Disney World General Information  

A Florida resident's unofficial guide to the happiest place on earth

 
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Disney World Guide
 
 
 
 

 
 

General Disney World Deals, Discounts and Special Offers

 

A Disney World vacation can be very expensive, especially if you are staying at one of the Disney Resorts on-site.  If you are traveling on a budget, however, there are many deals and discounts to be had – especially during low season, or less busy times of year (see my General Guidelines below).  Some of these discounts are offered through the Disney Company, and others are provided by outside vendors.  As I mentioned, ticket and hotel prices can vary depending on the season/time of year, so I’ve tried to keep these offers as up-to-date as possible.

General Guidelines and Important Tips

Before I list the deals and discounts, I would like to discuss two important considerations. 

First is the time of year you choose to travel.  If you are looking for the absolute lowest prices, visit Disney World during what is considered low or “Value Season”.  At those times, you will find not only the best discounts on Disney properties, but also from outside ticket vendors and hotels.  For 2008, the Disney Company considers the “Value Season” to be: January 1 – February 13; July 20 – October 1; and November 30 – December 18.  I highly recommend traveling in January, February, and September – these are the times where you will get the lowest prices, and the lowest crowds!  January/February can sometimes be on the “chilly” side – meaning, temperatures in the 60s – but at the same time, you will likely get some very warm days.  September can be on the hot side, as the Florida summer continues through October, but lower crowds make the trip worth it.  Late November-early December is also a nice time to go, with crowds that are manageable and great holiday festivities and decorations to be seen.  In July-August, prices will be low, but the heat is extreme and the parks are extremely crowded with summer travelers. 

Disney defines the “Regular Season” as March 30 – July 19, and October 2 – November 29.  Prices are pretty average, but crowds are usually fairly high, especially in early November, March, April and May.  Finally, the “Peak Season” is defined as February 14 – March 29, and the “Holiday Season” is December 19-31.  If saving money is your goal, definitely avoid traveling on these dates!  (see also my Best Times to Go page)

The second important piece of advice I have is to always purchase your tickets and make reservations through legitimate, authorized dealers.  Unfortunately, there are lots of unscrupulous outside vendors out there, trying to make a fast buck off of unsuspecting families who want to go to Disney World.  I was once approached at an Orlando gas station by a man wanting to sell me partially used tickets.  Don’t take a chance on ruining your vacation, trying to save a few extra dollars this way.  First of all, if you buy “unused” tickets from an unauthorized dealer, your tickets may not work at all, as it’s impossible for you to verify how many days remain on the ticket.  Secondly, if you buy “partially used” tickets, they likely will not work. Disney tickets use scanners that will record your fingerprint the first time you enter a Park.  Believe me, these scans DO work. I once mistakenly switched tickets with a family member, and the fingerprint scan did not let me enter.  If you are caught trying to use someone else’s ticket, you risk not only ruining your vacation, but also possible legal consequences.  Disney employees WILL ask you for a photo ID if your scan does not match.  So please, please, use only legitimate, authorized dealers, like the ones listed on this page.

Current Discounts – Tickets

Generally speaking, ticket discounts only kick in if you buy tickets for 3 or more days.  If you are only planning to visit Disney World for 1 or 2 days, the Disney gate price (or internet site pre-purchase) is the best you can do.  For ticket discounts on visits 3 days or longer, here are the best authorized sources outside of the Disney Company that I have found:

Undercover Tourist – www.undercovertourist.com
AAA Auto Club – www.aaa.com
Orlando/Orange County Convention and Visitors Bureau – www.orlandoticketsales.com

As I mentioned earlier, ticket prices can change depending on the time of year.  So, definitely shop around on the different websites noted above.  Also, get your tickets as far in advance of your visit as possible.  Disney has been known to raise ticket prices unexpectedly at various times within any given year.  As Disney raises prices, so will the discount ticket vendors.  So, be sure to plan ahead!

A final word of caution:  Many ticket websites, including Disney’s, quote ticket prices WITHOUT the sales tax added.  Please read the fine print (which is required by law) to determine whether the ticket prices quoted include sales tax. 

If you plan to visit Disney World for more than 10 days in a given calendar year, an Annual Pass may be the option for you.  An Annual Pass allows you to enter all four Disney parks 365 days per year (park hopping allowed).  It also includes free Theme Park parking and special discounts and offers only for Passholders.  The prices quoted below are offered for Annual Passes by the Disney Company’s website.  Check authorized vendors for further discounts:

Annual Pass (Non-FL Resident): $448 for adults, $395 for children ages 3-9
Premium Annual Pass (Non-FL Resident): $579 for adults, $510 for children ages 3-9

For Florida Residents, there are many additional discounts available, so be sure to look for those offers.  The Disney Company offers some great options, just for Florida residents.  Often, the authorized vendors I noted above will offer discounts on these tickets as well:

Florida Resident Seasonal Pass – this is what my family uses, and I highly recommend it!  It also allows you to visit multiple Parks on the same day, but only at certain times of the year.  There are typically a few “blackout” periods each year, when you can’t enter the Parks:  over the Christmas/New Years Holidays in late December/early January; the “winter/spring break” season, usually in March-April; and some parts of June/July/August.  For us, this is ideal, since these are the most crowded times of year, when we do not enjoy visiting!  Seasonal Passholders also get other special offers and discounted Disney Resort room rates throughout the year.  The current price for a 2008 new Seasonal Pass through Disney’s Company site is $230 for adults and $203 for children ages 3-9. If you choose to renew your Seasonal Pass, the price will be lower, as you will be offered a discounted renewal rate. 

Other good FL ticket deals are:

FL Resident 3-day Play Pass: $125 for adults, $105 for children ages 3-9
FL Resident Play 4-days Pass: $159 for adults, $134 for children ages 3-9
FL Resident Annual Pass: $350 for adults, $308 for children ages 3-9
FL Resident Premium Annual Pass: $459 for adults, $404 for children ages 3-9

Be sure to check the authorized vendor websites mentioned above, they usually offer discounts on the FL resident Passes as well!

 

Current Discounts – Hotels and Resorts

As I noted earlier, hotels and resorts usually offer the deepest discounts during “low season”.  This generally includes January, the first half of February, July, August and September.  This is true not only for prices offered by the Disney Company, but also for outside vendors.  For both Disney and non-Disney property discounts, here are the best websites I have found:

Expedia – www.expedia.com
Travelocity – www.travelocity.com
Hotels.com – www.hotels.com
Orbitz – www.orbitz.com
Priceline – www.priceline.com

Like the ticket discount vendors, I highly recommend shopping around on all of these websites.  Some websites will have better deals than others, depending on the time of year.  See my Disney Resorts page and my Hotels Near Disney World page for recommendations on best places to stay.

In addition, the Downtown Disney Hotels usually offer their own, private specials – especially during the summer months. 
Here are current special offers from the Downtown Disney Hotels:

Royal Plaza Hotel:  through 10/4/08 – Special Deal, room rates up to 30% off – as low as $89 per night:  www.royalplaza.com, or call 1-800-248-7890.

Buena Vista Palacethrough 10/9/08 – Summer Escape, room rates from $99 per night.  Also, earn resort credits toward hotel activities: $50 for a 2-3 night stay/$75 for 4 or more nights stay: www.buenavistapalace.com, or call 1-866-397-6516.

Regal Sun Resort:  Fun at the Sun package – must stay a minimum of 3 nights, starting at $99 per night.  Includes one character breakfast for 4 people, a $25 food and beverage credit to Oasis Poolside Bar, and late check out.  You may also add Disney Tickets to your package for an extra charge:  www.regalsunresort.com or call 1-800-624-4109.

Doubletree Guest Suites in the Walt Disney World Resort:  through June 1, 2009 - Magic Play and Stay, includes 1 bedroom suite and 2 adult Disney Park Hopper Passes.  There are 4-day, 5-day, and 7-day packages starting at $194 per night: http://doubletree1.hilton.com or call 1-407-934-1000.

Hilton in the Walt Disney World Resort:  
through December 31, 2008 – Family Package.  Choose from 3-day package or 7-day package; each package includes nightly accommodations, daily buffet breakfast, one dinner at Andiamo Restaurant, one 3-day Magic Your Way Disney Ticket, and one visit to Kennedy Space Center.  Booking is required at least 14 days in advance:  www.hilton.com or call 1-800-782-4414. 

Best Western Lake Buena Vista Resort Hotel:  through December 21, 2008 – Magic Your Way Ticket Package.  Choose from 4-day or 5-day packages, includes nightly accommodations and Disney Park Hopper Passes: www.lakebuenavistaresorthotel.com or call 1-800-348-3765.

For general information on all 7 of the Downtown Disney Resort Area Hotels, visit their website: www.downtowndisneyhotels.com

If you really want to stay at one of the Disney Resorts, check the Disney website frequently.  They usually offer room rate discounts to the general public during “Value” and “Regular” seasons (for exact dates, see General Guidelines and Important Tips).  If you are an Annual/Seasonal Passholder and/or a Florida resident, the Disney website has special codes that will give you additional room rate discounts when offered. 

Here are codes for current offers from the Disney Company:

For all Guests – End of Summer Getaway, Room Only Rates:  Book by July 27, 2008 using code DDI.  Discounted rates are being offered for selected Disney Resorts in the following categories.  For booking, call (407) 939-1286, or go online to:  http://disneyworld.disney.go.com
Disney Value Resorts from $69 per night.  Available for stays most nights August 17-26,
September 1-9 and September 22-27, 2008.

Disney Moderate Resorts from $109 per night, Available for stays most nights August 3 – August 23, September 1-9 and September 22-27, 2008.

Disney Deluxe Villa Resorts from $179 per night, in a studio at Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa and Disney's Old Key West Resort.  Available for stays most Friday and Saturday nights, August 3 – August 23 and most nights September 1 – 27, 2008.
Discounted Disney All-Inclusive Vacation Packages are also available at selected Resorts.  Call (407) 939-1286 for more information and availability.

FL Residents – End of Summer Special Offer, Room Only Rates:  For booking, call (407) 939-7706 or go online to:  http://disneyworld.disney.go.com and mention the promotional code FKL.
Disney Value Resorts from $64 per night.  Available for stays most nights August 17-26,
September 1-9 and September 22-27, 2008.

Disney Moderate Resorts from $104 per night, Available for stays most nights August 3 – August 23, September 1-9 and September 22-27, 2008.

Disney Deluxe Villa Resorts from $174 per night, in a studio at Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa and Disney's Old Key West Resort.  Available for stays most Friday and Saturday nights, August 3 – August 23 and most nights September 1 – 27, 2008.
Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground - Cabins from $164 per night, available most nights from August 3 – September 27.
Annual and Seasonal Passholders – End of Summer Special Offer, Room Only Rates:  For booking, call (407) 560-7277 or go online to:  http://disneyworld.disney.go.com and mention the promotional code FKJ.
Disney Value Resorts from $64 per night.  Available for stays most nights August 17-26,
September 1-9 and September 22-27, 2008.

Disney Moderate Resorts from $99 per night, Available for stays most nights August 3 – August 23, September 1-9 and September 22-27, 2008.

Disney Deluxe Villa Resorts from $169 per night, in a studio at Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa and Disney's Old Key West Resort.  Available for stays most Friday and Saturday nights, August 3 – August 23 and most nights September 1 – 27, 2008.
Passholders are now able to add a Dining Package to their Room Only discount rates.  I highly recommend purchasing this, if you are staying at a Disney Resort, as food can be expensive.  Call or visit the Disney website for details.

Please see Disney World tickets and packages for more information on the most suitable offers that will fit your family's needs.

 

 
 

 

 

 
 
 
 
             

 

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