By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2017, from the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever. Paperback available on Amazon here. Kindle version available on Amazon here. PDF version available on Gumroad here.



yourfirstvisit.net—Disney World Instructions for the First-Time Visitor







The Tightwad’s Guide to Where to Stay at Walt Disney World: 2. Resort Deals and Discounts



By Dave Shute

This page is part of the series The Tightwad’s Guide to Walt Disney World

OVERVIEW: RESORT DEALS AND DISCOUNTS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD

This site provides precise instructions elsewhere on where to stay at Walt Disney World.  These instructions are designed for typical first time family visitors who are not sure whether or not they will ever return.

This page addresses where to stay at Walt Disney World for a subset of first time visitors: tightwads.

MORE DETAILS ON RESORT DEALS AND DISCOUNTS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD

Walt Disney World Resort hotels have standard prices that go up and down over the course of the year. Disney World also offers resort hotels at different price points, ranging from less than $100 to more than $300 per night.

In addition, during one particular time of the year, not only are Walt Disney World prices lower, but often it offers a deal for free food.

Also, even during good economic times, Disney will make various deals available to the general public. These deals can be up to 45% off of seasonal list prices.

These deals can be available almost any time of the year except for the very busiest times—you won’t find them at Christmas/New Years, Easter, or Thanksgiving. Also, in the busier times of the year, both fewer resorts, and fewer rooms within them, will be available for these deals.

The good news for bargain hunters is that these deals tend to be most available during the same seasons that list prices are also at their lowest—so that the deals drive the prices to rock bottom.

You can find many of these on Walt Disney World’s “Special Offers” page.

There are lots of other sites on the web for Walt Disney World bargain hunters.

On this site, pay attention to the ads—Disney often places ads for discounts at the top, right side, and bottom of the pages of this site. Also check the “News and Changes” section—if there’s a big deal discount, it will usually be in there.

Be also sure to check MouseSavers.com. It typically has the best and most comprehensive listing of Walt Disney World discounts available.

MORE WALT DISNEY WORLD RESORT DEALS AND DISCOUNTS

Besides Disney itself, you can sometimes find Walt Disney World resort hotel deals on the usual hotel websites—e.g. via Kayak.com—or as part of packages offered by airlines and such—e.g. Southwest Airlines.

Be very careful with the results of internet hotel searches.

Several hotels will show up in these searches as being on or in Walt Disney World that don’t have all–or in some cases, any–of the benefits of a “true” Walt Disney World Resort hotel, such as access to the Disney Dining Plan or Magical Express. (See this for more on why this matters…)

Many of these hotels are great for returning visitors, but should be avoided by first-time visitors.

The hotels that may show up on these searches that first time visitors should avoid include the Walt Disney World Swan, Walt Disney World Dolphin, and any hotel with an address on Hotel Plaza Boulevard.

You can also find Walt Disney World resort deals packaged by airlines. More of these are available to you if you are willing to go through a connecting city, as this opens flights to Orlando for you from pretty much every airline that serves your local airport.

Always check the websites of the airlines that serve your home (and nearby cities as well) for such deals.

Also check with AAA and AARP if you are a member.

Beyond this, if you are not satisfied with the deals you have been able to find on your own, consider working with a travel agent that specializes in Disney travel.  They may be able to find you a great airline or other package deal.

PUBLISHED SO FAR IN THE TIGHTWAD’S GUIDE TO WALT DISNEY WORLD

PUBLISHED SO FAR IN THE COMFORTABLE GUIDE TO WALT DISNEY WORLD

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10 comments

1 Kim { 12.18.10 at 10:02 am }

I am trying to book a 1st time family trip February 5-11 (kids ages 6 and 8). Why is this the only week that the free meal plan is not available? We do not like crowds at all. I am getting conflicting suggestions for staying at Caribbean Resort, Pop Century, or Coronodo. Can you advise?

2 Dave { 12.18.10 at 3:34 pm }

Kim there’s lots of black out dates–including three different periods in February–for the free dining offer. The hotel discount offer has many fewer blackout dates. See this for the hotel discount: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2010/03/29/walt-disney-worlds-latest-spring-and-summer-deal/

I do NOT expect your dates to have large crowds!

For hotels, I have reviews of all three linked from this page: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2010/04/26/walt-disney-world-resort-hotel-reviews/ The reviews are in order of my recommendations, and you’ve hit on my top value, and my top two moderates.

3 Amanda { 04.26.13 at 9:36 am }

Hi Dave,
I have enjoyed reading a lot of your info and would really appreciate your help as I have left this leg of our USA trip til last. Not a good idea but too overwhelming. I am looking at coming to Orlando in July this year!! with 2 kids, 19 and 15. They don’t really want all the disney themed stuff. We have 6 nights in Orlando and want to shop and go to Cape Canaveral (my son would prefer this over visiting any disney parks). I am thinking of spending 3 days at the parks, 1 in each of EPCOT, universal and disneyworld. Therefore I am thinking of staying on site, convenient for transport, go early to park, home for lunch relax and back later in the afternoon/evening. We could then move to a cheaper orlando hotel like International Drive (only from what I’ve read) rent a car, go to Cape Canaveral etc. What do you think? Still bamboozled by hotels, they just seem soooo expensive. Thanks heaps. Amanda (Sydney Australia)

4 Dave { 04.26.13 at 1:19 pm }

Hi Amanda! There are hotels “on site” for Epcot and the Magic Kingdom, two of the four parks at Walt Disney World (the other two are Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom), and separate on site hotels at Universal, which is a totally separate operation with two parks (Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure, where Hardy Potter is) miles away…but none that are convenient for both…so can you clarify a little for me what you are looking for?

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5 Marnie { 11.03.13 at 8:12 am }

Hi Dave, my family of 3 is taking a trip April 18-25, 2014. We currently have a reservation at AS Sports, but are considering a significant upgrade to Wilderness Lodge with the hope that there will be a spring special (20 or 30% off) off the Deluxe resorts. Question is…what is the pattern of discounts around April each year?? Thank you!

6 Dave { 11.03.13 at 10:00 am }

Hi Marnie, the patterning is around “Easter,” not “April.” What I’ve seen is room rate deals starting to be effective sometime in the middle of the week after Easter–e.g. 4/22/14. With the late Easter in 2014, I could see them beginning the 21st but not as early as your visit…

Was this even remotely helpful?

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7 Isabel { 01.15.14 at 11:48 pm }

Hi there! I really need your help! My huge family of 23 are taking a firste trip to Disney April 12-14. We need somewhere where we can all stay, maybe 3 rooms or 3 3 bedroom villas? We also want to go 1 day to Epcot. Can you help me with where to stay? Or what is best?

8 Dave { 01.16.14 at 7:43 am }

Isabel, that’s one of the three or four most crowded and most expensive times of the year to go to Disney World…are you sure you want to go then?

And you only want to go to Disney World’s Epcot? Or other Disney World parks as well–the Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios?

Nothing of course will fit you all, so you want to either rent some homes off site–cheapest, but not a great answer when its wildly crowded–or get several spaces on property.

For off-site–and again, I don’t recommend this–see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2010/01/27/the-tightwads-guide-to-staying-off-site-at-walt-disney-world/

For on-site spaces that hold larger numbers, see the stuff that begins here: http://yourfirstvisit.net/planning-your-first-family-trip/special-circumstances/special-circumstances-large-families/

9 Jennifer { 07.14.14 at 11:26 am }

We have a family of 9 going possibly August 5-11, 2015. We don’t plan on staying together (in rooms) but want to be close to buses (mobility issues), have nice beds (hubby is 6’6″) but want to stay on the cheap side of things. Are there normally any deals for around this time? Would Pop Century be ok as far as beds are concerned? Kids are 11, 11, 12, and 7.

10 Dave { 07.15.14 at 7:31 am }

Jennifer, deals are common then. However, beds at Pop are full-sized–54″ x 75″ So they might be too short… To get a queen at a value resort you need a Family Suite (which sleep 6, but typically at a higher price than two regular value resort rooms) You might want to try for a standard value room and a family Suite. Family Suites are at Art of Animation http://yourfirstvisit.net/2012/06/10/review-the-family-suites-at-disneys-art-of-animation-resort/ and (less expensive) All-Star Music http://yourfirstvisit.net/2014/07/02/review-the-family-suites-at-disneys-all-star-music-resort/

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