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  1. #1

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    Can an AP Really Outspend a Ticket Buyer?

    On another thread, CM MC'er Rivers of America shocked many people by asserting that AP's spend more "on average per visit" than ticket buyers. Several people didn't believe him, but I personally don't see any reason for a CM to tell such a baldfaced lie. I've spent all day grappling w/ this in my mind, trying to figure out how it could be, and I think I have it.

    When most of us think "AP," we think of someone who drives in for the day or maybe even just the evening. How can someone who's only there for a few hours spend more than a tourist, even if that person comes every single week? Think of the thousands who fill the park every night just for Fantasmic and the fireworks. They may buy a hot dog or two, but that's still not enough to balance out the tourists.

    I filled in the missing piece when I got rid of a nagging false assumption I made and I suspect many of us make: namely, that AP=local. I didn't realize this until recently, but apparently there are a significant number of AP's who are also tourists, and they spend accordingly. Imagine a typical tourist family coming to the park, spending like tourists do, but they're also AP's, and as AP's, they come several times a year. When you factor that in, it easily balances out the opposite extreme of the guy who comes every week on his el cheapo SoCal pass and spends next to nothing.

    Now w/ the extremes balanced out, the middle still remains: an AP who treats himself to one day in the park per month. He stays the whole day and probably eats at least one meal on property. This centrist position is what tips the scale in the AP's favor. Remember, this guy (or girl) is doing this 12 times a year, as opposed to 3 or 4 times in the case of the ticket buying tourist.

    Is any of this true? Does it work in practice? Who knows? However, I believe I have created a plausible scenario in which AP's could actually outspend ticket buyers on the average.
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  2. #2

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    Re: Can an AP Really Outspend a Ticket Buyer?

    Well, I'll just use myself as an example:

    I go generally once a week. Sometimes more, though rarely, and I don't go some weeks.
    When I go, I generally eat at least one meal- so there's about $10 there.
    I'm also a big Disney nerd (though that's quite obvious) and if I have extra money, will generally get a new item if it appeals to me. This includes art, clothing, pins, figurines, jewelry, etc (I literally just named off the things that I have in my view right now lol).

    So, while a tourist may go and spend $200 for one day once a year, I, as an annual passholder, spend around twice that in a year just on food. That doesn't count all the merchandise I buy. Granted, this depends entirely on how much money I have at any given time, but I'm pretty sure it's over $1000 a year.

    Hopefully that made sense?
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  3. #3

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    Re: Can an AP Really Outspend a Ticket Buyer?

    iim an AP holder and i go about 25x a year. I never leave empty handed. i collect Haunted Mansion artwork so those kiosks get me for $55.00 eah trip, I absolutely think AP's spend more than tourists. I'll bet disneyland could turn a profit from AP holders even if they let us in for free. Im going to mention this at city hall next time i go

  4. #4

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    Re: Can an AP Really Outspend a Ticket Buyer?

    I go around 20-25 times......now I have 2 or 3 meals a day at the parks....adds up to at least 20-30 bucks a trip and I buy at least 3 items a year from the parks too nothing big lets just say add 40 to that.....
    So I spend 450 on a pass...40 bucks on little things I pick up...and about 400-600 bucks on food....umm yeah 1,000 bucks is spending a lot at the parks I think....others will disagree

  5. #5

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    Re: Can an AP Really Outspend a Ticket Buyer?

    I don't know because even the APs that are from far away that come more often then ticket buyers spend less per day (at the gate), and they get discounts on the hotel room!
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  6. #6

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    Re: Can an AP Really Outspend a Ticket Buyer?

    I have an AP and live out of town, Its funny I can go one trip and pack my own lunchs and drinks and pack them in my backpack or sometimes I go eat everywhere spend all types of dough, so I couldnt be used as an example but it was still a blast

  7. #7

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    Re: Can an AP Really Outspend a Ticket Buyer?

    Quote Originally Posted by aurorahermione View Post
    Well, I'll just use myself as an example:

    I go generally once a week. Sometimes more, though rarely, and I don't go some weeks.
    When I go, I generally eat at least one meal- so there's about $10 there.
    I'm also a big Disney nerd (though that's quite obvious) and if I have extra money, will generally get a new item if it appeals to me. This includes art, clothing, pins, figurines, jewelry, etc (I literally just named off the things that I have in my view right now lol).

    So, while a tourist may go and spend $200 for one day once a year, I, as an annual passholder, spend around twice that in a year just on food. That doesn't count all the merchandise I buy. Granted, this depends entirely on how much money I have at any given time, but I'm pretty sure it's over $1000 a year.
    Ah, but remember this is all on a per visit basis. If you go once a week, you have to take that figure and divide it by 52 to get your per visit total. Someone who spends $2,000/year but goes once a week still only pays $40 per visit. A ticket buyer spends twice that just to walk in the door.
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  8. #8

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    Re: Can an AP Really Outspend a Ticket Buyer?

    I live in Utah and have an AP so thats now $500 a year and i eat 3 meals a day. About $40+. I usually purchase a souvenir each trip so that's about $60 a trip depending on what I get. Each trip is usually 3-4 days and I try to go about once every month to month and a half. So it quickly adds up for me. It's a wonder I don't have a girlfriend haha.
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  9. #9

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    Re: Can an AP Really Outspend a Ticket Buyer?

    Tickets aren't the only cost involved in Disneyland. There's food, parking, merchandise, hotels, etc I am one of the few APs who can't just wonder on over whenever I please, I have to plan ahead and get a hotel because I live a few hours away. Whenever I go I stay at an onsite hotel so thats about $300 a night. I spend $50-$100 on merchandise. Probably $10 a meal plus snacks. $20 a day on parking .I buy an AP because I go two or three times a year so I save some money in buying one. The APs that just stay for a few hours that live close by still have to pay for parking and food. Those costs add up if they go often. In the long run, Pass holders, on average, spend more than those who buy tickets.

  10. #10

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    Re: Can an AP Really Outspend a Ticket Buyer?

    I think overall the tourist spends more. I have read these I'm an aper and spend money in the park arguments, but if it were true disney wouldn't be offering discounts....I guess I should verify first. is disney still giving the 20% off merchandise discount to pap? and I think the food discount was increased too? The merchandise one used to be 10% and was uped to 20% for a limited time and kept being extended...my guess is to entice ap'er's to spend money in the parks. Companies don't have to do that if their customers are already spending money.

    I will be honest. As an aper's I did not spend a lot of money in the park. I don't buy souvenirs. I really don't want a bunch of Disney stuff collecting dust in the house. I also don't wear a lot of disney clothes. Also, their quality of food as gone down hill so much we would go to the garden walk to eat.

    What I would buy on each visit was a vinlymation (usually 2) and sometimes a stuffed pretzel and of course bottles of water.

    Disney can't do much to make me by their souvenirs. I'm just not that interested, but they could keep their food decent. I have heard the hungry bear has made changes for the better with their menu. I haven't been back in over a year though due to the crowding issue. Oh. another reason I don't spend money when I go. If it's to crowded and I'm not happy then I also don't spend money there. I usually leave early.

    When I look back over the 10+ years I had a pap, I spent more when I first got the pass and less towards the end....

  11. #11

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    Re: Can an AP Really Outspend a Ticket Buyer?

    Another thing I would suggest is that their are a good amount of local visitors who do NOT have AP's. When I was growing up, I did not have the money to get an AP but I would still save up and go to Disneyland about once a year, and so would my friends. However, whenever we went, I would really limit myself to maybe one souvenir a trip (maybe a hat or something) and would probably just eat the cheapest food possible. I've noticed that my family or relatives who are local spent a LOT less in Disneyland than my relatives visiting from out of the area. I think that since we were so close, going to Disneyland wasn't really a "vacation", so I never really had an excuse to lug a bunch of souvenirs to my home 20 miles away.

    However, since I got my annual pass, I spend a LOT more money on souvenirs and food. Now that I have an AP, I get excited when there are new items I haven't seen before and I LOVE to shop at Disneyland. I spend almost all of my "special occasions" at Disneyland as well, which means nicer, expensive dinners and a lot of spending going around.

    So although some of the tourists which come from out of the area spend a BIG amount of money, I would say that there are a lot of local visitors there everyday, whether there are APs or not. I think Disney has been successful at converting those local visitors who are quite frugal with their purchases to APers who have now have more money to Disney merchandise. Maybe I just have this perspective because I grew up in Orange County. I notice that even my friends who come with me who do not have passes spend a lot less than my friends who do.

  12. #12

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    Re: Can an AP Really Outspend a Ticket Buyer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Broadway Guru View Post
    I filled in the missing piece when I got rid of a nagging false assumption I made and I suspect many of us make: namely, that AP=local. I didn't realize this until recently, but apparently there are a significant number of AP's who are also tourists
    While I agree that there are APs that aren't local (I am an AP holder and live in Phoenix), I would not be so sure that explains the spending difference. We come out for 3 days, eat off property because we refuse to pay out the nose for DL's slop, we'll spend a bit on souvineers, but not all that much.


    I walk past the places with the $1000 Disney watches and $3000 paintings and $500 lillte bric-a-brack and I wonder... Who buys this stuff?

    Frankly, after I've spent $100 on gas, $500-1000 on hotel, $600+ on food(80-90% of that outside the park), I'm not in the mood to spend $1500 on a artistic minature rendering of Sleeping Beauty Castle.

    I'm guessing that a local that bought thier AP 6 months ago and thinks of their trips as "pretty much free now", is a lot more likely to drop $1500 on art than someone that spent $1500 before he stepped in the gate.

  13. #13

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    Re: Can an AP Really Outspend a Ticket Buyer?

    You can't compare an average of a what an individual AP spends in a year with an individual non AP because tourists don't have the ability to go once a month, week ect. For every time an AP enters DL a new tourist also enters DL. So if you want to compare what the entire group of APs spends in an entire year you'd have to compare the same number of tourists for an entire year for the same number of days at DL.

    The typical AP doesn't eat 2-3 meals a day in the parks or purchases multiple beverages and snacks, stays in a DLR hotel, pony's up for F! seating or WoC dinners, or pays what a tourists does just to enter. They also don't buy all the overpriced low quailty junk that is sold in the shops, the tourists do.

    Selling APs for DL serves a pupose there's no denying that. Aps put cash, in advance of visits, in the coffers and as long as that happens offering APs will continue. But to think that the total spending of APs compares to same amount of tourists is ridiculous.

    And yes, there is a faction of non local APs. I am one of them. I think the non local AP is giving Disney the best of both worlds. They pay up front a signifigant amount of money for an AP and then spend like a tourist when they visit. The only exception with me is I don't buy all the junk in the stores.

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  14. #14

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    Re: Can an AP Really Outspend a Ticket Buyer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Broadway Guru View Post
    but apparently there are a significant number of AP's who are also tourists, and they spend accordingly. Imagine a typical tourist family coming to the park, spending like tourists do, but they're also AP's, and as AP's, they come several times a year.

    This is my husband and me.

    We live on Vancouver Island, have APs and we come down to Cali twice a year. We spend at least 4 full days at DL/CA (5, if I can get my way), and we usually eat everything except breakfast in the park. And I always, always, ALWAYS bring a few things home with me too

    I would be totally bummed if they eliminated APs.

  15. #15

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    Re: Can an AP Really Outspend a Ticket Buyer?

    Quote Originally Posted by dsny1mom View Post
    And yes, there is a faction of non local APs. I am one of them. I think the non local AP is giving Disney the best of both worlds. They pay up front a signifigant amount of money for an AP and then spend like a tourist when they visit. The only exception with me is I don't buy all the junk in the stores.

    This is where I struggle - I don't want the junk!!! I usually manage to find myself at least one cute top and then I try to find something I can't get anywhere else - last time I picked up these really cool Snow White lobby card lithographs and they are now framed and on my kitchen wall - I.LOVE.THEM. I try to find something like that each time

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