Yes, you read that correctly. We went to Walt Disney World at the end of the Summer, 2017 for free!
I have written several articles about getting points from credit cards for the dollars you spent. I have also written about credit cards where you get hotel points.
I put the $10,000 down payment for my son’s Bar Mitzvah party on a new Starwoods credit card. I received 25,000 bonus miles and another 10,000 miles for my first expenditure. The Swan and the Dolphin hotels are the only hotels on WDW property that are not Walt Disney owned, and they take Starwoods points. And FYI, due to recent mergers, Starwoods programs are now combined with the Marriott programs and Ritz Carlton programs.
We had the choice to stay for 10 nights for free at either the Swan or the Dolphin! We had stayed at the Dolphin before and were able to check out The Swan this time. We needed the bigger beds for our teenaged son! And P.S., they give you all the free bottles water, perfect for taking into the parks to save money!
I also pay several thousand dollar a year for my son to go to sleep-away camp for the Summer. He meets great kids, has wonderful activities all week long, and loves the country experience. My spouse and I both ordered new Delta Gold Amex cards, spent the minimum required (we had to pay for camp anyway, why not get a bonus from a credit card for it!) and received a total of 110,000 points. We flew to Orlando for free!
This trip was not 100% free since when you stay at the Swan or Dolphin, you do not get free bus service to and from these hotels. Uber and other rider service are less expensive than a local taxi. And, you still get free bus service to and from the parks, and you can walk to EPCOT and Hollywood Studios from these hotels!
Read my article on how much my son loved the Disney Cruise as a teenager!