Walt Disney World has released resort room-only discounts that run through Summer 2023 for the general public. This post shares the details of these special offers, commentary about the sudden spike in savings, plus sample pricing, analysis & other info. (Updated May 26, 2023.)
This is actually the second of two general public promos being released by Walt Disney World at the beginning of the year for the first half of 2023. There’s also the “Free” Disney Dining Card Deal, which runs for the late summer through September 2023. Between these two deals for the general public, there are currently promotions for most dates between now and Fall 2023. Pretty good coverage as compared to last year!
There are also Annual Passholder, Disney Visa, and Florida resident room-only discounts. If you’re eligible for any of these affiliation special offers, they’re almost certainly your best bet, with discounts of up to 35% off–that usually amounts to savings of about 10% more than the current general public promos. Those aren’t the only deals available for booking right now. For everything else, see All Current Walt Disney World Discounts (Spring 2023).
May 26, 2023 Update: In a surprise move, Walt Disney World has ended this special offer early. Here’s the message that was sent to travel agents: “The special offer to save up to 25% off Walt Disney World Resort hotel stays through Jul. 10, 2023 is no longer bookable. The Annual Passholder and Florida Resident hotel offers for this timeframe, are still available for booking. We are in the process of removing this offer from the website.”
“At this time, you can book your clients a special offer to save up to 25% on rooms at select Disney Resort hotels for stays beginning July 11, 2023. Please find full offer details here.” (Here’s the detail to which they’re referring.)
On the one hand, it comes as a surprise that Walt Disney World would end this special offer early. This is a relatively rare occurrence, and we’ve been hearing for a while that a summer slowdown is on the horizon. This is precisely why new Annual Pass sales resumed (and have not yet stopped!) and more is being done to show appreciation to fans and locals, from new discount ticket offers to VIPassholder Days.
On the other hand, this deal was released back at the beginning of January–that’s almost 5 months ago. That’s a lot of lead time, and things can change significantly over the course of that amount of time. It’s entirely possible that Walt Disney World got overly aggressive with discounts and ‘overshot’ its target, or that occupancy projections and attendance forecasts improved.
All of that can be true while it’s also the case that a slowdown has happened. That things are not as bad as anticipated but still not as good as last year. That Walt Disney World’s efforts over the course of the last few months to entice more visitors have worked–at least to the extent that they don’t want or need to offer further general public discounts for the summer. Hard to say what happened, but that’s our bet.
In any case, below are the details about the deal that’s no longer available–plus our original commentary about the discount…
Here are the discount details from Walt Disney World. Save on rooms at select Disney Resort hotels:
Save up to 25% on stays most nights April 10 through July 10, 2023
Save up to 20% on stays most nights March 1 through March 31, 2023
There’s magic all around you at Walt Disney World Resort. And you can enjoy even more enchantment with special benefits for Guests of Disney Resort hotels—including early entry to the theme parks 30 minutes before regular park opening to experience select attractions (with valid park admission and a theme park reservation).
Here’s the resort by resort savings chart provided by Walt Disney World:
This special offer excludes the following room types: 3-bedroom villas and Cabins at Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge.
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.
Here’s what we found for best available rates for this Spring & Summer 2023 discount:
As with most discount release days, Walt Disney World’s phone lines will be jammed and the online system will likely slow to a crawl at peak times, with Stitch eating the occasional page here and there. Even when we began searching for availability at 4:45 am EST, the “We’re Almost into Orbit” virtual queue was already in use to access the discount page and search. (Granted, it was immediate entry, but that wait will almost certainly increase.)
This shouldn’t come as a huge surprise, as it’s more or less par for the course on Walt Disney World discount release day. Things will only get worse as more people wake up and try to book. This is to say you will want to book ASAP for the best chance at scoring the resort and room you want.
Note that this deal is substantially similar to the Annual Passholder deal that was just released for Summer 2023. The first difference is that this includes March and April 2023, which were part of a prior AP deal.
The second difference is that the savings are smaller here. This is up to 20% or 25% off, depending upon the month, whereas the AP deal for the same dates offers 5% more for each tier. So if you qualify for Annual Passholder promo, you’ll probably want to book that instead of this. However, there are a couple of potential exceptions. It can be worth pricing out all of the offers if you’re eligible to see where you come out ahead–sometimes there are surprises.
Nevertheless, our analysis doesn’t differ much among the different discount offers. If you already read the Annual Passholder post, what follows is going to be redundant. It’s simply a rundown of the best dates that are part of the “Regular 2” rate season at Walt Disney World.
On the rack rate chart spectrum, this is the least expensive time to visit Walt Disney World between May and July 2023. Here are the prices for standard rooms as illustrated below in the rate chart for Disney’s All Star Sports Resort:
Contrast the rates in May 2023 with those in late June or July 2023, which is the heart of summer season, and you’ll see it’s a fairly significant difference.
If you’re simply looking for the very best dates, they are as follows:
March 1-2, 2023
March 27-29, 2023
April 16-20, 2023
April 23-27, 2023
May 1-4, 2023
May 7-11, 2023
May 14-18, 2023
May 21-25, 2023
Those are mostly Sunday through Thursday nights, with Mondays through Wednesdays having the absolute lowest rates. If you’re looking for the very cheapest options, you’ll find them at the All Star Resorts. So long as there’s availability, you should be looking at discounted rates of around $120 to $150 per night. (Preferred rooms will be slightly more expensive. We don’t recommend paying extra for that location upgrade, but to each their own.)
In general, Friday and Saturday will be the most expensive days of the week, with Thursday and Sunday costing less–but still more than Monday through Wednesday nights.
I don’t know if this is a matter of moving the goalposts or being conditioned to expect higher prices over the last two years, but I look at some of those rates and think “not too shabby!” Then I think back to a few years ago when deals were much more aggressive, and realize these are nothing particularly special.
While total rates are lower during the winter off-season (January and February 2023), these are among the best percentage savings we’ve seen directly from Walt Disney World in a while. But that really speaks more to how weak discounts have been since–not these being particularly good. By historical standards, these are only okay–but absent a time machine, you can’t book discounts from a few years ago.
While these rates are only okay by objective historical standards, the good news is that they’re heading in the right direction. This has been the trend since last October, and we’re happy to see it continuing.
With that said, this isn’t tremendously surprising. We’ve been covering the dearth of deals for months, as well as the lack of hotel availability for the last couple of years. (If you haven’t already read it, we’d recommend What’s Up with Sold Out Hotels at Walt Disney World?) That has been a persistent issue, and better discounts weren’t going to happen with resorts being “sold out” so often.
Fortunately, Walt Disney World also appears to be turning a corner on that, as availability for the dates we spot-checked is pretty good at most resorts. This suggests to us that either Walt Disney World is increasing guest loads at the resorts or bookings aren’t nearly as strong for a lot of dates as were for last holiday season.
If that anecdotal observation is accurate–and it may not be–we still might see more discounts for Summer & Fall 2023, or at least rooms unloaded on Priceline or Hotwire (once again!). Walt Disney World also might take a wait and see approach to releasing more deals–there’s still plenty of time between now and most of these 2023 travel dates.
If you can’t find good options for your travel dates, look to third party on-site hotels. We’re seeing availability at the Swan & Dolphin, Bonnet Creek, Disney Springs, Grand Cypress, and Flamingo Crossing hotels. Of those, the best rates that we’ve seen are at the Disney Springs and Flamingo Crossings hotels.
For those who are unfamiliar with Flamingo Crossings, this is actually an up-and-coming area of Walt Disney World. It’s like a budget version of Disney Springs, both literally and figuratively. None of the retailers are overtly Disney and there’s no Imagineering to speak of. Rather, it looks very much like a slightly upmarket suburban strip mall. It’s one populated by tourists and Disney Programs participants, thanks to the student housing nearby. If you’re curious about this area, read more in our Guide to Flamingo Crossings at Walt Disney World.
In other cases, you’re going to be hard-pressed to do better than the rates Walt Disney World is offering if you can find availability for your travel dates. Relative to what we saw this past holiday season, ~$119 per night for the All Stars–with the new rooms, perks, and transportation–is a downright steal. (If you can find it, Pop Century is a great pick, even at the higher rates.)
Of course, rooms are not as cheap as what you would’ve paid this same time in 2019, let alone 2016. Back in my day, the All Stars had off-season rates that were routinely $79 per night or less! Unfortunately, it’s impossible to book those past prices. (If you do have the means to time travel, I hope you’re using it for something better than saving an extra ~$20 on a Value Resort!) Even with that in mind, this isn’t too far from that when adjusted for inflation.
As we’ve written several times in the last few months, we’re optimistic that there will be better Walt Disney World discounts throughout 2023. There’s (still) a chance this past holiday season was the “last hurrah” for pent-up demand. As that starts to fizzle out, household savings decrease, inflation stings more, and the economy slows down, it seems increasingly likely that Walt Disney World will experience its own slowdown.
Who knows if any of that will actually happen, though. I didn’t think “revenge travel” would run this hot for this long. It’ll be interesting to see how all of this actually plays out. The return of international guests in full force could sustain Walt Disney World’s strong demand even longer, as could special events. That could also be offset by the return of more hotel rooms to the inventory. No one knows how many rooms are currently out of commission at the operational resorts, but at some of them, it’s not a negligible number.
Ultimately, there are some pretty good savings for Walt Disney World this coming spring through Spring 2023–these deals are among the best we’ve seen for the general public in a while. To each their own, but even though these room-only discounts are more “boring,” we far prefer them to the “free” Disney Dining Card promo. While that has more eye-catching marketing, this will be the better deal for most people.
One final word of “warning” (for lack of a better term): If you’re on the fence, definitely do NOT wait for something better. While we’re hopeful that better deals will be on the horizon, that’s pretty for travel dates after this–in August and September 2023–not for this exact set of dates. Availability is already limited, and it’s much more likely that rooms will sell out rather than better discounts will be released. 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!
What do you think of these Spring & Summer 2023 room only discounts for the general public? 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!