Along with resuming sales of tickets and hotels, Walt Disney World has released some surprising new room-only discounts for summer and fall, with travel dates between now and September 30, 2020. In this post, we’ll share the details of these discounts, and share some analysis as to how much money you’ll actually save with each.
Full details of the discounts are below, including the travel dates, eligibility, and discount tiers. If you’re traveling during the rest of summer or early fall, it’s worth booking something now to lock-in a deal. Since a lot of the best options are for Deluxe Villa Resorts, there’s not likely to be a ton of availability for some of these.
Note that because of high traffic on DisneyWorld.com today (due to the re-release of ticket sales and hotel bookings–and now these deals), expect to wait on the “We’re Almost in Orbit” screen for anywhere between a few minutes and a half-hour. I had no wait at around 6:30 am, but by 7 am it was a ~10 minute wait. It could be longer, shorter, or totally nonexistent later today. Just be patient and use a private browsing if you have any issues…
The good news is that the discounts are substantial–up to 40% off depending upon your travel dates. This is an early glimpse of the massive savings we’ve been predicting for months. The bad news is that right now they’re only available to Annual Passholders and Florida Residents.
However, Walt Disney World is essentially not seeking to attract first-time or out of state visitors in the near future, so the limitation makes sense. We are still expecting significant general public discounts for whenever Walt Disney World hits the next phase of its reopening–and deals like this (or better) will likely continue throughout 2021.
Anyway, let’s take a look at the discounts, starting with the Florida resident offer…
With this “Rediscover the Magic” offer, Florida Residents can enjoy room-only discounts at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels for stays most nights July 9, 2020 through September 30, 2020. These range from 25% off the Value Resorts on the low end to up 35% off the Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resorts for September 2020 travel dates. This discount is bookable through September 30, 2020–pending availability.
Offer excludes the following room types: all 3-bedroom villas, Fort Wilderness Camp-sites, Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Cabins at Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, and Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows.
Other normal rules apply. Proof of Florida residency required at check-in, minimum stay is 1 night and maximum stay is 14 nights. Additional per-adult charges may apply if more than two adults per room at Disney Value, Moderate and Deluxe Resorts and Studios at Disney Deluxe Villa Resorts. Valid admission and a Disney Park Pass reservation are required to enjoy theme parks.
Here’s a look at the discount chart in case you’re waiting in orbit:
Next, the Annual Passholder deal, which is more or less the same, but with 5% more off each resort. As with the Florida Resident “Rediscover the Magic” offer, Annual Passholders can enjoy room-only discounts for stays most nights July 9 through September 30, 2020, with discounts ranging from 30% off at Value Resorts to 40% off Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resorts.
Exact same other rules and exclusions apply, so we won’t rehash those. Here’s a look at the AP “Rediscover the Magic” discount chart in case you’re waiting in orbit:
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.
If you’re at all flexible about your resort choice or room preferences, consider waiting until later this evening when things calm down a bit. You might save yourself some headache and frustration. In any case, here’s a look at what should be the best per night prices at all of the eligible resorts:
It is worth noting that there are some atypically aggressive discounts in here–not be a huge stretch, but 5-10% more than normal for this time of year–and some of these deals will not have a ton of inventory allocated to them.
This is especially true of the Deluxe Villa Resorts (aside from Disney’s Riviera Resort), simply because Walt Disney World doesn’t hold many resorts at these DVC properties.
As for how much you’ll save, it really depends on where you book, whether you’re a Florida Resident or Annual Passholder, and if you’re booking for July/August or September 2020. For Florida Residents in July and August, the discounts can be on the more meager side, especially at the lower tier resorts. Going by our records of historical savings, these deals are only slightly better than average for late summer.
By contrast, an Annual Passholder booking a standard room at a Deluxe Resort in September is looking at saving around $200 or more per night. That’s a huge savings–much more than normal for this time of year.
Considering all of this and the reality that some resorts will not be operational (thus consolidating demand to a degree), it might behoove you to move sooner rather than later on this deal. That is, unless you’re really flexible or are looking at resorts/travel dates when savings are more modest.
We know this cuts against our “laid back” advice that we stressed in the Walt Disney World Resuming 2020 Ticket & Resort Sales from last night, but we didn’t realize that Disney would also be dropping deals last night. We wouldn’t necessarily call this development a game-changer, but it definitely does create a greater sense of urgency.
Also, keep in mind that if you already have a resort reservation booked under another discount (or no deal at all), you can modify your reservation and apply this “Rediscover the Magic” deal (pending availability and eligibility). Since this is the best deal Walt Disney World has released for these travel dates, you’ll almost certainly save more money.
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 that we recommend. The agents there will book your vacation and help take the stress out of planning. (They will also wait “in orbit” or on hold via the phone for you, which is a potentially huge advantage right now.)
Overall, some of these “Rediscover the Magic” room-only rates are very attractive. If we didn’t have Disney Vacation Club points to burn, we’d book a couple of options. The most eye-catching to me are Disney’s Contemporary Resort starting under $300 per night, Saratoga Springs for $225 per night, Pop Century for $110 per night, and the Fort Wilderness Cabins under $250 per night. The last one is particularly intriguing, as the idea of a tranquil and serene escape–plus private accommodations–is very appealing right about now.
Savings elsewhere are less of a draw. We love Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, but there’s no way we’re paying ~$180 per night when Pop Century is significantly cheaper and some Deluxe Resorts aren’t that much more expensive. Old Key West and Riviera Resort are also less attractive at those price points.
Ultimately, this should be just the beginning of aggressive discounts by Walt Disney World, and I doubt this is even the best of the deals to be released. So, if you can’t take advantage, don’t fret. Something will likely come your way sooner rather than later. We’ll also be watching Priceline Express Deals for Walt Disney World, as we expect those to be resuming in the near future (and with some best-ever pricing).
Do you agree or disagree with our assessment of these Walt Disney World “Rediscover the Magic” discounts for Florida Residents and Annual Passholders? Which resorts look most attractive to you with these prices? Which, if any, will you book? Have any trouble with availability for your travel dates or preferred resort? 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!