Saving On Disney World Resort RoomsTuesday, April 04, 2017
When planning a Disney vacation, one of the biggest decisions to make is whether or not to stay at a Disney resort. There are a lot of factors that go into this decision, but for us personally, we can't imagine ever staying anywhere but on Disney property! It can definitely cost more than staying off-site, but there are several perks, such as free parking (a savings of $20 a day!), free use of the Disney transportation system, and Extra Magic Hours, times when the park is open earlier or later than usual, but only for Disney resort guests!
Disney classifies its resorts into five categories: Campgrounds (though there's only one), Value, Moderate, Deluxe, and Deluxe Villas. While discounts generally apply to most resorts, there are usually some resorts (or room types, such as the Little Mermaid standard rooms at Art of Animation) where discounts don't apply.
Depending on the time of year, Disney offers various discounts, both for room-only reservations (paying for your hotel and tickets separately), as well as for a package (purchasing room and tickets -- and a dining plan, if you wish -- together). For our next trip, we booked a discounted package, though depending on the discount, it can definitely be cheaper to book separately (which we have done twice -- we just wanted the dining plan this trip because we're planning a lot of character meals). Right now, Disney has an offer for up to 25% off resort rooms; the amount of the discount depends on the room.
Annual Pass/Florida Resident Discounts
As mentioned yesterday, being an annual passholder can provide a room discount as well; they have a couple of discounts. Whether the discount is available can depend on the date (extremely popular times, like holidays, generally aren't discounted), but currently, their spring discount is 25-35% off, and the summer discount is 30-35%. Florida residents can receive a discount as well (usually not quite as high as the AP discount, but definitely nothing to sneeze at).
Any active or retired member of the military with a valid military ID can book a room with a military discount. As with most discounts, there are block-out dates, but the discount is 30-40% off, depending on the resort category. Additionally, though it isn't owned by Disney, there is a military-only resort called Shades of Green which, from what I've heard, can be significantly cheaper than comparable Disney resorts, and its close proximity to the Polynesian makes it easy to access the monorail to Magic Kingdom or Epcot.
Discounted Gift Cards
As with pretty much everything else at Disney World, you can use a gift card to book a resort room. And if you purchase your gift cards at a discount, like I do, you can save up to 5%!
I highly recommend MouseSavers for staying up-to-date on current resort discounts. Disney does occasionally offer discounts that target a very specific group of people, and you can usually find those discounts there. They also have a handy monthly newsletter that keeps you in the loop!
For more Walt Disney World savings: