By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2018, from the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever. Paperback available on Amazon here. Kindle version available on Amazon here.



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



Category — e. What to Budget for Walt Disney World

Free Dining and Other Disney World Deals

The last two years, Disney World’s most anticipated deal, Free Dining, was released in late April–April 25 in 2016, and April 27 in 2015.

In the hopes that Free Dining will be coming again, maybe even in three weeks or so like the past few years, Kelly B, my friend and the travel agent from Destinations in Florida dedicated to this site, composed the following thoughts to help people understand Disney deals and how to get them!!

Kelly has saved my readers tens of thousands of dollars…so I’d give her thoughts a read!

All About Disney Discounts from Kelly B

What is the most sought after “prize”….Grammy, Oscar, Super Bowl ring…….Nope it’s the coveted and often misunderstood Disney World Vacation Discount.

You’re planning your vacation and see a social media ad, TV commercial, or even get a special discount offer in their mail.  With excitement you get online or call your favorite Travel Agent ( WHAT? You don’t have one!?!?!?!?! Don’t worry, call Kelly B – Destinations in Florida’s designated travel agent for yourfirstvisit.net – at 980-429-4499 or email me at KellyB@DestinationsInFlorida.com), only to find nothing is available or you only saved $25. How can that be?

Well, I’m here to explain a bit more about Disney Vacation Discounts and how they work. So sit down, put on your Mouse Ears (if you don’t own any yet, don’t worry, you’ll be able to get some on your next vacation), get comfy and learn all about the best way to save on your next magical vacation to Walt Disney World.

Types of Discounts

Let’s take a look at the actual discounts offered.

There are two common kinds of discounts offered when Disney releases a standard promotion – room only discounts and package discounts. What’s the difference?

  • “Room Only” discounts require only booking a room, and do not require any other components (tickets, dining, etc.) to be included (they can be added, but are not required
  • “Package” discounts usually have other components that are needed, most commonly a minimum number of days of park tickets.

We’ll explore “Room-Only” discounts first. These offers are discounts on the previously posted prices for the room portion of your vacation.  Typically, Each level of resort has a different discount. For example

  • Value resorts may have up to 15% off
  • Moderate resorts may have up to 20% off
  • Deluxe resorts and Villas may have up to 25% off

Did you notice anything about these offers?  The words “Up to”. The discounts range in amounts and go “up to” the discount being given with a particular promotion. It also depends on the specific resort, the room category (often these days, the least expensive room types—typically “standard” views in areas of the hotel that are not “rpeferred”—have little availability) and dates.

The other type of discount of discount is the “Package Discount”.

These discounts come in all shapes and sizes, and change from year to year. They include everything from getting a free day of tickets to the coveted FREE Dining deal, which gives you one or another version of the Disney Dining Plan for free. (While one of the best discounts, smaller parties staying in one of the more expensive resorts—like two people in a deluxe—often do better with room only discounts than with free dining).

These package deals usually come with requirements.  There may be a minimum number of nights you must stay, a minimum number of ticket days you must buy, etc.

What, Where, & Why Discounts Available

Now that you know about the kinds of discounts, let’s talk about getting one. One of the biggest misunderstandings about Disney discounts, is that many people believe if a discount is offered for their vacation dates, they will automatically get it.  Unfortunately, this is NOT true.

When you originally book your reservation (and it is always best to book as soon as you can commit at current prices–resort availability goes fast., and if you wait, you could miss out on a favorite resort or the view or room type you were dreaming about), unless you booked a deal you will be booked in a non-discounted room.

Then Disney World starts planning for a discount.  They contact each of the resorts (each run by its own management team, sometime shared across nearby resorts) with the discount information. Disney takes a look at current availability. They decide how many rooms, what room categories, etc. they will release in the discount.

It’s basically booking trends viewed through the lens of supply and demand.

  • If certain rooms (like Little Mermaid standard rooms at Art of Animation) are booking quite well at undiscounted rates own, they aren’t included.
  • If other rooms have a lot of availability (Like Pirate rooms at Caribbean Beach Resort) it’s an easy decision to include them in the discount.
  • Some resorts may have availability for some dates of the discount, but not during other dates, or be excluded entirely—common circumstances at Port Orleans French Quarter

As much as Disney World is a magical place that I’ve come to call my second home, it’s still a business.  And they are in the business not only of making magical family vacations, but doing so at the highest profit that they can. We can believe the discount is created just to sprinkle some pixie dust on our vacations but we need to understand the reality is to fill rooms and draw in more guests. How does Disney do this? They release a discount to fill resorts and rooms that are empty.

How to Get a Discount

There are two ways to obtain a Disney discount, the hard way and the easy way.

The hard way is to book your Disney vacation on your own. Then check every morning to see if a discount came out. Then if you see one has come out, you can try to change it online. Often the system will crash from so many people being on it so you’ll need to call instead. But hold times can be hours long. And I’m all about Disney hold music, but about the 10th time you listen to Heffalumps and Woozles – well every Disney fan has their limits.

What is that EASY way to book a Disney discount I spoke of?  Book through a travel agent that specializes in Disney like me, KellyB@DestinationsInFlorida.com!

Before the discount is projected to be released, I’ve already booked your reservation, sent you multiple emails (including signing you up for Destinations in Florida’s FREE weekly MOUSE PERKS). I’ve sent you a form to fill out that goes over any changes you’re willing to make to your reservation to get the best discount.  The day of the discount release I am up early (like it’s still dark out that the roosters are still sleeping, early) checking on your reservation online. Looking at your answers to the form, I’ll make changes to your reservation and apply the best discount based on availability. As soon as the phone lines open, I’m in the hold queue waiting to make changes I couldn’t online.

You’ll sleep in, snuggled under the covers, dreaming about enjoying a Dole Whip while you watch the fireworks. No stress. No lost sleep.  Just savings.

And remember, all of my services are FREE.  Free dining planning.  Free FastPass+ planning. Free itinerary planning. Plus, by letting me know you found me on yourfirstvisit.net – I’ll send all qualified Disney vacation packages a FREE copy of Dave’s latest easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Vacation.

Why You Didn’t Get A Discount

When the craziness of Disney Discount Release Day is over, there is still a chance you may not have gotten the discount you were hoping for–wheter you or someone like me was doing the trying.  You’re left wondering what happened. A few different things may have happened:

  • Your resort was not included in the discount
  • Your resort was included in the discount, but your room category was not. You would have had to upgrade into a higher-priced room, and the new price ended up costing more than the discount.
  • Disney puts only some of the rooms in the offered resorts int the deals. Even with all the best planning and work, sometimes there just isn’t enough availability for everyone to get the discount.
  • Because you know it’s best to book as early as possible you did.  BUT since the time you booked, other prices increased. Tickets went up around 10% in February, so if you booked a room and tickets before then, the difference from your discount might be very small or it might actually cost more to add the new discount.
  • Disney only allows one discount per reservation. If you applied a previous discount to your reservation, that discount could be a better savings than the new one—especially if prices have gone up since you applied it.

Don’t give up.  Many guests place reservations on hold that include the discount. If they do not book, that means their discounted room could become available. Disney may release more availability. And sadly (for them) some guests do have to cancel a planned vacation. I know that when I book a client’s vacation, I continually check for the best option.

Some Parting Words On Disney Discounts and Planning Your Vacation

When planning your Disney vacation don’t count on a discount to make your trip affordable. Plan a vacation you can afford, and think of discounts as a cool thing if they happen. Getting a discount is never guaranteed.  Disney has changed options, dates and availability with each new release. If you are sprinkled with pixie dust and do get a discount, that’s great.

Ultimately a trip isn’t about getting a certain discount, or obtaining that hard to get dining reservation. You’ll spend hours planning, working, packing and traveling, creating the “perfect” Disney vacation. And when you return, someone asks your 5 year old what their favorite ride was and they say “the bus”. You just know that mid-afternoon rain shower ruined the day.  But ask your 3 year old what they liked best about Disney World and their answer is “I got to jump in the puddles”. Ask your teenager daughter what she like best about staying in a Polynesian Studio. Was it the gracefulness and beauty of the resort??  Nope “We had TWO bathrooms”.

Ultimately it’s not about how much you spend. Or about what level of resort you stay at.   Enjoy each moment – big and small. Let them ride Dumbo or Expedition Everest 5 times. Stand in line to meet YOUR favorite character. (Doesn’t matter how old or young you are. I do it every time.  Ask Russell). Take pictures. Try something new. Enjoy yourself and your family. Ultimately – It’s about making memories to last a lifetime.  – KellyB@DestinationsInFlorida.com

April 6, 2017   No Comments

Disney World Discounts for Summer 2017 Released

DISNEY WORLD DEALS FOR SUMMER 2017

This morning, Disney World announced a new room rate deal that covers stays from May 28 through August 31. It needs to be booked by July 14.

Savings range from 10-25% off at the hotels included, and there’s as many as three different discount levels depending on when in the summer you go.

If you book your vacation through partner and friend of this site Kelly B as your travel agent, she will get the best deal for you!! Contact her at Kelly@DestinationsInFlorida.com!

DISNEY VALUE RESORT DEALS

Value resort deals exclude–as usual–Little Mermaid rooms at Art of Animation.

DISNEY MODERATE RESORT DEALS

Port Orleans French Quarter is excluded from the deal among the moderates, and deals at Riverside are slender.

DISNEY DELUXE RESORT DEALS

All of the Disney deluxes are in the deal, and savings range from 15% of to 25%.

DISNEY DVC RESORT DEALS

Bay Lake Tower and the Villas at the Grand Floridian are excluded from the DVC resorts on offer, as is the new (opening in July) Copper Creek Villas at the Wilderness Lodge. At the Polynesian Villas and Bungalows, only Studios are in the deal.

At the rest, saving vary from 15% to 25%.

 

For detailed reviews of every resort hotel  option, see this or get a copy of my book.

For more on the deal that came out today, see this. Or, if you sign with Kelly B as your travel agent, she will figure out the best deal for you!! Contact her Kelly@DestinationsInFlorida.com!

The 2017 easy Guide

Kelly B Can Help You Book Your Trip

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March 27, 2017   2 Comments

Most Relevant Disney World Ticket Prices Increase 8-12%

As expected, on February 12, 2017 Disney World put into place new ticket prices.

There’s a couple of new twists to the ticketing model, too—multi-day tickets now have an expiration date (12/31/2018 at the moment) and those buying three day and longer ticket options will pay an extra $20 if they do not get their tickets in advance and online.

The full set of new multi-day Disney World ticket prices is here.

A couple of observations about this latest price increase:

  • While short non-hopper tickets showed some price stability and even decreases, four day and longer non-hopper tickets—the sort most will buy—went up 8% to 11.5%
  • The biggest driver of this is a major increase in the cost of the fourth ticket day, which for those 10 and older went from $346.13 to $372.75 (up $26.63).
  • On top of this increase to a four day ticket, Disney World increased the cost to add days 5 through 7—from $15.98 a day to $21.30 per day, or an increase of $5.33 per day.

Here’s a chart of the increases in prices compared to the last set of prices by length of ticket in days for non-hopper tickets. Price increases for tickets for those 10 and older are in blue, and kids 3-9 in red.

Disney World 2017 Percentage Ticket Price Increases from yourfirstvisit.net

In addition, Park Hopper prices went up more than $10 for tickets longer than three days, so Park Hopper tickets show as a result an increase in four day and longer tickets of 9% to 12%.

I had expected Disney World to shift to seasonal pricing for multi-day tickets in this round. Instead, the main package change is the new expiration date. This date of course allows it to enforce seasonal multi-day prices later. (The price of totally unused expired tickets can be credited towards the price of new tickets.)

These price increases are quite steep. In business terms, they allow Disney to recapture the value of the investment it is putting into the Animal Kingdom park, with Pandora opening in late May 2017, and into Hollywood Studios, with Toy Story Land there perhaps opening in 2018.

It also creates headroom for when, and if, it changes multi-day tickets to seasonal pricing, allowing “value season” dates to show little increase…at least the first year…

My friends at the Official Ticket Center likely will have tickets at the older price levels available for a bit.

The 2017 easy Guide

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February 14, 2017   No Comments

Disney World 2017 Ticket Prices

WALT DISNEY WORLD 2017 ADMISSION TICKET PRICES

theo_rev6(This page is sponsored by the Official Ticket Center. Check them out for reliably lower-priced Disney World tickets!)

Updated after February 2017 price increase.

Three types of Walt Disney World prices are important to think about:

  • Walt Disney World theme park admission ticket prices—the tickets that grant you admission to the parks
  • Walt Disney World resort hotel prices, and
  • Park and hotel food prices

Disney World ticket prices were last updated in early February 2017. This page focuses on Walt Disney World theme park admission ticket prices from now until they go up again.

MORE DETAILS ON WALT DISNEY WORLD ADMISSION TICKET PRICES 2017: HOW THE TICKETS WORK

There are multiple types of Walt Disney World theme park tickets, but the one most relevant to most first time visitors is the Magic Your Way ticket, with or without the Park Hopper option.

You buy one theme park ticket for each person who will be three years old or older at the time of your visit (kids younger than three enter the parks for free.) The tickets have two pricing levels: one for kids who will be younger than ten at the time of your visit (but 3 or older) and the other for people ten or older.

When you buy your tickets, you also say how many “days” you want—from one to ten. Each “day” you buy permits unlimited visits to one theme park on one day. If you also add the Park Hopper option, you can make unlimited visits to any of the theme parks in one day–one theme park, two, three, or all four theme parks.

  • For example, if you buy a three day ticket without the park hopper option, you could make two visits to the Magic Kingdom on day one, three visits to Epcot on day two, and two visits to the Animal Kingdom on day 3
  • If you have a three day ticket with the park hopper option, you could for example make two visits to the Magic Kingdom and one to Disney’s Hollywood Studios on day one, one visit to Epcot and two to Disney’s Animal Kingdom on day two, and one to Epcot and two to the Magic Kingdom on day three
  • What you can’t do without a park hopper ticket is visit more than one theme park on the same day. For example, you can’t, on November 25th, use one day of your three-day ticket to visit the Magic Kingdom, and another day of this same ticket to visit Epcot that same day. More than one theme park in a day requires a park hopper

You do not have to use your days all in a row boom boom boom—e.g. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Once you use your first day, you have 14 days to use all the days on your ticket. So on a three-day ticket you could visit the theme parks Monday, Thursday, and Sunday.

  • You can also add days at the same price that you would have paid had you bought all those days at once, but have to do so no later than the day you use the last day of your original ticket (and within 14 days of the first day, and before the tickets expire–12/31/2018 for tickets bought now)
  • So if you buy a three-day ticket, and realize a few days later that you need more days, you can add two days and they will cost only the difference between what you paid originally for a three day ticket, and what you would have had to have paid for a five day ticket, so long as you add these days no later than the day you use your third day
  • You can also add stuff like the Park Hopper during the same day window at the same price as you would have paid when you first bought your ticket

However, you can’t “subtract” days if you overbuy.

HOW WALT DISNEY WORLD PRICES ITS THEME PARK ADMISSION TICKETS

Disney World Ticket Prices as of February 2017 from yourfirstvisit.net

1. While Disney typically increases ticket prices at least once a year–late February in 2014 through 2016, and early February in 2017—it changes theme park admission prices based on the seasons of the year only for One Day tickets, which also have another curious characteristic–different prices for the Magic Kingdom vs the other three parks. Multi-day tickets–which most people buy–are the same price whenever you plan to visit, but as of February 12, 2017 do have an expiration date–12/31/2018 (you can trade in unused expired tickets towards a new ticket.)

(Note that all my prices assume you buy online; as of February 2017 most in-person purchases cost an extra $20.)

2. Disney sells tickets by the day—one through ten days. The way it prices these days, the first four days are very expensive, while days after the fourth are comparatively almost free. See the image for exact Disney World prices.

For example, a four day ticket costs (including tax) an adult $372.75, or an average of $93.19 a day. A ten day ticket would cost the same adult $468.60. The added 6 days cost in total around $96 more—or just about $16 per day. For a 4-6 day ticket, it costs $21.30/day/person to add more days–and on and after the 7th day, just $10.65/day/person to add days.

3. A park hopper costs (after tax) about $80 for all ticket lengths longer than three days..

I have also uploaded an excel spreadsheet with the same data in it as the chart, so that you can multiply by the number of members of your own family.

TIPS AND TRICKS FOR WALT DISNEY WORLD THEME PARK TICKETS

There are other ticket types than the ones discussed above—less relevant for first time visitors. For details on all of them, see this page on MouseSavers.com.

While it’s hard to find discounts on tickets, it is sometimes possible, especially for longer-stay tickets. Check sponsor the Official Ticket Center, MouseSavers.com, Triple A if you are a member, and if you have military ties, this page and also MilitaryDisneyTips.com.

Since you can add on to your tickets–days, park hoppers, etc.–but can’t subtract, it doesn’t really pay to overbuy. Start with the minimum you think you need (but at least two days) and add on later if needed.  Remember to add no later than the day you use your current last day!

All of this site’s To-Do Lists tell you exactly what ticket type you need for their associated itineraries.

FREE TICKETS ON YOUR BIRTHDAY?

Disney world no longer offers free tickets on your birthday.
The 2017 easy Guide

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February 13, 2017   2 Comments

Disney World Discounts into June 2017 Released

Several new Walt Disney World discounts for late February into early June came out this morning. The later April through June dates are a new offer.

disney-world-2017-deal-from-yourfirstvisit-net

If you book your vacation through partner and friend of this site Kelly B as your travel agent, she will figure out the best deal for you!! Contact her Kelly@DestinationsInFlorida.com!

The most understandable part of the deal is a room rate deal, which has various levels of discounts by room class, date of booking, and period of stay.

DISNEY VALUE RESORT DEALS

Value resort deals exclude–as usual–Little Mermaid rooms at Art of Animation.

disney-world-2017-deal-values-from-yourfirstvisit-net

DISNEY MODERATE RESORT DEALS

Port Orleans French Quarter is excluded from the deal among the moderates, and deals at Riverside are slender.

disney-world-2017-deal-moderates-from-yourfirstvisit-net

DISNEY DELUXE RESORT DEALS

All of the Disney deluxes are in the deal, although savings range from 10% of to 25%.

disney-world-2017-deal-deluxes-from-yourfirstvisit-net

DISNEY DVC RESORT DEALS

Bay Lake Tower and the Villas at the Grand Floridian are excluded from the DVC resorts on offer, and at the Polynesian Villas and Bungalows, only Studios are in the deal.

disney-world-2017-deal-dvc-from-yourfirstvisit-net

For detailed reviews of every resort hotel  option, see this or get a copy of my book.

For the full set of deals that came out today, see this. Or, if you sign with Kelly B as your travel agent, she will figure out the best deal for you!! Contact her Kelly@DestinationsInFlorida.com!

The 2017 easy Guide

Kelly B Can Help You Book Your Trip

Follow yourfirstvisit.net on Facebook or Google+ or Twitter or Pinterest!!

December 28, 2016   No Comments

Disney World Discounts from January into April 2017 Released

Kelly let me know that Disney World released today new discounts for 2017. Here’s the scoop:

Disney World Winter Discounts are Here. Book today to take advantage of some wonderful Disney World discounts that were just released:

  • Play, Stay, Dine – save off of your entire room, ticket and dining package. Stay most nights 1/1/2017 – 1/7/2017 when you book by 12/21/2016
  • Gift of Magic Room, Kid-Sized Gift of Magic Package and Gift of Family Magic Offers – save up to 25% on rooms for stays most nights 12/15/2016 – 12/23/2016 and 1/1/2017- 4/8/2017 when you book by 12/21/2016

By booking early, with Kelly B and Destinations in Florida – Dave’s fans were able to rely on our free future discount search and as of 7:00AM this morning had already saved a total of $2,285.

Contact Kelly@DestinationsInFlorida.com today to take advantage of these great Disney discount offers.

The room rate deal is a little complicated, so, trying to help, I built the following table of discounts (click it to enlarge it):

disney-world-room-rate-deal-january-1-to-april-8-2017-from-yourfirstvisit-net

Note that in the room rate deal the values and moderates have a different calendar than the other hotels, and note the various different discount levels and exclusions.

The best choice among these deals will vary by family.  If you use Kelly as your travel agent to book the deal, she will figure this out for you!! Contact her Kelly@DestinationsInFlorida.com!

The 2017 easy Guide

Kelly B Can Help You Book Your Trip

Follow yourfirstvisit.net on Facebook or Google+ or Twitter or Pinterest!!

October 3, 2016   8 Comments