Disney World Vacation Package Discounts

LAST UPDATE: 7/23/14

During the off-season, Disney sometimes offers a discount on its vacation packages. At other times, no Disney World vacation package discounts may be available. Any discounted Disney vacation packages listed below are subject to availability and rates are PER PERSON, per night, usually for adult double occupancy, unless otherwise noted. Adult single occupancy (or one adult plus kids) usually carries a surcharge.

Most rooms are set up for 4 people. A few rooms can accommodate 5, mainly at the Deluxe Disney resorts. There are a few rooms with trundle beds at Port Orleans Riverside that can handle 5, but one will have to be small enough to sleep on the trundle; none of the other Moderate Disney resorts can accommodate 5. Standard rooms at Disney’s All Star resorts accommodate 4 people. Click here to learn more about the various resorts and room types.

Not sure which resort to pick for your Disney vacation package? Read about the various Disney resort types and my recommendations for the best values in each category.

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Is a Disney Vacation Package For You?

A lot of people like Disney’s vacation packages because they are convenient and worry-free. However, it is important to note that the standard full-price Disney vacation packages are designed for convenience rather than savings. In most cases you will NOT automatically get a discount by purchasing a package! It is frequently cheaper to book a “room only” reservation (ideally with a discount) and then buy the package components (tickets, meals, etc) separately.

However, Disney sometimes offers special promotional package discounts, particularly in the off-season. You have to know the special discount codes, which we list here when available.

Disney World packages have rules about advance payment, cancellations and changes that are usually much more restrictive than those associated with “room only” reservations. If you’re not sure about whether to buy a package vs. just booking your room and tickets separately, click here for information that should help you decide.

It can be difficult to sort out what is best for your particular situation. That’s why we think it’s a good idea to have someone knowledgable on your side, making sure all the details are covered. Our advice is this: if you want to book a Walt Disney World vacation package, we strongly recommend using a travel agent who specializes in Disney travel. It costs you nothing, and you can sit back, relax, and have all the vacation planning and hassle taken care of by someone else.

2014 Vacation Packages

For 2014, the seasonal pricing of dining packages has been eliminated, and prices for the Quick Service Dining Plan, regular Dining Plan or Deluxe Dining Plan started out the same price as the 2013 packages, but went up by a few dollars per day in March 2014. Prices for the Premium Plan and Platinum Plan have gone up $5 per person per day.

All 2014 packages now have a “spa or salon” discount (previously the discount applied only to spa — now it includes salon). The Planet Hollywood voucher has been reduced to $10 from $15.

For the Premium Plan, a Richard Petty Junior Ride-Along Experience is now included for one child. For the Platinum Plan, a Richard Petty Junior Ride-Along Experience is now included for one child, a Characters in Flight experience has been added, and facials are now included as an option for the spa treatment. However, the PhotoPass CD and the Fantasmic! show seating have been eliminated from the Platinum Plan.

For 2014, you can choose from the following Magic Your Way package options:

Thanks to Small World Vacations for info.

  • To book a 2014 Disney World vacation package, please contact a travel agent who specializes in Disney vacations. Small World Vacations gives you full service, including a personal travel agent you can contact by phone toll-free, and best of all, it costs you nothing to use them!

Our Value Recommendations

The first thing you need to bear in mind is that Disney REALLY wants you to stay for at least 5 nights/6 days. For that reason, the Magic Your Way tickets included in your package are heavily discounted on longer (5 to 7 day) stays. Remember that tickets are usually the biggest single expense in your package, and 7 day tickets cost only a little more than 4 day tickets. So live it up — price out the longer vacation and you’ll probably be surprised how little the extra cost will be.

For most people who buy a vacation package, the plain Magic Your Way Package (no dining) or the Magic Your Way Package Plus Dining will be the best value.

There is a daily, per-person cost to add the regular Dining Plan to a basic package (click here to see the 2014 costs). With the regular Dining Plan you’ll get a full service meal, a counter service meal and a snack each day.

The Dining Plan is very marginal in terms of value. It’s possible to save a little vs. paying cash, but only if you use all of the included benefits, carefully plan out each meal in advance and order only the most expensive items on the menu. Otherwise at best it’s a break-even proposition. Adding the Dining Plan to your package does allow you to prepay your vacation expenses (except for tips), which for some people is relaxing. To read more about the pros and cons of the Dining Plan, click here to see our review.

If your family isn’t into table-service dining, there is the Magic Your Way Package Plus Quick Service Dining. The Quick Service Dining Plan is not a good value. You will be lucky to break even vs. just paying cash for your meals and snacks, and the Quick Service Dining Plan is not particularly flexible. We don’t recommend it.

The higher level packages (Deluxe Dining Plan, Premium Plan and Platinum Plan) are really luxurious, but for the average family they are also serious overkill. First of all, eating the included three full meals a day is just too much for most people. But if you’re like us, you’ll feel compelled to eat all those darn meals, because you’re paying for them!

The Premium and Platinum packages also include lots of unlimited extras like recreation (i.e. boating, fishing, parasailing) and behind-the-scenes tours, which sound great — until you factor in the hot and humid Florida weather and the extensive walking, which slow most people’s energy level to a crawl by the end of the day. The reality is, it’s highly unlikely that you will take a tour in the morning, play tennis in the afternoon and attend a Cirque du Soleil show in the evening, on top of visiting the theme parks. But to get your money’s worth out of the Premium and Platinum packages, you really need to be taking advantage of such “extras” every day.

New!Late Fall Vacation Package Offer

With this offer, get a discount of up to 30% off the room portion of a Magic Your Way Vacation Package. Offer is valid for stays 10/4/14 – 11/25/14 and 11/29/14 – 12/23/14. Pricing and savings will vary by resort type and date. As with all Disney promotional discounts, some resorts, room types and date combinations will not be available*. Length of stay requirements may apply.

Offer details:

*Offer excludes Villas at Grand Floridian, Villas at Bay Lake Tower, Little Mermaid rooms at Art of Animation Resort, campsites and 3-bedroom villas. Savings based on the non-discounted price for the same room. Additional per adult charges apply if more than two adults per room at Disney Value, Moderate and Deluxe Resorts. Advance reservations required. No group rates or other discounts apply.

Book by 10/3/14.

Thanks to Small World Vacations for info.

  • To book the Disney Late Fall Vacation Package Offer, please contact a travel agent who specializes in Disney vacations, and request this offer. Small World Vacations gives you full service, including a personal travel agent you can contact by phone toll-free, and best of all, it costs you nothing to use them!

Free Dining Package Offer

With this offer, get a FREE Disney Dining Plan when you book a Magic Your Way vacation package of at least 3 nights that includes at least a 2-day ticket for each guest. Offer is valid for arrivals 8/31/14 – 10/3/14, 10/26/14 – 11/1/14, 11/9/14 – 11/20/14 and 12/12/14 – 12/23/14. As with all Disney promotional discounts, some resorts, room types and date combinations will not be available.*

Offer details:

As long as your arrival date is during one of the ranges above, you qualify for free dining for your entire stay (up to 14 days). For example, if you check in on 10/3/14 and are staying 10 days, you would get free dining for the entire stay, even though only the first day is within the promotion period. This assumes you book at a resort and room type that is available for those dates and qualifies for the discount.

If your arrival date is not during one of the date ranges above, you cannot get free dining for the full stay even if your stay extends into the promotional period. It is possible to do a split reservation, where you essentially make two separate reservations: one during the period before free dining, where you’ll pay full price (or perhaps take advantage of any room discounts you can get), and one during free dining. To make this work, the section during the free dining period must meet the 3-night and 2-day ticket criteria.

Keep in mind that free dining is really a package discount with a cash value (the value of adding a dining plan to a Magic Your Way Package). In order to get the free dining, you must book the rooms and tickets at full price. The value of the dining plan (or your best estimate of your actual food budget) should be compared against any other room, package, and/or ticket discounts available during the dates you are interested. Some general rules of thumb:

Which discount will save the most money all depends on the specific room or rooms you are booking, and what your actual food budget is; it’s worth pricing out the various possibilities to see what works best.

*Offer excludes Villas at Grand Floridian, Little Mermaid rooms at Art of Animation Resort, All-Star Movies, Port Orleans French Quarter and Riverside, campsites and 3-bedroom villas. Additional per adult charges apply if more than two adults per room at Disney Value, Moderate and Deluxe Resorts. Advance reservations required. No group rates or other discounts apply.

Book by 8/8/14.

Thanks to Small World Vacations for info.

  • To book the Free Dining Package Offer, please contact a travel agent who specializes in Disney vacations, and request this offer. Small World Vacations gives you full service, including a personal travel agent you can contact by phone toll-free, and best of all, it costs you nothing to use them!

Fall Vacation Package Offer

With this offer, get a discount of up to 30% on the room portion of a Magic Your Way Vacation package. Offer is valid for stays 8/16/14 – 10/3/14. Pricing and savings will vary by resort type and date. As with all Disney promotional discounts, some resorts, room types and date combinations will not be available*. Length of stay requirements may apply.

Offer details:

*Offer excludes Villas at Grand Floridian, Bay Lake Tower, Little Mermaid rooms at Art of Animation Resort and 3-bedroom villas. Savings based on the non-discounted price for the same room. Additional per adult charges apply if more than two adults per room at Disney Value, Moderate and Deluxe Resorts. Advance reservations required. No group rates or other discounts apply.

Book by 8/8/14.

Thanks to Small World Vacations for info.

  • To book the Disney Fall Vacation Package Offer, please contact a travel agent who specializes in Disney vacations, and request this offer. Small World Vacations gives you full service, including a personal travel agent you can contact by phone toll-free, and best of all, it costs you nothing to use them!

Disney Visa Fall Package Offer

This offer for Disney’s Visa cardholders is identical to the regular Fall Vacation Package Offer, but became available for booking several days in advance of the general public offer.

Book by 8/8/14.

Thanks to Small World Vacations for info.

  • To book the Disney Visa Fall Package Offer, please contact a travel agent who specializes in Disney vacations, and request this offer. You must make an immediate deposit using your Disney’s Visa card. Small World Vacations gives you full service, including a personal travel agent you can contact by phone toll-free, and best of all, it costs you nothing to use them!

Disney Visa Free Dining Package Offer

This offer for Disney’s Visa cardholders is identical to the regular Free Dining Package Offer, but became available for booking several days in advance of the general public offer.

Book by 8/8/14.

Thanks to Small World Vacations for info.

  • To book the Disney Visa Free Dining Package Offer, please contact a travel agent who specializes in Disney vacations, and request this offer. You must make an immediate deposit using your Disney’s Visa card. Small World Vacations gives you full service, including a personal travel agent you can contact by phone toll-free, and best of all, it costs you nothing to use them!

Annual Passholder Packages with Dining Plan

Discounted Annual Passholder Packages with Dining are usually offered for any time period when Annual Passholder “room only” discounts are also available. There is a room discount, but the Dining Plans are priced at the regular rate. These bookings are subject to regular Walt Disney Travel Company package rules.

Thanks to Small World Vacations for info.

  • To book a discounted Annual Passholder Package with Dining, please contact a travel agent who specializes in Disney vacations. Small World Vacations gives you full service, including a personal travel agent you can contact by phone toll-free, and best of all, it costs you nothing to use them!

Florida Resident Summer Package Offer

Florida Residents can save on a 2-night/2-day Magic Your Way Package* at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels and get FREE Memory Maker!

Valid for stays June 3 – August 2, 2014.

*Offer excludes Little Mermaid rooms at Art of Animation, Port Orleans – French Quarter, All-Star Movies, Bay Lake Tower, Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground – Campsites, Villas at Grand Floridian and 3-bedroom villas. Minimum 2-night length of stay required. Proof of Florida residency is required at check-in.

Book by 8/2/14.

Thanks to Small World Vacations for info.

  • To book the Florida Resident Summer Offer, please contact a travel agent who specializes in Disney vacations. Small World Vacations gives you full service, including a personal travel agent you can contact by phone toll-free, and best of all, it costs you nothing to use them!

Bounceback Package Offer

“Bounceback” vacation package offers are offers made by Disney ONLY to guests who are currently staying at one of the official Walt Disney World resorts. The idea is to encourage you to “bounce back” to Disney World by planning your next vacation right now. These offers are not always available and could end at any time.

When a bounceback vacation package offer is available, you may be able to book a discounted vacation package (accommodations plus at least a 1-day Base Ticket) for a stay on selected dates at a Walt Disney World resort. Not all dates are offered, and not all resorts and room types will be included.

To qualify, the reservation for your next vacation must be made before you check out, and there are no exceptions made. You must call the number provided (usually on a flyer in your room) and pay a $200 deposit when booking.

If you don’t get a bounceback offer on a flyer in your room, the resort TV channel may be showing this offer, or you may receive an email from Disney during your stay. You can also try asking the front desk and/or Housekeeping for a flyer. Last, you can try dialing x8844 from your room phone and asking them if there are any current offers.

Package Promotions with Small World Vacations

Small World Vacations frequently offers nice Disney World vacation package promotions exclusively for MouseSavers Newsletter readers. Be sure to sign up for the FREE monthly email newsletter so you’ll hear about the latest offers!

Discount Offer On Six Or More 4+ Day Tickets

Disney is offering a FREE extra day when you buy at least six Magic Your Way tickets of 4 days or longer, which can be booked as a package. You can add Park Hopper and/or Water Park Fun & More, but all tickets must be the same type and number of days. You can mix adult and child tickets to get to six. Non-expiring tickets are not eligible. The longest ticket you can buy with this discount is a 9-day (which then becomes a 10-day). You must purchase by 6/14/14, but tickets can be used any time. Like any other Magic Your Way tickets they expire 14 days after the first use.

If your trip doesn’t qualify for any other discounted package and you have six people, ask your travel agent to book this special ticket discount as a package.

UK Packages

The Disney specialist travel agency we recommend, Small World Vacations, gladly works with clients around the globe. They have many clients from the UK and Ireland. Unfortunately they cannot book UK-specific offers, but sometimes the American offers are a better deal. It’s also worth noting that the US vacation package offers have much more advantageous cancellation and change policies than the UK holiday package offers.

Canadian Packages

Canadian residents can book the US offers listed above. The Disney specialist travel agency we recommend, Small World Vacations, gladly works with clients around the globe. They have many clients from Canada.

In addition, you can visit DisneyWorld.ca and click on the Special Offers tab to see any current deals specific to Canadians, but most of the time the offers are the same as those distributed in the US. Sometimes the Canadian offer will have a different discount code, but otherwise it will be identical to the US offer. If we learn of any specials for Canadians only, they are listed below. Small World Vacations can book most Canadian packages as long as you are traveling at least 45 days from the date of booking.

Southwest Vacations Packages

If you live in or near a city served by Southwest Airlines, you may be interested in checking Southwest Vacations for Disney packages that include airfare on Southwest. (Note that Southwest Vacations is not actually operated by the airline itself, but rather by a third party licensed by the airline.)

When Disney offers discounted packages, Southwest Vacations may offer those same packages, but with airfare added. Sometimes the deals are quite good, but be sure to check the cost of the airfare and/or tickets included with the package: sometimes either or both may be inflated. Do the math and don’t rely on marketing statements such as “3 days free” without checking the bottom line price. If you do your homework, you may find it’s cheaper to book discounted airfare directly with the airline and get your vacation package (room and tickets) elsewhere, such as through a Disney Specialist travel agent.

Packages Through Expedia

When discounted packages are offered by Disney, the same vacation package discounts that are offered through other travel agencies (and directly by Disney) are usually also available online through Expedia. The discounted rates are listed as “promotional rates” or are given special names such as “Magical Fall Rates.”

Be aware that Expedia sometimes makes it look as if you can book “room only” reservations at these special package rates, but you really can’t. Later in the ordering process you are forced to add on theme park tickets, which makes the purchase into a vacation package. Expedia does offer separate “room only” promotions.

Generally speaking you’re better off to book the corresponding discounted package through a Disney Specialist travel agent, because you’ll get better service, plus Expedia has rules and requirements that can be confusing. If you decide to use Expedia, be sure to read all the small print very carefully, and click on any “terms and conditions” links and read those.

Packages Through Travelocity

When discounted packages are offered by Disney, the same vacation package discounts that are offered through other travel agencies (and directly by Disney) are usually also available online through Travelocity. The discounted rates are listed as “promotional rates” or are given special names such as “Magical Fall Rates.”

Generally speaking you’re better off to book the corresponding discounted package through a Disney Specialist travel agent, because you’ll get better service, plus Travelocity has rules and requirements that can be confusing. If you decide to use Travelocity, be sure to read all the small print very carefully, and click on any “terms and conditions” links and read those.

Membership Discounts

If you belong to AAA or Costco, it may be worthwhile to check their prices on vacation packages. However, don’t expect much service, and be aware that you may not get the best price in the long run. In our experience, the big membership organizations mostly employ “generalist” travel agents who often know little or nothing about Disney vacations and are frequently clueless about promotional packages and discount codes. You will usually have to do your own monitoring to make sure any better package offers that come out are applied to your booking. They almost never do this for you, unlike a Disney specialist agency.

Be aware that AAA offers a room discount that applies ONLY to full price packages. If a better promotional package comes out (and it frequently will), you can switch to the new promotion, but you lose the AAA discount. You can only pick one or the other.

Trip Insurance

It is especially important to buy trip insurance for a vacation package, because you have to pay the entire cost in advance and you won’t get a refund if you have to cancel right before your scheduled departure. With hundreds or even thousands of dollars at stake, it’s worth it to protect the investment.

It’s super-important to buy insurance if you will be visiting Walt Disney World on a package vacation during peak hurricane season (roughly the months of August and September). Don’t underestimate the potential of hurricanes to create major problems even in an inland location like Orlando. Walt Disney World was directly affected by two hurricanes in 2004 (Frances and Jeanne) and one in 2005 (Wilma). Two hotels located on Disney property (but not operated by Disney) were virtually destroyed by the 2004 storms; one didn’t reopen until 2010!

While Disney’s own resorts weathered the hurricanes very well, guests were stuck in their rooms for up to 36 hours and many had major travel problems because airports were closed. Disney did waive “no-show” fees for a few dates, but those whose trips began before the specified dates (but whose travel plans overlapped with the hurricane) or just afterward were out of luck. Many people had similar problems with their airfares. The airlines allowed highly restrictive changes for certain dates without extra fees, but many of those who had to reschedule could not work within the airlines’ narrow rules and just had to suck up the extra cost.

Perhaps the most important coverage included in a trip insurance policy is trip cancellation and interruption insurance, which can protect your investment if you have to cancel your vacation at the last minute (or come home early) due to illness or injury. Depending on the policy, you may be covered if you cancel for other reasons, such as jury duty, terrorism at your destination, or even unemployment.

Emergency medical coverage and medical evacuation insurance are very important if you become ill or injured during the trip. Otherwise you’re on your own as far as booking very expensive last-minute airfare to get home. And if you’re too ill to travel by commercial jet, you may have to pay for treatment in Florida (which your personal insurance may or may not cover) or for evacuation on a medically-equipped jet, which is incredibly expensive.

Delayed baggage insurance will help you pay for replacement clothing if the airline sends your suitcase to Timbuktu and you need something to wear in the meantime. Supplemental baggage insurance will pay a predetermined amount if an airline loses your luggage completely. (Some higher-end credit cards provide extra baggage insurance, so check with your card issuer before paying extra for this coverage.)

Disney sells trip insurance, but it’s expensive and it has major exclusions: it doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions or delays (even weather delays) on air travel you arrange yourself. (Air travel arranged through Disney is covered.) You can almost always get better insurance than Disney provides, and at better rates, by buying it elsewhere.

Be aware that in most cases, trip insurance will provide slightly less coverage (usually by adding exclusions on pre-existing conditions) unless you buy it within about 14 days of paying your DEPOSIT on the vacation package. So be sure to purchase it right away, once you’ve committed to the trip.

Where to Buy Trip Insurance

If you have kids under 18, consider using Allianz (formerly Access America) for your trip insurance. Kids are included FREE in the Classic Plan, which is a rare and valuable benefit. If you buy that policy within 14 days of making your first payment/deposit on the package, it will also cover pre-existing conditions, unlike Disney’s coverage.

If the Allianz policy isn’t a good fit for you, a great place to comparison-shop for trip insurance is InsureMyTrip.com, where you can see side-by-side policy information and rates for major, reputable insurance companies. We have used InsureMyTrip.com myself to buy trip insurance for several trips. We saved a substantial amount and got much more comprehensive coverage than Disney’s policy would have provided.