Friday, June 24, 2022

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How Do You Plan A Trip To Disney World On A Budget Work With A Travel Agent

Walt Disney World Resort 50th Anniversary Celebration

Our number one tip to staying at a Disney resort on a budget will always be to work with a travel agent. An Authorized Disney Vacation Planner is an expert on all things Walt Disney World. They are able to book your vacation at a great price, all at no extra cost to you.

Perhaps the biggest reason why we recommend working with a travel agent is that your travel agent will be hyper-focused on working within your budget. They can find you an amazing deal on a vacation and ensure that you are not going over budget, saving you money in the process. Your Authorized Disney Vacation Planner will also be able to be on the lookout for all of the Disney Resort hotel discounts that become available before you leave for your trip.

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The Disney World Hotels No One Regrets Booking

Choosing a hotel at Disney World can be a daunting task, and its all dependent on what youre looking for.

If budget is a factor, you might consider a Value Resort, if not, then a Moderate or Deluxe Resort might be best for you. But how do you decide? And how do you avoid having regrets after booking your Disney World hotel?

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Disneys Caribbean Beach Resort

Caribbean Beach Resort is the oldest hotel in the Moderate collection . And while Caribbean Beach has received upgrades, its hotel rooms are spread far around the property in two-story buildings. A central dining area called Old Port Royale is more grab-and-go than gourmet.

The main pool area has a pirate theme that young ones may find entertaining, but its also a bit small for a resort that large.

If you still decide Caribbean Beach is the resort for you, avoid the pirate rooms unless youre OK with smaller-than-normal beds and really want the theme since it costs extra.

While recent renovations and the addition of the Skyliner have improved Caribbean Beach, its still not our favorite. The internal resort bus loop isnt great and theres not a lot of charm for the price.

What Discounts Are Available At Disney Resorts


Several times a year, Disney releases special discounts for Disney Resort hotels and Walt Disney World Resort vacation packages. This means that you can either save money on a hotel stay, on Disney World theme park tickets, or on your entire vacation package. Below are some of the discounts that are often released year after year that can help you save money on your trip:

  • Discounted room rates

For the most up-to-date information on Disney World discounts, visit the official website here. If you are a Disney Vacation Club member, a Disney World Annual Passholder, a member of the military, or have any other potential discount that you may apply, contact your travel agent for more information.

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Perks Of Staying At A Disney Hotel

Now, the perks! Things have changed the last few months, so if youre getting back to planning a postponed trip or you just havent kept up to date on things, be prepared for some surprises.

We also might mention the non-Disney hotels a few times in this section. Its important to remember, though, that the specifics of the non-Disney hotels change frequently, so you always need to confirm the latest set of benefits directly with your hotel when you book.

Last thingalmost all of these perks are consistent across all Disney hotels. The big exception is Extended Evening Hours, which is available only to guests of Disney Deluxe Hotels and DVC resorts. For the other perks, it doesnt matter whether youre staying at All Star Sports or Grand Floridian.

Disney World Hotel Discounts For Military And Veterans

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Military Salute Discounts

New!Military Salute Discounts for stays January 1 December 16, 2022

Military discounts of up to 30% off Value Resorts, 35% off Moderate Resorts and Fort Wilderness Cabins, and 40% off Deluxe Resorts are available for stays 1/1/22 12/16/22.

Offer excludes Little Mermaid rooms at Art of Animation Resort, Pop Century Resort, Caribbean Beach Resort, Villas at Grand Floridian, Cabins at Copper Creek Villas, Polynesian Bungalows, suites in Moderate and Deluxe Resorts, 3-bedroom villas and campsites.

This offer can be booked as a room only reservation. If you wish, one of the Dining Plans can be added, which will then change your booking to a package and therefore subject to the package rules. Park tickets cannot be added to special military packages because this offer is tied in with a specially priced ticket offer for military personnel and their families.

Offer valid for active or retired members of the US military, including the National Guard, Reservists and the US Coast Guard, with a valid military ID card. Dept of Defense and Coalition Forces are not included. Military ID required at check-in.

  • To reserve a room with the Military Salute discount running 1/1/22 12/16/22, call the Disney Reservations Center at or contact a travel agent who specializes in Disney travel, and request this special offer.

Military Salute Discounts for stays January 1 December 17, 2021

Shades of Green

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Gran Destino Tower At Disneys Coronado Springs Resort

Disneys Coronado Springs was the definition of Moderate: an older resort with two-story buildings spread over a large property. The rooms are small, though theyve recently been renovated. The main pool has an Aztec them and a little waterslide.

Coronado Springs is one of the few remaining Moderate resorts where the only complimentary transportation to the parks is the bus network and walking isnt an option, given its distance to the parks. Its a resort geared toward the convention crowd, with large restaurants focused on quick service. But, a funny thing changed recently that landed it on this best Disney resort hotels list.

Disney World built a new tower at Coronado Springs called the Gran Destino. This hotel within a hotel has a stunning lobby and an equally snazzy lobby bar. If youre looking for a completely different perspective, let an elevator whisk you up to the 16th floor, where the rooftop Dahlia Lounge awaits along with an award-winning wine list.

Gran Destino also has the distinction of being the only Moderate resort at Disney World with a club lounge option. That amenity is still closed for now, but when it opens, its a great way to make a moderate stay feel deluxe.

The Spanish themes of the resort are evident here, with sumptuous Serrano ham and Spanish cavas. But dont worry, youll find plenty of games and books to entertain the kids while you enjoy the lounge.

Gran Destino Club Lounge

Walt Disney World Updates

How to Book Walt Disney World

Staying onsite at a Disney Resort Hotel is the ONLY way you can access the Disney Park Reservation System without the need to pay for your Disney Tickets in full – Secure your dream Disney holiday today with just a £50 deposit and start booking your Disney Park Days straight away!

  • To enter a Disney Park, both a valid Disney Ticket AND a date-specific theme park reservation are now required
  • Disney Park reservations are subject to availability and are not guaranteed until you book your theme park days
  • Reservations for the Disney Parks can be made as soon as you receive your Disney hotel confirmation
  • On receipt of your Disney hotel confirmation, create an account on My Disney Experience and link your Disney booking to start reserving your park days!

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What Extra Charges Add Up When You Are At A Disney Resort

As with any vacation, even if you stay at a Disney Value Resort and book a trip during a time when the price of a Disney World ticket is relatively lower, there may be extra charges that occur when you are staying at a Disney resort and booking a Disney World vacaiton package. Here are some to be aware of:

  • In-room dining

More Magic: Major Disney Park Updates Announced!

Ready To Book Your Trip Of A Lifetime

If you are ready to book the trip of a lifetime to the Most Magical Place on Earth, we are here to help.

We always recommend the Authorized Disney Vacation Planners at Academy Travel, experts on all things Walt Disney World. They know everything there is to know about a Disney vacation, and they can ensure you save the most money possible on your trip. In fact, whenever an Inside the Magic reader or staff member is trying to book a trip on a budget, we always recommend working with Academy Travel, whose agents are money-saving experts. There is no better way to save the most money possible on a Disney trip than by booking with a team that knows all of the discounts available.

Read More: Important Dates to Know When Booking a Disney Trip

Academy Travel agents can also help with adding extras to your trip, like VIP Tours, Disney Dining Plan, special event tickets, and more. If you bwan tto vbook a Disney vacation package on a budget but you also want to find the best way to add those magical extras, Academy Travel can fully assist you. Plus, their services are free, whether you are booking a trip to Disney World as describes here, you want to visit Disneyland, take a Disney Cruise, or go on any other magical vacation.

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Annual Passholder Disney World Hotel Discounts

Savings for Annual Passholders are more likely to be available during Value and Regular seasons, though there are exceptions to this Peak season discounts are not unheard-of. Generally speaking the discounts are released 2-4 months in advance.

Annual Passholder rates are NOT guaranteed and frequently are not offered during peak holiday periods. Be aware that discounted rooms are limited in number and will not be available for all dates at all resorts. You may have to be flexible with your selections. If you cant get your first choice on the first try, call back periodically and check on availability. Frequently discounted rooms will open up as people change and cancel their reservations over time.

  • 10% off Bay Lake Tower, BoardWalk Villas and Old Key West rooms
  • 25% off Riviera rooms

This is a room-only offer. If you would like to add a Dining Plan with these rates , there is a special Annual Passholders package.

Offer excludes Little Mermaid rooms at Art of Animation Resort, 3-bedroom villas and campsites. As with all Disney promotional discounts, some resorts, room types and date combinations will not be available. Its important to be flexible if you want to book a discounted room.

Offer subject to end at any time.

  • To reserve a room with the Annual Passholder discount, we recommend contacting a travel agent who specializes in Disney travel. Ask for the Annual Passholder rates.

Get Into The Disney Theme Parks Early

Read Lonely Planet Pocket Orlando &  Walt Disney World ...

Is there are better onsite benefit than getting into the Disney theme parks early and beating the crowds? Coming later this year as part of Disney’s 50th-anniversary celebration, only Disney Resort hotel guests will be able to enjoy more fun with 30-minute early entry to ANY Disney theme park, EVERY day. Itll be a great way to get a jump start on your Disney day, no matter the day!

Early theme park admission likely to be available for visits from the end of 2021 and available throughout 2022, but is subject to availability and cannot be guaranteed. A valid Disney Theme Park admission ticket and a Disney park reservation made via the Disney Park Pass system is required to enter a Disney theme park.

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When Can I Book 2023 Walt Disney World Vacation Packages

This question is the one that we get asked more than any other as most people looking to visit the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando know that planning ahead is a must. Some even say that planning your Disney vacation is almost as much fun, if not more, than the actual vacation itself!

The Walt Disney Travel Company typically releases package information and pricing around June-ish for the following year. We say “ish” since it’s not released the same day every year.

This can be somewhat confusing because if you call Disney directly, they will recommend that you book a room-only reservation as long as you know your dates and where you’d like to stay. They’ll advise you to simply call back and change your room-only reservation to a package reservation once the package information is released. This is where things can get tricky.

Interested in a future travel date not listed on our forms?

You are able to make a room-only reservation 499 days in advance by paying a deposit equal to one night’s stay while your balance will be due the day you check into your resort hotel. In order to book a Walt Disney World vacation package, a $200 deposit is required to book with the remaining balance of your package being due thirty-days prior to your arrival.

Interested in a future travel date not listed on our forms?Interested in a future travel date not listed on our forms?

Least Expensive Disney Resort With The Most Amenities

Want to know where to stay on Disney property and get the most bang for your buck? Here are our top recommendations for some of the least expensive Disney resorts that still offer amazing amenities. These hotels are some of the most affordable and offer great benefits and since youre at Disney World, youll still feel like youre on a five-star vacation at the Most Magical Place on Earth.


Stay at a DISNEY SPRINGS® Resort area hotel and your vacation never ends.

We offer 6 Orlando hotels conveniently located in the Walt Disney World® Resort, with spacious accommodations, luxurious amenities, dining and recreation perfect for any traveler. Each resort is an Official Walt Disney World® Hotel and within walking distance of some of the areas finest shopping, dining and entertainment at DISNEY SPRINGS®.

As Official Walt Disney World®hotels, our Guests can make park reservations for dates during their stay for the number of days that they have valid theme park admission.

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Best Ways To Save Money At A Disney Resort

Related: How to Save Money on Your 2021 Disney Vacation

We have outlined the best ways to save money at a Disney resort on your upcoming Walt Disney World vacation. But, we know that Inside the Magic readers may still have questions, such as whether there are extra costs that may arise once you arrive on your trip, and what discounts are available throughout the year. Here, we answer those specific questions.

Early Access To Individual Lightning Lanes

How to Book Walt Disney World Dining Reservations in My Disney Experience

Guests of Disney resorts are able to purchase individual Lightning Lane times at 7AM, while other guests must wait until the park opens. This perk loses some value immediately because you have to pay for the individual Lightning Lane in any case.

That said, some days these individual Lightning Lanes will sell out before the park opens, which means only guests of Disney hotels were able to use those Lightning Lanes those days.

If youre not at a Disney hotel, youll have neither Early Entry nor the ability to purchase individual Lightning Lanes for some rides some days . This might mean your only option to get on the ride is to wait standby, which, on the busiest days might stay over 2 hours the entire day.

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Hotwire Hot Rates & Priceline Express Deals

Hotwire has a program called Hot Rate hotels and Priceline has a similar program called Express Deals. They offer extra-low rates , but they dont tell you the name of the hotel in advance. They just tell you the general area the hotel is in, and some of the hotels amenities. From time to time, official Disney resorts will show up as a Hotwire Hot Rate or Priceline Express Deal hotel, usually for fairly short term reservations .

You have to actually commit to the booking to find out which hotel you booked. There are no refunds and no changes, so theres a bit of risk involved. Youll definitely get a booking at a hotel in the area, but theres a small chance youll end up at a non-Disney hotel, so keep that in mind. They sometimes throw in hotels at only a few dollars off their normal rate, so dont book just because its listed as a Hot Rate or Express Deal hotel. Always compare against the regular price of the hotel you think it is, including all taxes and fees!

There is no way to be absolutely sure that the hot rate hotel youre booking is a Disney hotel, but if a Hotwire Hot Rate or Priceline Express Deal hotel meets both of the following two criteria, chances are extremely good that its a Disney hotel:

  • Free internet
  • No resort fee .

To look for official Disney hotels in the Hotwire Hot Rate program, follow these steps:

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