About the Column

Is it possible to have too many Disney tips? Well, yes, if they're from your crazy uncle Louie, but not if they're straight from the experts, the folks who plan perfect trips for others day-in, day-out: Disney travel agents! Keith Anderson, an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner and co-owner of Mouseketrips, has been doing that for years. He's learned a lot about Disney, especially how to save money on a Disney vacation without skimping on the frills or the thrills. Every week, in Disney Travel Tips from Mouseketrips, Keith will distill new Disney wisdom - just for you! Don't tell Uncle Louie...

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FROM: Disney Travel Tips from Mouseketrips Published Saturdays

Disney Discount Roulette

Sound the trumpets. Free dining at Disney World is back. It's the discount perhaps most eagerly sought by hungry visitors, and it opens vast vistas of victual variety. But the deal has a slight catch. Be aware of it before you book.

In case you happen to be living under a rock this week, Walt Disney World released an extension of the Free Disney Dining discount for many dates during October, 2011 - March, 2012. Free dining is the most anticipated discount of the year, and for many families, it is the best discount available. Free food just tastes better!

The problem is that Disney World released a discount that covers some of the dates, not all. Excluded were the weeks many kids are out of school or holiday weeks - in other words, the only weeks when some people can travel. What are you to do if you can only travel during a week when free dining isn't available?

Consider the following. Disney World just released a discount for Annual Passholders that saves you up to 40% off your Disney World room reservation. This discount is good for all dates between October 3 and December 22, 2011.

A few things to note about this discount:

  • It requires the purchase at least one adult annual pass. These tickets run about $550, so the cost is quite a bit more than a regular adult ticket. These annual passes also are non-refundable. An annual pass is not required to book, but you must have one at check in. Your reservation can be for your room only or for the room and one of the Disney dining plans.
  • If you are traveling this fall during a time when free dining isn't offered, consider booking your reservation with this discount, especially if you are staying at a deluxe resort, but don't purchase your annual pass or anything else quite yet. We are expecting another discount for fall dates that should cover most nights but will not require an annual pass. It is always wise to book the best deal possible, since you can change discounts later on.

While you're waiting for Keith's next Disney tip, why not ask him to plan your next Disney trip? Mouseketrips does nothing but Disney - and they're really good at it! Hook up with them at their website, through Twitter, or on Facebook.