If there’s one thing we all love, it’s Disney World discounts. A visit to the happiest place on earth can get pretty expensive and, with prices constantly rising, I’m always looking for ways to save money on my next vacation to Orlando.
About a week ago, I received this email from Sandra who has been subscribed to my email list since March 2015:
“James, thanks for the tips! My husband and I really enjoy reading your emails. What we want to know more about is how you always get Disney hotels for a discounted rate? Thanks for everything you do!”
The first couple of times I stayed on property at Disney World, I booked my hotel directly through Disney (which was a big mistake, in my experience).
No. There’s certainly nothing wrong with the service.
The problem is with the price.
So began my search for the biggest and best Disney World hotel discount that I could get my hands on.
But first, let me explain more about the different categories of hotels that Disney World has to offer.
Categories of Disney World Hotels
There are a total of four different types of hotels at Disney World. They are:
The Value Resort level is the cheapest of all the hotels. These include:
- Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort
- Disney’s All-Star Music Resort
- Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort
- Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
- Disney’s Pop Century Resort
- The Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort
I’ve stayed at all of these resorts, except for Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. Most all of them offer the same amenities. Basic rooms. Basic pools. A quick service food cafeteria. A small arcade. A small gift shop.
My most recent stay in the Value Resorts was at All-Star Music last October. Quite honestly, I wasn’t at all impressed.
My Wife and I met up with the rest of my side of the family (they flew in from the UK, I now live in the US) so we decided to go with the Family Suite option.
When we arrived, the carpets were pretty dirty and the housekeepers had missed some food crumbs under the sofa chair. We wouldn’t have noticed, but one person in our party was planning to sleep on it. We were very pleased in the recovery service though as, after we contacted the front desk, they apologized and someone came and made sure everything was cleaned up.
With everything considered from my past experience of staying in the Value Resorts, they are a great place to stay when trying to save money. But the only real benefit to staying at them is to be located on Disney property. By staying at a Disney hotel, you get to use their wonderful free bus service which will take you anywhere on property. If you’re not all that bothered about these perks, I would suggest looking into the moderate and Deluxe Resorts.
Moderate Resorts are a little step up from the Value Resorts in price. They include:
- Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
- Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort
- Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter
- Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside
- The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort
The Moderate Resorts are a nice step up from the Value Resorts, but they still lack a lot in the way of convenience. For example, the Cabins at Fort Wilderness are a wonderful location to wind down after a busy day at the parks. I’ve been lucky enough to stay in them twice and I was very impressed. But I had to get a bus around the resort as everything to spread out pretty far. The Moderate Resorts just don’t offer that extra special Disney touch that you’ll want to experience when you stay at Disney World. My advice is to go with the Deluxe Resorts. I always figured that if I’m paying to stay on property, I might as well pay
extra for the ultimate Disney experience (actually, they’re about the same price – read on for my secret method for getting 35-50% off Deluxe Resort hotels).
Deluxe Resort Hotels
The Deluxe Resort Hotels are another step up from the Moderate Resorts, but offer a lot more in terms of the whole guest experience! They include:
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
- Disney’s Beach Club Resort
- Disney’s BoardWalk Inn
- Disney’s Contemporary Resort
- Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
- Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
- Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
- Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
The Deluxe Resort Hotels are by far the most popular option. They are constantly full, which is one of the reasons I highly suggest booking as early as possible! Those that have visited these resorts, even just to walk around, will know that they are built with guest satisfaction in mind.
I would often visit these hotels and just stare in awe at the beautiful detail that went into their design. Quite honestly, I never thought I would be able to afford a stay at one of the Deluxe Resorts. Luckily, I found a great method for booking them at a discounted rate!
Deluxe Resort Villas
The Deluxe Resort Villas are the cream of the crop. They are the most expensive of all the resort hotels, but they are by far the best option in terms of that world class magical experience that Disney is known for! They include:
- Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Jambo House
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village
- Disney’s Beach Club Villas
- Disney’s BoardWalk Villas
- Disney’s Old Key West Resort
- Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows
- Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
- The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
- Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
I’ve only been able to stay at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas so far, and wow are they nice! While I was living in Orlando, I visited my friends for the evening, who were staying at Bay Lake Tower. The room there was beautiful. It over looked the Magic Kingdom and offered a great view of the nighttime fireworks (which happened to be HalloWishes that night as the park was having Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party). They even have a channel on the television that plays the firework soundtrack. Of course, I had to test how comfy the bed was, and was it ever! I believe Bay Lake Tower had just opened a few months before my visit there, so everything was brand new. I was very jealous that my friends got to stay there. Maybe one day…. Maybe one day.
OK. So what about your super secret method of finding Disney World Discounts on hotels?
I hear you.
My Method for Getting 35-50% off Disney World Hotels
If you’ve been to Disney World before, you’ve probably heard of Disney Vacation Club (DVC). And if you haven’t, that’s totally OK because I’m going to briefly describe how it works (we’re not signing up, were are just making use of the service).
Disney has their own version of timeshare, called Disney Vacation Club, which members pay (a lot more money than I can afford) for a certain amount of “points” that can be redeemed for nights at a Disney Deluxe Resort.
Sometimes, members will not be able to use all their points in the allotted time, meaning that their points will expire. In order to make sure they don’t lose out on these points, they will opt to sell them to other people wanting to stay in the resorts at a discounted rate.
That’s where dvcrequest.com (David’s Vacation Club Rentals) comes in.
David’s Vacation Club Rentals, who just recently celebrated 10 years of being in business, will buy points from DVC members and then sell them to guests who want to save money when staying in Disney World Resort hotels. Like me.
How Does This Method Save Money?
OK. Let’s look at the numbers behind the discounts that you can get at Disney World by booking through David’s Vacation Club Rentals.
First, we’ll see how much it is to book directly through Disney.
For my upcoming trip, I’m going to be staying from July 15th until the 22nd. Since we
don’t have any children yet have a cat, there will only be two of us. The total length of stay will be 7 nights and we are looking specifically at a 1-bedroom Suite at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.
On Disney’s official website… $973.00 per night before taxes.
When we select that room and see the full amount for the 7 night stay we get… $7,661.41 including taxes.
Now let’s go to the Cost Calculator tool on David’s Vacation Club Rentals, to see how much the price would be through them.
It must be noted that the Disney Vacation Club resort rooms are not exactly the same as the rooms that Disney offer on their main website. For example, some of them are a slightly different size or layout, usually bigger. But for the most part, they are pretty similar. They still offer the same bed sizes and give you way better views when you have a balcony.
So, for 7 nights from July 15th until the 22nd for a 1-bedroom Suite at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge through David’s Vacation Club rentals is a total of… $4,905 for the entire stay!
To take a real quick look at the percentage of discount that this method will save you, let’s do a little bit of math.
[1 – ( $4905 / $7661.41 )] * 100 = a total of 36% discount when you book through dvcrequest.com
And that’s during one of the busiest times of the year! During the off-season, I’ve been able to take advantage of discounts of up to 50%.
Why Do I Book Through David’s Vacation Club Rentals and Not Directly Through a DVC Member?
Two words. Security blanket!
I have heard so many horror stories from people who buy DVC points directly from DVC members, and then end up getting scammed.
It’s just not worth it to me.
By choosing to book through David’s Vacation Club Rentals, I have the complete security of knowing that I won’t get scammed.
Besides that very important factor, the service that I receive from David’s Vacation Club Rentals when I book through them is second to none. Their entire process is so easy and runs so smoothly. It’s as if I booked through Disney but paid a lot less!
So… What Does The WLO Community Think About Renting Points?
I recently asked the WLO Community what they thought about renting DVC Points to get Disney World hotels at a discounted price.
Here’s what they had to say…
I was so pleased with this feedback, as I fully believe that booking with David’s Vacation Club Rentals is one of the best Disney World discounts out there!
Things to Consider
One thing that you have to consider is that you won’t get regular housekeeping service when you stay on DVC points. When you arrive, the room will have been fully cleaned. If you stay for 7 nights or less, you will receive trash and towel service on day 4. They will clean out your trash, give you fresh towels, re-stock your coffee, and re-stock your dishwasher liquid and detergent.
If you stay for 8 days or longer, they will give you full housekeeping service on day 4 and then trash and towel service on day 8.
Now, I honestly prefer it this way. I hate it when I head back to the hotel for a break in the afternoon and I get a knock on my door from housekeeping. Or if we decide to sleep in a little in the morning and find them waking us up when they’re cleaning rooms on our hallway. In my experience, less housekeeping is way better.
Another thing that you should know is that to get the full benefit of this method, you absolutely have to book as early as possible! They sometimes have availability if you’re booking last minute, but for the most part you will have to book at least 8 months out.
The earliest you can make your reservation is 11 months out, I’ve found that the best window of time to make your reservation is 11-8 months before your stay.
Overall, I highly recommend booking your Disney World hotel through dvcrequest.com.