Discounts and promotions are things people always want to know more about.
Today I thought I'd go through how Disney World discounts work, what discounts have been offered in the last few years and how to increase your chances of getting one.
Let's take a look...
Some general things to know about Disney World discounts:
- You can only use 1 discount at a time. For example, if you get Free Dining, you can't also get a discount on your hotel room.
- You can book your trip before discounts come out. If a discount is released after your trip is booked, the discount can be applied to your existing reservation. However, Disney only allows so many rooms to use a promotion so you will want to call ASAP to make sure you're 1 of them.
- There are blackout dates. For instance, if a fall promotion is announced, Thanksgiving week will often be blacked out. This is true for all major U.S. holidays.
- Where to find current discounts. Current Disney World offers can be found at https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/special-offers/ and I also list them on the monthly dashboards.
- Deluxe Resorts receive the biggest discounts. When a promotion is announced such as 20-35% off rooms, the lower percentage (20%) usually applies to Value Resorts while the larger percentage (35%) usually applies to Deluxe Resorts.
- What's included with Free Dining. The Free Dining promotion includes the Quick Service Dining Plan for free if you're staying at a Value Resort and the Basic Dining Plan if you're staying at a Moderate or Deluxe Resort. You can pay to upgrade the Disney Dining Plan if you'd like. I suggest staying at a Moderate Resort when using Free Dining to get a lower hotel room cost with the better Disney Dining Plan.
When discounts have been offered
Below, I've used the information from the Mousesavers.com chart of past discounts to show you what discounts have been available each month for the past 3 years. The dates in parentheses in the charts show when the discount was announced.
This is only a reference and there's no guarantee that these will be offered in the future.
Click the calendar to view a larger version.
Increasing your chances of getting a discount
Some tips to better your odds of having a discount during your trip:
- Use a good Disney travel agent. A good Disney agent is always on top of what and when discounts are available and will work hard to make sure you get it. If you'd like a quote for your trip, fill out the Request a Quote form and it'll be submitted to Cheryl Koren, the agent I recommend.
- Get a Disney Visa. People with Disney Visa cards will be able to book the promotions a few days before everybody else.
- Sign up for alerts. On each of the monthly dashboards, there's a sign-up form to receive alerts. When discounts are announced, I email people on those lists to let them know.
- Book dates when discounts are available. Using the charts above, you should be able to see when discounts are available. People often ask me things like "when will Free Dining be announced for this summer?" and that's just not likely to happen. If you want Free Dining, book in the fall when it's usually offered.
- Avoid staying at excluded resorts. Art of Animation Little Mermaid rooms, Ft. Wilderness campsites, 3 bedroom Villas and new resorts are often excluded from promotions so you would want to stay elsewhere to qualify for a discount. If you already have a reservation booked at a resort and a promotion is released that excludes that resort, you can change resorts to get the discount.
Questions or comments about how discounts work or which ones are available?
Please discuss in the comments.