There are certain dates during the year that are “value season” in Walt Disney World.
What does this mean for you? This means that resort prices are less expensive. It also means that some dining options and shows drop in price.
This year, Disney is listing value season at WDW as from Aug 27-Oct 3 2009. My favorite time to go to WDW is during the last week in September and beginning of October. The weather is generally milder and is much more comfortable for exploring the parks. Also, at that time there are two special hard ticketed special events happening, Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and Epcot Food And Wine Festival. Not bad at all.
Travel agencies can assist in finding package deals. I like to search and book on my own. I find that it is useful to start checking sites like Travelocity and Expedia about 7 weeks before your travel dates. It is also economical to book hotel and flight together. For the Dolphin Resort, the price dropped signifcantly 7 weeks out. The deal I got through Travelocity works out to less than $100 a night at the Dolphin. (Remember, that includes Extra Magic Hours at the parks and free transportation!) That’s the price of a value (or cheap) resort on Disney property. Lesson being, do some research! Watch for those rates to drop. If you check daily, you will see the rates fluctuate between $5 to $150.
Disney is again offering their Free Dining Plan this year. If you purchase one of their 5 night/5 day Magic Your Way packages which includes room and theme park tickets, you get a free dining plan. Basically you pay a flat per-person fee for dining each day. Details can be found at the link above.
Dinner theater shows like Spirit of Aloha at the Polynesian, are about $15 less during value season. Also many restaurants on property cut their prices about 20% during this time. Another option for saving money on food is to buy an annual pass. Annual passholders can purchase a Tables In Wonderland Card. For Florida residents it is $100. Annual passholders can purchase one for $75. One of the benefits is 20% discount on all food and beverages at participating Resort hotel and Disney Theme Park restaurants. That includes alcohol!
Try out WDW during value season. The lines are shorter, the weather is better, food is cheaper and you can spend money saved on yourself!