Going on any vacation, especially a Disney vacation, is a major investment, both of time and money. If there is a way to save money on our Disney vacation, we will all happily take advantage of it. There are times, however, when Disney runs multiple discounts or discounts that are not available to everyone at the same time. How do you know when or how to get the best deal? Here are some basics on how Disney offers discounts and how you can take advantage of them.
First, we should define a few terms:
A Vacation Package is when you combine a stay at a Disney World resort hotel with tickets to get into the theme parks. Packages can also include the Disney Dining Plan, but they do not have to. The tickets in your package can also include optional upgrades, such as the ability to hop from park to park.
A Room Only reservation is just what it sounds like: a reservation for a room at one of the Disney World resort hotels. Tickets can then be added to this, thereby essentially making it a Vacation Package; but, it is important to note that this type of reservation started as Room Only.
Types of Discounts
Disney likes to offer two main types of discounts: Free Dining and Percentage-Off Room Only
Free Dining: This discount would add one of the Disney Dining Plans to your reservation for free if you book a Vacation Package at the rack rate. The level of the Dining Plan depends on the level of resort you book.
% Off Room Only: This is a certain percentage off the Room Rate. The percentage tends to go up as the level of hotel goes up. As mentioned above, you can then add tickets and dining, usually at full price.
There have been other discounts, of course. Kids Stay and Play Free basically gives your kids free park tickets. In the past, there have been gift cards given out or free nights added, but these are a lot less common today.
Who Gets Discounts?
General Public: Many of the discounts are available to the general public; however, there are a few groups that sometimes get to take advantage of them first:
Disney Visa Cardholders: Sometimes get to book with a discount a few days earlier than the general public.
Annual Passholders: They also get to book a few days early. AP holders also get many discounts offered to them exclusively throughout the year, including special room rates.
Florida Residents: If you live in Florida, you can often get special room rates.
Pin Code Recipients: Many times, Disney sends out personalized postcards or e-mails that include a unique code. This code allows the recipient to take advantage of an unpublished discount (free dining, room only, etc.). Who gets these codes and why? That is a mystery only Disney knows the answer to!
What You Need To Know
1. You can only take advantage of one discount at a time; no double dipping!
2. Most discounts require you to pay for some of your vacation at rack rate. Often, two discounts are offered at the same time, so do the math to see which is the better deal for you.
3. There are only a certain number of rooms at each resort earmarked for each discount. So, the discounted rooms will sell out before the actual resort runs out of rooms.
4. If you book a vacation at rack rate, then a discount comes out, you can call and have them apply the discount to your reservation, as long as your room type is still available under the discount.
5. If the room you want is sold out under a discount, keep calling back. It may become available as others change their vacation plans.
6. Let a Disney Vacation Specialist do the work for you! DW Dads are Disney Vacation Specialists. At no cost to you, we will find you the best discount available for your family. If one is not currently available, we will keep in constant contact with Disney to apply a discount to your reservation as soon as it is released. Let us crunch the numbers and make the phone calls; you can just focus on making great vacation memories! Click here to request a quote.
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