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



Disney World Deal for Into September 2014



By Dave Shute

NEW DISNEY WORLD DEAL INCLUDES LATER AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER 2014

Disney World Deal Mid-August Through September 2014 from yourfirstvisit.netDisney World has announced a combined room rate and photo deal for stays 4/27/14 – 6/15/14 and 8/15/14 – 9/30/14.

This is the earliest in the year it’s announced a late August/September deal for a while.

This deal needs to be booked by April 20, 2014.

It requires at least a three night hotel stay, and at least two days of tickets.

Those getting the deal will get room rate discounts:

In addition, you’ll get Disney’s Memory Maker Photo Package for free. The Photo Package is a way of pre-paying for photos taken by Disney photographers.

Disney’s web page on this deal is here, or check with my friends at Destinations in Florida Travel–877-918-8941 or online here.  Remember to mention yourfirstvisit.net when you call! And then they’ll sprinkle a little pixie dust on me if you book with them…

SOME ODDITIES WITH THIS DEAL, AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT FREE DINING

The room rate discounts are slim compared to recent deals for this time period—about ten percentage points lower than last year. (Last year’s deal.)

It’s also unusual for Disney to announce a room rate deal for this period before it announces free dining—which has been available during at least part of the August-September timeframe for more than a decade.

This deal also follows a deal that’s also unusual—the current room rate deal that overlaps with the first part of this deal, but includes an extra ticket day free. We haven’t seen free ticket days for a while.

So what’s going on? Well, as usual I don’t know, and as usual I’m willing to guess.

  • First, there’s an ongoing battle in Florida about the county hotel tax treatment of certain room discount transactions. By shifting what would normally be “room rate” deals into—with the addition of both required ticket buys and ticket or photo deals—“package deals,” these deals are, I think, protected from any negative fallout from that battle. So that may be part of it.
  • Or it could be as simple as perhaps the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train opening later than hoped—I saw today rumors of the summer, though until today I’d been hoping for early spring—and Disney needing something to carry it marketing message until then.

Or it could be both, or neither.

Many have asked if they should take this deal or wait for a better offer—especially for free dining.

I have mixed feeling on this. First, whenever a new deal comes out–like free dining–you can always compete with everyone else to get it, and, if you are successful, cancel your old deal, keeping your new one.

On the other hand, if lots of people book up what are normally slow September days with this room rate/photo deal, then the odds that Disney will provide other deals in September are slimmer.

So here’s my advice:

  • If you are going to go during the August/September eligible period regardless of free dining, then book this deal. At least you’ll have a deal…and can always try for a better deal later if one comes out…
  • If you’d only go during the eligible period with free dining or a better room rate deal, skip this and wait for the hoped-for appearance of those deals…which I’d expect to see come out no earlier than late April…

What about you?  Gonna take this deal, or wait–and why?

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33 comments

1 Jennifer Hardy - Agent with Destinations in Florida { 02.09.14 at 9:02 am }

Remember if you book with Destinations in Florida we will do the discount watching for you! If another offer is released in the Fall we will compare it to your current package and choose the one that sames you the most money. We do this and so much more for FREE!

2 Lisa { 02.09.14 at 1:04 pm }

Hi Dave,

I’ve decided to go ahead and add on the free Memory Maker. If Disney offers the free dining for Sept. I’ll change to the free dining and pay for the Memory Maker $150. With Disney doing different deals this year I wasn’t sure what to do. At least this way I have a special if they don’t offer the free dining. I’m going either way in Sept. so I hope it all works out. Thanks Dave. I know next time I’ll book with Destinations in Florida. I like the idea that they watch the special for you and try to get you the best offer. Great info Jennifer. Keep up the good work Dave.

3 Dave { 02.09.14 at 1:17 pm }

Thanks, Jennifer 🙂

4 Dave { 02.09.14 at 1:18 pm }

Thanks, Lisa! I think you made the right call!

5 Scott { 02.09.14 at 1:42 pm }

Hi Dave,

I was surprised when I saw the deals in September this early in the year. Perhaps this is Disney’s way of trying to bait people into booking and thereby not having to offer free dining or only offering it on a limited basis. It is almost a catch-22 situation. If people book now Disney will have little reason to offer more. If they do not book now they miss out on this deal. Either way we will not be going at this time so it does not impact us.

Scott

6 Dave { 02.10.14 at 6:32 am }

Yeah, Scott, it is curious…

7 Julie Taylor { 02.12.14 at 10:00 pm }

We are going the week of August 17-23 regardless and I booked just in case this is the best deal I’m going to see. I’ll be keeping a close eye on your site. Quick question – do we usually see a better deal for my time frame?? Btw LOVE this site. Thank You.

8 Dave { 02.13.14 at 10:09 am }

Julie, “usually” is a funny word, as Disney has been purposely changing–that is reducing–its discounts for the last three years. I expect to see a room rate deal for your dates, out perhaps in late April or early May, that will have at least 5% better discounts, but no free photo thingy…

9 Kate M. { 02.15.14 at 7:57 pm }

When there is a free dining plan offered, which one is it? My husband and I have been saving for a long time to go on our big honeymoon in August… and I’m REALLY hoping for a free dining plan. I’ve kind of been banking on it… :-\

10 Dave { 02.16.14 at 8:12 am }

Kate, there was no free dining in August in 2013, so I wouldn’t count on it for 2014. I hope I’m wrong, of course!

In the past few years, what’s “free” has varied by hotel price class. Eligible value resorts have offered free the “quick service” dining plan, and moderates and deluxes the regular dining plan. The “regular” plan gives you one table service, one quick service, and one snack credit per night. The quick service plan one replaces the table service credit with another quick service credit.

11 Kate M. { 02.17.14 at 9:58 pm }

Thanks for the response, Dave. We’re going from August 16th-23rd. I’m a teacher, and we can really only go during summer. We picked those dates for a better value – fewer crowds than June and cheaper hotels. Is the dining deal only during September when it’s offered? :-\

I was wondering – if we book now with the current deal and then another better deal comes later, how difficult is it to try for the better deal? Do we basically need to cancel the previous reservation and create a new one? I know I plan to make dining reservations, too, for example, so I’m wondering how much of a pain it is to switch if necessary.

12 Dave { 02.18.14 at 4:07 pm }

Kate, first go ahead and book your dining, but don’t link it to your hotel reservation. Then you will be fine.

Free dining was not offered in August last year. I dunno if we’ll see it this year.

If it does come out, and you do have another hotel reservation, first try to book the new deal, and only if successful cancel the old reservation. This is because a. you may not get i and b. you can book the new deal on line, whereas to cancel or change you have to get on the phone. When free dining is offered, people have waited on the phone for hours trying to change their reservations…

13 Julie Taylor { 02.19.14 at 10:55 pm }

Dave – I didn’t know I shouldn’t have linked my hotel reservation to my dining. If a better offer does come along and I make any changes to my reservation do I lose my dining ? Or if I do book a new reservation online (if magically free dining comes up) can I use the same dining reservations I already have? Guess I made a newbie mistake on this one.
Thank you

14 Thaisa { 02.20.14 at 9:21 am }

Hi!! Sorry, because i don´t speak english so much…

I´m trying to do the reservation in september (23 – 30), with the free mamory maker, but when i put the dates, appears this information: “A new offer displays below because your new travel dates are not valid for the previous offer”.
Am I doing something wrong???

Thanks!

15 Dave { 02.20.14 at 10:35 am }

Julie, it’s not a big deal. In fact, I think this is first time I’ve said it. It’s easier if not linked–it’s also easier to book FastPass+ if your dining isn’t linked, as the system creates an overly long window around you mealtime where it won’t put you into a FP+. But not a big deal…

16 Dave { 02.20.14 at 10:39 am }

Thaisa, I don’t know–perhaps it’ll work better for you if you telephone Disney to reserve instead of using the online system?

17 Gregory Wallace { 02.20.14 at 12:42 pm }

If I have already booked my stay I can call are request the discount correct?

18 Dave { 02.21.14 at 7:25 am }

Yes, you can, Gregory!

19 Lynda { 03.03.14 at 3:08 am }

I made reservation from August 28-sept 5 party of 8 . I Had to book Cinderella royal .table and pay up front …which Cost me my arms and legs but for my daughters bday it’s worth it but they told me that I had to have all resort and dining reservations together to make table reservation . If free dining plan shows up at the dates that I have , can I still get it or did they got me trapped .??!!

20 Dave { 03.03.14 at 10:41 am }

Lynda, if free dining shows up and you successfully get it, you can convert this reservation to it…it will take two table credits though.

21 Lisa { 03.18.14 at 1:30 pm }

Not sure if this is a stupid question or not but here we go….. If i book the memory maker art of animation nemo room with my park tickets and NO dining package what so ever and a later date arrives and they offer a free dining option can i still grab it or because i didnt originally ask for dining i would not be elligible.

Thanks!

22 Dave { 03.19.14 at 7:18 am }

Lisa, you can still aim for free dining if it comes out regardless of whether or not you already have a reservation, and if you do have one, regardless of its type. I have heard, though, that memory maker itself is nonrefundable.

23 Lisa { 03.19.14 at 9:59 am }

Thank you!! I can eat the price of the memory maker (haha literally) if I was able to get the free dining.

24 Leslie { 03.27.14 at 9:41 am }

My concern with everyone booking this as a “just in case” Disney doesn’t offer free dining seems counterintuitive to me. I’ve spoken with Disney numerous times and have been told they typically only offer free dining at times when the park is generally slower and therefore as an incentive to get people to the parks. If everyone books this as a free dining back up that leads me to think that Disney will appear more busy and thereby their need to offer free dining is diminished. I think that is Disney’s motivation because they don’t want to have to offer free dining. I for one hope too many people don’t buy into this marginally small savings (as compared to free dining) and make this “back up” reservation because I want free dining to be offered.

25 Dave { 03.28.14 at 6:28 am }

Yup, Leslie, I agree on almost all points but one–Disney offers deals to get people into its hotels, not its parks…

26 Mitch { 03.30.14 at 4:38 pm }

Looking for Nov 8th through the 15th and wonder if a discount is usually available during this time? I am anxious and do tons of research but I still can’t seem to figure out when to book my Disney World Hotel package. Wilderness lodge is the plan at this point with a 5 yr old and 10 yr old. Any thoughts are appreciated.

27 Dave { 03.31.14 at 7:59 am }

Well, Mitch, I’m a fan of booking 6 months out–see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/planning-your-first-family-trip/when-your-plans-need-to-be-firm/ If a deal then comes out later, you still have to compete with everybody else to switch to it, but a least you’ll have your dining set.

I expect we will see a room-rate discount for WL then, on the order of 25-30% off, and it will likely come out in late July or August…

28 jeff { 04.17.14 at 2:39 pm }

I have booked the “memory maker” deal on my families reservation. My in-laws are also going at the same time on a separate reservation. They shouldn’t need to pay for MM because they can just get their pictures on my MM account, correct?

29 Dave { 04.18.14 at 8:27 am }
30 Dan { 04.24.14 at 2:29 pm }

Bummer. Can barely afford to go this year IF they offer free dining in September. But if they wait too long to announce it, the flight prices will be too high and we won’t be able to go anyway.

31 Dave { 04.25.14 at 8:20 am }

Fingers crossed for you, Dan…

32 Jennifer { 04.25.14 at 3:55 pm }

I see that you said for part of August and September that free dining may be offered. If we are wanting to check in on sept 27th what do you thin is the likelihood that we will get it if it’s offered?

33 Dave { 04.26.14 at 11:55 am }

Jennifer, I’m just guessing, and we should all know in a week or so, but I would say no.

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