Looking for the best deals and discount offers for Walt Disney World for Christmas 2018 or Spring 2019? This post offers info on PIN codes, special offers, and other money-saving deals for Walt Disney World, Disneyland, and beyond. This post is regularly updated with new specials.
Let’s start with Walt Disney World. There are currently several money-saving promotions available for booking, including room-only discounts and the “Stay, Play, Dine & Save” deal. This promo offers varying savings on Magic Your Way vacation packages that include park tickets, a hotel stay, and the Disney Dining Plan.
The “Stay, Play, Dine & Save” deal is touted as offering package savings of “up to $600 off for a family of 4.” There’s no set savings, but this deal usually offers around 40-50% off the cost of the Disney Dining Plan, which is why we refer to this one as Half-Free Dining.
Speaking of which, the popular (full) Free Disney Dining Plan is only available right as a bounceback offer. You can read about what that means, find out if you’re eligible, and sign-up to be alerted when Free Dining is about to be released to the general public in our comprehensive post about the Free Disney Dining Plan at Walt Disney World.
As for room-only discounts, there are actually a couple of these. The first is the “Merriest Time of Year” promo, which offers room-only discounts, with the following discount tiers: up to 10% off Value Resorts, up to 15% off Moderates, and up to 20% off Deluxe or Deluxe Villa Resorts. This discount is valid for most dates November 11, 2018 through December 24, 2018.
Next, there’s the “Gift of Magic” discount, which is valid January 1, 2019 through April 27, 2019. With this offer, you can save up to 15% off Value Resorts, 20% off Moderate Resorts, and 25% off Deluxe or Deluxe Villa Resorts. Those maximums are if you book by January 2, 2019. If you book after that date up until April 27, 2019, you can drop 5% off those savings (for each tier). So make your bookings early!
If you want to help determining what discounts are available for your travel dates and which resort will work best for your family, we recommend requesting a quote from Be Our Guest Vacations, a no-fee Authorized Disney Vacation Planner. The agents there will book your vacation and help take the stress out of planning.
In addition to the standard varying rates of the discount depending on precise travel dates, some of these room-only discounts have incredibly limited availability, especially the first offer with November and December travel dates. Don’t be surprised if you search for an otherwise qualifying hotel and are unable to book the discount due to zero availability.
In our searches, there are a number of situations where this “discount” would actually cost more, due to zero availability in standard rooms, meaning you have to upgrade to a room with a view, suite, or Club Level room. In other situations, there’s just nothing, period, so Disney’s site recommends upgrading resorts. (Such helpful suggestions for “saving” money!)
On the other hand, the discount for early 2019 looks pretty good in terms of availability. The additional upside to that “Gift of Magic” deal is that you can choose off-season times to visit when crowds are lower and the weather is nicer. We’d highly recommend visiting in January or February when the Epcot International Festival of the Arts is happening!
As far as PIN/Unique Offer Code goes, there are now offers available that go through the end of the year. We’ve personally yet to see anything for 2019, but that doesn’t mean that they’re not out there. If you’re wondering what a PIN code is and how to get one, read this.
For more details on the pros and cons of taking advantage of a room-only discount, read our Room-Only Discounts at Walt Disney World post. This is our favorite discount because it’s straightforward and tends to offer the best value for us, and many other Walt Disney World regulars are fans of it for this same reason. However, if you’re a first-timer visitor to WDW, there’s a good chance a better, more inclusive offer will work better for you.
As always, keep in mind that Walt Disney World does not offer discounts out of generosity. Discounts are offered because Disney wants to hit a target occupancy rate for its hotels–they are a way to entice people who otherwise might not do so to book a trip.
Disney only offers discounts to the extent that are needed to hit projected target occupancy rates. Once those targets are reached, discounts are not offered. Hence the lack of availability for some resorts and some room categories in any promotion.
This is all a long-winded way of saying that flexibility is important when it comes to Walt Disney World discounts, especially Free Dining. If you want to save the most money, there’s a decent chance you will need to choose your resort hotel based upon discount availability. If you’re able to be flexible on travel dates, that’s even better!
Looking for Disneyland deals? These are actually much more rare than Walt Disney World deals, but we have some good news for winter travel! For stays at the three official Disneyland Resort hotels most Sunday through Thursday nights, October 28 through December 20, 2018, there are discounts of 10-25% off at Disneyland Hotel, Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel, and Paradise Pier Hotel.
As you can see in our Disneyland Crowd Calendars post, this is one of the least busy times of the year in the parks, and the lowest season in terms of hotel numbers in Anaheim. Mid to late September is a particularly good time to visit in terms of both crowds and the exceptional Halloween Time at Disneyland event.
Normally, hotel occupancy is high at the official Disneyland Resort hotels, so this level of discounting is rare. Take advantage if you’re making a fall trip to Southern California! (As with WDW, you can request a Disneyland vacation price quote from Be Our Guest Vacations.)
In terms of other ways to save, we cover the best ways to save money on park tickets in our Tips for Buying Disneyland Park Tickets post.
Likewise, you can save money on Walt Disney World tickets. For more info on the reason for this change of opinion, plus the tickets that we recommend and don’t recommend, read our Tips for Buying Walt Disney World Tickets post.
Want to save money on travel essentials? We have 3 current deals on external battery chargers, packing cubes, and compression bags in our regularly-update Unique Packing List for Disney; as we find other discounts, we update that post with the info.
Have any Walt Disney World or Disneyland deals of your own to add for saving money on vacations or things you’ll need while on vacation? Have you had success booking any of the current room-only discounts? Any difficulties? Any questions about these deals? Share your thoughts in the comments!