Disney on a Budget: Discount Accommodations

Staying at a Disney resort can be a big chunk of your vacation budget. Here we have compiled some information on discounts for Disney resorts so that you can save some money when you book your next Disney vacation!

Disney has four pricing "seasons" each year. They are value, regular, peak, and holiday. The cheapest rates are going to be found in during the value season simply because there is less demand for rooms. If you can schedule your trip during value season you should definitely do it! Not only will you save money but the parks will be much less crowded.

According to MouseSavers these are the times to avoid:

  • New Year - January 1
  • Marathon weekend- Early January
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend
  • Presidents Day weekend
  • Peak Season - Late February, Early March-Mid April
  • Easter Week
  • Summer Season at the Value and Moderate resorts - June - mid August (especially weekends and Independence Day weekend, July 1-3)
  • Columbus Day Weekend
  • Thanksgiving weekend
  • Holiday Season - December 23-31

AAA and CAA members qualify for a discounted rate at Disney's resorts. The savings is usually 10-20% off the published rate, however these rates are not available during Holiday season.

Annual Passholders
Disney World annual and seasonal passholders may qualify for room discounts as well, and they can be up to 45% off! These offers are most likely to be offered for Value or Regular season and are usually released 2 to 4 months in advance.

Florida Resident Deals
Florida residents can book rooms at Disney and save up to 45% off the regular rate. Like the passholder discounts, these offers are more likely to be available during Value and Regular season and are generally released 2 to 4 months in advance.

Bounceback Offers
For guests staying at Disney resorts there is sometimes the option of booking your next vacation to Disney World while at Disney World. In order to qualify guests must make the reservation before they check out and a one night deposit must be paid. Look for a bounceback offer card in your Disney resort room when you check in or ask at the front desk if there's a bounceback offer available to you.

Military Discounts
Active duty and retired military can also get discounted rooms at Disney. Discounts run as high as 40% off deluxe and deluxe villa resorts with discounts also offered at value and moderate resorts. The Shades of Green resort across from the Polynesian also runs specials on rates for members of the military.

Rent Disney Vacation Club Points
A lesser-known way to stay at one of Disney's Deluxe Villa resorts for less is to rent DVC points from an owner. When an owner won't be able to use all of their points before they expire, they will sometimes rent them out. And it is usually a much better deal than booking a villa directly through Disney. Google "Disney Vacation Club Point Rental" for more information.

Just remember, renting vacation club points means that the vacation club owner must make the reservation for you, and he has total control over the reservation. The agreement takes plenty of trust on both sides to complete properly and many folks have been burned when trying this tactic. Some renters have found it valuable to use an escrow account to store the payment for the rental, releasing the money when they are safely checked into the Villa. This can work well for both parties in the equation.

Don't Forget To Ask
Disney reservations agents will not freely tell you about most of these opportunities when you call for a reservation. Once you ask about discounts, however, they are allowed to discuss them, so always ask! Be specific -- "Are there any military discounts available for the dates I'm staying in Disney World?" -- to be sure you have access to exactly what you're looking for.

What are your tips for staying for less at a Disney resort? Let us know in the comments section below!

worldfanatic wrote on Fri, 06/10/2011 - 18:06:

worldfanatic's picture

However you do it. Staying at a Disney Resort is worth it.

You can have a great trip to Disney World without staying on property.
But without a doubt, it would have been better if you stayed on property.

The Magic doesn't stop until you leave for the airport. PURE HEAVEN!

Kasey O'Connor wrote on Sat, 06/11/2011 - 04:35:

Kasey O'Connor's picture

I agree!

Steve wrote on Wed, 06/15/2011 - 13:32:

Steve's picture

Last November I stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. I reserved a standard view using the military 40% discount, I got the room which was $300 at the "regular II" rack rate for $180 per night.

Then at check-in asked for a complimentary room upgrade, as my wife's birthday was during out stay.

We were upgraded to a savannah view for only $180 per night!!!

Always ask for a comp upgrade, the worst that can happen is they'll say no.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly. If you have a Gravatar account associated with the e-mail address you provide, it will be used to display your avatar.

More information about formatting options