Walt Disney World has released the new Magic is Here “discount,” which offers savings on vacation packages with travel dates between September and Christmas 2020. In this post, we’ll share the deal details and offer analysis about whether it’s worth booking.
Here are the official details: save up to $500 on a 4-night, 4-day Walt Disney World hotel room-and-ticket package at select Disney Resorts, valid for stays most nights September 4, 2020 through December 25, 2020. The “Magic is Here” discount is available for booking through December 25, 2020.
Offer excludes the following room types: 3-bedroom villas, Cabins at Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge and Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows. Theme park tickets are valid for admission beginning on date of check-in and must be used within a limited number of days, depending on length of stay and ticket.
Sample savings below are based on a 4-night, 4-day room and ticket package at the following select Disney Resort hotels that includes a room and a theme park ticket, for stays most nights September 4 through December 25, 2020. The actual amount of the discount goes up for longer stays.
Here are those details:
Walt Disney World is touting that guests can “book with confidence.” For extra peace of mind, know that if your plans change, any Disney-imposed change and cancellation fees will be waived up to the date of check-in for reservations with arrivals through December 31, 2020.
This is consistent with Walt Disney World’s temporary new cancellation policy, applicable to anything booked. It’s not unique to the “Magic Is Here” package.
Normally, when analyzing Walt Disney World discounts, we can find a scenario where it’s a good value for at least some use cases. There are usually specific ways to leverage pretty much any special offer that make it at least a decent deal for a subset of travelers.
Not so with the “Magic Is Here” discount. At least, nothing that we can find in our spot-checking and analysis against Walt Disney World hotel rate charts. Depending upon when you travel, how many people are in your party, and where you stay, this amounts to a savings of around 8% to 13% off. There are probably scenarios where it’s above 15% off, but we’re not seeing them.
Suffice to say, this is a pretty paltry discount at a time when Walt Disney World is seeing historically low demand and attendance. The argument could be made that Walt Disney World has less “space to fill” due to the Disney Park Pass theme park reservation system and reduced capacity parks.
However, even if Walt Disney World filled all of its reduced slate of resort hotels that will be open this fall to their full capacity and all of those guests visited on the same day, that still wouldn’t put the parks at or near their reduced capacity. Moreover, Walt Disney World is offering plenty of better discounts to Annual Passholders, Florida residents, as well as those living in other states in the South.
It’s possible that Walt Disney World is still reluctant to target guests outside of the South, for fear of backlash or negative headlines. That would be sensible, albeit very conservative as compared to what other companies in the travel sector are doing.
It’s also possible Disney’s calculus is that anyone from the Midwest, North, or West who wants to visit this fall or Christmas season despite all of the changes, cutbacks, etc., is really determined or a diehard fan that won’t be dissuaded from visiting no matter the cost.
Ultimately, we would not recommend taking advantage of this “deal” even if you’re the most diehard Walt Disney World fan who feels compelled to visit this year. For one, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to recommend a trip for the remainder of 2020 given the value proposition.
To the contrary, our advice to almost everyone is waiting until next year–aside from residents of Southern states and Annual Passholders, both of whom are eligible for a far superior offer that just dropped. (Basically, those who have not experienced Walt Disney World before should postpone–those who have been before still might want to delay, but it’s not as imperative.)
For another thing, there are far better ways to save money at Walt Disney World. Anyone who still feels the pull despite everything, consider the following alternatives for saving money:
We understand the allure of being in the Walt Disney World “bubble” and the top 2 options above definitely offer that. The next 2 arguably do, as well. The last one doesn’t, but is probably the very best option in terms of bang for buck.
Additionally, the more on-site perks are all temporarily suspended–there’s no Disney Dining Plan, Extra Magic Hours, or FastPass+, so no disadvantage in staying off-site. This has been a gradual erosion over the last few years (as we covered in “Is Walt Disney World’s On-Site Advantage Disappearing?”) that was dramatically accelerated this summer.
Beyond that, there’s also no downside from the perspective of the Disney Park Pass system–if you’re considering this deal it means you’re purchasing multi-day theme park tickets regardless of where you stay, and the Park Pass “bucket” for those guests seldom has any shortage of availability.
What do you think of this “Magic Is Here” Walt Disney World discount? If you booked this, what did your savings (percentage) end up being? Can you think of any circumstances that would make this a “good” discount, or is it a dud across the board? Any explanation you can think of for why Walt Disney World isn’t getting more aggressive with deals? 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!