Booking a Disney World Holiday: Top Tips

March 12, 2020

Booking a Disney World Holiday? Brilliant! We’ve compiled some handy advice to help you get the best value for money. Use these simple tips to make booking your dream holiday a doddle, and get the most choice for your budget!

Book in advance

Planning ahead is key when booking a Walt Disney World holiday. We’d highly recommend booking your trip plenty of time ahead of your chosen dates, and we’re talking months in advance. In fact, being ready to book around a year ahead is going to stand you in good stead. Of course, we understand that this isn’t always feasible,  but it’s usually going to give you the most options. And having options available makes it likely that you’ll find a great deal for your budget!

Book when Disney are offering a deal

If you’re booking a Disney World holiday and want to get a great deal, then timing is essential. At certain points throughout the year, Disney have historically offered incentives and promotions for the next year. These offers tend to gradually be reduced in value, before being phased out completely. In 2019, Disney’s best Walt Disney World offers for 2020 were available to book from 25 April 2019. So keep an eye out for updates around that time!

We can’t predict what Disney will offer in the future. However, for this years’ holiday (staying in a Disney Resort Hotel) we received a free dining plan, 14 day park tickets for the price of 7, and a $200 Disney gift card to spend on property – all for one booking! That’s huge savings all because we booked in the offer window. 

To ensure that you’re kept up to date with when these offers are running, we’d suggest you subscribe to the Walt Disney World Travel Company newsletter.  Oh, and subscribe to ours too because we’ll always let you know!

Read the t’s and c’s

Be mindful of the t’s and c’s so that you don’t miss out on an offer. You’ll notice that each promotion is valid for bookings made by a set date, for arrivals within specified timeframes. Make sure you check that your preferred dates are included and don’t miss the booking deadline!

It’s worth noting that, last year, the UK Easter holidays were not included in the offer window. Also excluded were bookings for the majority of October, all of November and December. This might be something to consider when choosing the dates for your visit.

Decide on your preferences

Whether or not you’re booking within an offer window, we’d highly recommend spending time researching your Resort preferences before you book. We have a whole section here on which resort to choose. Also, remember that the cost of your holiday is going to differ as you jump between the Resort categories.

Top tip: don’t assume that a value resort is always going to be the by far cheapest option for your family. 

Disney deals will often vary between the Value, Moderate and Deluxe Resorts. On our most recent booking, Disney offered free breakfast at the Value Resorts. Free quick service dining was offered for the Moderates, and a Deluxe Dining Plan at the Deluxe. Having decided that we’d upgrade to the quick service dining plan anyway, we calculated that a Moderate Resort would only cost us £50 more than our chosen value resort. That’s a whole new layer of choice just from taking time to cost everything up!

Flight times 

If you’re booking months in advance like we suggest, you might not be able to cost up flights in advance. Disney often release flights 11 months ahead. However, it’s a good idea to take a look at the ‘usual’ flight costs, and times, from your chosen airport. Should you choose to book before the 11 month mark, then Disney can add your flights once they have been released. That said, we like to book once the flights are available if possible, so that we have certainty on the total price of the holiday at the point of booking.

When booking, it’s likely that Disney will allocate you a flight based on the cheapest option available for your chosen date. However, don’t be shy in asking whether you could save money by travelling on an alternative date or at different times. On our recent booking we opted to fly on a Sunday, which saved us over £100 compared to a Saturday flight. We spent that saving on flights arriving as early, and leaving as late, as possible. This gave us the most time in the Parks!

You can also make savings based on the airline that you choose to fly with. For our most recent trip British Airways were significantly cheaper than Virgin Atlantic.

Departures Road after booking your Disney World Holiday
©Matt Bunting – Novel Focus Photography

Call WDW

We’d definitely suggest looking around to see what deals are available. However, out of choice, we book with Walt Disney World Travel Company direct. Their customer service team are second to none and are super knowledgeable.

Remember: the cast members at WDW Travel Company are there to help you (and are very happy to help!). There is no obligation, or pressure, to book at the point that you call. For our recent trip, we chatted through a few dates and Resort options with them before booking. We then went away, and had a final check of costs before calling back to book. That said, it’s a good idea not to take yonks deciding, as prices are subject to change.

Now that you’ve booked, the REALLY fun bit begins – let’s go plan your holiday!

What are your top tips for booking your Disney World holiday? Let us know in the comments!

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