Keep in mind that you can find deals on Disney Vacations if you do a little research and keep your eyes open. Some of these deals are through Disney itself, while others can be found on travel and vacation websites that are authorized to deal for Disney. Disney frequently offers both individual item discounts and package deals, while partnering websites typically offer discounts on Disney World tickets or on non-Disney hotels in the Walt Disney World resort area.
Take Advantage of the Adventure Season
During times of the year that have historically seen fewer visitors to Disney World, Disney has a value season. Prices at the Disney resort hotels vary throughout the year, and choosing the value or “Adventure” season will guarantee you the cheapest rates for any on-site accommodation.
The current Adventure season covers the months of January and September, as well as the first half of December. Of course, this season is cheaper largely because many vacationers, especially those with children, are not able to travel during those months. If your schedule does not allow you to take advantage of these cheaper rates, you will need to look elsewhere for savings.
Magic Your Way Vacation Packages
Guests who plan to enjoy a longer stay at Walt Disney World can save money by purchasing a Room & Tickets, or Room, Tickets, & Dining package from Disney. These packages will certainly save guests money on longer vacations, but guests with limited budgets should be wary of choosing a heavily discounted but still expensive longer stay when a shorter stay with a smaller discount is what they can better afford.
There is great debate in the Disney community on the value of Disney’s Dining Plan. Most folks can get by with spending less if they buy meals on their own. However, when the Disney Dining Plan is bundled or added for “free”, it can be a good value – especially if you like to eat.
Other Official Disney Specials
The Disney World website has occasional special offers that will advertise discounts for limited periods. These discounts may cover accommodations, tickets, dining, or various recreation opportunities. Limited time room discounts during non-value seasons may bring prices down almost to Adventure level. Free dining plans are also frequently available with Disney resort rooms during certain seasons, although the plans are usually limited to quick service locations.
Active members of the military can often find heavily discounted rooms and tickets through Disney by contacting certain U.S. military bases that host ticket offices. Other military discounts on merchandise, golf, or other miscellany can also be found.
Choosing Non-Disney Hotels
Staying onsite at the Walt Disney World Resort has several advantages, and many guests prefer it. Onsite resorts offer free transportation around Walt Disney World, and resort guests may also take advantage of special offers such as free dining plans that are not available to off-site guests.
However, vacationers who plan their getaway during a time when Disney prices are high and discounts are not offered may want to hunt for hotels elsewhere. Offsite hotels, without the transportation, theming, and resort features of the onsite locations, are usually less expensive for a similar quality and size of hotel room.
Additionally, non-Disney hotels frequently appear on discount travel sites, or may be bundled with a flight and rental car for additional savings. Disney resort hotels are always booked through Disney, so the only discounts to be found official seasonal or special offer discounts.
Making the best choice comes down to doing your research to find out whether package deals through Disney for rooms/tickets/dining save you more or less money than flight/hotel/car packages through independent travel sites.
Finding Discount Theme Park Tickets
If your vacation plans allow for it, the easiest way to reduce the per-day cost theme park admission is to buy multi-day passes to multiple parks. The price per day for theme park tickets drops sharply once you purchase a 4-day pass or longer. If you purchase a “park-hopper” ticket that allows you to visit multiple parks in a single day, you save about $50 from the price of two separate single-entry passes. The price of multi-day park hopper tickets reduces drastically at three days or longer.
Discounted tickets for Disney World theme parks are advertized on many websites, but vacationers should be careful of which offers they except. Sites that are authorized to sell Disney park tickets buy them from Disney in bulk, and offer fairly small discounts of around one or two dollars for a single day, single park pass. Discounts are minimal because Disney does not sell discounted tickets to their authorized sellers or to individuals. As with standard Disney tickets, the deals on discounted tickets get better the longer you stay – tickets for longer than four days frequently offer you an extra day for free.
If you do find deeply discounted or free tickets over the internet, they may either be used or invalid tickets or offered as part of a time share sales pitch. Occasionally, individuals may attempt to sell perfectly legitimate and valid tickets that they are unable to use, but it is very difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff on those occasions. The best way to ensure that your vacation is not jeopardized is to purchase from authorized vendors or directly from Disney.
Vacationers may also purchase discounted tickets from authorized sellers in person by visiting kiosks or ticket booths found throughout the Orlando area. The discounts at these locations are very similar to what can be found through online discount vendors. Guests who prefer not to have their tickets sent through the mail may prefer this option, while guests who like to have their tickets purchased well ahead of time may opt for the online option.
Deals on Disney Souvenirs
Souvenirs are a fun but expensive component of the typical Disney vacation, and the Disney theme parks and resort hotels are relatively expensive places to purchase those souvenirs. Discounts are rarely found onsite except for annual pass holders or Disney Vacation Club members. However, if you have time and transportation you might consider visiting Disney’s Character Warehouse or Character Premiere. These locations have much of the same Disney merchandise available at a reduced price. Ordering pre-souvenirs from the Disney Store online before your trip is also a way to save money and reduce the urge to purchase items while you are there.