Walt Disney World has released new Christmas 2022 resort room-only discounts in “celebration” of Disney+ Day. This post shares the details of these special offers, commentary about why there’s such a shortage of savings, plus sample pricing, analysis & other info.
More recently, Walt Disney World released its AP offer for Up to 25% Off Resorts for Fall to Christmas 2022. This came out just a couple of weeks ago, and was notable because it was released later than normal and not accompanied by special offers for the general public or even Florida residents. Now, there’s another Disney+ deal, encompassing some of those same travel dates…
Before starting, we’ll preface this with a reminder that availability was weak for the last round of deals…and the round before that. We had many readers report finding nothing at all–or higher prices–for their travel dates. Where there is availability, it often requires a room upgrade (e.g. from standard to preferred view, Pirate Rooms, etc.), thus at least partially negating the benefit of the discount. Just something to keep in mind before getting your hopes up here.
On a different note, if you’re not a Disney+ subscriber, you still should check out this discounts. Unlike Annual Pass discounts, you don’t really need to “crunch the numbers” to determine if you would save more by one member of your party purchasing a Disney+ subscription if you don’t already have one. I can answer that for you right now: you would. That’ll cost you under $2 per month now, plus whatever Disney+ costs when you check into the resort, whereas this could save you several hundreds of dollars per night.
For this Disney+ subscriber discount, Walt Disney World has brought back the “classic” You’re Almost in Orbit virtual queue, beloved among fans who like staring into space. This is used to manage website capacity when demand is expected to be here and, unlike with some past deals, they’re probably right here.
The page advises logging in to your Disney+ account while waiting to confirm that your My Disney Experience account is associated with your Disney+ account, which is a good idea.
I actually had a couple issues with this. We recently dropped our standalone Disney+ subscription to take advantage of a $2.99 per month add-on via Sarah’s Hulu account. I had to login to Hulu and then go back to Disneyworld.com to get the two accounts to ‘connect,’ which shockingly worked.
Well, for the most part. I guess Disneyworld.com thinks that Hulu is a product of Canada. In its defense, I do watch a lot of Fargo, which is basically in the lower Canada region of the United States. Perhaps that’s it. Or maybe it’s just typical Disney IT shenanigans.
You’ll also want to click the “Check your Membership and Passes” link on the You’re Almost in Orbit screen just shows whether you’re a Disney+ subscriber on that account. It gives you the option to add new APs, DVC memberships, and Cast Member Maingate Passes, but not Disney+ subscriptions.
If you’re having an issue with your Disney+ account being recognized, try logging into Disneyplus.com first. You should be able to go into your Disney+ account and update the email address associated with that to match your My Disney Experience account. Should is the operative word, as this won’t always work. If it doesn’t, try calling Disney+ customer service at 888-905-7888. Do not call Walt Disney World, as this is discount drop day and hold times are no doubt astronomical.
Another option is logging into Disneyworld.com with your Disney+ account login, booking a room under that, and worrying about account consolidation at a later date. (Trust me, you do not want multiple Disney accounts–it causes all sorts of unanticipated problems.)
If you just signed up for Disney+, try again approximately 60 minutes after you subscribed. If you’re still having issues, log out of everything, then log back into Disneyplus.com. After that, visit Disneyworld.com. It should work then. You might need to try private browsing, too. (That’s what I had to do to get the above Canada issue resolved.)
Here are the official details for the new discount: Disney+ subscribers can save up to 20% on rooms at select Disney Resort hotels for stays most nights December 11 through December 25, 2022.
Here are resort by resort Disney+ savings rates:
Proof of Disney+ subscription required both at booking and upon checking into the resort. Disney+ subscriber with an active subscription must stay in the room. (In other words, you’ll need to subscribe to Disney+ for two months–September and December 2022–in order to take advantage of this deal.)
This special offer for Disney+ subscribers excludes the following room types: 3-bedroom villas, campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground, Cabins at Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, and Little Mermaid Standard Rooms at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort.
Additional per-adult charges may apply if more than 2 adults per room at Value, Moderate and Deluxe Resorts and Studios at Deluxe Villa Resorts. Maximum length of stay under this deal is 14 nights.
Below are some of the best available rates we found for this Disney+ Holidays 2022 discount:
This search is for the night of December 11, 2022, which is part of the “Winter 2” season at Walt Disney World. This is one of the more expensive date ranges, but still not as bad as the “Holiday” season, which begins on December 16, 2022. In other words, you’re going to be paying a lot more for the week of Christmas.
Note that this is not an exhaustive list of the lowest rates for all hotels. Some resorts listed above are showing prices for non-standard rooms.
Okay, commentary time.
When this Disney+ Day deal was teased, I was surprised given the lack of availability for the AP deal. Nevertheless, I thought maybe Walt Disney World would release a discount encompassing slightly different dates–perhaps more of October. Well, that was partially true.
The eligible dates are different, but not in the way hoped. Instead, they’re much more limited, covering only the two week stretch before Christmas. Based on discounts that we’ve seen the last few years, guests are clearly balking at the resort price points during these weeks.
Last year, the only deal released for the last three months of the year included very similar dates–December 12-24, and only Floridians, Annual Passholders, and Disney Visa Cardholders were eligible. Options were limited, and even most eligible resorts only offered 10-15% off.
It’s a similar story here. The good news is that availability is better for this Disney+ Day deal than the AP offer. The bad news is that this is because hotel bookings are weaker for this subset of dates than November through early December. It’s less about these deals themselves and more about the dates.
As always, it all depends on your desired resort, room categories, and travel dates. If you’re already locked-in and don’t have much flexibility, the options might not appear so hot. Additionally, if you’re looking for rooms at Animal Kingdom Lodge, BoardWalk Inn, or either Port Orleans Resort, your perception of this discount will be superior to those searching for discounts at the Poly (there aren’t any) or even Wilderness Lodge.
The longer your trip, the more likely you’re going to have issues finding availability. Even prior to this discount being released, we had been searching for ~3 night stays throughout the holiday season and were having difficulty finding decent options at our resorts of choice.
As such, we’d strongly recommend being flexible on travel dates or resort options. Get creative when searching Disneyworld.com, and embrace the split stay. (We are strong advocates of split stays, and they’re especially great during the holiday season!)
Some readers complained of the first Disney+ deal at Walt Disney World, but we think that’s misguided. From our perspective, this is significant in it’s an affiliation offer with a very low barrier to entry. Subscribing to Disney+ is much cheaper than buying an Annual Pass (which most people can’t even do right now) or moving to Florida.
Despite that, many members of the general public simply won’t even consider doing that in order to qualify for these savings. That makes no economic sense–spending $1.99 to potentially save hundreds of dollars on a hotel is an absolute no-brainer decision–but it’s how deals like this always play out. Any barrier to entry is too much for many people. That’s bad for those who don’t do their due diligence, but great for those who do–it means less competition. (This is the Walt Disney World vacation planning story, in a nutshell.)
As for why Walt Disney World is making it easier to qualify for an affiliation discount on rooms, the answer is simple: Disney+ is the company’s focus and fixation. There’s a misconception about Disney+ being incredibly profitable–quite the opposite is true. The company lost $1.1 billion on streaming services in the last quarter alone.
Disney+ is a revenue driver, but it’s still losing money as the company attempts to gain market share. In so doing, Disney is spending colossal sums on content and user acquisition. While this deal appears to be a perk for Disney+ subscribers, it’s also another attempt to incentivize new subscriptions. (Every single streaming service is heavily subsidized right now–none are viable with their present business models, so enjoy this while it lasts!)
Hence this Disney+ Day discount on Walt Disney World resorts.
It’s a way to juice Disney+ subscriber numbers, which will in turn help the company beat analyst expectations and impress Wall Street, which will in turn boost the company’s stock price. For better or worse, the company revolves around Disney+ right now. It is the big thing.
Ultimately, if you’re Disney+ subscriber who is eager for a Christmas vacation at Walt Disney World and you are not an Annual Passholder, these deals are as good as it’s going to get. With Hotwire and Priceline deals drying up and it being too late for renting DVC points (except for matching with a confirmed reservation), your only other alternative is checking out off-site or third party hotels, both of which do have better deals for holiday travel dates.
What do you think of these Walt Disney World room only discounts for Disney+ Day? Disappointed that this only encompasses the couple of weeks before Christmas? If you booked this, do you think you ended up with a good price or do you feel like you’re overpaying? What was available or unavailable for your dates? Is this deal enough to convince you to book a trip, or can you not justify these prices? Do you agree or disagree with our assessments? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!