Ultimate Guide to Disney World Discounts

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Let’s talk Disney World discounts! We all want to save as much money as possible on our Disney World vacation. This post is designed to teach you about the typical types of Disney discounts. We will also take a look at which ones are “worth it” and which might end up costing you more (updated June 29, 2023).

There is also a section devoted to identifying all the Disney World discounts offered for the current year. This section will be updated as Disney releases information, because of course they don’t release it all at one time! That would be too easy…

In addition to understanding the Disney World discounts, it’s also important to understand all the other ways you can save money at Disney World. Use a combination of the two posts and you should be a happy camper.

Storm Troopers at Disney Hollywood Studios

Disney World Discounts at a Glance

Disney does not provide us with discounts out of the goodness of their hearts. Remember, Disney is big business and everything they do is done with a purpose.

The purpose of Disney discounts is actually to fill up rooms and attendance at any given point throughout the year.

Because of this, the Disney World discounts are very strategic. The dates chosen are usually ones that fill up slower. The resorts chosen to have availability aren’t filling up as fast as they would like.

This strategy is very successful for Disney so they roll out the same plans year after year. With that being said, Disney has a few different categories of discounts that pop up year after year.

From 2020 through 2022, the discounts offered weren’t great. That’s because demand has been so high after the pandemic that they didn’t need to offer big discounts.

However, in 2023 we’re starting to see the return of higher discounts. This is great news for people who want to try to save on their trip.

The bad news is that the non-sale prices of the rooms continues to climb each year, which effectively starts to erase your actual savings.

Disney Resort Discounts

Your resort stay is one of the most expensive parts of a Disney vacation. Any little discount you can get your hands on will help. Depending on the time of year you travel, this discount can be more or less.

But alas, not all Disney World Resort discounts are created equal.

Room Only Discount

The room only discount at Disney World is probably the most straightforward discount. As such it is the easiest and in many ways, potentially the best Disney World discount.

Quite simply, a room only discount is a certain percentage off the nightly rack rate of a resort room. The actual percentage amount will vary depending on time of year, resort category, type of room, etc.

For example, a value resort may have 15% off, a moderate resort 20% off, and a deluxe resort 25% off.

The general rule of thumb is, the slower the season, the better the discount. It used to be that the more expensive the resort, the higher the potential discount. However, in the past 2 discount releases, this has not been the case. I’ve seen Deluxe resorts with a 10% discount and value resorts with a 25% discount.

The good news is that there are usually room only discounts offered throughout much of the year. There are of course exceptions, but this is the most widely offered discount option, another reason why it is the easiest one to use.

If you have a lot of flexibility in when you go on your trip, check out patterns for historical discounts. It is absolutely possible to book a trip during a time that tends to have the deepest discounts.

Pro Disney Planning Tip: Even if you have your resort booked before the discounts are released, you can still apply it to your stay. Simply call Disney and see if there’s availability to add the resort discount to your room. There’s not also an option to simply modify your reservation online to apply the discount.

Annual Passholder Room Discounts

Disney Annual Passholders are usually eligible for a slightly higher room discount than the general public. Their discount usual lands around up to 30-35% off the rack room rate.

If you book a room first and then decide to become an Annual Passholder, simply contact Disney World and a Cast Member can apply the room discount for you. Just remember you might have to change resorts depending on availability.

Annual Passholders can book up to 3 rooms with their discount, but you’ll need to call Member Services in order to book them and apply the discount to all 3 rooms.

Pro Disney Planning Tip: Consider having one member of your group purchase an Annual Pass. This gives the whole party access to the Annual Passholder room discount as well as the other discounts that come with an Annual Pass (20% off merchandise, and 10% off most Table Service dining). With price increases, this hack is starting to make less and less sense, so make sure you do the math first.

Exterior building picture of All Star Movies Resort showing Woody and Bo Peep from Toy Story
All Stars Movie Resort

Florida Resident Resort Discounts

Florida residents are also eligible for room only discounts. The scope of this discount usually falls in between the standard room only discount and the Annual Passholder room only discount.

What exactly do I mean by this? If a standard room only discount is 25% off and the Annual Passholder discount is 35% off, the Florida resident discount is typically 30% off.

In order to qualify for this discount you must have proof of Florida residency.

Disney World Vacation Packages

People are naturally drawn to the Disney World vacation packages as any easy way to just book everything at once and be done with it. But that convenience doesn’t actually tend to come with a discount.

I’m not saying these packages are bad, because they are not. Just make sure you thoroughly check out the details and do alternative pricing to get the real story.

Magic Your Way Style Vacation Packages

Right off the bat, this is not actually a discount, it just looks like one. This is Disney’s standard package offering that bundles together your room, park tickets, and a Disney Dining Plan.

This bundle is actually how Disney makes the most money because often when bundling people might end up paying for more than they might have originally planned.

For example, the Disney Dining Plan is known to be wonderful and convenient. And I can tell you from personal experience that it is. However, if you aren’t a family of really big eaters, it is likely more food than you can possibly eat over the course of a vacation.

If you spend more on a Disney Dining Plan than you would have otherwise spent on food, it is not a discount.

Packages also lock you into buying your park tickets from Disney, and this is often not the cheapest way to get your tickets. Make sure you learn about buying Disney park tickets to understand all of your options.

There are some exceptions where buying a Magic Your Way vacation package is required in order to access an actual discount. In those cases it is more worthwhile.

Seasonal Disney World Vacation Packages

At times Disney offers special off season or seasonal discount vacation packages. For example, for Christmas 2019, Disney offered the Ultimate Disney Christmas Package.

The package was confined to very specific dates and had a firm outline of what is included in the package (including tickets to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party!).

These packages might offer a unique experience, and people certainly enjoy that “all inclusive” feel that tends to come with these packages.

Again, do your math to discover whether there actually is any sort of discount or if you could possibly mimic that package by putting the pieces together on your own with cheaper parts.

We have not seen any discounts like this since the reopening after the pandemic.

Renting Disney Vacation Club Points

There are certain times of year that have zero Disney resort room discounts. Or maybe there is no availability on a discount at a resort you want to stay at. Another option for saving on your resort stay is by renting Disney Vacation Club points.

This “discount” actually has nothing to do with Disney directly.

I’ll avoid a long and complicated description of Disney Vacation Club in this post, but if you are curious about what Disney Vacation Club is, you can read my guide here.

In general, Disney Vacation Club (or DVC) is the name given to Disney’s time share program. DVC members own points they use to book stays at Disney’s Deluxe Villas.

When a DVC owner knows they won’t be able to use their points they often rent them out to someone who can use them. That’s where you come in.

Waterwheel at Port Orleans Resort Riverside
Port Orleans Resort – Riverside

You pay a price per point for however many points you need to book a room. This varies widely but room offerings range from studios to 3-bedroom villas and cabins.

Let’s look at a very specific example. You want to book a room for a week for your family of four. There are no room discounts available. Out of curiosity, you compare how much it will cost to rent DVC points instead.

  • Pop Century Resort, 6 nights: $1356 for a standard room
  • Animal Kingdom Lodge DVC Point Rental, 6 nights: $1368 for a deluxe studio

For an extra $12 you get all the amenities of a Deluxe Resort instead of a Value Resort. Renting DVC points does come with it’s own pros and cons, but it’s something to keep in mind as an option to get higher quality accommodations for the cost of a much cheaper resort.

Free Disney Dining Promotion

The Free Dining Promotion is the single most popular discount at Disney World. As such, the competition for rooms during the promotion period is fierce. I have a whole post dedicated to the ins and out of the Free Dining Promotion so I won’t go into huge detail here.

Since the pandemic, this discount hasn’t existed because the Disney Dining Plan never returned. However, the Disney Dining Plan is returning in 2024. As such, it’s now possible we could see this promotion appear again. Perhaps not right away, but time will tell.

The general gist is that if you book a Magic Your Way vacation package in an eligible room during the promotion period, you qualify for a free Disney Dining plan. This is a potentially massive savings depending on the size of your party.

Seriously, I know I’m a broken record, but always do the math first to determine if this is a good deal for you. Some families end up saving a ton during this promotion, others not so much. It kind of depends on what type of eaters your family is, family composition, and so forth.

The important thing to note with the Free Disney Dining Plan promotion is that you have to pay the rack rate on the room. You can’t get the room discount AND the free dining plan. This is why the math just doesn’t work out in your favor, sometimes.

Disney World Ticket Discounts

Ah, the coveted Disney World ticket discounts. Park tickets are a huge expense during any Disney vacation. Unfortunately, outside of buying your park tickets from an authorized discount Disney ticket center there really aren’t that many options for discounted Disney tickets.

My favorite authorized Disney discount ticket seller is Undercover Tourist. These are the cheapest Disney tickets you’ll find, and they link to My Disney Experience. I’ve used them many times, they are legit.

If you don’t feel comfortable buying your park tickets from anyone other than Disney, consider saving some money by using discounted Disney gift cards to pay for your park tickets.

Disney Vacation Club/Florida Resident Discounted Annual Pass

Disney Vacation Club Members and Florida residents qualify for certain types of annual passes that are cheaper.

It used to be that DVC members could get discounts off the price of the standard annual pass (now the Incredi-Pass), that’s no longer the case.

Florida Resident Discount Disney Tickets

Disney offers Florida residents an overall discount on 3 and 4 day park tickets. For a 3 day ticket you save 30% off, while you say 40% on a 4 day ticket.

You can make these tickets either one park per day tickets or park hopper tickets.

You must show proof of Florida residency in order to qualify for these discounted tickets.

Chip Topiary during Epcot Flower and Garden Festival

Disney World Military Discounts

The Disney World Military discounts are the single best discounts you can get for a Disney vacation. The discount comes in the form of both a ticket discount and a room discount.

The discounts apply for active and retired military personnel and their families. They are also able to purchase rooms and tickets for extended family and friends traveling with them (in limited quantity).

The Armed Forces Salute discounts are typically good for a year and then the waiting game begins to see if Disney renews the offer for another year. Odds are pretty good that they will as they’ve been doing so every year for the past several years.

The new Armed Forces Salute discounts for the next year are typically released in mid to late September.

Also, the military room discounts are not available during Christmas or Easter.

In order to qualify for this discount the military personnel or their spouse must be present to activate the tickets at Disney World. This is key. The military person cannot book a room and order tickets for someone else and then not go on the trip. He/She must be present.

Armed Forces Salute Room Discounts

As with many other discounts, the amount of rooms available at each resort for the military discount is limited. If all of the rooms are taken in the resort you want, they are taken.

Military personnel can book up to 3 rooms at Disney World Resort. All of the rooms have to be in the same resort, and all of the parties must check in on the same day.

The category of the resort you want will determine the ultimate discount you receive. Typically, the discount is as follows:

  • Value Resorts 30% off
  • Moderate Resorts 35% off
  • Deluxe Resorts 40% off

There are some room exclusions to the Armed Forces Salute room discount. The discount does not apply to the following rooms:

  • 3 bedroom villas
  • Cabins at Copper Creek Villas and Cabins at Wilderness Lodge
  • Little Mermaid Standard rooms at Art of Animation Resort
  • Bungalows at Polynesian Villas and Bungalows

Armed Forces Salute Ticket Discounts

All of the Armed Forces Salute tickets are park hopper tickets, though there is also an option to upgrade to a park hopper plus as well. The price and exact number of days on offer changes each year.

Even as the price goes up, it is still hundreds of dollars less than the rack rate of park tickets.

Armed Forces Salute Tickets can be purchased from your local base ticket office, Shades of Green Resort, and at Disney World ticket booth. However, I highly recommend you purchase them at the base ticket office. It’s just a good idea to have everything linked and set up to My Disney Experience before the trip.

There are some important rules to pay attention to for the Armed Forces Salute tickets:

  • In general, you are limited to 6 tickets a year. However, there is an exception that allows large immediate families to buy the tickets they need.
  • One ticket must be for the military personnel or their spouse, the rest an be family and/or friends
  • The days on the ticket don’t need to be used all at once. Any unused days will expire at the end of the promotion period
  • Either the military personnel or their spouse needs to be present to activate all of the tickets at Guest Services upon arrival to Disney World. Showing your military ID is required.

Make sure to check below for the current Armed Forces Salute ticket offers.

Disney World Discounts 2023

This section is a continual work in progress as the year progresses. As new Disney discounts are released I will keep updating this post.

Some of the discounts span multiple seasons so I will put them under each heading they apply to. Just make sure you pay attention to applicable dates for each promotion.

Armed Forces Salute Discount 2023

The Armed Forces Salute Discount was continued through 2023. The discounts for rooms are offered most nights from January 1 through December 15, 2023.

Typically, the room discount percentage follows the schema outlined above of 30%, 35%, and 40% off according to room category. As always, the Deluxe resorts have the biggest discounts.

The following rooms are excluded from the Armed Forces Salute room discount:

  • Fort Wilderness Resort campsites
  • Bay Lake Tower at the Contemporary
  • Riviera Resort
  • 3 bedroom villas
  • Cabins at Copper Creek Villas (at Wilderness Lodge)
  • Polynesian Bungalows
  • Little Mermaid rooms at Art of Animation Resort

Armed Forces Salute Ticket Discount 2023

The 6 day park ticket is no longer offered, but you can choose between either 4 park days or 5 park days. As mentioned, these all come with park hopping. If you’d like to add water park access, golf access, and mini-golf, get the Park Hopper Plus ticket.

# of Park DaysPark Hopper TicketPark Hopper Plus Ticket

As you can see, it’s only $20 more to buy the 5 day park ticket instead of the 4 day park ticket. I would recommend going for the 5 day park ticket. This gives you ultimate flexibility during your trip for just a little bit extra.

Disney World Discounts: Late Winter/Early Spring 2024

Coming soon once released

Disney World Discounts: Summer 2023

Disney has released discounts that cover the rest of the spring and the beginning of summer. Remember, room and ticket discounts are not created equal so make sure you do some math to see which of the Disney World discounts saves you the most money.

Room Discount – Up to 30% Off

Disney released the room only discount that runs through the rest of summer. Make sure you pay attention to the dates as different dates offer different discounts.

You can get up to 30% off the rack room rate with this resort only discount. The level of discount depends on which resort you choose to stay at.

This discount is valid on most rooms from July 11, 2023 through September 28, 2023.

The typical exclusions do apply:

  • 3 bedroom villas
  • Campsites
  • Cabins at Copper Creek Resort (Wilderness Lodge)
  • Bungalows at Polynesian Resort

Annual Passholder Save up to 35% on Resort Room

This is the annual passholder version of the Disney World discount mentioned above. The only difference is the discount offered to Annual Passholders is larger.

See those screenshots listed above? You can simply add 5% to the numbers in the right column and you have yourself the discount categories for the annual passholder version of the discount.

That’s right, Annual Passholders can save up to 35% on rooms from July 11, 2023 through September 28, 2023. Take note that annual passholders don’t have different savings categories for different dates like the standard discount.

4-Day, 4-Park Magic Ticket Deal

Disney typically does a ticket deal every so often, usually in the summer. The 4-Day, 4-Park Magic Ticket offer runs from June 1 to September 29, 2023. However, the following dates are blocked out: July 1-4 and September 1-4, 2023.

With this deal, you get a total of 4 park admissions on 4 separate days, one for each theme park (Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Epcot, and Animal Kingdom). There is no park hopping ability with this ticket.

The ticket expires within 7 days of first use, or by September 29. What this means is once you activate the ticket on the first day, you then have 7 days to use up the remaining 3 days.

This price for this ticket is $99 per day plus tax, or a total of $396 plus tax.

Florida Resident 4 Day Disney Summer Magic Ticket

Don’t be fooled that this is simply a version of the 4-day, 4-Park Magic ticket deal mentioned above. It’s a much better promotion than that.

This allows Florida residents to buy a 4 day park ticket for $58 a day, or a total of $229 plus tax. These are one park per day tickets. You can add park hopping to the ticket for $40 a ticket.

There’s also an option for a 3 day park ticket for $70 per day, or a total of $209 plus tax.

The tickets are valid from May 16, 2023 through September 29, 2023. However, here are the blackout dates;

  • May 26 to May 29
  • July 1 to July 4
  • September 1 to September 4

A major bonus is that these park days don’t need to be used consecutively. You can spread them out across the summer, as long as you use up all the days prior to September 29, 2023.

Disney World Discounts: Fall/Early Winter 2023

Disney recently released some discounts that take us from fall into the Christmas season. These are the largest discounts we’ve seen in a long time.

What that tells me is that Disney is seeing slower booking than they would like, so they are sweetening the pot. There have been lower than expected crowds recently now that the flurry of travel after Covid is slowing down.

Fall and Early Winter Disney Resort Discount

Here we have another standard Disney resort discount. Again, this is a discount off of the rack room price of the resort. This discount applies for stays on select nights from October 2, 2023 through December 25, 2023.

As with the summer discount, please note that different date ranges get different discounts. Please note, there are certain date ranges which are even more restrictive as they are only in effect on Sunday through Thursday nights.

Guests qualify for a discount of up to 25% off select Disney resorts. Here are screenshots showing the specific discounts you get on each of the Disney resorts:

The following exclusions apply:

  • 3 bedroom villas
  • Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Resort
  • Campsites at Fort Wilderness Resort

Annual Passholder Up to 40% Off Resort Stay

Again, the Annual Passholder discount mimics the standard discount, but at a amount of savings.

The usual exclusions apply to this Disney discount:

  • Length of stay requirement: At least one night, no more than 14 nights
  • Cannot be combined with any other discount
  • Excludes the following types of rooms:
    • 3-bedroom villas
    • Cabins at Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Wilderness Lodge
    • Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows

Disney+ Subscriber Room Discount

This is a special offer for Disney+ subscribers. This allows subscribers to save up to 35% on rooms at select Disney resorts on select nights from October 22, 2023 to November 2, 2023 and November 26, 2023 to December 25, 2023.

You can book this offer online buy using the login associated with your Disney+ account.

If these dates work for you, this is a pretty good deal as it gives you a more significant discount than you would normally see. It’s not quite as good as the Annual Passholder discount, but it’s still darn good.

Disney World Discount History

Why is it helpful to understand Disney World discount history? Because Disney is a creature of habit and will follow similar patterns year after year. This allows you to predict what discount will be available during the time you plan to take your trip.

Of course, Disney can throw us curve balls, like the surprise announcement of Free Dining offered over the summer, but for the most part you can make some pretty good predictions.

All of this has been a little haywire over the past couple of years, but it seems like the discounts are once again settling into a more predictable pattern.

The team over at MouseSavers has a great chart full of Disney World discount history. I recommend you check it out so you have a basic idea of what kinds of deals to expect during your trip.

How Do I Get a Disney World Discount?

Getting a Disney World discount is easy in the sense that all you have to do is go on Disney’s website or call the reservation line and book it. If you already have a room booked, you can modify your reservation to apply a discount online or through calling Disney directly.

However, the tricky part comes into play when there is limited availability. Some of the Disney World discounts are extremely popular and will sell out quickly.

Keep your ear to the ground if you are waiting for an announcement of a discount, especially free dining. As soon as it is released be ready to book.

Things to Remember about Disney World Discounts

  • Room availability for a discount can be limited, especially during peak travel seasons so jump on the discount right away
  • A discount isn’t very much of a discount if you have to book a more expensive room than you originally planned
    • Remember, always do the math first to see what you are actually saving
  • Disney vacation packages are not always the cheapest Disney World discount you can find
  • If you want to maximize Disney discounts you have to be flexible in what you are willing to book (i.e. when you travel, resort, etc.)
  • Even if you already have a room booked before a discount is released you still qualify for it, simply call Disney up and they will apply it to your reservation (or move you to a room/resort that qualifies if you so choose)

Final Thoughts on Disney World Discounts

Well there you have it, all the information I could find on Disney World discounts. The bottom line is you should be able to find a discount during your stay as long as you aren’t booking a last minute trip.

If you are booking a last minute trip to Disney World you will likely be beyond the booking expiration date for whatever sale is going on.

I will keep this post updated as each new discount is released throughout the year. Hopefully there will be a Disney discount that works for your trip. Because who doesn’t want to save money?

Disney World discounts pin image

Your Thoughts

What is your favorite Disney discount? Do you use a Disney World discount to be able to stay in a nicer room or do you prefer to go with the cheapest option possible? Let me know in the comments below!

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3 thoughts on “Ultimate Guide to Disney World Discounts”

  1. Because our vacations are limited to certain dates that never seem to fall within an offered Disney discount, we rely on renting DVC points which gives us the opportunity to stay in a nicer resort for less money. I am in the process of booking a one-bedroom villa at a deluxe resort for the week before Christmas 2020 and will pay at least half the price I would pay if booking the same room through Disney. We have had “magical” results our last few visits with the assistance of Joanie Reilly at the DVC Rental Store. [FYI: I have no affiliation with the DVC Rental Store or Ms. Reilly regardless of the fact that we have the same surname. As you can clearly see, mine is correct – she spells hers funny!]

    1. Yes! Renting DVC points is such a great way to save a lot of money on the resort. At some point I want to write a post about it. People think it’s more complicated than it actually is. I mentioned it in the ways to save money at Disney post I just did and showed the calculations. You can stay in a Deluxe studio for less than you can stay at a moderate. Thanks for adding that tip to the comments!

  2. With Disney being so expensive, it’s nice to see there are so many great ways to save money! Thanks for the great tips!

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