Does the UK get better resort deals?
I'm not sure if this has been discussed before but I just came across free dining on the Disney UK website and was wondering if our friends "across the pond" get better deals sooner that we do in the USA and can this be a predictor of future deals for us.
Disney Quick (Counter) Service Dining Plan: £24.99 per adult, £9.99 per child, per day
2 Quick (Counter) Service meals, 1 Snack and a Refillable Resort Mug per Guest, per day.
Book now and enjoy FREE dining worth £999.60!†
I think they give better deals sometimes to make it more worthwhile for them to visit. Airfare cost is so much more than for domestic travelers.
I don't think the deals are necessarily "better," but they are "different" from the US offers. Since flights from overseas cost more, the offers seem geared for longer stays.
Things I've noticed about UK/Europe offers: Tickets can be up to 21 days as opposed to our 10 day max. Free dining is usually limited to QS even if staying at OKW or Saratoga Springs. These seem to be the 2 non-value resorts often linked to many UK offers. Unlike US offers which change frequently, UK offers are typically announced during the year before and are for most(?) of the year.
The prices quoted for the CS plan convert to about $40/$16 so a little more than US prices.
Some UK offers do look a lot better. Unfortunatley they are often not open to anyone outside the UK :(
Wish they were! I mean airfare is just as expensive for us other europeans.
Guess there are more UK visitors making it worthwhile to offer them special deals?:confused3
Oh well, at least got the room discount. I mean: a discount is a discount is better than full price, right?;)
I think that some of the deals these residents get offered are quite a bit better than those on the US website. There was a similar deal about a month back which not only included free QS dining, cheaper tickets and a free giftcard, but it also included huge discounts on OKW and SSR (approx 35%)
I also plan on staying longer than a week, I'm paying way higher airfares than Europeans, and I was suitably frustrated when I couldn't get access to this deal.
I ended up renting DVC points in the end for my stay later this year and I am very happy with the price I paid. But it's still frustrating to those of us below the equator, just how often we get forgotten about.
OK, here goes.
Last year (2012) when we booked for our Jan 2013 deal, this is what we got:
About 25% off the then current UK standard price, Free dining (QSDP for a Moderate stay, DDP for Delux resort, NO dining plan for Value Resorts)
A $200 gift card
The UK tickets for 7, 14 or 21 days unlimited use of all 4 parks, both water parks and DQ. Including park hopping.
A range of discount vouchers you guys in the rest of the world may or may not get. We get Magical Express, but have to take all our luggage with us.
Turned out it when taking into account meals, travel transfers etc, it was about the same or cheaper to stay on site than off-site. Combined with a cash-back site, made it a really good deal.
At the moment, this is roughly the deal we can get:
Standard cost of flights and accomodations (UK air-tax is going up lots too)
Free QSDP for all of 2013 up to November if staying in Moderate or higher (still no free dining for value)
Same park tickets as above
Same discounts as above
£100 gift card.
Seeing as it is a 9 hour flight, anything less than 10 days is not really worth the time.
For me it will be a 5 hour non-stop (will take breaks, so journey will be longer) drive to the airport, ovrnight stay at the airport and a 5 hour drive back home at the end.
Also take into account the dolar has varied from $2 to the £ to less than $1.5 to the £ over the last 6-7 years and that price has varied depending on when Disney has fixed thier exchange rates too.
Last year, they were offering us Brits a great price, this year, not quite so great. Like for like, our 2013 holiday is probably £200 ($300) each cheaper than if we were to book for 2014.
We currently live in the UK, but my DW is from Michigan and I lived over there for about 5 years, so we kinda know the difference in the deals between the UK and US. Plus, my MIL and FIL usually meet us down at WDW for our annual trip and we know how much they pay, so we kinda have a good handle on this topic.
When you factor everything in, the UK do get a slightly better deal than the US guests do, but from Disney's position, UK guests offer better return too because they typically go for 2 full weeks, the flights are much higher (which Disney get cheap and sell at a mark up to UK guests) and they spend a lot more money!
We were at WDW twice last year. Once in Feb '12 and once in July/Aug '12, we also have our Oct '13 trip booked.
Free dining is pretty much year round for the UK. There are very few block out dates for free dining (Easter, Christmas etc) but overall, you can pretty much always get Free dining if you book at the right time through Disney. We have had Free Dining for all of our trips from the UK. It depends on the level of accommodation as to which plan you get. Mods get QSDP and Deluxe get DDP, nothing for the values but that's a fairly recent change.
The UK also get a better option with tickets. We get a 14 day ultimate ticket (which is basically a 14 day hopper, with water parks and Disney Quest) It's around £740 this year for 2 adults and 1 child ($1180). UK guests also get preferred viewing for Wishes and Illuminations, free mini golf, and other random discounts. Last year we got a $150 gift card, this year because we booked early we got $200 but that is now down to $100.
Flights are a key issue. This year our flights were INSANE direct through Disney, so we booked them ourselves with BA. The total cost of our 2013 trip looks like this.
2 weeks at Saratoga Springs (Oct/Nov) with DDP and tickets, $200 gift card for 2 adults and 1 child was £2785 ($4600)
Flights direct with BA (we have premium economy but it would be cheaper for economy) plus car hire £2522 ($4035)
Total Cost £5307 or $8490
Staying for 2 weeks, UK guests spend more on extras than US guests, so it makes sense for Disney to give incentives to get people there from the UK.
Free dining worth 1,000 pounds sterling? That would require a stay of 40 days!
(OK, I saw the symbol- meaning there's a catch to that. Probably involving a family of 4...) Just saying that it's not as great as you think it is at first glance.
And I think Mr. Romance is probably correct in his assumption that the UK/EU guests stay longer than most North American guests, so are offered discounts that acknowledge this.
You are dead wrong, anybody and all within the EU can make use of any offers through WDTC UK. They call it "uk offer" which may seem confusing, but read up on term and conditions and you will find offers are for any and all residing in the EU. So both for resort offers and ticket offers. There is a long list of folks allover the EU having used and still using WDTC UK, incl. many other Dutchies. Been there, done that myself, but booking through WDTC UK is actually more exensive in most situations for my travel plans. Can be done cheaper through WDTC USA with public or pin discounts or by renting DVC points from an owner.
Before booking; be aware of the differences!! Booking UK means you are "stuck". No easily swapping ressies without paying a fee for it, like you can through the USA. A strickter cancellation policy etc. etc. And most importantly; most fall in the trap of comparing discounted UK prices to rack rate USA prices because when UK offers come out, USA tend to not be yet. Prepare same things!!! History will give a good idea of what discounts tend to be available for which time of year. Do the math with that, and you can find many situations where booking through the UK is (much!) more expensive then booking through the USA.
I've had it happen more then plenty times where booking through WDTC USA (so not by renting points) with a PIN for OKW or SSR turns out a lot cheaper than the wellknown socalled 40% off + free dining offer through the UK. All in all there were no more than 2 planned stays where UK was cheaper. This was when looking for a 2-bedroom (sept/oct, turned out cheaper then renting points). And one of the seemingly pretty rare RO discount WDTC UK had rather last minute. Had to cancel a trip for september/oct and rescheduled that booking late oct for december upcoming. For a deluxe it came out a little cheaper than offers and pins through WDTC USA. Other levels; not so, where values where a LOT more expensive through the UK.
Also not all room types can be booked through WDTC UK, where they can be booked through WDTC USA. Same seems to be the case with resort option, some resorts are very difficult to come by or for instance CBR being priced more expensive then POR/POFQ, when talking about same roomtype and no price difference to begin with when looking at the orginal price structure used by WDTC USA.
It very a lot on offers and how one (wants to) travel. Many will find WDTC UK are NOT the most economical option for them, when comparing all options available. Be aware of the become too blinded by "sounds so good"-factor. For some there are great deals to be had, but it hardly all is gold when it glitters.
Having said that; would love to give up the option of 2 WDTC's in favor of lower airfare options and most of all; distance beying drastically decreased and making it feasable to fit into a lot more trips to WDW instead of my upcoming farewell trip. Oh well. Doesn't the neighbours gras always look greener than your own?
Thanks all for letting me know that those deals actually ARE available to me as well. Never hurst to check which one offers the best deal :)
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