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  1. #1

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    AP's versus Parkhoppers, which is better?

    Hi! Can someone give me the low down on AP's versus Parkhoppers?

    My family (Me (36), Mom(60), DS(8) & DD(10)) will be heading down to Disneyland for 8 days in October of this year.

    Which is cheaper? AP's or Parkhoppers? Also, what are the benefits of AP's over Parkhoppers? Do we get free parking? What about Food and/or merchandise?

    Fill me in people!! ;-) And Thanks for responding!
    Linda


  2. #2

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    Re: AP's versus Parkhoppers, which is better?

    If you're spending 8 days in the park, get APs. There's discounts in some stores and food that will save you money and buying the AP instead of the park hopper saves you money, too. You can add parking to your pass, I don't know how much it is or whether it is worth it for 8 days. If adding parking is less than $88, I'd add it.

    "I'm not funny. What I am is brave." - Lucille Ball


  3. #3

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    Re: AP's versus Parkhoppers, which is better?

    It might be difficult to get an 8-day parkhopper. Not sure they exist, except possibly through AAA or some other travel agency.

    You might also consider a second trip within 365 days of activating your AP if you go that route.

    You can add parking to ONE AP. No need to add it to all of them. Someone might pop in to suggest that you buy one Premium AP and Deluxe for the rest. Premier comes with parking and, I think, gets slightly better discounts on food and merchandise.
    Depending on where you're staying, you might not need parking.
    "Here You Leave the World of California Today and Enter the World of, um, er, California Today."

  4. #4

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    Re: AP's versus Parkhoppers, which is better?

    Thanks!

    I'm really interested in the parking question, since that could very well determine which hotel we stay at this year.

    If the parking cost is not too high, it would be worth renting a car and not paying for the more expensive hotel across from the park (like the Camelot or Carrousel, which is only a 5 minute walk to the main gates).

    For example, the Super 8 on Disneyland Way looks just as nice as the two aformentioned hotels, and is almost $500 less for a 7 night stay. BUT, we would have to walk 10 minutes and take the tram at the Disney parking structure to get to the park (duration of which I'm not sure of), or drive to the structure and park (which means a rental car).

    Since my tax refund is ALOT less than I was expecting this year, I need to see which way is more cost effective.

    Thanks so much for your input. Keep it coming, guys! ;-)

    Linda
    Linda


  5. #5

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    Re: AP's versus Parkhoppers, which is better?

    Hmmm, thanks for the Premium AP suggestion, S! That might well be worth it, especially since it's usually just one of us adults buying all the food for everyone else anyways. Free parking sounds good too. I'll go check that out.

    As for the 8 day parkhoppers, Expedia offered them on their site when I was pricing different Hotels and flight packages.

    BTW, all the flights that both Expedia and Hotels.com are offering right now have a layover in Vegas. NO non-stop flights. What's UP with that?!?! Do the non-stops not get sold this far out? Weird....

    xo Linda
    Linda


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    Re: AP's versus Parkhoppers, which is better?

    Quote Originally Posted by ljm1971 View Post
    Thanks!

    I'm really interested in the parking question, since that could very well determine which hotel we stay at this year.

    If the parking cost is not too high, it would be worth renting a car and not paying for the more expensive hotel across from the park (like the Camelot or Carrousel, which is only a 5 minute walk to the main gates).

    For example, the Super 8 on Disneyland Way looks just as nice as the two aformentioned hotels, and is almost $500 less for a 7 night stay. BUT, we would have to walk 10 minutes and take the tram at the Disney parking structure to get to the park (duration of which I'm not sure of), or drive to the structure and park (which means a rental car).

    Since my tax refund is ALOT less than I was expecting this year, I need to see which way is more cost effective.

    Thanks so much for your input. Keep it coming, guys! ;-)

    Linda
    Try Priceline for rooms, you'll save a bundle on hotel costs. $45 per night will get you Crown Plaza or other high quality hotels very near DL - some offer free shuttles, others are available for a minimal charge.
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  7. #7

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    Re: AP's versus Parkhoppers, which is better?

    Quote Originally Posted by ljm1971 View Post
    BTW, all the flights that both Expedia and Hotels.com are offering right now have a layover in Vegas. NO non-stop flights. What's UP with that?!?! Do the non-stops not get sold this far out? Weird....
    Where are you coming from? And which airport are you flying into? And which airline is this?
    "Here You Leave the World of California Today and Enter the World of, um, er, California Today."

  8. #8

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    Re: AP's versus Parkhoppers, which is better?

    We are coming from Oakland, CA, flying into John Wayne Intl.

    So far, all the airlines listed are showing no non-stop flights available. Maybe because it's too far out (more than 6 months)??

    xo Linda
    Linda


  9. #9

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    Re: AP's versus Parkhoppers, which is better?

    Quote Originally Posted by ljm1971 View Post
    We are coming from Oakland, CA, flying into John Wayne Intl.

    So far, all the airlines listed are showing no non-stop flights available. Maybe because it's too far out (more than 6 months)??

    xo Linda
    You might have an easier time doing each separate. You can't get flights from Southwest for October until possibly May, but those will be pretty cheap. And non-stop.
    And if you go the AP route, you don't have to bother with admission/hotel/etc. packages.

    Heck, from Oakland, it will be cheaper to drive four people. Lots of people on these boards can attest to that. (I'm sure there is some other restriction to this idea, though.)
    "Here You Leave the World of California Today and Enter the World of, um, er, California Today."

  10. #10

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    Re: AP's versus Parkhoppers, which is better?

    Quote Originally Posted by dland_lover View Post
    -The DL Premium AP is $379, which has parking included, no blockout days, 15% off food, 10% off merchandise, 20% off guided tours, plus assorted Downtown Disney discounts and discounts at the DLR hotels.

    -The Deluxe pass is $259, does not having parking included (which can be add for the year for $59), 50 blockout days (mostly holidays), 10% off food, 20% off guided tours, assorted Downtown Disney discounts and discounts at the DLR hotels.

    -The Southern California AP is $169, does not have parking included (although it can be added for $59), 150 blockout days (mostly Saturdays and holidays, in addition to being blocked out for summer), 10% off food, assorted Downtown Disney discounts and discounts at the DLR hotels.

    -The Southern California Select AP is $129, does not include parking (which can be added for $59), 195 blockout days (no weekends, summer, holidays, or any day ending with "y" ), 10% off food, assorted Downtown Disney discounts and discounts at the DLR hotels.

    All passes can also have a stroller rental pass added to them, for $59. This allows for one (1) "free" stroller rental per eligible AP, per visit.
    Hope this helps.

  11. #11

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    Re: AP's versus Parkhoppers, which is better?

    You can get an 8 day park hopper, call the Walt Disney Travel Company about getting a discounted 8 day park hopper, they cost more at the gate, plus for some reason Disneyland.com doesn't mention them.

  12. #12

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    Re: AP's versus Parkhoppers, which is better?

    Quote Originally Posted by ljm1971 View Post
    Thanks!

    I'm really interested in the parking question, since that could very well determine which hotel we stay at this year.

    If the parking cost is not too high, it would be worth renting a car and not paying for the more expensive hotel across from the park (like the Camelot or Carrousel, which is only a 5 minute walk to the main gates).
    Linda
    With kids in tow, you might be happier having a hotel right off Harbor (We've stayed at the Park Vue Inn, Carousel, and HoJo). There is really something to be said for being able to walk back to your room to take a breather, and then go back to the Parks without dealing with driving or parking.

    Also, keep in mind the 8 day Hoppers will get you 2 early entry days, which you won't get with an AP. Still, if you plan to do more than 1 trip, an AP is the way to go, plus the food discounts can be helpful.

    Warning though - APs can be dangerous if you don't live near the park. We live in Austin and went to DLR Sept. 2005 (my first trip since 1982, and the first for my son). We had such a great time we went back in Sept 2006. 2007 was going to be WDW - we had never been. We spend 8 days there in May, but I was missing DLR - so we went to DLR again last September. We got our first APs during this trip - and figured, since we had APs, we'd go back in December to make the APs worthwhile (plus, it was our first trip ever to DLR during the holidays!). So, we went over Christmas and saw the Candlelight Procession. Now, I'm thinking, since we have APs, we should go again in April....so much for one Disney trip per year!

    You might also want to check out Get Away Today vacations - they have the 8 day passes for $199 for adults.

  13. #13

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    Re: AP's versus Parkhoppers, which is better?

    If you're buying APs, make sure you're not there on a day when one of the APs are blocked out. (i just checked, and no blockouts for deluxe or premium in oct!) I know you can buy 8 day park hoppers (if you're buying a DL hotel and tix package online, it indicates that you can get 8 or 9 day park hoppers, so i know they exist somehow), but I have no idea if they're cheaper or more expensive than Deluxe or Premium APs.

    adding parking to an AP is only 60 bucks (it used to be cheaper, but whatever), so it's cheaper than parking for 8 days. if you get one premium ap and the rest deluxe (provided the APs cost less than the park hoppers plus parking), then the one premium holder can get the included parking and use the 15 percent food discount (i think it's 10% for merch?)
    "And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by" (John Masefield)



  14. #14

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    Re: AP's versus Parkhoppers, which is better?

    1) I love my AP, but unless you plan on using it more than trip, I'm not sure how cost effective it will be.
    2) I, like the another poster, recently acquired my first AP. I told my husband--"It's just 2 trips." Well, I've been 3 times since then and have 3 more trips planned in the next 2 months. Since I live in Sacramento, I drop $300 in hotel, gas and food everytime. Ouch!! But but but but. Yea--my husband doesn't want to hear it. Needless to say, I don't get to renew my passes.
    3) Drive!!! Its only 7-8 hours. And you won't have to rent a car or deal with the airport. Take the 5 to the 210 East to the 57 South. Get off on Katella and go right to DL. It is easy.
    4) After my last trip and the hotel yuckiness I experienced, I am now sold on The Alpine Inn. No need for parking structure--walking distance from the park. Clean and cheap. My sister recently got a family suite for $100/night. And the people are nice and normal (very important to me). You can find cheaper, but not slso close and clean. IMO.

  15. #15

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    Re: AP's versus Parkhoppers, which is better?

    OK, your choices...

    8 day ParkHopper - $204 for adults, $174 for kids 3 thru 9 (Available thru WDTC or Getawaytoday.com) This is the regular Advance Purchase price, not the discounted January thru April special.

    Benefits, no blockout dates to worry about, kids pricing is available. No discounts, but if you have AAA, you can order the ticket thru them, and get free parking, plus your AAA card does get you 10% off a few restaurants at the Disneyland Resort, such as the Plaza Inn. Your cheapest option.

    Deluxe AP's, $259 for all people 3 or older.

    Have to worry about blockout dates. Parking is an extra $59. A 10% discount on most food purchases at the DLR. No merchandise discount. So you would have to buy about $500 worth of food to recoup the cost difference between the 8 day ParkHopper and the Deluxe AP.

    Premium AP - $379 for everyone 3 and older.

    No blockout dates, free parking at the parking structure and a 15% discount on most food, and 10% off merchandise. That is over $1,500 worth of purchases to recoup the discount, about $1,100 if you use the parking pass.

    So the 8 day ParkHoppers are $250 cheaper than buying Deluxe AP's for everyone, and unless you are going to eat every meal at the DLR, you won't recover the cost difference, unless you are planning to return prior to October of 2009.

    As for parking, IMHO, just use the Shuttle from your hotel. No parking fee, and no extra time hassling to enter and find a place to park. Unless you walk from your hotel, either parking or using the ART shuttle requires you to wait for the vehicle, board the tram/shuttle, take a ride, then unload. So why not avoid the extra steps of loading up the car, driving to the parking structure and then waiting in the lines to pay your toll (or show your parking pass), then get in another line, while you get directed to your parking space.

    As for flights from Oakland, check out Jet Blue. They fly into Long Beach, which is the same distance from the DLR as John Wayne, and LGB is a lot quieter, and easy to get to the DLR. About $40 plus tip for a taxi one way, or if you rent a car, it is so easy to drive. Basically when you exit the airport, the exit going straight is Wardrow going east bound (and the airport is so small that there is only one main entrance/exit). Wardrow changes name to Ball Road. Just keep going straight about 14 miles, and Disneyland will show up on the right side of the street. No freeway driving, just a straight shot to the DLR.
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