Walt Disney World has released several new discounts today for summer, with travel dates before the 2020 Free Dining Deal released last week. One is a room-only discount at select resort hotels for early 2020, while the other is the free Disney Dining Plan for kids. 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.
Let’s begin with the “Savor Your Summer with a Tasty Kid-Size Package” or Kids Eat Free Deal. This also uses the words “Get a FREE Dining Plan for kids” to promote the offer, and the emphasis should definitely be on the for kids part of that. Although it’s probably obvious, this is not the normal Free Disney Dining Plan promotion. Heck, this isn’t even Half-Free Dining or Free Dining Lite.
With the Kids Eat Free Deal, you get a free Disney Dining Plan for kids ages 3 to 9 when you purchase a non-discounted vacation package that includes any tier of resort room (Value through Deluxe Villa), theme park tickets, and the Disney Dining Plan for all adults in your party. Kids will receive for free whatever Disney Dining Plan adults in the party purchase…
This means that if you purchase a package with the Quick-Service Disney Dining Plan, your kids, will receive the Quick-Service Disney Dining Plan for free. If you purchase the standard Disney Dining Plan, that’s what they get. Ditto the Deluxe Disney Dining Plan.
The Kid-Sized Package Offer is valid for arrivals most nights from May 25, 2020 through August 28, 2020. This Walt Disney World discount must be booked by February 26, 2020. As with all Walt Disney World special offers, some room types and dates won’t be available. Flexibility is the name of the game when it comes to deals like this.
The “Savor Your Summer with a Tasty Kid-Size Package” is not valid for 3-bedroom villas, campsites, Cabins at Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, Bungalows at Polynesian Villas & Bungalows, Little Mermaid Standard Rooms at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, or Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter.
The only way Kids Eat Free is a good deal for is for parents (ideally one single parent) wrangling several kids. If you have, for instance, one adult and three children in a room, the math could work out in your favor. Similarly, a larger and more diverse party could strategically ‘stack’ one of their rooms with one adult and all of the kids and book a second, separate reservation with another room and the below resort-only discount.
As with all Walt Disney World discounts, there are potentially ways to leverage this offer to your advantage if your party fits certain narrow parameters or you can hack it. By and large, the “average” family isn’t going to find worthwhile savings with this discount, though. Kids dining plans cost less than half the price of adult Disney Dining Plans, meaning that you’re saving significantly less with this offer than regular Free Dining.
Spring & Summer 2020 Room-Only Discount
Next up is the “Bask in the Sun & Fun” room-only discount. With this offer, you can save up to 25% on rooms at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels for stays most nights April 1, 2020 through September 12, 2020. This requires booking spring travel dates by February 26, 2020 and summer travel dates (April 26, 2020 through July 9, 2020) by July 9, 2020 for the best discounts.
Here’s a chart showing the discount rates for each tier and resort:
This offer excludes the following resorts and room types: all 3-bedroom villas, Fort Wilderness Campsites, Cabins at Copper Creek Villas, and Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows.
In addition, you can turn this room-only discount into a package deal, but we don’t normally recommend that. We recommend keeping this as a room-only discount and purchase from one of the options in our Discount Walt Disney World Ticket Tips post–you’ll save more money and come out ahead that way.
Annual Passholders & Florida Residents
Pretty much the exact same offer is available for Florida residents and Annual Passholders, but with an additional 5% or 10% off, respectively. The AP/Florida Resident deal is minus the April 26 to July 9, 2020 travel dates–so just the first half of the deal above.
The Annual Passholder or Florida Resident offer must be booked by April 25, 2020. It’s always worth crunching the numbers to see if one person in your party should buy an AP to take advantage of the better promos and other discount offers.
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 or tomorrow when things calm down a bit. You’ll save yourself a lot of headache and frustration!
Overall, some of these room only rates are attractive, especially on the AP and Florida resident end of the spectrum. Animal Kingdom Lodge for 35% off or Caribbean Beach & Coronado Springs Resorts for 30% off are pretty solid deals. The 40% off deal for Visa cardholders at Disney’s Riviera Resort (covering those same dates) is a deeper discount, but that resort has higher rack rates.
Savings elsewhere are more meager. Grand Floridian or Contemporary for only 10% off is a nonstarter, and the same goes for the Value Resorts on select nights. If you’re looking at only a 10-15% discount for your travel dates, are staying at a lower-tier resort, and you have multiple kids, you should definitely do the math. The Kids Eat Free deal might actually be better for you.
With that said, this is about par for the course with summer discounts–and that alone is good to see. We’ve been concerned that the popularity of Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance coupled with the debuts of Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway and Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure would spike bookings and cause Walt Disney World to wean guests off discounts (something CEO Bob Iger indicated was a goal in the past). Given these releases, we’re now doubting that’ll happen. That bodes well for future 2020 Walt Disney World discounts, including a second wave of Free Dining for late fall and holiday season travel dates…
Do you agree or disagree with our assessment of these Spring & Summer 2020 Walt Disney World discounts? Do you disagree with our assessment of the Kids Eat Free deal? 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!