Walt Disney World has released new early 2023 resort room-only discounts for Annual Passholders during the grand finale of the 50th Anniversary celebration. This post shares the details of these special offers, commentary about why there’s such a shortage of savings, plus sample pricing, analysis & other info.
Those aren’t the only deals available for booking right now. For everything else, see All Current Walt Disney World Discounts. With that said, these are the first special offers available after 2023, and they encompass select dates from the very beginning of the year all the way until spring break!
To quickly recap the ‘current state of discounts at Walt Disney World,’ things haven’t been so hot. After practically nothing the second half of last year, there have been significant improvements in 2022. Well, so long as you’ve been eligible for the ‘affiliation’ deals, as there hasn’t been nearly as much for the general public.
On top of that, the quality and quantity of available discounts has left something to be desired. We’ve had many readers report finding nothing at all–or higher prices–for their travel dates. Where there is availability, it often requires a room upgrade (although no longer to the Pirate Rooms!), thus at least partially negating the benefit of the discount. Just something to keep in mind before getting your hopes up here.
Just something worth keeping in mind as we run through Walt Disney World’s first special offer for 2023…
Per Walt Disney World, you can stay in the magic with this special offer—and make the most of your Annual Pass before the Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary celebration comes to an end on March 31, 2023.
Annual Passholders can save up to 25% on rooms at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels hotels, valid for stays:
Most Sunday through Thursday nights January 2, 2023 to February 28, 2023
Most nights March 1, 2023 to April 30, 2023
When you take advantage of this offer, you’ll be surrounded by The World’s Most Magical Celebration, a once-in-a-lifetime event brimming with EARidescent excitement—taking place now through March 31, 2023. Plus, you can enjoy early entry to the theme parks 30 minutes before opening to experience select attractions.
Here’s the resort by resort AP savings chart provided by Walt Disney World:
Annual Passholders must present a valid Walt Disney World AP at check-in.
This special offer for Annual Passholders excludes the following room types: Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort, 3-Bedroom Villas and Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge – Cabins.
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 Winter & Spring 2023 discount:
This search is for the night of February 6, 2023, which is part of the “Value” rate season at Walt Disney World. On the rack rate chart spectrum, this is THE least expensive time to visit Walt Disney World.
This season occurs throughout the winter months during non-holiday weekdays, as illustrated below in the rate chart for Disney’s All Star Movies Resort:
Contrast the rates in February 2023 (which are also available for numerous dates in January) with those in March 2023, which is spring break season. Pretty big difference!
If you’re simply looking for the very best dates, they are as follows:
January 2 to 4, 2023
January 9 to 11, 2023
January 16 to 18, 2023
January 23 to 25, 2023
January 30 to February 1, 2023
February 6 to 8, 2023
Those are all Monday through Wednesday nights. If you’re looking for the very cheapest options, you’ll find them at the All Star Resorts (Sports and Movies), which offer a standard room base rate of $113/night. So long as there’s availability, that should result in a discounted rate of $96/night. (Preferred rooms will be slightly over $100–we don’t recommend paying extra for that location upgrade, but to each their own.)
Thursday 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 Thursday and Sunday costing less–but still more than Monday through Wednesday nights. Additionally, Fridays and Saturdays are blocked out for the winter dates, so you won’t get a discount on those nights, regardless.
Another thing to note is that, among Value Resorts, the savings are not as good at Pop Century and All Star Music. Those resorts offer 10% off, whereas All Star Movies and Sports offer 15% off. (Ditto the Family Suites at Art of Animation, although those are Value Resorts in name only.) Similarly, among the Moderate Resorts, both of the Port Orleans Resorts and Coronado Springs offer better deals than Caribbean Beach.
None of that is unsurprising or unprecedented. All of the Skyliner resorts have offered lesser savings than their bus-reliant counterparts for the last year or so. On a positive note, the All Star Resorts have new rooms now, which are a huge functional (and aesthetic, if you ask us) upgrade over their predecessors!
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. Then I remember that I don’t own a time machine and am once again pretty pleased with these rates.
Nevertheless, it’s been a while since I’ve seen anything under $100 per night, Moderates at less than $200 per night, or Yacht Club for under $350. These are among the best rates we’ve seen directly from Walt Disney World since early this year. But that really speaks more to how weak discounts have been since–not these being particularly good.
To the contrary, these rates are only okay by objective historical standards. Normally, the winter off-season is when Walt Disney World has some of its best pricing, by virtue of lower rate charts and better discounts.
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 end of the year. (If you haven’t already read it, we’d recommend What’s Up with Sold Out Hotels at Walt Disney World?)
Although we haven’t followed up on that post yet about limited hotel availability in 2023, we’re starting to see it spillover into early next year. Thankfully, availability is not nearly as limited as it was early this year.
At this point, it’s mostly just an issue around the 2023 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend and the scattering of holidays in January and February. Let’s hope it stays that way!
With that said, there is some cause for concern about what used to be (but hasn’t been since ~2018) winter off-season being busier once again. As noted above, runDisney is back with races in January, and also February. More significantly than that, conventions are returning, as are youth sporting events at the ESPN Wide World of Sports.
January 9, 2023 through February 17, 2023 should still be less busy than spring break and other peak periods, but it certainly will not be “dead” or off-season, crowds-wise. (Before and after those dates, it will be peak season–or very close to it.)
Regardless of the cause, it’s likely that these early 2023 discounts are going to be disappointing to many of you. For one thing, these are only for Annual Passholders. There’s nothing for Florida residents, Disney+ subscribers, or the general public.
As for future discounts, it wouldn’t surprise us if this same deal is extended to Florida residents and Disney+ subscribers in the weeks to come. This deal is dropping very early by historical standards, which means it’s likely not the last of the winter and spring special offers. The comparable discount for this winter/spring wasn’t released until December 2 last year, and only lasted until mid-March!
However, that doesn’t mean anything is coming for the general public. Walt Disney World has opted for Disney+ subscriber offers rather than general public discounts repeatedly this year, and we’d expect that trend to continue. The barrier to entry is minimal for taking advantage of those (literally just the cost of a monthly subscription, times two), but usually there’s less availability for the Disney+ deals than the AP or FL resident rates.
Speaking of which, 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 they have been this fall and holiday season.
If that anecdotal observation is accurate–and it may not be–we still might see more discounts for the first few months of 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’re not an Annual Passholder or 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 and Central Florida. 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 I’ve been seeing for this holiday season, $96 per night for All Star Movies–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 in 2023. There’s (still) a chance this holiday season will be 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, if you’re an Annual Passholder who is eager for an escape to Walt Disney World this coming winter through Spring 2023, these deals are among the best we’ve seen for most of this calendar year. You can still do better with Disney Vacation Club Point Rentals (although it’s pretty much only confirmed reservations now), but this still might be as good as it’ll get for you.
What do you think of these Winter & Spring 2023 room only discounts for Walt Disney World Annual Passholders? Disappointed that there’s nothing 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!