When Will the New Walt Disney World Deals and Discounts Be Out?
By Dave Shute
PREDICTING FUTURE DISNEY WORLD PROMOTIONS, DEALS, AND DISCOUNTS
The Disney World deals, promotions, and discounts I know about are linked to via this Summary of Current Walt Disney World Deals and Discounts.
However, all the time I get search traffic, questions, and comments about the dates of future deals and discounts, like this one from Brandon.
These questions are hard to answer, as it’s to Disney’s advantage not to be too predictable on these promotions.
It doesn’t make much business sense for Disney World to incent people who are perfectly willing to pay standard resort hotel prices to hold off on their reservations so that they can get a predictable further discount later.
So just because a discount was available at such and such a time last year doesn’t mean it’ll be available at that time this year, or next year.
This is particularly true if the economy keeps improving, which will lead Disney to continue to cut back on the scope of its discount programs–which it has promised to Wall Street that it will do.
However, that doesn’t mean that there’s no pattern, nor that observations can’t be made.
ANALYZING PATTERNS IN DISNEY WORLD DISCOUNTS AND PROMOTIONS
I analyzed the 50+ major discount programs Walt Disney World made available to the general public covering stays from 2008 til well into 2011 to see if there were some patterns that might be helpful.
The analysis focused in particular on how many days elapsed between the discount announcement date and the beginning and the ending dates during which the discount could be used.
See the chart to the right.
(Click to enlarge it; when it’s open, click again to enlarge it more.)
The chart has two lines, each the result of independent analysis of the Disney deals.
(That is, the points at the 50th percentile on the red and the blue lines do not represent the beginning and end of the same Disney World promotion.)
The blue line covers the period from the date of the announcement to the first date the discount can be applied.
It helps illuminate whether, if a discount is announced, it will cover your dates.
Note that the blue line hits 20% at 30 days, and 70% at 60 days.
What this means is that 70% of Disney World’s major discount programs open to the general public over the last four years had their first effective date 2 months away or closer, and that half of them (70%-20%) had their first effective date between 30 and 60 days after announcement.
So if you are within 30-60 days of your trip, and no discounts have been announced that apply to it, based on this the odds are 70% that a new discount program, if announced, will begin during your period. If you are a month away, if a new discount program is announced, the odds are only 20% that it will cover your dates.
In other words, the nearer your dates, the less the chance that any announced discount will cover them.
WHEN MIGHT FUTURE DISNEY WORLD DISCOUNTS BE ANNOUNCED?
The red line covers the number of days between announcements and the last effective date of a discount program.
This curve is smoother. Half of discount programs have their ending date 120 days or sooner after their announcement, and about 90% of programs have their ending date 6 months (180 days) or sooner after the announcement.
This curve helps illuminate when future discounts might be announced.
For example, you may be wondering when Disney will be announcing a discount for January 2012.
Well, if it does so, based on past behavior the odds are about 90% that, if announced, a January 2012 Disney World discount will be announced no earlier than sometime July 2011–that is, six months before.
And the odds are about 50% that, if announced, it will be announced no earlier than sometime September 2011.
So don’t be looking for them now…
DISNEY WORLD CAN DO ANYTHING IT WANTS WITH DISCOUNT TIMING…
These patterns are observations about past tendencies…not a playbook that Disney must follow!
Disney World can, and does, do anything it wants. It is quite capable of surprises–like the free dining deal announced last year that covered some dates more than 400 days after the announcement!
So take this analysis for what it’s worth…as an illumination based on past behavior, not a display of psychic powers!
OTHER CAVEATS AND MORE WEASELING
This analysis covers only 2008 through 2011–the time during which this site has been up, and I’ve been paying detailed attention. This period is the same as the downturn, which started showing up in early 2008, and so the analysis may fast become irrelevant if the economy takes off.
There are certain periods where you just won’t see discounts, when demand for Disney resort hotels, or willingness to pay, is predictably high enough that it makes no business sense for Disney to discount–promotions that are offered will exclude them (these excluded periods are known as “black-out dates”) or end before or start after them.
The analysis includes only discounts available to the general public–not passholder discounts, Florida resident deals, military discounts, pin codes for Disney Visa card holders, etc. For thoughts on a 2012 Military Salute, see this page on MilitaryDisneyTips.com. For more on most of these other discount types, see The Tightwad’s Guide to Resort Deals and Discounts.
Current major Disney World promotions for the general public and the military that I know about can be found on Summary of Current Walt Disney World Deals and Discounts. However, don’t ever give up on finding a discount until after you’ve also checked MouseSavers.com and with your travel agent.