You Actually Can Book Many Disney World Resorts With Points

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Ken and his wife Emily write about using points and miles (and saving money) on Disney trips at Mousehacking.com.  So I’ve asked them to share their tips on booking Walt Disney World hotels with Chase Ultimate Rewards points!

Ken and Emily:   If you’re a Disney fan, you know their amazing parks and experiences keep travelers coming back!  Many folks who visit Walt Disney World don’t consider using miles and points to offset the hotel cost of their trip, because most Disney resorts don’t belong to a loyalty program.

More seasoned travelers know they can book the on-site Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin using Starwood points.   But did you know you can book other Disney resorts with flexible points like Chase Ultimate Rewards?

You Actually Can Book Many Disney World Resorts With Points

If You Stay at a Disney Resort, You Can Use Extra Magic Hours to Visit the Parks Before the Crowds!

I’ll show you how to book Walt Disney World resorts with Chase Ultimate Rewards points.

Use the Chase Travel Portal to Book Walt Disney World Resorts

Link:   Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal

Link:   Walt Disney World Resorts

Booking a Disney resort gets you terrific perks beyond the convenience of staying right on Disney property, like early access to parks and FastPass+ reservations.

If you have a card that earns Chase Ultimate Rewards points, you can use your points to book flights, hotels, car rentals, and activities through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal.  And that includes booking some Walt Disney World resorts!

But the value of your points depends on the cards you own.  If you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve, your points are worth 1.5 cents each when you use them to book travel through the portal.

Folks with the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Ink Business Preferred, Chase Ink Plus (no longer available), or Chase Ink Bold (no longer available) get a value of 1.25 cents per point when they book through the portal.

And if you have the Chase Ink Business Cash, Chase Freedom, or Chase Freedom Unlimited, your points are worth 1 cent each unless you combine them with points from one of the cards listed above.

Keep in mind, you can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to your spouse or a member of your household.  This makes it easy for families to combine points for a Disney trip!

How to Search for Walt Disney World Resorts in the Chase Portal

Step 1.   Sign-In to Your Chase Ultimate Rewards Account

You can sign-in to Chase Ultimate Rewards directly or by clicking into it from your Chase.com dashboard.

At the top of the Ultimate Rewards Screen, click “Use Points”.  Then select “Explore & Book Travel” from the drop-down menu.

Go to the “Use Points” Drop-Down Menu and Select “Explore & Book Travel”

Remember to use your Chase card account that gives you the best value per point.  For example, if you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Freedom, you’d want to book travel from your Chase Sapphire Preferred account to get the better rate of 1.25 cents per point.

Here’s a post on how to move your Chase Ultimate Rewards points between accounts.

Step 2.   Search for Resorts in Orlando

Next, click “Hotels,” and enter your travel dates and a city or airport code.  If you’re familiar with Disney, you’ll know that Walt Disney World is technically scattered across Bay Lake, Florida and Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

But because the portal lists some resorts as being in Orlando, being overly specific could hurt your search results.  So it’s best to search using Orlando’s airport code, “MCO”.

Search for Hotels in Orlando by Entering “MCO”, Orlando’s Airport Code

Remember to also include the number of people traveling.

Step 3.   Filter by “Disney”

The search engine will return results across the Orlando area, but you want to narrow them down.

On the left side of the results where you can search by hotel name, input “Disney” and hit enter.

Narrow Down Your Results by Searching for Hotel Names That Include “Disney”

By doing this, you’ll end up with 2 pages of search results instead of 20 or more!

Step 4.   Evaluate Your Options

You’ll notice the shorter list of hotels still includes resorts NOT managed by Disney.  Some resorts, like the Four Seasons Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort, have “Disney” in their name despite not being actually managed by Disney.

The Filtered List Will Still Include Non-Disney Managed Locations, Like the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort

Unfortunately, you won’t be able to filter these out.  You’ll just have to visually scan for Disney-managed hotels.  If you’re completely new to Walt Disney World, check the Walt Disney World Resorts website or Wikipedia for a list of Disney hotels.

Step 5.   Complete the Booking

Once you’ve settled on your resort, click “All Rooms” to see available room rates.

Select “All Rooms” to See Available Rooms and Rates for the Resort You Want

Again, not all room rates will necessarily be available.

Select a Room Rate and Click “Book” to Proceed to the Booking Screen

Once you click “Book,” you’ll be taken to the booking screen, where you’ll be given the option to pay for all or part of the booking with points.  This is especially useful if you don’t have enough points to pay for the entire booking, or if you are more comfortable saving some points and spending some cash.

Use the Slider to Choose How Many Points to Use Toward the Booking

Once you’ve booked, you’ll get an email from Chase that includes your hotel confirmation number.    Be sure to use that number to link your stay to your “My Disney Experience” account at Disneyworld.com.

Which Resorts Can You Book?

Booking Disney resorts through the Chase portal is similar to using other 3rd-party sites, like Priceline or Expedia, in that the portal doesn’t have access to every available Disney resort or room.

You Actually Can Book Many Disney World Resorts With Points

Use Your Chase Ultimate Rewards Points for a Stay at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

There are 32 Walt Disney World resorts in total.  The search example above listed 27 available locations, but your experience will vary depending on your travel dates.  I’ve almost always seen a good variety of options, including budget, moderate, and deluxe resorts.

How Many Points Do These Resorts Cost?

The number of points you’ll pay per night depends on 2 factors:

  • How much Disney is charging for the hotel
  • Which Chase Ultimate Rewards card you’re using

Remember, in the portal, your Chase Ultimate Rewards points are worth 1.5, 1.25, or 1 cent each,  depending on which card you’re using.  Book with the card that gives you the best rate!

Folks With the Chase Sapphire Preferred Get 1.25 Cents per Point Toward Travel

Your search results with show both the cash rate and the points required per night.   Some things to know:

  • The rates that are displayed in the search results are typically the same as Disney’s lowest, pre-tax rate.  If a deal is available on the Walt Disney World website, it is usually reflected in the portal’s prices as well
  • The points required per night do NOT include tax
  • The portal does NOT have access to Disney’s entire inventory of room types.  While a “Standard Room” might be available through the Walt Disney World website, you might find only a more expensive “Club Level” option in the Chase portal
  • The tax rate in the portal may differ from that of the Walt Disney World website or your favorite booking site

The Prices on Disney’s Website Are Typically the Same, or Similar to Those on the Chase Portal

Is This the Best Use of Your Ultimate Rewards Points?

In many cases, you’ll get more value from your Chase Ultimate Rewards points when you transfer them to airline and hotel partners, like United Airlines or Hyatt.

Chase Freedom Bonus Categories

When You Have Certain Cards, You Can Transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards From to Airline and Hotel Partners

If the cash cost of a Disney resort is high, you might spend more points per night compared to making an award booking at off-site hotels.  But for cheaper rates, you’ll could spend fewer points than for a regular award stay.

That said, the best use of miles and points is for travel that’s important to you.  And using Chase Ultimate Rewards points to book Disney resorts gives you the flexibility to pay for all or part of your booking with points.

Transferring Points to Hotel Partners for Non-Disney Award Stays

Link:   Hotel Hustle

You can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Hyatt, IHG, Marriott, and Ritz-Carlton.  Each of these chains has hotels on or very near to Walt Disney World, and most offer free shuttles to the parks.

To find hotels you can book by transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards points, search Hotel Hustle for hotels in Orlando, and select only the hotel chains above (selecting Marriott will also include Ritz-Carlton, because they’re essentially the same frequent-guest program).

Here are examples of hotels you can book with sample prices:

This is by no means a complete list!

Transfer 15,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points to Hyatt for an Award Night at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress

Note:   You might spend fewer points booking some of them through the Chase portal, rather than transferring the points to the hotel chain for an award stay.  Always compare prices before you book!

Flying to Orlando Using Chase Ultimate Rewards Points

Link:   Best Ways to Fly to Orlando With Miles & Points (or Small Money!)

If you’re planning to fly to Orlando, there are plenty of ways to get there using Chase Ultimate Rewards points.

If there’s a seat sale, transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Southwest may be your best bet, especially if you have the Southwest Companion Pass.  That’s because the price of an award ticket is tied to the cash cost of the flight.

Transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards Points to Southwest Could Get You to Orlando for Cheap!

Or if you live in the Midwest or on the East Coast, transferring your points to British Airways for award flights on American Airlines may be a better deal.  That’s because you’ll pay only 7,500 British Airways Avios points one-way for flights less than 1,151 miles.

For example, one-way flights from Chicago to Orlando on American Airlines costs 7,500 British Airways Avios points per person.  That flight usually costs between $100 and $200.

Those same 7,500 points would be worth between $75 and ~$113 if you booked the flight through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal, depending on which card you’re using.

Bottom Line

Most Disney-managed Walt Disney World resorts aren’t part of a loyalty program, except for Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin which you can book using Starwood points.

But you can use Chase Ultimate Rewards points to book Disney-managed resorts, which give you perks such as early park hours and FastPass+ access, through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal.

Your points are worth different amounts, depending on the cards you have.  And you’ll pay fewer points when the cash price of the hotel is lower.  It’s always best to compare prices to award stays at off-site chain hotels.

If staying at an on-site Disney resort is important to you, booking through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal gives you the flexibility to off-set some of your trip cost using points!

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9 responses to “You Actually Can Book Many Disney World Resorts With Points

  1. This is very interesting to read.. thanks for sharing.

    I’ve been a long time thinker that using Hotel Reward Points to stay at a ‘partner’ disney site is a bad idea in that you will not be eligible for the free meal plans; which easily mirror the cost of the hotels. In some instances the food plan is even more expensive then the rooms your getting for free; i.e. Coronado Springs at 190 a night or something close. A 5 night stay would put someone back 950 in hotel costs, yet the meal plan costs 1381 for 4 people…. so to me.. if i can keep my hotel reward points/nights, instead of saving 950 dollars, and in return get free food instead of spending 1381, I’ll take that offer any time. I suppose it matters if you go when free dining is available with room reservations.. just something to keep in mind

    Using Points on Hotels:
    -Points gone
    -1381 in meal plan

    Not using points:
    -950 in hotel costs
    -Free Dining/meal plan

    Just some ‘food’ for thought..

    Very happy to see this post though, i was completely unaware that the Chase Rewards Portal offered ‘DISNEY” hotels! Thanks again!

    • I agree that when there is a free dining plan offer available, one should probably weigh the options keeping that in mind. Great point!

    • Another option that now occurs to me would be to try to book through the Chase portal but then call Disney to see about converting your stay to a package with free dining, if available.

      Disney has refundable rates, and anecdotal evidence around Reddit suggests refundable rates booked through the portal get refunded in points. Obviously there’s some risk involved in this approach, but it’s something I might flag to try in the future.

  2. Can you buy the package deal with park tickets through the portal. Is it available? or best to buy seperately?

    • You would need to buy park tickets separately. Keep in mind, though, that the standard Disney package offers don’t have a price break–they cost the same as if you bought the items separately. There are occasionally deals on packages, though, where a package will be cheaper than buying separately. When there is a specific deal on packages, you won’t be able to get that using this method.

  3. I actually did this using UR points to book a 7 night stay at POR. I found if I type in “Disney’s” in the search instead of “Disney” it will filter results to show only Disney resorts.

    I purchased my tickets from UT, which coded as travel on my CSR.

  4. So if you book through Chase, do you still get 180+10 dining reservations, 60 day fastpass, and magicexpress to and from the airport?

    • As long as you are staying on property, at a Disney owned and operated resort, yes you will still have all the perks that come with staying on-site no matter if you book with points through UR portal. We did this for our stay at the beginning of this month. Once the reservation was loaded into Disney’s system, it’s treated just like any other on-site reservation. All I had to do was call Disney to get their confirmation number because the one provided by Chase on my confirmation email was not recognized by Disney’s system. I called about a day or so after booking and the Disney rep gave me the number and linked my reservation so I could book my fast passes for our trip.