Five Pro Tips that may help you “swing” a DELUXE Disney Resort on your next Walt Disney World vacation.
The first time I ever stayed “on property” in a Deluxe Disney Resort at Walt Disney World was back in 1983 at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. This was a BIG deal, we were not a deluxe budget family by any means. Come to think of it, I still don’t know how my Dad pulled it off. What I do know now, is that it would be the vacation that all other future vacations would be compared to. Disney or otherwise. The Contemporary then, was the grandest hotel I had ever seen, let alone stayed in, and coupled with the magic of the theme parks, it was like living in a fairy tale. It would be years (and years) before I enjoyed another stay at the Contemporary. Without sounding like I “settled” for other resorts, because I have enjoyed my time at each and every one – in fact, until we bought DVC I considered the Coronado Springs my “home” resort-I will admit to always checking the cost of staying deluxe first, “just in case” we could swing it. Trying to reclaim that whimsical fairy tale feeling my inner tween self pined for. More often than not, it boiled down to “maybe next time”. I’m sure many of you can relate!
Now, with several years and countless vacation bookings under my belt as an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner, I’m not only older, but wiser and I want to share my experience with all of you who so desperately want to go all out and splurge on a deluxe resort stay at Disney. There are ways you just might be able to make it work and fit your dream resort into the vacation budget. Here are a few ideas:
1. Book with a Room Only Promotion: Several times a year, the Walt Disney Travel company will release money saving promotions for all levels of their on-property resorts, Value, Moderate and Deluxe (see the graphic above). However, the Deluxe resort category gets the biggest savings at 25-30% off the standard (or rack) rate. That’s a HUGE savings! TIP: Be flexible as these promotions are very limited in availability, so the resort you have your heart set on might not be available. Collectively my team has stayed at them all, there isn’t a loser in the bunch!
2. Stay in a Standard Room at Animal Kingdom Lodge or Wilderness Lodge: You may not realize it, but these two magnificent resorts are the least expensive of all the Deluxe Resorts at Walt Disney World. While the standard rooms won’t get you the stellar views or ideal location, the amenities and sheer storytelling brilliance of these properties have a WOW factor that is off the charts! It’s incredible how much more reasonably priced they are versus the monorail line hotels.
3. Consider Shortening Your Stay-Even as I type this I know this sounds like an awful idea, but hear me out. If you have visited the Walt Disney World Resort before or several times, you probably don’t need a full six or seven days in the parks. You know what you like, what you don’t and know exactly where you are going. You’re more efficient and will waste a lot less time. If you truly want a deluxe experience, consider shaving a night or two off of the typical week-long stay in favor of the luxury visit. It’s the classic quantity vs. quality debate. It just depends on what your really want more.
4. Go Budget Friendly on EVERYTHING Else: There are quiet a few ways you can reduce your spending elsewhere in your vacation budget. Instead of booking a package, get your theme park tickets from an authorized discounted reseller like my friends at The Official Ticket Center. Drive instead of fly if that makes sense. Opt out of the Disney Dining Plan and don’t plan too many table service meals. Bring your own snacks to take into the parks. Hit up “souvenirs” at places like Target, Walmart or the Dollar Tree that all offer reasonably priced Disney items and buy them in advance. Even search Ebay for Official Theme Park merchandise at a huge discount, trading pins especially. You will be amazed at what you can find in some online yard sale Facebook groups!
5. Try a Split Stay- Breaking up your week at Disney World across two different resorts is a great way sneak in a little luxury without paying the price. A good example would be to stay at a Value or Moderate resort on those days where all you need is a place to sleep and shower. Then, for the non-theme park days where you really want to relax and enjoy everything the resort has to offer, stay at a deluxe where the amenities abound!
6. All of the Above- I’ve used all of these tips collectively for my guests in the past to help make their Disney vacation dreams come true. When you can take advantage of a big promotion, stay in the most budget friendly deluxe resorts in a standard room, shave a few bucks off of your theme park tickets, scrimp and save on dining and souvenirs, a Deluxe Resort stay just may be in reach!
I’ll say again, I’ve never been a guest of a Disney resort I didn’t thoroughly enjoy. However, there is a definite shift in overall feeling across the three categories in terms of amenities, location, service, detail, theme, shopping and dining options. The Deluxe Resort experience is by far the best and most memorable if you ask me.
If you want to price out a Deluxe Resort stay, let’s chat about how to get you there. Our travel services are absolutely FREE to you when you book your Disney Destination vacation with us! Click Here to email us today!