How To Nab a Disney World Discount Like a Pro

Disney Go
Disney Go

DIsney Discounts

Its a been a busy week at  Walt Disney World when it comes to discounts being released. Over the course of just a few short days the following discounts went public:

  • Room discounts and a Play Stay and Dine Discount for Disney Visa Cardholders for stays between January and March
  • Room discounts for Military Personnel covering most of 2017
  • Discounts for Annual Passholders and DVC members

When this wave of discounts tends to happen (which is usually twice a year) Disney insiders wait in anticipation as it usually means that a discount will be opening up soon to the general public.

So in anticipation of Disney discounts going live at some point soon, how can you as a potential vacation-goer prep yourself to nab a fantastic deal come release day? Here’s a few simple steps to get you started:

1. Do your research.  Though there is absolutely no guarantee that Disney will release a discount year-on-year, historically things stay pretty consistent. The biggest discounts are usually offered in the Spring with Play, Stay and Dine promotions or in the Autumn with the Free Dining promotion.  It pays to know what discounts might be on offer during your travel dates.  Here’s an article to help you keep tabs on what discounts may be released and when.

2. See Visa Cardmember Discounts as a Precursor.  Not a Visa Cardholder and waiting anxiously for general discounts to be released? Use the  Visa Cardmember discounts as a guide.   Historically the Visa discounts are released a week or two before offers open to the general public.  So not only does this tell you that a discount may be on its way and that you should start planning,  it also gives you a pretty solid indication of what the offer is going to look like.  Typically, the general discount is  modeled on the Cardmember discounts with the same dates, terms and conditions, blackout dates etc.

Here’s a link to the current Cardholder discounts on offer:

3. Have set dates in mind as starting point and pay attention to blackout dates.  If you do decide you want to try and nab a Disney World discount on the day it’s released, its much easier when you have set dates in mind.  If you find prices aren’t quite hitting your budget then at least you have a starting point.  Also, be mindful of blackout dates.  If you’re expecting to snatch up a discount during peak periods then think again.  They are unlikely to be available around holidays or during popular periods like Spring Break.  Again, if looking for Early 2017, the blackout dates should be one par with the Visa Cardholder offer.

4. Pay attention to past Resort exemptions – Again, this all comes down to research.  Get familiar with previous discount offers and pay attention to the resorts typically excluded from these offers.  If you’re hoping to get a room discount but are staying in a Little Mermaid room at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, it is a bit of a long shot.  It’s the same with 3 bedroom Villas, and usually either Port Orleans Riverside or French Quarter.  Disney will exclude a resort based on popularity. (If it’s already close to capacity why would they discount it?)  This may change slightly from year to year but mostly the exclusions are pretty predictable.  Check out this article for a list of resorts that have been exempt in the past.

5. Take time to compare discounts – It is rare that Disney will release one discount on its own.  Usually a package discount is released the same time as room discount.  Just because you think one of the discounts might suit your needs better, it always pays to compare them so that you have a sense of where the greater savings might be. If you’re booking a package on release day, cost out each discount before settling on a package.

6. Consider working with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner-  Not only do you get a concierge-level service for FREE but a good Travel Agent will wake up early and nab those discounts so that you don’t have to.  They are also big preppers and have experience in working the system during busy periods where offers have just been released.  It pays to have an extra set of hands on discount day to make sure that you’re getting the discount that you were looking for.  And again, what do you have to lose? Their services are FREE.

7. Be Prepared to take the leap and book.  I realized that if I’m visiting Disney World and I see a bit of merchandise I like,  its best to buy it on the spot because every time I return later in the day, its sold out.   You can bet the same rule applies when it comes to Disney World discounts.  Fall 2016’s FREE Dining promotion was so insanely popular that less than 24 hrs later it was slim pickings.  If you want to make sure that you have that discount be prepared to book it straight away.  Yes, you will be required to part with $200.00 per room to secure your  package but the good news about this is that Disney has an amazing cancellations and return policy.  As long as you cancel up to 31 days before departure your deposit will be refunded.  So if you’re on the fence nab it now while you can still get the discount and cancel later if you have to.

8.  Have a contingency plan.  When big discounts are released, nothing is as straight forward as it seems. You may be totally ready to book a Savanna View at Animal Kingdom Lodge only to find that there’s none available on the day.  I usually tell clients to have 3 different options to choose from on a discount day.  Carefully researching your options ahead of time means that there won’t be any surprises on the day and eliminates the possibility of going with a spur of the moment choice that may not be your best choice in the long run.

9. Remain calm.  It’s not uncommon on a discount day to be on hold for a very long time.  Trying to nab a discount on release day can feel a little bit like phoning in to win a radio contest.  There’s a lot of competition and sometimes ungodly wait times.  Set aside a chunk of time to devote to booking your package (if a Travel Agent isn’t doing the work for you) and know that you can book both online using My Disney Experience or by calling Disney at 407.939.5277.  And should you encounter a glitchy website or phone problems, understand that it’s just par for the course.

Again, Disney has not officially announced when general discounts will start to be released for 2017, nor do we know for certain what those discounts will be.  However, a bit of advanced preparation will go a long way in making sure that things go smoothly for you once offers are out.

What assistance nabbing those 2017 Discounts? Fill out our form below and we’ll do the hard work for you. And for FREE!


Find articles like this helpful? Then why not consider booking with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner? As an agent with MickeyTravels, I’ll be on hand to help you with everything from finding your perfect package to securing those hard to get dining and Fastpass reservations and making sure that you’re getting the best discounts (even after you’ve booked).  Get in touch at, at 1.800.801.4025 or follow along on Facebook and let me do the work for you!

Image copyright Disney.

How To Nab a Disney World Discount Like a Pro 1

Let our friends at Destinations to Travel help you book your next Disney Vacation. They are the preferred Travel Agency of Chip and Company and Disney Addicts, and who we use ourselves.

Get started Now for your FREE No Obligation Quote.

Book With our friends at Destinations to Travel

MM slash DD slash YYYY
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

YouTube player

Disney Addicts Past Writers and Friends
Latest posts by Disney Addicts Past Writers and Friends (see all)