Disney World is an extremely popular destination … but very expensive for families!
Check out these tips for saving money at Disney World on lodging, thanks to loyalty program points!
As parents of two young children (2 and 4), Disney World will be one of our next family vacation destinations.
With this goal in mind, we have set our credit card applications strategy for the year.
The goal is tosave money at Disney World on the major expenses of the trip:
- Hotels or other accommodations(Marriott Bonvoy / Best Western / travel credits for Airbnb)
- Amusementpark passes (AIR MILES)
- Spending at amusement parks(AIR MILES)
- Airfares tickets (AIR MILES / Aeroplan / travel credits)
- Carrentals (AIR MILES / travel points)
In this first article, we’ll show you our plan to save at Disney World on hotel with Marriott Bonvoy points. A future article will show you the hotels available with Best Western Rewards. Same thing for airbnb accommodations accessible with points!
For alternative strategies, we recommend reading our article on the Ultimate Guide to Saving with Points, to go to Disney World for expensive.
Save money on hotel at Disney World with Marriott Bonvoy points
The Orlando area is well stocked with Marriott Bonvoy hotels.
Marriott Bonvoy uses an 8-category rate schedule to distinguish its 7,000+ hotels. As of March 2022, these categories are no longer active, but this chart gives you a range of points required.
For example, it will cost between 5,000 points and 100,000 points to get you a free night at one of the 8,000+ hotels owned by Marriott Bonvoy.
There are Marriott Bonvoy hotels in ALL price ranges.
The points cost of Marriott Bonvoy hotels at Disney World
When looking close to the amusement parks:
- Magic Kingdom
- Animal Kingdom
- Hollywood Studios
… we find that hotels cost between 17,500 and 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night.
The big advantage of the Marriott Bonvoy program is to offer the fifth night when the first 4 nights were paid withpoints, which saves 20% in points!
For example, for a 5-night stay, the cost per night will be between 14,000 and 40,000 points depending on the hotel.
The list of Marriott Bonvoy hotels around Disney World
Here is the full list of Marriott Bonvoy hotels around the main amusement parks and points of interest:
- DisneyWorld / Lake Buena Vista
- Animal Kingdom
- Universal Studios
- Orlando MCO Airport
- Downtown Orlando
The best Marriott Bonvoy hotels at Disney World
For a family looking to save money at Disney World, it will be important to choose your hotel carefully. Some Marriott Bonvoy hotels offer:
- real apartments with a kitchen, a very important aspect with children. This is the case for those brands:
- Residence Inn
- TownePlace Suites
- Free breakfast for all, regardless of Marriott Bonvoy status. This is the case for those brands:
- Residence Inn
- TownePlace Suites
- Fairfield Inn and Suites
- Springhill and Suites
So if you really want to save money at Disney World on hotel and food with the kitchenette AND breakfast, you’ll want to choose a Residence Inn or TownePlace Suites.
In our opinion, the best value hotels around Disney World are these:
The TownePlace Suites Orlando Theme Parks/Lake Buena Vista hotel is conveniently located in Lake Buena Vista, at the gateway to Disney World.
It is also across the street from Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets stores.
When shopping for groceries at nearby Winn-Dixie and Publix supermarkets, don’t forget to use a credit card with no foreign currency conversion fees to save 2.5% on each transaction:
The hotel has “studio rooms with 2 bed queens and kitchen” or suites.
The cost per night is 25,000 Marriott Bonvoy points.
For 5 nights, it will cost you 100,000 points since the fifth night is free at no additional cost.
Our second choice would be the TownePlace Suites Orlando at SeaWorld® hotel which costs the same points, but is on the SeaWorld side.
Another excellent choice is the Fairfield Inn Suites Orlando at Flamingo Crossings Town Center. We tried it during the winter of 2022 and we loved it! Read our review here.
Marriott Hotels WITHIN Disney World
These two hotels are Category 6 and therefore cost 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night.
For 5 nights, it will cost you 200,000 points since the fifth is free! However, a resort fee of 35 USD / night is added to the total.
As official Disney World hotels, you get many advantages by staying at one of these 2 hotels including:
- Extra Magic Hours
- Fast Pass + / My Magic +
- Complimentary transportation to parks
- Free parking within the parks (but not at the hotel)
Our strategy with Marriott Bonvoy credit cards
Now that we have a “points goal”, from 70,000 to 200,000 Marriott Bonvoy points for a 5-night stay at Disney World, let’s set the strategy to earn those points !
In Canada, there are 2 Marriott Bonvoy credit cards:
Application for Bonvoy Cards
But it is of course possible to spread out the application over time, in order to carry the required purchases ($1500) during the first 3 months after application in order to unlock the welcome bonus of 50,000 points.
Within a couple, like Audrey and I, we each applied for the 2 cards (consumer and small business cards), which allows us to each earn:
- 50,000 points for application the Marriott BonvoyMC American ExpressMD Card
- 50,000 points for application for the Marriott BonvoyMC Entreprise American ExpressMD card
- 12,000 points for the minimum purchase of the 2 cards
- That’s 112,000 points per person!
Our couple will have accumulated 224,000 Marriott Bonvoy points by subscribing to the 4 cards, for only $540 in annual fees !
So a stay at Disney World would be fully paid for with points since it only costs between 70,000 and 200,000 points for 5 nights. You might even have points left to offer you other free nights or a longer stay!
Transferring points to a single Marriott Bonvoy account
Now that you’re each at the head of a Marriott Bonvoy points capital, you’ll need to merge them together in one account to book 5 nights (or more) in a row!
Marriott Bonvoy allows all members of its loyalty program to transfer points to another member, free of charge, up to 100,000 points per year by calling 1 801 468 4000.
Lodging near the Disney World / SeaWorld / Universal Studios theme parks is usually expensive! Here, for a few credit card fees and a budget of $120 to $570, you could save a lot of money on your stay at Disney World and Orlando!