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Is it better (more magical) not to have an AP?

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  • d1mex
    replied
    Re: Is it better (more magical) not to have an AP?

    I'm happy to say I JUST BOUGHT MY FIRST AP TODAY!!! AHHH!!! SO EXCITED!

    I live in San Jose, and I usually go to DL at least 4-5 times a year, I figure I'm spending 180 for two days, 430 is a good deal. Plus the misc discounts you get everywhere helps too.

    Financially it makes sense.

    If anything, having an AP, I hope, will enhance my experience. I can worry less about how many days I use, and more on enjoying the park, not just cramming everything into a day. I can take it slow. Knowing I don't have to pay an extra day or something.

    If I lived in Anaheim or LA, and I went every other weekend, I think the magic would wear off a little bit, but I'd still have the excitement obviously. Living in San Jose, it gives me the oppurtunity to go when I want, but living far, I can only go so many times...it works out.

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  • Datameister
    replied
    Re: Is it better (more magical) not to have an AP?

    :lol: Nice analogy. Though I hope to skip the "boring" phase as much as possible in both...

    Leave a comment:


  • orbitalpunk
    replied
    Re: Is it better (more magical) not to have an AP?

    Being an APer is a little like some marriages. Its hot, then boring, then familiar and comforting.

    Leave a comment:


  • Datameister
    replied
    Re: Is it better (more magical) not to have an AP?

    Totally depends on the person. It's as simple as that. Personally, I'm very glad I didn't get to go more than once every two or three years for more entire childhood - it made the park a special and mysterious privilege. It was the polar opposite of my everyday world in which I was familiar with everything. Disneyland felt like a truly magical place where there was always something new to do, and where every moment had to be savored because I didn't know when I'd get to experience it again.

    Now, as a young adult who doesn't have an AP but certainly goes more often than he did as a child, I definitely feel differently about the park. It's much more familiar. I can walk through (or fly over!) most of the park in my head. I memorize the music, down to what notes individual instruments are playing at specific points on the track for Space Mountain. I remember the HM spiel. I know what scenes are coming next in Indiana Jones. Not much can surprise me in the park anymore, so I feel like I've lost something that I once held very precious. But at the same time, I've gained so much in terms of knowledge about and appreciation for the park in all its glorious detail. It's a different way of experiencing the place.

    I'm glad I've gotten to experience both in my life, but I do wonder if buying an AP would push me over the edge into too much familiarity with the park. For some people it does, and for some people it doesn't, and I'm sure the only way to be positive which applies to you is to try.

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  • AcmePunched
    replied
    Re: Is it better (more magical) not to have an AP?

    I'll put in another good word for getting an AP. =3 I've got the personality type that loves familiar things. Getting my good money's worth out of the APs I've bought over the past two years has caused the park to have a real homey feeling for me. And I like that.

    Before my pass (which I got when I was 17) my family only went to DLR probably a total of five or six times. I know I went once when I was four, and probably another time or two before I turned 10.. We went to DCA for a couple of birthdays, and perhaps DL a couple other times... My point is, we didn't go very much. And even though I thoroughly enjoyed every trip I took, I never really thought of Disneyland as ZOMGspecial. It was a great and unique theme park, but in the end.. it was just a great and unique theme park.

    But now that I go about two to three times every month, Disneyland is like my home base when it comes to parks. I feel comfortable there. It's got a personal significance for me - like, "This is my park, I know it inside and out!" And since Disneyland is inherently cooler than any shopping mall or normal hang-out spot (just on principle), this translates into a really awesome warm and fuzzy feeling.

    Plus, my AP lets me and my friend do things like this - Come to the park early afternoon and sit in the DCA animation building lobby for two and a half hours just drawing, then go on Indy and Space Mountain to see the new additions to the rides, get some dinner at the Jazz Kitchen in Downtown Disney, come back to the park, stake out a fantastic spot on Main Street for the fireworks, then people watch for the next two hours until the fireworks starts, perhaps getting some good gesture drawings in while we're at it.

    We made some pretty awesome sketches last Friday indeed.

    Leave a comment:


  • BC_DisneyGeek
    replied
    Re: Is it better (more magical) not to have an AP?

    I'm from out of town but I've done a trip where I was there long enough to have an annual pass. It's nice as others have said, to take things easy, to not feel the pressure of cramming everything into a few days. It's nice to enjoy the ambience, not feeling like every minute must be devoted to getting onto another ride.

    Having said that, even going annually has proven to be more than enough for me. I've alternated Anaheim and Orlando the last four years, and I'm pretty content. I still love it, it always feels like I've come "home", but I do feel that the novelty, the "magic" has worn off just a teensy bit. I don't feel like going weekly or monthly would be necesscary. There's definately a feeling of been there, done that, even with "merely" going on an annual basis.

    So I think there's benefits to being a regular (it's more relaxed) and an infrequent visitor (perhaps it can feel more exciting, more of a novelty).

    I probably won't be back until 2011, and I'm fine with that, but I might feel differently in a month, when the itch returns...

    Leave a comment:


  • MatterhornJ
    replied
    Re: Is it better (more magical) not to have an AP?

    Originally posted by willsingforfood View Post
    I absolutely LOVE my AP. I've had one for almost a year and a half and I've gone about 15 or 20 times. I still cry every single time I watch a fireworks show. I think it just depends on if you're the kind of person who gets enjoyment out of doing something regularly. Do you like to re-watch movies, or can you listen to the same CD several times in a week? If yes, then an AP is a great investment, but if not, then don't.
    Does this apply to me if I listened to a remix of Grim Grinning Ghosts on repeat for 30 minutes straight today?

    Leave a comment:


  • willsingforfood
    replied
    Re: Is it better (more magical) not to have an AP?

    I absolutely LOVE my AP. I've had one for almost a year and a half and I've gone about 15 or 20 times. I still cry every single time I watch a fireworks show. I think it just depends on if you're the kind of person who gets enjoyment out of doing something regularly. Do you like to re-watch movies, or can you listen to the same CD several times in a week? If yes, then an AP is a great investment, but if not, then don't.

    Leave a comment:


  • Aladdin
    replied
    Re: Is it better (more magical) not to have an AP?

    Before AP, I would HAVE to be at the gates at openning AND stay until they security people marched down Main Street, and pushed me out. I would go go go, rush rush rush to get everything in.

    After AP, I could slow down and really enjoy my time there. There wasn't that "have to do it all in one day" pressure. I end up planning to spend more time there, (and obviously more money). Even though it's 6 hours away, I've taken more trips than I would have otherwise, and had a chance to go to special events that I probably wouldn't have done either. So really, I've had a chance to do a much wider variety of things, than I would have been able to do without an AP. And I'm still missing out on things I would like to do.

    And if DL would be closer to me, I would likely take a few more shorter trips than I do now.

    I really do like visiting, and even though I am sometimes critical of Management, it's usually because they taken away something that has been a big part of what I enjoy at DL, and/or replaced it with something of lesser quality. And when something is done right, I say so too.

    And NO! I'm not the type of person who only goes just to visit with the characters every single trip, but once in a while I enjoy visiting with a character. I'm NOT going waste 2 hours standing line to meet the princesses or the fairies. BUT if a character is out and about, I MIGHT stand in line if it's a character I enjoy, or they have a special costume on, or if the line isn't too long. But sometimes I just enjoy watching Cruella sass off to some kids (or adults). One time I saw Goofy Claws in Toontown, and it was a hoot watching him interact with the kids (and adults). This summer I saw Aladdin and Jasmine running around Adventureland, briefly stopping for only a picture or two, and then running off to another place in Adventureland. But I don't ALWAYS want to see Peter, Alice, and the Mad Hatter play musical chairs (I think I've only see that once)

    What I'm saying is, I like the variety of entertain that DL offers! That is what makes DL special. It's not just going there and doing the same thing every single time.
    Last edited by Aladdin; 10-19-2009, 07:39 PM.

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  • lobeobann
    replied
    Re: Is it better (more magical) not to have an AP?

    Here's my theory: People who do not have APs generally tend to try to go on everything, see every show, meet every character..... all in one day. It's just not possible. It becomes one big headache. If you have an AP and "oh darn, there's no room to see the parade" or "that line is too long", oh well, just come back another day. I think a lot of the rude pushy people with their strollers and cranky kids are the people the ones that try to do this. You miss all the magic and beauty of the park because you're just trying to go through it all. It gets to the point where it's not even enjoyable. For really young kids, though, I wouldn't reccomend an AP. It's ironic, I know, but hear me out. It's so exciting as a little kid to know that you're going to DL. If you grow up there, it's just not the same. Kids see the overall effect. They don't care if you don't get to go on the Mark Twain, they just love the magic throughout. Adults can see the finer details. I love going into the park and seeing what has changed, or noticing some small detail I've missed before. I like knowing the "secrets" and seeing them in action. Plus, there's always something new. The first day of the fireworks and of Murphy, I was at the park to be one of the first to see. I think it may take a special kind of obsessive person to not get tired of DL though. But even when you've experienced all the magic, one of my favorite things is to see someone else experience it for the first time.

    Leave a comment:


  • nileprincess
    replied
    Re: Is it better (more magical) not to have an AP?

    Nope. Because we got APs in July, we visited the park for my birthday in September, are going this coming weekend for Halloween and will be back in December for my mom's birthday. All in all, that's three more times than our average yearly trip. It definitely makes me smile!

    Leave a comment:


  • pratt55
    replied
    Re: Is it better (more magical) not to have an AP?

    MickeyMaxx said it best, although we live 5 1/2 hours away, with having an AP we get to slow down and smell the roses and the coffee instead of feeling like we need to rush from ride to show to ride.

    Leave a comment:


  • MickeyMaxx
    replied
    Re: Is it better (more magical) not to have an AP?

    I feel very lucky to live close enough to Disneyland (one hour drive), and to be able to have an annual pass. Our approach to the park is more relaxed, because there isn't the imperative to ride every ride we can, and the visits are no less special than they used to be before having a pass. They are not particularly repetitive either since we tend to concentrate on smaller physical areas to spend our time in, even though we'll usually walk the whole park each time. We're not bothered by the crowds for the same reason. If an attraction is impossibly busy, there's always later in the day or another time when we can enjoy it. I think that might give us a feeling of "specialness" similar to what the OP described. We might not see an attraction any more often than they do.

    Every time I walk through the tunnel, I get a little misty at the sight of Main Street, and with each visit, I notice details I've overlooked for the last 49 years. It's not wallpaper for me, but an intricate assemblage of textures and objects, each of them so well executed it's a wonder how they managed to create it in the first place. I love to see the children interact with characters, but have no interest in them myself.

    I don't purposely look for lapses in the quality of the physical park, but sometimes I notice some. Take a small bit of paint that needs attention. Sometimes I've wondered if I notice it because every other bit of painted or varnished wood shows not a single brush stroke, and a level of gloss that I sure can't recreate in my real life.

    The AP is a luxury for us, a bit of a financial push, especially since each time we go we'll spend around a hundred dollars on meals, beverages, and snacks in a day. But is it worth it? Emphatically, yes. Does it cheapen the experience? Not for me.

    Leave a comment:


  • DisneyIPresume
    replied
    Re: Is it better (more magical) not to have an AP?

    Originally posted by bee1000 View Post
    Here's something I've noticed among some frequent visitors on this board: They are very excited by costumed characters in the parks, seeing them, getting photos taken with them, playing musical chairs with them, eating lunch with them.

    My theory is these people have gone to Disneyland so many times that much of the park has become wallpaper. They love characters because characters might be different each time you go, whereas everything else in the park barely changes, hence the Halloween and Holiday overlays and now annual marketing themes.

    I've been going once or twice a year for a few years now, after rarely going for maybe a decade, and I feel like I know the park too well at this point. It has nothing to do with crowds because I can work around that with Fastpasses. It's just that even though there's lots to see and do, it's been seen and done before.
    I'm an AP holder, a local, and someone who has visited the park on multiple occasions every year since I was born almost 41 years ago and if Disney decided to not have a single character roaming the parks anymore I wouldn't miss a thing.

    Leave a comment:


  • WorldDisney
    replied
    Re: Is it better (more magical) not to have an AP?

    I'm like a lot of people grew up in SoCal (Compton) and yes as a little boy went once a year. It was a biiiig deal, like once a year kind of thing in the summer although we were only 20 minutes from the place.

    But then I lived abroad for a long time and only visited (the original) DL about every 2 years basically. But then I was back home for a few months in 2005/2006 and for the first time decided, what the hell, I will get me an AP!

    And so I used it for maybe 3 months and LOVED IT!!! It was during Xmas time and it was just so much fun to go there 2-3 times a week, which I was doing. Remember though, I was just visiting home for about 3 months and had no job lol, so I was just going waay more than if I bought a pass and spread out the frequency a little more for a year. But it was a great time.

    Did I get sick of it a little....yep!! But it was great because it wasnt JUST hopping on Splash and Indy all the time. I just loved sitting in NOS, with my ipod and a book and just people watch.....jump over to DCA, hit Soarin maybe and come back...or just go to the park around 8 pm to have dinner there, catch Fantasmic and then go to DTD and see a movie. It felt like Disney was just another spot to hit like going to the mall. Some people thinks that takes it away....I think that makes it more interesting because you really learn to take your time and see the park in a different way when you know you can come back next week and not next year.

    So yeah, it depends on the person and like I said, my case was different, it was only a few months with a pass. I imagine if I had one for years and years, things might be different, but I'm in L.A. now and I'm seriously considering getting another one if I am here for just a few months like before . Its just great feeling to hit the park (in theory) anytime you want! And guess what, if it gets too busy the day you go, just go another day when its less busy, presto .

    Leave a comment:


  • Flashbaak
    replied
    Re: Is it better (more magical) not to have an AP?

    As a kid growing up, we'd go to Disneyland once a year and it was a BIG deal. Last Christmas, we got AP's as a gift, and we've gone about once every two months. I still enjoy it each time, but I'm sad to see that it has really become mundane for my two kids, ages 4 and 7. Last time I told them, "Hey guys! We're going to Disneyland in a few days!!" their response was a very nonchalant, "Oh. Yeah?"

    I was afraid that would happen if we got AP's, and I was right. We're not renewing our passes. We'll go once or maybe twice next year. We discovered that too much of a good thing... is too much.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bexington
    replied
    Re: Is it better (more magical) not to have an AP?

    I have an AP also but only cause buying a 3 or 4 day park hopper would be more expensive. I prefer to go to disneyland in early march. I save up enough money to make it feel like a real vacation. Onsite hotels food and everything.

    Leave a comment:


  • Mojave
    replied
    Re: Is it better (more magical) not to have an AP?

    When I was a child, we would go to Disneyland once a year and it was like Christmas. My friends and I (we'd usually go with our neighbors) would dream about it for weeks. We *had* to go during the summer. We'd arrive early, we'd leave late - it was an all day adventure.

    As an adult, local (San Diego) and self-employed, I can choose when to go and how long I stay. I find short trips mid-week during the off-season just about the greatest thing ever. Without an AP, I would never do these kinds of trips. Isn't this the point of an AP?

    I like to think positively about all these "hassles" that are mentioned. The long line "hassle" just means a whole bunch of people are getting to enjoy DLR attractions. If you think parking at DLR is a "hassle", try owning a car in New York or San Francisco. If you think DL crowds are a "hassle", try walking through Times Square any time of the year. Once you realize that these things are only minor "hassles" compared to real life ones, you'll find that the reward of Disneyland is well worth it.

    Leave a comment:


  • SingingAngel7242
    replied
    Re: Is it better (more magical) not to have an AP?

    I have a pass... I try to go once a month...
    It does get repetitive but it's because that's how I make it... but I do get excited when I see certain characters n stuff

    Really depends on you

    Leave a comment:


  • SnorkletsMom
    replied
    Re: Is it better (more magical) not to have an AP?

    No.

    If you are the type of person who becomes tired of something easily once you're familiar with it, then yes, familiarity breeds contempt so you probably shouldn't have an AP.

    Please don't equate the amount of complaining posts to the reality of whether or not people love the park, AP or not. People who are more frequent visitors spot problems more, and if they belong to a site like MC, they will speak out about it.

    The character theory above doesn't apply to anyone I know, and I personally hate characters, never liked them even as a small child. I just don't think there's anything exciting about an adult dressed up in a stifling mouse costume, pretending to be an animated character. But again, that's personal opinion :-)

    Leave a comment:

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