Increasingly over the last few years, it seems as though the summer season is actually the best time of year (price-wise) to go to Walt Disney World, and that trend is continuing this year.
It’s easy to understand why: The narrative since time immemorial has been Summer=Hot + Crowded squared. While that may be true, it seems as though that narrative has been taking a chunk out of Disney’s otherwise robust summer season. I’ve noticed over the past few years a striking number of discounts available on property during the summer season and wondered what would happen once the new Star Wars land was opened. How would it impact resort availability?
When the opening date for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge was announced this past week, I decided to see what kind of resort availability there was for the last week in August. (SW:GE opens August 29th, in case you’ve been living under a rock.) I expected to find next to nothing.
Not only was there plenty of availability, but the savings provided by the Sun & Fun promotion* (approximately 30% off) was still available at virtually every hotel on property. There was a $93 per night rate at All Star Movies, a standard view at the Boardwalk for $333 and even a club level room at the Boardwalk for $444. While those prices might be considered outrageous at other places, they’re downright reasonable at WDW. To be fair, the last week in August is usually a good time to grab hotels at Walt Disney World, because kids are either back in school already or getting ready to go back. Disney’s decision to open its most anticipated new release in decades on that particular week was no accident.
But I was curious to see how the rest of summer was shaping up, so I decided to check some other dates. For example — I looked at the week after the 4th of July (July 7-13) and was stunned when I saw All Star Movies at $132 a night, and a 1 bedroom villa at Old Key West for $355! Even a deluxe studio at Animal Kingdom Lodge Villas was going for $281 a night — which is about $120 a night off rack-rate. It should be noted that these prices were accurate at the time I wrote this, and of course things change, so keep that in mind if you start hunting.
Now, by contrast, go after September 1st and every one of those discounts disappears. I mean literally — there’s pretty much nothing other than rack-rate rooms. Every date I checked from Sept 1st thru the end of the year was showing a full rack-rate price at every resort. What’s telling about this is that the Sun & Fun offer* is scheduled to run through the end of September, but it appears that Disney pulled the pricing for September once Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge was announced. It is theoretically possible that this particular offer was sold out before then (I wasn’t checking at that point), but since there is literally NO availability with that offer at all at any resort on property in September, I highly doubt it. That’s not to say that another offer won’t be announced, but my gut tells me that’s it for discounts in 2019. If Galaxy’s Edge brings in the crowds Disney is expecting, it may be the end of discounts for the foreseeable future. Disney doesn’t offer discounts to be nice — they do it because they have to, and they’d love nothing more than to not have to.
This is all by way of saying that there are real opportunities to visit the Walt Disney World Resort in the summer. I know, it’s hot — but if that ends up being the only time you can go, and price is a major consideration, I don’t know when you’ll see prices like this again.
*Links for the Sun & Fun offer direct to Dreams Unlimited Travel, official sponsor of The DIS.