When you book Disney World, you’ll have a choice to make. You will be able to reserve either of the following:
- Room Only reservation – No tickets or dining included.
- Magic Your Way Package – This includes your room and park tickets, plus you can add the Disney Dining Plan.
- Annual Passholder Package – This includes your room and the Disney Dining Plan.
- Room & Disney Dining Plan Only – This is a fairly new option, but it’s not available online. You’ll need to book it through a travel agent or by calling Disney.
Buying a package does not usually give you a bigger discount than buying everything separately. BUT, occasionally they do run discounts for packages, and they’ll even offer free dining as an add-on for certain resorts. Take a look at this great article on wdwprepschool.com called Complete Guide to the Disney Dining Plan (and how to get it for free).
ADVANTAGE OF BOOKING A PACKAGE AT DISNEY WORLD:
⇒ Convenience and Ease.
You’re getting everything all at once. If you book a Dining Plan as well, you’ll have the experience of an all-inclusive stay (except for airfare).
DISADVANTAGES OF BOOKING A PACKAGE AT DISNEY WORLD:
⇒ It can be less expensive to buy your room, tickets and food separately. You may even want to take advantage of renting Disney Vacation Club points from re-sellers to get your room at a radical discount. You can also purchase park tickets at a discount.
⇒ Cancellation and change policies are much more rigid with packages.
Read our page called Disney World Payment, Cancellation and Postponement Polices here. You’ll see that Room only reservations are much less restrictive (see below), and there’s far less chance of losing money. You also have more flexibility to make changes, such as with your airline tickets if discounts become available.
⇒ You must pay off your balance a month before your trip.
With the Room Only you can pay on the day you arrive.
⇒ Buying airfare directly from an airline can be a better choice. If you’re buying your airfare through Disney, they’ll give you a rack rate, but if you go directly thru an airline, you’re more likely to get a better rate. Plus you can call in and get a discount applied when they’re offered. You won’t be able to do that with your Disney airfare.
Also, if you cancel your Disney reservation, you may lose your airfare, however if you bought and cancelled directly from an airline, you’re more likely to have better options.
ADVANTAGES OF BOOKING ROOM ONLY AT DISNEY WORLD:
⇒ Cancellation policies are much less restrictive than packages.
⇒ You’ll get a full refund if you cancel at least 5 days before your arrival date (6 days if you book it online), versus the 31 days in advance required for packages.
⇒ You can pay off your trip on the day you arrive. Other than your deposit, there’s no need to pay in advance.
DISADVANTAGES OF BOOKING ROOM ONLY AT DISNEY WORLD:
⇒ I don’t know of any. If you think of one, please write a comment below.
For more Disney World planning tips, check out this page:
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