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If you are looking for creative ways to save money on a Walt Disney World vacation, here is one of my top suggestions. I have used this strategy MANY times and have saved hundreds of dollars!
In a nutshell, it is possible (and pretty easy) to stack two discounts on top of each other for Disney World resort hotel reservations when you book on Orbitz.com.
With both discounts, you can get up to 50% off of the regular prices of Disney World hotel rooms!
First, this applies to what are called “room-only” hotel reservations at Walt Disney World, FL. This trick won’t work with package deals, which typically include a park ticket and dining plan.
Packages have to be booked with a travel agent (I suggest the excellent agents over at Destinations in Florida) or directly with Disney, so no luck grabbing extra savings on those.
However, room-only reservations STILL get you all of the incredible perks of staying at a Disney-owned resort, such as:
- Free transportation to/from the airport on the Disney Magical Express
- Access to Extra Magic Hours
- Free Disney Magic Bands for everyone in your party
- A 60-day FastPass booking window (get my Fast Pass tips in this post)
Plus, you can get all of these perks even if you book your stay through a site such as Orbitz, though it does take a few extra steps.
Stacking Two Discounts for the Best Rate
Why would you book through Orbitz instead of booking with Disney, you say? Well, to save money of course. 😉
Disney World almost always is offering some discount (aka “special offers”) on room-only resort reservations. The discounts range from 15% to 35% off the standard “rack” rate. You can find the current discounts available directly from Disney here.
I suggest reviewing the current Disney discounts before you begin planning a trip.
Note the dates of the current discounts and which resorts have the best discount. But please don’t book these rooms directly with Disney! Let me show you how to save even more.
Orbitz almost always offers a promo code for a percentage off hotel reservations booked on their site. The discounts range from 10 to 20% off – you can find the latest codes here.
These codes frustrate many people because their discounts do not apply to most major hotel chains.
However, these promo codes DO apply to all Disney-owned resorts!
The discount can be used on top of the Disney-released discounts I mentioned above, essentially saving you up to 50% off the price of a Disney resort hotel stay. You can also use Orbitz Rewards currency, called “Orbucks”, to save even more (I’ll explain all about that later).
Booking Orbitz Disney World Hotels
First, head to Orbitz.com and search within Orlando, FL for some possible travel dates.
At the bottom of the search window add the word “Disney” within the search for hotel name.
This will narrow your results down to mostly Disney-owned resorts. For my examples below I’ve priced a five-night stay at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort (a Moderate resort).
P.S. Disney resort hotel prices fluctuate wildly during the course of a year – check out my post of the best times of year to go to Disney World to find the most affordable times to visit!
Once you find a resort that interests you on Orbitz, here is how to check if the price on Orbitz includes a Disney discount.
When you click through to book a room, you’ll see a total for the trip on the page where you enter your payment info. Take a moment to compare the total amount with the rack rates for the resort found on MouseSavers.com.
For the example above, the price per night at Coronado Springs works out to $166/night. When I check on MouseSavers, I see that the rack rate for this time of year is $222/night. So this room definitely includes a Disney discount!
You may also notice in the booking details that these reservations include “Free Cancellation”. What this actually means is that Orbitz won’t charge you anything at all to change or cancel your reservation, however, the cancellation policy of the hotel itself still applies.
Luckily, room-only reservations with Disney have a pretty friendly change/cancellation policy.
You can cancel your reservation up to 5 days before check-in without any penalty at all. If you cancel within 5 days of check-in, you will forfeit one night’s room rate.
How To Use Orbitz Disney World Promo Codes
When you go to checkout and pay for your reservation, you’ll find one (or several) places where you can enter a promo code.
Be sure to enter the code and confirm the savings before you pay.
Note the promo code savings circled above in red. I’ll take an extra $110.80 off, thank you very much!
When you select a room you will also notice that you will earn “Orbitz Rewards” on the booking when you sign up for a free Orbitz Rewards account.
This amount (equal to a 3% back) can be used on any future trip booked on Orbitz.
“Orbucks” (the currency of Orbitz rewards) are wonderful because they are SO easy to earn and use. Your Orbucks are just applied to the next trip you book on Orbitz – no hoop-jumping, code entering, nothing.
While 3% doesn’t seem like much to write home about, I have been able to earn $512.81 in Orbucks in the past few years in a few creative ways!
In summary, the standard rack rate for the five-night stay at Coronado Springs is $1,110. With both discounts (25% off from Disney and 15% off from Orbitz) and Orbitz rewards, the price falls to $695.
It may entail some work to book a Disney hotel on Orbitz, but that discount is worth it, at least to me.
Additional Steps to Get All of Your Disney Perks
As I already mentioned, one compelling reason to stay at a Disney-owned resort is the impressive list of perks.
If you book a room-only reservation with Orbitz as opposed to Disney, you’ll still get all of the perks, though you’ll have to take a few more steps.
In order to link your reservation to the My Disney Experience system, you’ll need a Disney-issued confirmation number for your reservation.
In my experience, you’ll have to wait about 24 hours for the Disney confirmation number to appear in the details of your reservation on Orbitz. It will not be included in the initial email you get from Orbitz.
After 24 hours, check in “My Trips” on the Orbitz site OR click to see the details of your reservation in the email you received from Orbitz right after you booked.
There you should see both the Orbitz itinerary # and a Confirmation number (see red arrow above). This confirmation number is from Disney and can be used to link your reservation to your My Disney Experience account here!
If you have any trouble you can give Orbitz a call at 844-663-2266 and ask for help getting your Disney confirmation number.
Here’s one other quirky thing – when you go to personalize your Magic Bands in your My Disney Experience account (which you need to do 30 days before your arrival), you will have to update the address to which the bands will ship.
You’ll see the address for Orbitz (in Chicago, IL), so just click the Change Address button and update it with your address!
Lastly, if you are flying into Orlando, you’ll want to take advantage of the complimentary transfers on Disney Magical Express.
After you have the flight information for everyone in your party (you’ll just need names, flight numbers, and travel dates), head over to the Magical Express Reservation site to make your reservation.
I’ve had some trouble using the Chrome browser with this form, so I would suggest a different browser. Or you can call 866-599-0951 to make your reservation over the phone. You will receive your luggage tags and info in the mail a few weeks before your trip!
I hope this post helped explain the steps to booking a Disney World room-only reservation with an Orbitz discount. Please leave a comment on this post if you have any questions and I would be glad to help.
Three cheers for saving money at the most magical place on Earth!
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