The Discounts Are Coming! The Discounts Are Coming!

by on August 13, 2010 69 Comments

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With Disney reporting advance hotel bookings down 9% earlier this week, it’s not surprising we hear a new round of discounts will hit the streets this Monday, August 16.

Word is that there will be three discounts.  And before we get to those, let’s remember that this is all speculation and innuendo, told by people of questionable moral character.  It’s entirely possible we’re completely wrong.

First discount is an extension of free dining, through September 2011.  This comes with a considerable number of blackout dates, including Spring Break, Easter and most of Summer 2011.

Second discount is some kind of gift card offer, with a 5- or 6-night minimum stay.  We hear sales of park merchandise are slow, and this is designed to address that.  No idea how long this offer will last.

Third offer is a room-only discount, something like 20 or 25% off value resorts (and either AKL or WL – not sure which), 30% off moderates (and one of the MK deluxe resorts), and 40% off the remaining deluxes.  We hear there are fewer blackout dates on this one.  Not sure of how long this offer will last, but it’s possible it’s good only through March 2011.

Good luck to those of you who’ve booked and may qualify for a discount.

Posted on August 13, 2010

69 Responses to “The Discounts Are Coming! The Discounts Are Coming!”

  • Wow….to extend free dining for a year. That’s just amazing they’d do that, even with all the blackout dates.
    The room only discount only 20% at either AKL or WL is this because they aren’t “full deluxe” resorts?

  • This is really interesting-thanks for posting, even if it IS from people of “questionable moral character”! 😉 I’m almost ready to book for next summer – just need to get the official quote back from my AAA travel agent – and I’m curious to see whether the AAA discount will be better or whether the potential Disney deals will be better.

  • by Keith C (TheFugitiveGuy) on August 13, 2010, at 5:00 pm EST

    Any info/rumors on AP discounts? Based on previous years offers, it seems like new AP discounts should be getting announced soon as well, right?

    • AP discounts are usually announced 60 to 90 in advance, right? I think that AP discounts have been around $10/night better than those offers for the general public lately. I could be wrong.

  • Fingers crossed on a potential 15 month renewal for APs. Mine is expiring October 5, so I’m JUST missing the August 30 date.

  • by stevenkrawczyk on August 13, 2010, at 10:56 pm EST

    “People of questionable moral character” – is Scopa somehow involved with this 🙂

    I’ve been waiting for a few months for discounted AP room-only rates to be published for dates starting October 2nd. 20-25% seems kind of weak for the Value Resorts – hopefully the AP rates will be 35-40%.

    • I’m thinking AP rates for values will be a few dollars less than for the general public, to ensure there’s still value for AP holders.

      You running the half-marathon on Oct 2, Steven?

      • by stevenkrawczyk on August 14, 2010, at 11:00 pm EST

        No half-marathon for me 🙁 Chasing my three kids around the parks for the week is all the workout I can handle. Will you be down there during that time?

  • Just a word of warning to folks—jump on these discounts early, there may be much more limited availability than “usual”. While bookings were down 9%, that’s partly because a calendar quirk gives this year’s fourth quarter one less week vs. last year’s. Adjusting for that, they are only down 1%.

    What’s more, the Big Brass is on record saying that they are actively trying to wean people off of deep discounts (which explains the many blackout weeks during the late Fall dining promo) and that that strategy appears to be working:

    I’m expecting the Dining promo to look sort of like the pre-recession bounceback; very limited in dates and resorts. The reductions in discounts for WL and AKL (and the other one—I’m guessing the Poly) are also telling.

    • Hey Brian,

      Ah, I forgot to mention the calendar thing. Still, I think they’re trying to be proactive in the face of a slowing economy. Oh, and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if they discounted a higher-end MK monorail resort for this, instead of the Poly. Just sayin’.


  • Hey Len, Wow, this gives one a lot to think about. I’ve been waiting for the fall AP rates starting on October 3rd to come out and sure how they will more then 25% for Value Resorts. Do you feel they may be released this week as well?

  • Hi Len – so rumor has it room only discounts actually MAY cover Thanksgiving week since it mentions blackout dates will be alot less then usual? Possibly? Hopefully??? I’d love a room only discount my dates of 11/20 – 11/27. Maybe (just maybe) I could upgrade to a moderate at that point!

    As usual – thanks for all the info!!

  • Just wondering if there any any rumors that would include middle of December 2011 or the weekend before labor day?

    • Weekend before Labor Day, 2011? Possibly. Haven’t heard anything about December 2011 yet. My sources say this deal ends sometime in September, 2011. Entirely speculation, though.

  • Another thought, sorry… these deals will affect the crowd calendar if they’re true, right? Will you let us know when you’ve taken it all into account and updated if needed? Thanks as always, you guys are absolutely amazing 🙂

  • My wife and I have been looking at August 26 – September 4, 2011 at the Riverside resort. Crossing our fingers. I’ll be looking early Monday morning! We’re also going to subscribe to your Iphone application as it gets closer so we have the full year going to the September 4, date! Thanks for the heads up…

  • Quick question. If they announce the general public discount (but not the AP discount), can I snag the GP discount and then change to AP when it comes out (assuming it’s better)? Thanks!

  • Any chance that the free dining or room discounts will be in effect for Presidents’ Week 2011?

  • Already booked a room only at OKW for Feb. Do DVC cash sales count? We really need a full kitchen, should we switch our reservation to another resort? I’m so confused!

    • Hey Jennie, you might want to check with a travel agent, who can compare all the discounts for your specific situation. Good luck!

  • We are booked 3/4 to 3/12 for the Mardi Gras time. Any discounts would be AWESOME! I would love free dining but like I said, ANYTHING will be just great. We might even upgrade if the offer is right.

  • Ok but what about Thanksgiving week 2010? I am “hearing thru the grapevine” that yes, the room discount will cover Thanksgiving week BUT Thanksgiving Day and the day after will probably be blacked out….which would be ok because I could still get the room discount 5 of the 7 days….thoughts?

  • Finally something that makes sense. I don’t know about the rest of the county but the economy certainly isn’t improving here in Houston and it’s about to get worse…and Florida is still deep in it as well.

    Disney is finally thinking! Disney is only maintaining their current crowd levels because of the discounts not because people are finally seeing economic recovery!

  • Can all three of these be combined, or will it be one or the other

  • Will this possibly cover the blackout dates for Free Dining for November 2010? We are going 11/9-11/19 this year, and missed Free Dining by 3 days.

  • Where do the cabins fall, in terms of discounts? a moderate?

  • I was just pulling up some reservations to do some what if’s and look at what popped up!….encouraging…

    Sorry, vacation package reservations are temporarily unavailable as our system is undergoing maintenance. However, you may visit the Tickets & Reservations page to make room-only reservations or purchase Theme Park tickets.

  • Just curious…does anyone know how early Disney DOES update their website on special’s like this?

  • by mickeystoontown on August 15, 2010, at 9:14 pm EST

    I was just about to book my Disney vacation for 2011. We will be arriving on May 25th and depart on June 4th. From what I understand, June 4th is the start of Summer season. I sure hope that there’s some kind of deal for our travel dates.

    I’m just wondering whether or not Disney is going to list a discount for that time of year this far out.

  • Thank you Len for good news! I already have my passes for my trip 1st week of January, but would love free dining. If I have to buy a one day pass of each of us (4 “adults”) can I keep those for a future trip or do they expire at the end of 14 days?

    • They’re good for a future trip. One-day tickets don’t expire. It’s not obvious, but they don’t have a “no expiration” option for one-day base tickets for this reason.

      • Just found out I have to get a 2-day pass! With 4 of us, that would be 8 days total. Could I use those all for one person this trip and save one of my already purchased 7-day hoppers for another trip? Don’t they put it all on your Key to the World card?

        • You can (usually) find someone to pull the tickets off your room cards at your hotel’s concierge desk if it’s easier to keep track that way or to avoid accidental entries. There aren’t any names attached to the tickets, so anyone can use them (although age rules might still apply).

          In your case, it’s still better money-wise to use the 7-day hopper and save the 2-day tickets towards a future trip (but if it’s a package, then you’ll have _another_ set of tickets…). As part of the package, you will have paid $162+tax for an adult 2-day no-hopper ticket, so just using 2 of them will put you over an adult 7-day hopper ($301+tax).

          I _think_ this is correct…

  • Not as broad as we expected, but fortunate for me…it fits within my time-frame. Saved about $850.00

  • My apologies, you need to click on the link for additional dates:

    “Check availability for other arrival dates”

  • by mickeystoontown on August 16, 2010, at 6:55 am EST

    There is another link on the site that has information abouty free dining but I can’t get it to work yet.

  • Looking at the discounts, it appears that the gift card is out for us b/c we booked just getting our hotel and dining plan since we are AP holders, so I cannot get the gift card w/out getting tickets as well (and the FD is out as well)?? So the only thing to do today is book the %off and hope for a better AP rate? Am I correct on all of that? Thanks!

  • by mickeystoontown on August 16, 2010, at 11:08 am EST

    I tried calling Disney to book my May, 2011 trip. I held for 30 minutes before giving up and just booked online. I was able to get our favorite resort, Caribbean Beach, for 8 of our 9 nights. The promo didn’t start until the day after we arrived. So, I’ll just make a room only reservation for that first night. Even with me paying out of pocket for the first night, a counter service meal that night AND paying for the package, I’m saving approximately $1,300.00!

    I received a confirmation saying that I had successfully booked a reservation but my confirmation number said “null” and to call Disney Travel. Of course, all circuits are busy. I’m pretty confident that the vacation is booked because it allowed me to print the confirmation and they took the $200.00 out of my checking account.

  • I was dissapointed at having most all of May blacked out. I was hoping to meet family from England who are coming May 1-8 with Free Dining. We all selected this date as this is when the Season changed and when the UK offer started for May. Very dissapointed it was offerred to others and not us. I did talk to a cast member who agreed with such a large disparity in dates and suggested booking now and applying a code later. Why would they put out a code if they already had a lot of bookings?

  • I was able to take advantage of the room discounts and saved me quite a bit for my 6 nights at the Fort Wilderness Cabins. Very excited.

  • by mickeystoontown on August 16, 2010, at 1:18 pm EST

    Just spent 1 hour and 9 minutes on hold and on the phone with a Disney castmember regarding the vacation I booked earlier today. She said that somehow the computer booked two vacations for me and then instantly canceled them both. She put me on hold and then came back and said they did, indeed, have my $200 deposit (on one of the canceled packages) and that she would have to rebook the package and transfer the $200 deposit to the new package. She and I laughed that Stitch must have gotten into their systems today. I was too happy to complain since I had saved so much money by booking free dining. Just as we were about to hang up, she asked me if I had called about a car rental. I told her no, why? She said that she had a notation that my call was about a car rental. Sounds like their computers are going nuts with people trying to book.

  • Thank you for posting this rumor! We changed our existing room only reservation for Feb 5th-12th and saved $1759!!!!! Rock on!

  • It’s quite the tease to have a week of free dining at the end of May. I just don’t get that one at all! Free dining during the Memorial Day weekend as well as a Star Wars Weekend. What gives? We’re booked in for May 7-21 and I’m an AP holder. I guess the only way that we’re able to get something above rack rates would be to hope for AP discounts. Just by running the numbers it is more beneficial to us to get the free dining plan but obviously that ship has sailed.

  • What are the chances of Disney extending some kind of discount to the first week of June (summer season)? Does this mean they probably won’t? My family and I have a trip planned June 5-11- missed free dining by three days =(.

    • Can you move your date up any? I learned as long as I checked in on the last day of Free Dining, that we get it for our entire stay up to 14 days. We were planning on leaving in the afternoon of March 4, getting to the resort around 4 in the morning. Free dining ends on March 3 so we have someone from each of our rooms (3 rooms total) going up early enough to check in the rooms then I will join them once my kids are out of school. I double checked my ressies and since we are checking in on 3/3, we will get the dining from then until the end of our vacation on 3/11.