First of all, no one is bashing APs at all or vilifying people who use them. I have been a part of the AP program for Disneyland, Disney World, and several other theme parks so I am not in any way criticizing anyone who uses them.
Yes, locals pay the price in high tourist areas (I live in Orlando, and also spent a good amount of time in SoCal). And I agree to some extent that they deserve discounts because it's a good incentive when you're a local and it's also a way to sort of pay the locals back after putting them through some rough times in the busy seasons (although, to be honest, these tourist attractions are helping your economy but we won't get into that).
Here's the issue I, and a lot of others, have with the system (again, this is not bashing people who use it). When you're a local who has an AP, and paid a discounted price for it, you are actually saving money to go to Disneyland, and after a certain amount of visits, it's free! Not only that, you have the option to eat off-property, don't feel the need to buy souvenirs, and even if you did, you get lots of discounts. I'm happy for you and I enjoyed my perks (before I moved out of California) while I had my pass.
But compare that to the family from North Dakota. They have never been on a vacation all their life, and they decide that the one place they want to go to more than anywhere is Disneyland. They save up for years and years. They put several hours a day into planning their vacation to come. This is the most exciting moment of their lives so far and they'll be surprised if they can ever duplicate it.
The time comes and this is what they see...long lines, heavy crowds, and blankets laid out all along the viewing area for Fantasmic. They don't have as acute of an understanding of the FP system as some of the locals do and ride less rides than them. They may miss Fantasmic because of the spot-holding, or sacrifice a few great rides to hold a spot for it. They don't get to do all the rides they wanted to do. They missed out on a few shows. They got bumped into and stepped on throughout a lot of their crowded day.
Feel bad for these folks when they go home? Sure, they had a good time, but could it have been better? Now everyone can't expect their vacations to go as planned but here's the kicker...they saved up their whole lives to go to Disneyland, paid face value for park tickets and food and gifts, and can never come back again, all to be disappointed because it was full of people who can come back the next day...for free.
Now AP's have every right to come to the park, I'm not saying they should all clear out because the North Dakota family is coming for the first time ever. But, why do the APs need extra hours after the park closes? Because they didn't get to ride Space Mountain as much as they wanted to? Well can they not just come back tomorrow and take a whirl on it? Even if you're not a local, you no doubt bought your AP to come back more than once a year. So while North Dakota family leaves forever, the locals get to stay and play and ride the rides they've ridden hundreds of times before, and most likely not pay for the overpriced food or gifts like the tourists do.
This is not about Disney's business plan; this is about what people think is fair. APs have every right to enjoy the crud out of Disneyland when they pay good money to. But considering that the daytrips begin to pay for themselves, and that you don't spend as much money on in-park goods, or spend as much time planning out your day, do you really think it's fair that you get extra time in the park when the once-a-year and even once-in-a-lifteime tourists have to leave? Now, if you think that you honestly should get more time in a park you know like the back of your hand that you're basically coming to for free, then that's great. But as an AP myself, I feel bad for the tourists who are paying, planning, and not taking it for granted. Maybe you do think that you deserve extra time in the park, but hopefully this little story puts some things into perspective, and the AP holders will stop being so defensive about this perceived 'bashing' and understand the real topic here.