Stay for Free at Disney
Free and Disney – two words you don’t frequently hear together.
The Swan and Dolphin Hotels are on Walt Disney World property and take points/miles from various programs. I had Avios points on my British Airways account that I was never going to use. For $300 and my Avios miles, I booked 8 nights at the Dolphin Hotel, every other expense included! You can also use Starwood points, a new credit card that my spouse and I just signed up for, and expect to have over 60,000 points for our next trip!
These hotels are located on the lake that connects Hollywood Studios and Epcot. This is my #1 location for staying at WDW! We were able to walk to and from both parks. No waiting for buses!
As a frequent visitor of Disney – I have some insider secrets from these hotels to share:
1. Bottled water is free. They leave you two a day, and you can request more. I did take six of these with me into the parks every day to save money. Saving $15 a day for eight days adds up.
2. They have a room service department called the marketplace. Soda is delivered for $1 a can. At a Walt Disney World hotel! I felt bad so I always ordered the package for $9 that had six cans of soda and two Kit Kat bars. And no delivery fee.
3. Ice cream shoppe on property. Character dinner at the Swan.
4. Full laundry room on property – this is our third trip where we stayed away for over a week and laundry was a necessity. It was just as easy as using my laundry room at home, and we did not smell during the second half of our vacation. Well, at least our clothes did not smell!
5. All the Starbucks coffee you can drink. There is a one cup coffee maker in the room. And a small fridge! I made 2 cups every night and left it in the fridge so I could have my iced coffee ready for myself in the morning. If I needed more, I just called the front desk and they brought it. For free!
And from some of the rooms, you can see the Illuminations fireworks show from EPCOT:
I recently opened a Starwoods American Express account because I had a big charge coming up: my son’s Bar Mitzvah. The bonus for signing up and spending a certain amount within three months was 25,000 miles. That’s two free nights. I put the Bar Mitzvah deposit on the card for the venue and received points for a third free night. I have been using the card ever since and we expect to have a free week for our next trip!
NOTE: This is not a Disney owned property so you do not qualify to use the Disney meal plan or take the free shuttle to and from the airport. All other amenities like magic hours, etc., are your to enjoy!