Free Dining. Summer promotions. Annual Passholder rates.
Discounts are sometimes like the Golden Ticket of Disney trips. We hope they are out there and that we'll be lucky enough to snag one.
But what do you do if a discount comes out AFTER you've already booked?
Well ... it kind of depends.
How a Disney World discount works
First of all, discounts are never, ever guaranteed - and this includes FREE DINING. You should never set your heart on it because just when you do Disney will whisk it away (along with all of your hopes and dreams).
Second, not all room categories OR even resorts will be eligible for a Disney World discount. Disney doesn't offer discounts to be "nice". They offer discounts to sell rooms.
So if rooms are selling well or always sell well (I'm looking at you Little Mermaid Rooms at Art of Animation) they aren't going to offer discounts there.
But - Club Level at the Yacht Club? Yep. You'll probably see discounts offered there.
SO - what do you do if a discount comes out after you book?
You have a few options:
Jump online and go to your reservation and select CHANGE RESERVATION. (BEST option)
After you do that you'll be able to see if your current reservation is eligible for the discount or if you'll need to change to another resort or room category to snag it.
Want to see this process step-by-step?
If you have a good travel agent, you shouldn't have to do anything. (BEST v. 2.0)
When discounts are released they'll likely be up way before you checking to see if the newly released discount can be applied and if it can, they'll re-book it before you're even showered and dressed for the day.
Cancel and rebook. (BEST if things go wrong)
I know this will be surprising BUT sometimes Disney tech can have some...glitches. And, sometimes reservations (for a variety of reasons) can't be modified online.
In those instances your best bet is to just re-book a new trip and after you've secured the new reservation, cancel your old one. BUT ONLY DO THIS IF YOUR TRIP IS FURTHER THAN 30 DAYS AWAY (package) or 5 DAYS IF IT IS A ROOM ONLY.
Yes this option is a hassle because you'll have to wait for your original deposit to go back into your account BUT if you are trying to get a super competitive discount (like Free Dining) time is of the essence; even just an hour delay can mean losing out - so the faster you can book something the better.
If all else fails, call.
If you don't have a travel agent and you can't modify online or if you need help, you'll need to call. Keep in mind, though, that the phone lines open often HOURS after discounts are able to be booked online SO if you have to wait to call, you'll be behind the game.
Phone number --->1 (407) 939-1936
Something to keep in mind about applying a Disney World discount:
Whenever you modify a reservation you might find yourself subject to new pricing and fees.
For example, if you originally booked a trip BEFORE a ticket price increase but you want to modify it and add a discount code AFTER a ticket price increase, your package will be subject to the new ticket prices. In some instances this can eat up a lot of the "savings" so be sure you DOUBLE CHECK the numbers before you do anything.
As for PARKING FEES (which is something new Disney is doing. Thanks Disney.) As long as your trip dates don't change you should NOT have to pay parking fees if you modify your vacation now. BUT, again, double check numbers and call if you have any questions!