Disney World Offers Major Discounts on Resort Hotels This Summer — Sweetens Deal With Disney Gift Cards

Apr 24, 2019

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If you have booked a vacation to Disney World for this summer (or are just thinking about a trip), then today is your lucky (or perhaps magical) day. This morning, Disney released discounted room rates for summer travel at most Disney Resort hotels, valid from May 28 to Aug. 28. You can easily save hundreds of dollars on a multi-night trip with these discounts of up to 35% off — and there are Disney gift cards thrown in for good measure during the first half of the summer. With this sale, you can save money and still stay on Disney property, which means you get all of the on-site Disney Resort perks, such as the free Magical Express Bus to/from the airport, Extra Magic Hours and the ability to make FastPass+ bookings 30 days before non-resort guests.

(Summer Hull / The Points Guy)
(Summer Hull / The Points Guy)

My family just rebooked our upcoming summer stay in a cabin at Disney’s Fort Wilderness as the rate dropped from $374 to $243 per night with the Disney season passholder discount (that particular passholder offer is valid July 1 to Aug. 28). Since most Disney stays can be canceled without penalty until a few days before the stay, it is very easy to modify a reservation online to jump on these new lower rates as we did.

But you don’t need to have a Disney season pass to save on hotels as there are discounts of up to 25% for anyone for stays from May 28 to Aug. 28. (The latter date is not coincidental: Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is scheduled to open at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on Aug. 29.) This sale of up to 25% off also includes an electronic Disney gift card that will be emailed on your day of arrival if your trip begins May 28 to June 30. (And yes, Club Level rooms are also discounted — here’s a look at whether they are worth it.)

Disney Club Lounge Dessert
Disney Club Lounge dessert at Wilderness Lodge. (Summer Hull / The Points Guy)

The value of your Disney gift card will depend on what hotel type you choose and your length of stay:

  • Disney Deluxe Villa Resorts: $25 per room per night
  • Disney Deluxe Resorts: $20 per room per night
  • Disney Moderate Resorts: $15 per room per night
  • Disney Value Resorts: $10 per room per night

This means that a four-night stay at a deluxe resort, such as the Contemporary (walkable to the Magic Kingdom), will score your family an $80 e-gift card on the day of check-in.

On a randomly selected weekend in July, I spotted the following nightly rates:

Disney's Pop Century (Photo by Dia Adams)
Disney’s Pop Century (Photo by Dia Adams)

There are some dates that are cheaper than those examples, so play around with pricing if you are looking for the cheapest dates to travel. And remember — you get a $10–$25 Disney gift card for each night of your stay with this deal on select dates. While you can book your Disney Resorts stay on sites like Hotels.com (and I sometimes do to get 20% back in rewards using my Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card), the prices directly from Disney are likely better right now when factoring in these discounts and gift card perks.

While Disney ticket-only purchases typically code as entertainment, hotel stays and packages booked directly with Disney code as travel, so pay with the card that gives you the biggest bonus on travel. This may mean earning three points per dollar via the Chase Sapphire Reserve or three points per dollar from the Citi Premier® Card. Or you can save a little extra by paying with discounted Disney gift cards — here’s how.

This summer Disney sale runs until Aug. 28, but I would book (or rebook) ASAP as Disney properties can and do sell out — especially when a good sale is going on.

Planning a Walt Disney World vacation? Here are some more resources:

Featured image by Ryan Wendler / Walt Disney World

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