In celebration of Disney+ Day, the company is releasing tons of new discounts, limited-time offers, experiences, and perks. These will include deals for Walt Disney World resort hotels and reduced rate DCL sailings, and more. In this post, we’ll share all of the discounts that will be released for the big day–and prepare for what to expect from the WDW room promo.
For starters, there’s a deal on Disney+ itself for those who aren’t already subscribers. Starting tonight at 9 pm Pacific and running through Monday, September 19, 2022 at 11:59pm PT, new and returning subscribers can get one month of Disney+ for $1.99.
Even if you, for some reason, have zero interest in the Disney+ streaming service, it’ll almost certainly be worth subscribing for a month just to take advantage of all these discounts (personally, I’d want to be subscribed before the deals drop). At the very least, you can watch the Imagineering Story and Muppets Haunted Mansion again.
The Disney+ Day celebration leads into D23 Expo: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event presented by Visa in Anaheim, CA from September 9 through September 11, where subscribers in attendance can receive access to even more onsite perks and expect exciting announcements and first-looks at upcoming Disney+ Originals.
In celebration of Disney+ Day starting September 8, 2022 at 12:00am Pacific or 3:00am Eastern, both existing and new subscribers can receive the following perks:
Disney Cruise Line Offer: Watch the stories you love come to life on a Disney cruise with a special offer for Disney+ subscribers. Third and fourth guests sail free with two full-fare guests in the same stateroom. Disney+ subscribers can book up to two staterooms with this offer.
Offer available starting September 8 on select sailings aboard the Disney Magic, Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy departing January 2023 through April 2023, in select stateroom categories
Walt Disney World Resort Offer: Experience holiday fun during the Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary Celebration! Disney+ subscribers can be on the lookout for a special holiday offer at select Disney Resort hotels.
Presumably, this is the discount that’s most interesting to our readers, so we’ll interject some commentary here before continuing on with the laundry list of special offers…
This isn’t exactly unprecedented. Early this summer, Walt Disney World released its first-ever discount for Disney+ subscribers. That promotion is still available to book, and runs through September 30, 2022. That Disney+ deal offered several percentage-savings tiers, with resorts offering 10% to 25% off.
Less popular Deluxe Resorts offer the best discount, followed by the Port Orleans Resorts, All Stars, Coronado Springs, other Deluxes, and everything else. As with all recent Walt Disney World special offers, there were exclusions, several resorts didn’t offer discounts at all, and availability was all over the place–really dependent upon travel dates.
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, it would appear, we know why.
Actually, at the time of release it was relatively unsurprising that the fall and holiday special offer was narrowly targeted at Annual Passholders. While this year’s AP discount is better than what was offered last year for most of these dates (absolutely nothing), it is worth noting that availability was/is incredibly limited.
In fact, there were some dates that offer almost zero options with or without the discount. Take a look:
The longer your trip, the more likely you’re going to see results like this. Even prior to this discount being released, we had been searching for ~3 night stays throughout November and December and were having difficulty finding decent options at our resorts of choice.
This was something covered recently in Don’t Wait for Discounts to Book Fall & Christmas Stays at Walt Disney World. The title pretty much says it all. Despite a temporary reprieve, pent-up demand appears to still be going strong for the most popular time of year to stay at Walt Disney World.
The more optimistic of you might be hopeful that Walt Disney World has simply been holding back room inventory in anticipation of this Disney+ deal.
That’s always a possibility and, odd as it may sound, actually is not entirely unprecedented. It could be the case here, especially since streaming is so important to the company, and the goal might be making a big splash with Disney+ Day.
However, I’m highly skeptical that’s the case. Room availability has been gradually vanishing for October through December; it was not an overnight thing with inventory clearly being pulled and held back. Beyond that, it would require Walt Disney World deliberately selling rooms at a reduced rate when they could’ve sold them at rack rate.
That’s just not good business. (I would’ve been less skeptical of this a year ago, when streaming services were happily losing money in the name of subscriber growth. The tides have turned this year, though.)
Our expectation is that the Disney+ Day deal more or less mirrors the above Annual Passholder deal for late October through December 2022.
The two most likely differences on the face of the discounts will be in terms of percentage savings and timeframes. We’d expect to see smaller savings (by 5%) and a larger date-range. (Our hope is that more October 2022 dates are included.) This is entirely speculative, but based on a mix of past precedent and resort occupancy expectations for the last quarter of the calendar year.
Anyway, the point with all of that is you should stay up late or get up early and book this Disney+ Day deal at Walt Disney World ASAP.
There’s a very good chance that what you want will have limited availability, exclusions, or be sold out–even right when the deal goes live. The more flexible you can be, the better.
If your dates are firm for Christmas, you’re dead-set on the Polynesian, and are expecting a great deal…be prepared for disappointment instead. That’s almost certainly not how this one is going to work. Not trying to be a buzzkill, just a realist.
Instead, be prepared to be 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 in general, but they’re especially great during the holiday season!)
What you absolutely should not do is search online, not immediately find what you want, and call to book the reservation over the phone with the assumption the booking agent will find you “hidden” availability or something of that sort. You’ll wait on hold for hours, only to be told the exact same thing you saw yourself online. Well, not exactly the same thing. Whatever options booked up during the delay will be gone by then.
Another option is requesting a FREE no obligation pricing quote from Be Our Guest Vacations, an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner and having them book for you. Do this TODAY, not tomorrow. Same goes with them–provide multiple resort options and maximum flexibility. Travel agents are more adept at making these reservations than the average guest, but they’re not miracle workers–if something is sold out, it’s sold out.
Again, I’m not trying to be a debbie downer about this. (I try not to deal in hyperbole or histrionics.) Rather, I want to set realistic expectations given what we already know about October through December occupancy and the AP discount that was recently released. It’s also important to understand how this will probably work, so you can better prepare for success.
I would love nothing more to be wrong, and have Disney+ Day be like Christmas morning when it comes to Walt Disney World resort discounts. Perhaps that’ll be the case, and a ton of room inventory will magically be released overnight. If so, that will be an incredibly pleasant surprise…but what about recent precedent with Walt Disney World gives you occasion to be optimistic that this will happen?
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!)
Anyway, on with the other Disney+ Day deals and special offers…
Disney Parks Early Entry: On September 8, guests of Disneyland Resort in California, Disneyland Park at Disneyland Paris, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida will discover festive décor, special character sightings and photo opportunities.
The morning will be “plussed” with more pixie dust as guests staying in select Walt Disney World Resort Hotels and Hotels of the Disneyland Resort will have the opportunity to enter 60 minutes before regular park open at any Walt Disney World or Disneyland Resort theme park (with valid park admission and reservations). Fans can also join the celebration digitally with Disney PhotoPass Lenses featuring a Disney+ Day Mickey ear hat and Groot – available in-park or at-home in the U.S. through the My Disney Experience app and Snapchat during Disney+ Day. Hong Kong Disneyland will celebrate with guests visiting the park on September 10, 2022.
National Geographic Digital Subscription Offer: Disney+ subscribers can get a 6-month free trial to Nat Geo Digital. Enjoy subscriber-exclusive content, every page of every issue ever published in our digital archive, and access stories anywhere with the ad-free Nat Geo mobile app.
Uber One Offer: Extended in celebration of Disney+ Day, Disney+ subscribers get 6 free months of Uber One membership, plus $25 off their first Uber Eats order.
Special Access to shopDisney Merchandise: Disney+ subscribers can receive special access to a curated collection of shopDisney merchandise. This custom selection of designs is inspired by favorite Disney+ Day premieres, Disney+ Originals, and more.
Disney Movie Insiders Bonus Points: When subscribers link their Disney+ account to their Disney Movie Insiders account by September 30, they earn 150 bonus points and continue to earn 50 points per month as long as their active accounts are linked. It’s free to join Disney Movie Insiders, and members can redeem points for rewards, experiences, and more.
Disney+ Fan-Favorite Screenings at AMC Theatres: From September 8-19, select AMC Theatres will celebrate Disney+ Day with screenings of fan-favorite movies including Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Encanto”, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”, Marvel Studios’ “Thor: Ragnarok,” Disney and Pixar’s “Cars” and “Newsies.” Tickets are $5 per screening and are available to everyone. Attendees will receive a free Disney+ poster, while supplies last. Plus, a special concessions offer will be available for Disney+ subscribers.
Planning a Walt Disney World trip? Learn about hotels on our Walt Disney World Hotels Reviews page. For where to eat, read our Walt Disney World Restaurant Reviews. To save money on tickets or determine which type to buy, read our Tips for Saving Money on Walt Disney World Tickets post. Our What to Pack for Disney Trips post takes a unique look at clever items to take. For what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Ride Guides will help. For comprehensive advice, the best place to start is our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide for everything you need to know!
What do you think of these discounts for Disney+ Day? Optimistic or pessimistic about the Walt Disney World resort discount? Disappointed that this won’t be for the general public, or happy to have a strategic advantage? Expect that this deal will be enough to convince you to book a trip, or can you not justify current 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!