“When will Walt Disney World release Halloween and Christmas 2022 discounts?” and “Why haven’t any new special offers been published yet?‘ are frequently asked questions by readers. We will attempt to respond based on what we know based on historical bidding data, current resort occupancy trends, other discount options and more.
As with all of these speculative posts, we’ll start by emphasizing the fact that Madame Leota isn’t busy on this blog, which means we don’t have a crystal ball. No one can give you a definitive answer as to when Walt Disney World will be dropping new discounts. The same goes for quite a bit anything that has not been officially announced, released internally or leaked.
If you’re not interested in speculative analysis and just want concrete information when deals are released, you can Subscribe to our free email newsletter for instant notifications. In fact, you might want to do this anyway. We’ve always notified our newsletter subscribers early in the morning on the days that deals go live, which is often a significant head start before Disney makes an official announcement. That can make you gigantic Difference in booking – You have better availability and don’t have to wait in a virtual queue or wait in queue for hours.
With that out of the way, we have good news: What has passed is prologue.
That phrase applies here because Walt Disney World often releases special offers and promotions (ie, discounts) from one year to the next on similar schedules. In fact, Disney releases some discounts on the same day or within a two-week window every year.
The bad news? That hasn’t really been the case in recent years. This trend actually dates back to early 2019 as Walt Disney World prepared for the debut of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Discounts were released earlier and for a wider range of dates than normal due to concerns that consumers would delay travel until this blockbuster country opened.
Most notably, Free Dining ended on January 2nd, which was several months earlier than normal. It was actually released in multiple waves, with holiday season dates added in mid-July of this year. After this chaotic year, discount trends never had a chance to normalize – despite accelerating demand and visitor numbers in early 2020.
Shortly thereafter, the closure and subsequent phased reopening of Walt Disney World threw another wrench into the mix. This disrupted the release of discounts throughout 2020 as cast members were furloughed at the call center (and elsewhere). There was also uncertainty about the types of discounts that might be offered due to the temporary suspension of things like the Disney Dining Plan.
In the first months after the reopening, the number of visitors was small and the demand weak. Again, not particularly surprising given the real circumstances. Visuals and a media fixation on Disney running its theme parks also changed the types of discounts that were released. For example, there was a Southern-only, driving-distance special that had never been offered before—and hasn’t been since.
Then came last year, which essentially flipped the post-reopening script. Beginning in the spring, pent-up demand began to collide with closed resorts to create a massive imbalance between supply and demand. This is finally beginning to be resolved.
Accordingly, with the release of discounts, Walt Disney World is returning to familiar patterns. This makes predicting when subsequent rounds will be released easier – but not foolproof.
One thing that hasn’t quite normalized is the types of discounts that are released and for whom. For example, a room discount was recently released, about when we’d expect it… except it applied to Disney+ subscribers and not annual pass holders, Florida residents, or the general public, as would normally be the case.
Another thing that hasn’t returned is the food-centric specials. With the Disney Dining Plan still on temporary hold, we don’t expect that to change this year. Expect more room-only discounts instead, perhaps with some novelty twists as Disney tries new ways to incentivize resort stays.
In any case, we assume that the next Walt Disney World discounts will be released in mid-July 2022 for travel dates from September 2022 to Christmas 2022.
The most likely release date for these deals is either July 12 or July 19, 2022. While it’s unlikely to happen before then (it hasn’t happened recently), the release date could slip into August 2022 (which is happened before).
As for potential travel dates, the deal will likely run from September 1 to December 24, 2022. That would overlap with existing promotions on the front end, so the launch date could be later in September.
Another possibility is that a same day (or about then) discount will be released for immediate bookings between then and late August or September when bookings are slow. Walt Disney World just dropped an AP deal with similar dates, and a special deal for Florida residents is coming soon, but nothing has been released to the general public. That could happen if gas prices dampen travel in late summer or early fall.
After that, the next round of discounts is expected to be released in late September or early October for travel dates from early January 2023 to April 2023.
The most likely release date is either September 27, 2022 or October 4, 2022. Prior to 2020, discounts for the following winter/spring were released during one of these two weeks for at least 5 consecutive years. (Although only a week apart, these release dates fall in different fiscal years, which is probably significant.)
We do not feel comfortable making any predictions beyond that, as there is little consistent historical precedent to provide guidance. In some years, narrow offers for short-term travel dates were published in the fall. For example, if convention bookings are weak, special fall 2022 deals on the Gran Destino Tower could be released to Disney Visa credit card holders.
Similarly, targeted offers could be posted to entice previous guests or “window shoppers” to leave the fence. We haven’t used them much lately, but unique offer codes or PIN codes could make a comeback.
Then there are the deals that could be released in early 2023.
Some is likely Jan. 3, 2022. Whether that’s a return of free dining, one of the modified dining options, or just another room-only offering is unclear. It will almost certainly depend on whether Disney’s menu has returned by then, supply vs. demand at Walt Disney World, and the general state of the economy. With so many unknowns, speculating on far-flung details is foolish.
Another aspect of uncertainty is resort exclusions. It used to be a given that room types – like 3-bedroom villas and The Little Mermaid rooms – were excluded. Sometimes certain resorts have limited availability. On occasion, Port Orleans’ French Quarter may offer nothing at all.
Several entire resorts have been left out recently. Most likely, Pop Century, Caribbean Beach, Grand Floridian, Beach Club, Wilderness Lodge, and Polynesian offer nothing. The first two are due to the popularity of the Skyliner gondolas; The last four are due to a mix of popularity and renovations that are taking rooms off inventory. Don’t be surprised if some or all of these hotels are excluded from late 2022 or early 2023 discounts.
Ultimately, there’s still a lot to be seen, and the last point touches on how that might affect what discounts are released and when in early 2023. However, it could also apply in the short term. Eligibility for the upcoming fall 2022 discounts is one such question mark; Are these special offers for the general public or for Annual Pass holders, Florida residents and/or Disney+ subscribers?
That remains to be seen and will likely depend on resort occupancy forecasts and whether they will slow down or travel is still booming. There’s a chance this summer will be the “last hurray” for pent-up demand, with a sharp slowdown from fall 2022.
This could be triggered by any combination of the following: declining household savings, higher inflation, rising consumer debt, gas prices destroying demand, and/or a slowdown in the overall economy. If any or all of these things happen, it seems increasingly likely that Walt Disney World will see a corresponding drop in demand — which means higher discounts, more aggressive discounts, and expanded eligibility.
But who knows if any of this will actually happen. I didn’t think “Vengeance Journeys” would run so hot for so long. It will be interesting to see how all this goes actually plays out. The return of international guests in full force could keep Walt Disney World’s strong demand even longer, as could special events and conventions (which are usually big business in the fall). This could also be offset by returning more hotel rooms to the inventory.
No matter how you slice it, there’s a lot of unknowns — and also a lot of ways 2022 differs from 2016-2018, which is largely the historical period we draw on to set the precedent for Walt Disney World’s discount dates. While the past is prologue, it’s also true that history doesn’t always repeat itself—sometimes it just rhymes.
Planning a Walt Disney World trip? Find out more about hotels on our Walt Disney World Hotel Reviews page. Read our Walt Disney World restaurant reviews for places to eat. To save money on tickets or to determine which type you should buy, read our post on tips for saving money on Walt Disney World tickets. Our What to Pack for Disney Trips post takes a unique look at clever things to pack. Our Walt Disney World Ride Guides will help you on what to do and when to do it. For a comprehensive consultation, it is best to start with us Travel Planning Guide for Walt Disney World for everything you need to know!
When do you expect Walt Disney World to release the Fall/Holiday 2022 discounts? What about special offers for winter/spring 2023? Do you think Walt Disney World will bring back the Disney Dining Plan – and Free Dining – by early 2023? Do you expect more/better deals once the pent-up demand has completely evaporated and spending slows? Would bigger discounts make you more likely to book a vacation to Walt Disney World? Do you have questions that we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback – even if you don’t agree with us – is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts in the comments below!