Saturday, 9 February 2013

How to save the big bucks on your Disney hotel accommodation

If I'm gonna fly all the way around the world to Orlando, you can guess what I'm gonna do


yep - I'm going to Disney World.

 Oh .... I skip a beat everytime i see those purple gates! (source:
As if you haven't already worked that out.

You're welcome to join me .... always happy to have friends to beat at Toy Story Mania and listen to my screaming on Splash Mountain. (not because of the drop, but because of that relentless song)

extreme chess

I only recommend going to WDW with a plan. Without, that way there be dragons - and crazy, queuing, hungry, unhappy people who have spent far too much money. Get organised and be a person who has spent far too much money on your desired hotel, desired restaurants, and avoiding the queues.

Today I share the technique for how I can afford such magnificent lodgings for such low prices.

Disney Vacation Club

or DVC - kinda like a complex timeshare arrangement.

Now I haven't bought into DVC but there are some 145,000 out there who have and it is possible to "rent" from those people.

Animal Kingdom Lodge studio apartment

Let me summarise:

DVC works on points - differing amounts of points are needed for different hotels, different room types, different times of the year, different days of the week. Work out when you are going, for how long and where you would like to stay, what room, and the DVC chart tells you how many points you need. 
Boardwalk Inn villas recreate the Atlantic Boardwalk - very plush

Then you find an owner and "rent" your required number of points. Typically points cost for $10 - $13@. So if you need 100 points for a week somewhere, obviously your cost for your accommodation will be $1,000 - $1,300. Divide by 7 and you'll get your nightly cost - which you can use to compare to the ordinary cash rack rate charged by Disney.


Let me give you an example. Here is the cost of my stay last year at Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort. I stayed 9 nights in a studio in December, during the "value" period.

Beach Club Studio Apartment - walk to Epcot and huge swimming area, with pool, slides, lazy river, and sandy bottom!

Full price rack rate = $407 per night (I know - absolutely ridiculous - NO ONE is to pay these rates)

Disney did eventually announce a discount for paying cash - 30% off for general public, 35% off for Annual Passholders.

Discount price  = $265 per night (this is more normal)

DVC points @ $12/point for 124 points = $1,488

DVC average daily rate = $165 per night.

This represents a 60% discount off the "silly rack rate nobody pays" and 25% off the Disney "pay cash" discount offer.

1 bedroom villa, Bay Lake Tower at Contemporary Resort - right next to Magic Kingdom and on monorail
Here's an example for June 2014: 7 nights at Disney's Boardwalk Inn, the week before Convention, in a studio apartment, standard view (a.k.a - the carpark)

current advertised full price = $571 / night (CRAZY)
current DVC rental cost = $185 / night (Ka-ching! back in MY pocket)


There is NO OTHER CHEAPER WAY TO GET A DISNEY ROOM (unless you are some kind of insider and then you need to call me .... really)

So I hear you calling out: "Mrs. Banks - how do I get these amazing discounts??"

  1. Decide how many beds & rooms you need, and choose your dates.
  2. Get online and look at the DVC resorts and pick your hotel, and desired room type. (allears site is the best! Photos and videos of every room)
  3. Get online and select a broker, e.g.:
All of these sites have resort overviews, point and cost calculators and very helpful people who will assist with your questions and make your resort booking for you.

Boardwalk Inn Villa Grand Villa (source;

The price you pay for not paying the price

HA HA - guess what - there's no such thing as a free lunch! (except when you sit through a timeshare sales pitch)

The lower price means:
  • Do your research and get in the queue with a broker more than 12 months out from your check in date.
  • The booking is made between 11 months - 7 months out and you have to pay at that time.
  • There is no cancellation or alterations (get travel insurance)
  • Being a self-contained apartment, housekeeping is limited - or pay extra to secure daily service.
  • Doing this is CRAZY popular and you have to have 2nd choices & patience cause everyone is chasing this deal.
1 Bedroom Villa, Bay Lake Tower, Contemporary Resort

Having Fun

You don't have to do a DVC rental - you may want to stay in one of the other hotel style resorts - or don't want to book and pay upfront. There will be a general public discount (e.g. 30% off) from Disney released closer to the date. There really is no excuse for paying the ridiculous rack rate.

1 Bedroom Villa at Squirrel Wilderness Lodge 1860's American west rustic Yee Hah! All the pine makes it smell like Christmas! .....or Ikea
So will you join us in WDW the week before convention? Do you want more info on DVC? Shout out in the comments.

Oh - and I'm looking for some people to share a Grand Villa with me .....


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