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Disney Discounts: the real deal

Everyone loves to save money. I know I do! So, naturally, a question that I get asked quite often is, "Is Disney offering any special deals?" The answer to that can be somewhat complicated. Let's break it down.

YES, Disney will have Special Offers on resort stays or packages (resort, tickets and/or dining plan). HOWEVER, they only offer these deals on rooms that need to be filled. Walt Disney World remains one of the TOP family vacation destinations in the entire world. And with good reason: Disney World offers a fun experience for the entire family! SO, if the resort is operating close to capacity, then there is no need to offer a deal.

Travel really slumped in 2001 and Disney needed to entice families to visit and introduced their Free Dining offer for Fall travel. And, visitors LOVED it! It became extremely popular. Everyone loves getting something for FREE, after all. In recent years, however, travel has rebounded. The parks are busier than ever and Disney World has found terrific and fun ways to fill even the former slower times of year. We now have Run Disney events in November and January, which used to be quieter times. EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival draws fans far and wide

and has become bigger with each passing year. In Winter, EPCOT will host the second Festival for the Arts and in Spring we will see the return of my favorite: Flower & Garden Festival. (See Cogsworth and Lumiere, along with dozens of other character topiaries!)

Not only that, but new lands and attractions have been opening and will continue to do so. At Animal Kingdom, we just saw the opening of Pandora - World of Avatar and the crowds have been surging! Next summer, Hollywood Studios will open Toy Story Land and I expect big crowds once it does open. Next will be Star Wars land plus the Tron coaster in Magic Kingdom, a new Mickey Mouse ride in Hollywood Studios, a Ratatouille ride in EPCOT and on and on!

All of this means that special deals and discounts may be available from time to time. BUT, they are smaller, harder to book and may require longer stays, Park Hopper tickets or other requirements that may not make sense for your family.

Let's look at an example. Say you are booked at Beach Club for Fall 2018. You see a Free Dining offer is released and your resort is not explicitly excluded. As your Vacation Specialist, I will contact Disney to see if we can apply the offer. But, since EPCOT hosts Food & Wine AND it's very popular AND Beach Club is in walking distance to EPCOT: there are no rooms available for that offer. In fact, there may have been just a couple rooms at Beach Club for that offer and that may have been for different dates or only a Standard View. Or, there may be no rooms at all.

My best advice for anyone planning a trip is to book what you can afford and what makes sense for your family. If a Special Offer comes out that works for you, terrific! I love saving my clients money!! But, if it doesn't, you will have a trip that is fun and affordable for you. And, remember, a Walt Disney World vacation offers a terrific value for your family. There are more things to do and see than can possibly be done in even a weeklong trip. Maybe you'll need to plan more than one!! I know I am!

Mary Graham is a Vacation Specialist with Coasters & Castles Travel. She is an Annual Passholder to Walt Disney World and she has made many happy memories with her family. She would love to help your family make magical memories with a Disney vacation: World, Land, Cruise, Adventure. Contact her at: mgraham@coastersandcastlestravel.com.

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