to generate confusion. IMHO.

I did say that we were terrible at planning. Don’t get me started on fast passes and ADRs.

Last edited by Crafty; 03-24-2019 at 07:05 PM.
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Old 03-24-2019, 08:50 PM   #56
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APs are not just about the money.

While I agree it is easy to justify APs on math (more than 10 days on a trip or 2+ trips per 365 days), that's not the reason we converted. (Someone did suggest this thread was preaching to the choir.) Mostly, we moved over to APs to make our trips easier. I drove my family nuts trying to maximize our time. Picture me as the drill sergeant, getting everyone up at 5, breakfast at 5:15, out the door at 5:20 and that's about what our first visit was like in retrospect. Once we opted for annual passes, there was less need to plan and march every minute of the vacation day.

Now we can chill, sleep in and only spend a couple hours in a park on an AP. And occasionally, I will even do non-park days on APs. The annual pass approach makes Disney vacations more enjoyable to me.

Now we take this AP approach to other parks and activities. My question is usually why wouldn't we get an annual pass rather than the reverse.
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Old 03-24-2019, 11:13 PM   #57
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AP makes sense as we go 2-3 weeks each year. But one of the main things I love about the passes, you never feel like you wasted your ticket. If you want to go for 5 hours and then go swimming, no big deal. Since we are paying so little “per day” across 14-21 days, you don’t sweat it.

Now the biggest reason we love annual passes? We go extra days on a trip. If we fly in Saturday morning, we can go to a park that day for a few hours. And then when we leave the following Saturday on a late flight, again, we can do a park in the AM if we want. When we bought tickets, we would never spend the money for a partial day like that.

So in reality, if we go 2 weeks a year, we often use the passes 16 days. If we go 3 weeks a year, that is 24 days use. Also, if something cool comes along, like the time we scored sneak preview tickets to Pandora, no worries, jump on a plane and flash your AP at the gate.
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Old 01-21-2020, 01:03 PM   #58
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Preaching to the choir here I think. APs make sense for the vast majority of DVC owners. One trip of 8 days or more, or two or more trips of any reasonable length. And you don't have to worry about park hopping or other nonsense. I sometimes forget that the AP makes me eligible for my Tables in Wonderland card, and even if you don't get one, DVC + AP still gives you a lot of restaurant discounts.
Historically bought aps but with school holidays only makes more sense to make use of 3 week length of stay passes sold in Europe

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Old 01-21-2020, 01:08 PM   #59
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Historically bought aps but with school holidays only makes more sense to make use of 3 week length of stay passes sold in Europe

$572 usd for a 21 day park hopper.....heck yeah.



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Old 01-21-2020, 01:46 PM   #60
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We let our APs expire this year and I don't see us getting another one for a while. Getting one makes sense for as much as I want to go to WDW but since I only have so much time off (and kids school breaks) and there being so many other places I want to go, if I get an AP then we're more likely to spend that time at WDW than elsewhere.

Plus the kids have said they would rather go to Hawaii than Disney.

Once the kids are out, DW and I will probably get APs again as we can do more frequent and shorter trips.
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