Accommodations are going to take up a good chunk of any Walt Disney World vacation budget. Ideally, most people want to stay at a Disney resort hotel. The problem is that the rooms are expensive, especially compared to the dozens of value hotels in the area. The cost of the room is just one thing to keep in mind when deciding where to stay. Here are a few things to keep in mind when deciding whether or not you can afford to stay on Walt Disney World property, and tips on how to save a little bit on your room.
9. Value Resort Hotels
There are five hotels that are known as Value Resorts. They cost less than any of the other Disney rooms. The three All-Star Resorts (Movies, Music, and Sports) are usually the cheapest of the five. Disney’s Pop Century Resort might cost a little bit more. The newest value resort is Disney’s Art of Animation. While the rooms are slightly more each night, they are also bigger than the rooms in the other value hotels.
8. Moderate Resort Hotels
If you are traveling with a larger party, you might want to look into a Moderate Resort. The two Port Orleans resorts and Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort run at about the same price. Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort might cost a few dollars more. The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort are officially listed as moderate, but the price doesn’t reflect that. At the right time of year the moderate resorts can be affordable, and the rooms are larger and more comfortable than the value rooms.
7. Time of Year
When you travel will greatly affect the price of any room, not just those at a Walt Disney World owned hotel. The price goes up in the summer, around Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, and near Spring Break weeks. The price will also be higher if there is a three day weekend. If you can travel at a different time of year, you will save money on the hotel room, and the parks will be less crowded.
6. Use a Travel Agent
One way to save on rooms is to book through an Authorized Disney Travel Agent. They will sometimes know of deals, discounts, and offers that the general public is not aware of. If you don’t like the price that the travel agent finds for you, you don’t have to book through the agency.
5. Book Over the Phone
If you don’t want to use a travel agent for whatever reason, call Disney instead of booking the room online. Ask the operator if there are any discounts or deals that she can give to you. Also ask her if it is, “the lowest possible price” that she can offer. Use the word “lowest” instead of “best”, because best can mean what is best for Disney. Sometimes the operator will be able to give you a better rate, just because you asked.
4. Look for Discounts
Are there any discounts that you’re eligible for? If you book through AAA or AARP you might save some money. Florida residents can receive discounts at certain times of the year, as can Annual Passholders. There are also sometimes military discounts.
3. Give Up Minor Conveniences
A room with a pool view is going to cost more than a room with a view of the parking lot. Likewise, a room that is farther from the bus stop could cost a little bit less. How much time are you going to spend staring out the window? Accept the room with the parking lot view and save a little bit that way.
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2. Free Disney Dining Plan
Sometimes the Value Disney Dining Plan is offered for free. There is no set time when Disney decides to do this, but it is often in the fall value season. If you take advantage of the offer, you will not be eligible for other room discounts, but you will receive two counter service meals and one snack a day during your trip. The amount of money that you save on food will help make up for the cost of the room. Restrictions do apply.
1. Consider the Extras
When you’re trying to decide where to stay, consider the extras that you’ll get because you stay at Walt Disney World. If you’re flying into Orlando you can take advantage of Disney’s Magical Express, which will save you the cost of renting a car. Extra Magic Hours will give you more time in the parks when they are less crowded, allowing you to get more out of your ticket. You can make your FastPass+ reservations 60 days in advance, while the general public can only do it 30 days in advance. That means that you’ll have a better chance at reserving a time for your must-do attractions, while others will be standing in line. You also won’t have to pay for parking, which would add onto the cost of your vacation.