After announcing a ticket price hike two months ago, Disney World in Orlando is now offering a way for families to save big — up to 20% or 25% — on hotel rooms for four full months in 2023.
The promotion’s travel windows include the entire month of March, when many schools hold spring break, and from April 10 to July 10, three month period that spans from spring break into summer vacation.
The savings are on a sliding scale based on specific travel dates and the chosen Disney World hotel. For example, guests can save 20% to 25% at 13 “deluxe” resorts, the highest level of luxury; 15% to 20% at five of Disney’s “moderate” resorts; and 10% to 15% at nine resorts spanning the “value” to “deluxe” categories.
If you haven’t visited Disney World lately, you will soon encounter a learning curve and realize you need a bigger wallet. Under former CEO Bob Chapek, Disney found many small ways to squeeze more money out of families, and these new incremental costs can really add up. Disney has dropped key complimentary perks, such as the Magical Express airport shuttle, and inched up food prices. But the most onerous change was replacing the free FastPass+ queue-jumping system with two unpopular paid products, Genie+ and Lightning Lanes. Billed as optional expenses, they are, in reality, essential spends if you don’t want to spend your entire day in line.
Also consider the latest ticket price increase. Since December 8, a ticket to the wildly popular Magic Kingdom park now starts at $124 a day during off-peak times and soars to $189 a day during the peak holiday period. A day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios park, home to the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge land, now costs between $124 and $179. Epcot tickets run $114 to $179. The only park where the $109-$159 price range did not rise is Animal Kingdom.
Depending on travel dates, a family of four — let’s say two parents and 10-year-old twins — could now pay anywhere from $436 to $756 for one day at Disney World, even before hotel, meals, transportation or souvenirs.
There are always ways to bring some of those costs down. For example, booking a multi-day ticket slashes the per-day spend and hotel promotions can shave hundreds of dollars off a stay.
But getting the best deal on a Disney World vacation is more complicated than it should be, thanks to Disney’s dynamic pricing model and a park reservation system to keep in mind. Savvy travelers will save themselves a chunk of time and money by using an in-the-know travel advisor who specializes in Disney vacations.