Walt Disney World has released new resort discounts saving up to 30% off hotel room rates for the first quarter of next year, covering travel dates through Spring Break 2024 that the general public is eligible to book starting today. This post shares the details of these special offers, which are both aggressive and early. Plus, commentary about the savings, sample pricing, analysis & likelihood of OG Free Dining next year.
This is one of a growing number of special offers that has been released thus far for 2024 Walt Disney World vacations, with offers for Annual Passholders, Floridians, and Disney Visa cardholders. This isn’t even the only general public promo, as the big one is the “Free” Disney Dining Card Deal for 2024, which also runs through March 2024. We suspect that’s a precursor to real Free Dining being offered in the late summer and fall of next year–but more on that in the commentary.
For every other special offer that’s currently available, see All Current Walt Disney World Discounts (Late 2023 & 2024). There are promos available for pretty much all dates between now and Spring 2024, with even more available for next year if you take a trip this year. So that’s worth checking out if you’re debating a trip in the next several months…
Per Walt Disney World, here are the deal details: Book early—by December 15, 2023—and save more on rooms at select Disney Resort hotels in the new year!
Save up to 25% on stays most Sunday to Thursday nights from January 9, 2024 through February 22, 2024—when you book by December 15, 2023
Save up to 30% on stays most nights February 25, 2024 through March 24, 2024—when you book by December 15, 2023
Not ready to book? Other savings are available when you book after December 15, 2023. When you stay in the magic at a Disney Resort hotel, you can enjoy the same legendary detail, storytelling and service found in the theme parks—along with an array of benefits.
Here’s the resort by resort general public discount chart provided by Walt Disney World for January through March 2024:
Offer excludes the following room types: 3-bedroom villas, Tower Studios at Disney’s Riviera Resort, Cabins at Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows, and The Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort.
Valid admission is required to enjoy theme parks and is not included in this offer. Starting with visits on January 9, 2024, theme park reservations will no longer be required for date-based tickets.
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. Cannot be combined with any other discount or promotion.
Reservations may be made online (here), by phone, or via your Authorized Disney Vacation Planner. If you’re reading this on the day the discount goes live, don’t be surprised if there’s a virtual queue for online bookings or a wait on the phones. Both have been improving in recent months, though, and are not nearly as bad as they were a year or so ago.
If you want to help determining which discounts are available for your travel dates and which resort will work best for your family, we highly recommend requesting a quote from Be Our Guest Vacations, a no-fee Authorized Disney Vacation Planner. The agents there will do the math for you, booking your vacation with the best-available special offer, and monitoring your package for future discounts that can be applied retroactively.
In particular, they can help you determine whether this room-only discount or the Free Disney Dining Card is the better deal for you, given your party size, resort preference, and eating preferences. Beyond that, Authorized Disney Vacation Planners help take the stress out of planning and will assist with itineraries, ADRs, and much more.
Here’s what we found for best available rates for this Winter & Spring 2024 discount:
This search is for the night of February 6, 2024, which is part of the Value rate season at Walt Disney World. On the rack rate chart spectrum, this is the expensive time to visit Walt Disney World in 2024. Similarly-priced dates can be found throughout January and February 2024, and slightly higher (but still relatively reasonable) rates are available in early March.
Friday through Sunday nights are all going to be more expensive, and less consistent. In general, Friday and Saturday will be the most expensive days of the week, with Sunday through Thursday costing less–but still more than Monday through Wednesday nights. Holiday weeks are also more expensive. Basically, room rates are higher any time when kids are out of school.
When doing a cost-benefit analysis, one thing to keep in mind depending upon your circumstances is the restoration of free parking at Walt Disney World resorts. For those who are driving or renting a car, not only are these savings more significant than discounts during the same timeframe last year, but there’s also the added bonus of not having to pay for parking. That should amount to a fairly hefty year-over-year decrease in total prices, which is exceedingly rare for Walt Disney World!
Speaking of on-site perks, don’t underestimate the value of Early Entry and (potentially) Extended Evening Hours. We’ve found that many fans dismiss the former due to it being “only” 30 minutes, but we’ve found Early Entry to be incredibly advantageous (see our Guide to Early Entry at Walt Disney World). For those who are eligible, Extended Evening Hours is absolutely fantastic (see our Guide to Extended Evening Hours at Walt Disney World for strategy and other info).
My assessment of this discount is positive, but not emphatically so like the previous general public promo for this October through Christmas. The key difference is one of expectations and precedent; we’ve had winter & spring discounts almost as good as this one for the last two years. By contrast, that Halloween and Holidays deal was the first since 2019 and the best room-only discount for that timeframe since 2018.
There’s also the reality that this is the fourth discount to be released during this timeframe, following the free Disney Dining Card and two room-only discounts–both of which offered superior savings to this. (In fairness, those were targeted offers–at Disney Visa Cardholders and Annual Passholders, but I’m guessing a decent percentage of you have one or the other.)
That’s not to diminish the savings available via this offer. Between the favorable ‘Value Season’ rate charts and percentage savings, there are some very good deals to be had here. All Stars for $99, Pop Century for $144, Coronado Springs for $184, and several Deluxe Resorts for under $400 per night, which are relatively reasonable rates. All of those rates are significantly better than the lowest prices for the October to December deals–but the difference is that the starting point is lower for the January and February off-season. (Spring break is a totally different story!)
In particular, both Wilderness Lodge and Animal Kingdom Lodge for under $350 per night; Contemporary for $385 per night; and the Crescent Lake Resorts for around $400 per night. The lodges are always personal favorites, and the recently redone rooms there are tough to beat. Same with BoardWalk Inn…whereas the Contemporary’s new rooms are pretty far from my favorite, but it’s tough to beat the location within walking distance to Magic Kingdom!
At the lower end of the spectrum, these savings make the Value and Moderate Resorts tough to beat. You’re going to be hard-pressed to find anything off-site that can beat the rates Walt Disney World is offering. Under $100 per night for the All Stars–with the new rooms, Early Entry, transportation, and free parking–is a very fair price, in our view. (If you can find it, Pop Century is a great pick, even at ~$150 per night.)
Turning to commentary, the story here is once again that Walt Disney World is once again releasing early and aggressive discounts. We’ve been discussing how the tides have been turning for most of this year, with pent-up demand showing more and more signs of exhaustion. That’s really old news at this point.
But it still is worth pointing out that this round of discounts for Winter & Spring 2024 is coming about one full month ahead of when it would be released based on historical precedent. That’s not just based on the last few years, which have been weird–but dating back to 2017 to (early) 2020, when this type of discount usually came out in mid to late October.
It coming out earlier could be indicative of Walt Disney World falling short of preliminary occupancy targets and/or wanting to juice revenue before the end of the current fiscal year. Perhaps both. It’s probably not coincidental that this is being released one week before the Walt Disney Company’s new fiscal year starts and tries to incentivize early bookings. It’s a smart move, but also, you’re going to want to book before December 15, 2023 for the best availability, anyway.
Another very notable thing about this discount is that the best rates are more remote–for “most nights” February 25, 2024 to March 24, 2024. By contrast, January through late February 2024 have different rates for the weeknights versus the weekends. Presumably, this is because bookings are already looking fairly healthy of the first couple months, and Walt Disney World doesn’t want to be too generous with savings.
That happens often, but usually not with January and February–two of the slowest months of the year outside holiday breaks. (It makes sense that some resorts–like Coronado and the All Stars–would have smaller savings on the weekends. There are a ton of cheer, dance, and other sporting events in the winter and spring months, and those occur disproportionately on weekends, and make select resorts significantly busier.)
As with the previous couple of room-only discounts, the most interesting angle of this is that all nights in March 2024 are offering aggressive savings. This is an early ‘red flag’ month for us, as normal spring break crowds and Easter spring break crowds are going to be consolidated into March rather than spread out across March and April 2024. While this deal does end before Easter week, it’s really odd that it includes everything after the first full week of the month–and at the highest rate of savings!
Even with revenge travel burning out and a slowdown likely on the horizon, the final 3 weeks of March 2024 are going to be very busy. Occupancy for those dates being low right now doesn’t really mean much…people don’t start booking spring break trips in earnest this early. This is likely a matter of Walt Disney World wanting the capture the bookings and revenue in this fiscal and calendar year, rather than letting momentum build gradually. But it could also point to forward-looking demand eroding even further.
That impatience is great for Walt Disney World fans, though, as the discounts for mid-March 2024 wouldn’t be nearly as aggressive if these offers were released even a month from now! Along these lines, we’d strongly recommend booking this ASAP for the best availability if you’re planning a trip in March 2024. If Walt Disney World is smart, they’re going to artificially limit room inventory for that month under this discount, meaning your options will be limited for March unless you book quickly.
One question that keeps coming up from longtime Walt Disney World planners as discounts are released is what about Free Dining?
As we’ve discussed previously, there was never any realistic scenario where Free Dining was going to be released right alongside the paid Disney Dining Plan. For one thing, that would be turning the faucet wide open in terms of demand, rather than gradually doing so. There are still concerns with dining capacity and the ability of restaurants to meet demand once the Disney Dining Plan returns in early 2024.
It’s difficult to see that right now, as the fall off-season has made last-minute ADRs much easier to score, but the issue will rear its ugly head again this October through December. The good news is that it’s lessening with each passing season, and by the time 2024 rolls around, things should be pretty close to normal again.
For another thing, the OG or “full” Free Dining historically was never offered for the first half of the year, anyway. If it returns in 2024, we’re likely looking at a late summer to early fall timeline as the first eligible arrival dates. Our Guide to Free Dining at Walt Disney World covers the historical dates–those should be pretty instructive. In particular, look at the dates for 2018 and earlier–2019 was an anomaly due to the pre-Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge lull, so more summer dates were released that year.
The bottom line is that everything we’ve seen so far from Walt Disney World discounts in 2024 suggests to me that Free Dining is a very real possibility. The special offers released over the course of the last 6 months are essentially a return to pre-2020 normal, and that’s really the last piece of the puzzle on that front. With that said, the company claimed to be trying to “wean guests off discounts” and eliminating Free Dining would be one way to do that. However, they’d been trying to “wean guests off discounts” since 2010–for a full decade as of 2020–and it had never quite worked!
Ultimately, this is another discount that’s earlier and better than what we were seeing in 2021-2022, which continues a trend that began at the start of this year and really accelerated with the last round of discounts. As always, plan on being flexible with your hotel choice, room category, and even travel dates for the biggest savings. That’s doubly true here, as there have already been several discounts that have dropped for this date range.
Walt Disney World offering more special offers to the general public is great news, and definitively demonstrates that travel trends are normalizing now after running hot for way too long. During that period of pent-up demand, Walt Disney World was able to ‘get away’ with pretty much anything and still see record guest spending and insatiable demand. Consumers now appear to once again have more leverage, and companies need to entice them to visit.
This should be an interesting saga to follow, and it’s almost certain that we haven’t seen the end of Walt Disney World’s efforts to woo back former fans and pull “levers” to incentivize more demand and guest spending. If bookings remain soft for 2024, it’ll be interesting to see what type of more unique promotions (beyond room discounts) are released for the second half of 2024…it sure feels like things are trending in the right direction for even more aggressive offers! We will be closely monitoring what’s released and will notify subscribers of our free email newsletter when any Walt Disney World discounts are released or rumored!
More broadly speaking, this normalization is obviously good thing for fans and Walt Disney World. Revenge travel was a distortion that had unhealthy consequences at Walt Disney World and beyond. Putting that in the rearview mirror is good for consumers and the long-term health of the company–especially its reputation and guest goodwill. Walt Disney World not doing record-breaking numbers regardless of the guest-unfriendly decisions and changes they make–and instead having to actually compete for customers–is a good thing.
What do you think of these Walt Disney World room-only discounts in Winter & Spring 2024? 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!