Walt Disney World has released new “Summer Fun” resort room-only discounts in August and September 2021 for Annual Passholders. This post shares the details of these special offers, commentary about why there’s such a shortage of savings, plus analysis & availability info. (Updated July 7, 2021.)
In case you’ve forgotten, general public discounts of up to 25% off rooms at Walt Disney World were released at the beginning of May for stays most nights July 11, 2021 through September 29, 2021. While Annual Passholders and Floridians were free to book that, there were no special (larger) discounts for residents or APs.
It’s also worth noting that availability was abysmal for that deal. We had many readers report finding nothing at all–or higher prices–for their travel dates. In our searches, we found few options at the Value and Moderate Resorts. Where there is availability, it often requires a room upgrade (e.g. from standard to preferred view…or the dreaded Pirate Rooms), thus at least partially negating the benefit of the discount…
Anyway, here are the official details for the new AP discount: Delight in special summer rates on rooms at select Disney Resort hotels for stays most nights August 8 through September 4, 2021.
Walt Disney World’s summer room discount is available for booking now through September 4, 2021. Passholder must present a valid Walt Disney World Annual Pass at check-in.
July 7, 2021 Update: This same deal is now available for Florida Residents. In checking available resort and room categories, discount rates and pricing, and other terms, there are no apparent differences between the promos that we could find.
The only difference is that instead of presenting a valid Walt Disney World AP at check-in, Floridians must present proof of Florida residency required at check-in. Otherwise, all of the terms & conditions are identical.
This special 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, and Little Mermaid Standard Rooms at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort.
Additional per-adult charges may apply if more than 2 adults per room at Disney Value, Moderate and Deluxe Resorts and Studios at Disney Deluxe Villa Resorts. Maximum length of stay under this deal is 14 nights.
Here are the resort by resort starting rates:
Disney’s Pop Century Resort – Standard Room for $149+ tax/night
Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort – King Bed Room for $249+ tax/night
Disney’s Art of Animation Resort – Family Suite for $349+ tax/night
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa – Outer Building Garden View Room for $449+ tax/night
Here’s a list of all eligible resorts:
Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
Disney’s BoardWalk Inn
Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
Disney’s Old Key West Resort
Disney’s Pop Century Resort
Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort
The Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort
Since Walt Disney World’s theoretical list of eligible resorts and prices tends to differ from what’s actually available, here’s what we found for best available rates when searching:
As a reminder, Walt Disney World does not increase prices prior to releasing a discount. This is a popular misconception, but it’s absolutely not true. Rack room charts for the entire year are published well in advance, and can be found in multiple places online.
If you see higher prices now as compared to what you’re already paying, the first thing to do is check the room category. Make sure it’s an apples to apples comparison. (Normally, you should also compare ticket prices, but that’s obviously irrelevant to an AP room discount.)
Okay, commentary time.
These deals are pretty paltry. They’re certainly not what we’re accustomed to seeing in the depths of the late summer, early fall off-season. This is not a huge surprise–weak discounts are what we expected.
If you’re wondering why there’s a dearth of deals, recommended reading is What’s Up with Sold Out Hotels at Walt Disney World?That offers an in-depth explanation of the current phenomenon, which I’m not going to rehash here. In a nutshell, it’s a matter of pent-up demand colliding with low room supply.
With that said, a couple signs of optimism. The first wave of College Program Participants have arrived, and Walt Disney World continues its hiring spree. As we’ve said countless times before, it’s going to take time before the fruits of these efforts are felt as on-the-job training takes some time, but we’re optimistic most of the staffing shortages work themselves out by late September.
This should enable Walt Disney World to reopen Port Orleans Riverside and French Quarter, plus All Star Movies and Sports. I’m optimistic that at least two of these will return prior to October 1, 2021. Hopefully all of them, but I don’t want to be overly optimistic.
Walt Disney World already announced the reopening of Animal Kingdom Lodge – Jambo House, which will add more rooms to the available inventory. With each hotel reopening, the likelihood of more and greater discounts in the future should increase.
Finally, many of you have asked when we think the next round of room discounts will be released. If past precedent and historic trends are any indication, discounts for September through December 24, 2021 would be released in mid-July 2021.
We wouldn’t be surprised if that occurs later than normal this year, potentially not until August 2021. Honestly, that’s probably for the best. The sooner discounts are released, they worse they’ll be. If Walt Disney World waits to drop deals until the Port Orleans and remaining All Star Resorts have reopened, there’s the potential for better deals. So don’t be too impatient for the next round of special offers!
Until available room inventory catches up to (pent-up) demand, this is the reality of room pricing and discounts at Walt Disney World. (For what it’s worth, we warned that you’d be overpaying for summer vacations back in March!) Everyone can grumble about Disney being “greedy” or whatever, but have you tried booking a hotel or Airbnb in a beach city this summer? What about a rental car? Seen the increased pricing at non-Disney buffets?
This is hardly unique to Walt Disney World. It’s happening all over the place, and is not going to change until Americans satiate their desire to make up for lost time vacationing and the labor market stabilizes. Maybe that’ll happen by August or September, maybe it’ll take until January or February of next year. (A complicating factor here is Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary, which will spike visits right as pent-up demand for travel among the general public is starting to fizzle.)
What do you think of these room only discounts for Walt Disney World Annual Passholders? 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!