Get Free Nights at Disney With Your Hotel Card

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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 stays at Walt Disney World and Disneyland using free nights from hotel credit cards.

Ken and Emily:   There are a few ways to save on hotels at Disneyland and Walt Disney World, like booking with points or using Citi’s 4th night free.  But what about getting a truly free night?

There are hotel credit cards that offer a free hotel night each year, and some of them can be used for free nights near Disney parks!

Disney World Hotel Discounts 2017

Free Nights Are a Great Way to Get More Time at Your Favorite Disney Parks

We’ll show you cards that earn annual free nights you can use at Disney destinations!

Use Chase Marriott Free Night for Free Hotels at Disney

Link:   Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card

Link:   Marriott Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card

The Chase Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card has an $85 annual fee, and the business version has a $99 annual fee.  Both cards earn a free night in a Category 1 to 5 hotel each year on your account anniversary.

Marriott’s Category 1 to 5 locations can be limited, but there are a few good options near Disneyland and Walt Disney World!

1.   Using the Chase Marriott Free Night at Walt Disney World

One good option for your Marriott free night at Walt Disney World is the SpringHill Suites at Flamingo Crossings / Western Entrance, a Category 4 Marriott hotel just off Walt Disney World property.  It’s conveniently located, with paid nights for the rest of your trip starting at ~$84.

Disney World Hotel Discounts 2017

The SpringHill Suites at Flamingo Crossings Has an On-Site Disney Planning Center

The hotel is a Walt Disney World “Good Neighbor” Hotel, which is a Disney stamp of approval meaning the hotel meets certain standards.  The hotel offers:

  • Complimentary parking
  • Complimentary hot breakfast
  • On-site Disney Planning Center® (staffed by Disney employees)
  • Shuttle to Disney parks (~$5 per person, round-trip)

Many TripAdvisor reviewers especially love the location.  However, the shuttle comes with a $5 per-person, round-trip fee, so you may want to consider another option, like Uber or driving yourself.

Marriott has other Good Neighbor locations close to Walt Disney World, so you could also consider:

2.   Using the Chase Marriott Free Night at Disneyland

The best Marriott hotels near Disneyland – the Anaheim Marriott and the Courtyard Anaheim Theme Park Entrance – are NOT bookable with the annual free night, which is limited to Categories 1 to 5.  To use your free night for a Disneyland stay, you’ll have to look a bit farther from property.

Disney World Hotel Discounts 2017

The Courtyard Cypress Is Just a Quick Drive From the Disneyland Parks

One of the best options is the Courtyard Cypress Anaheim / Orange County, where paid nights start at ~$219.  While it isn’t within walking distance to Disneyland, many TripAdvisor reviewers were glowing in their reviews and noted especially the quick drive to the parks.

Other options to consider, especially if you don’t mind a little big longer of a drive, include:

Using the Chase Hyatt Free Night for Free Hotels at Disney

Link:   The Hyatt Credit Card

The Chase Hyatt card has a $75 annual fee, and it earns a free night in a Category 1 to 4 hotel each year on your account anniversary.

1.   Using the Chase Hyatt Free Night at Walt Disney World

The Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress is a Category 4 Hyatt resort located less than a mile from Walt Disney World!  Paid nights start at ~$200 (including a $30 resort fee).  The Grand Cypress gets great reviews for its impressive pools.

Disney World Hotel Discounts 2017

Guests Love the Pools at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress

The resort also offers a free shuttle to Walt Disney World parks. 

Or consider the Hyatt Place Orlando / Lake Buena Vista, a Category 3 hotel located near the Grand Cypress.  You’ll get free breakfast and a free shuttle to Disney parks!  Reviewers like its stylish rooms and proximity to Disney Springs.

Hyatt offers other Category 1-4 options that are a bit farther from Disney property, including:

2.   Using the Chase Hyatt Free Night at Disneyland

The Hyatt House at Anaheim Resort and Hyatt Place at Anaheim Resort are both Category 3 Hyatt hotels located within a mile of Disneyland.  While the Hyatt Place tends to have a lower room rate (starting at ~$139 compared to ~$159 for the Hyatt House), all the rooms at the Hyatt House come equipped with a microwave and mini-fridge, making them great for families trying to save on the cost of food.

Disney World Hotel Discounts 2017

The Hyatt Place at Anaheim Is a Great Option for a Free Stay Near Disneyland

The Hyatt Place, however, offers a 24/7 store, so if you’re more the type to grab food on the go, that option might be better for you.  TripAdvisor ranks them comparably (#7 and #8) among Anaheim hotels.

If you’re willing to stay farther from the Disneyland parks, you could also consider:

Using the Citi Hilton Reserve Free Night for Free Hotels at Disney

Link:   Citi® Hilton Honors™ Reserve Card

The Citi Hilton Reserve’s “free night” program differs from the others we’ve mentioned in 3 big ways:

  • You only earn the free night if you spend $10,000 in your membership year
  • You can use the free night at any Hilton hotel (with a few exclusions)
  • Hilton free night certificates can only be used on weekend days (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights)

To earn another free night on your first anniversary, consider the Hilton Honors™ Surpass® Card from American Express.  That card has an annual fee of $75, but you’ll receive a Hilton free weekend night on your first anniversary, without any minimum spending requirement.

1.   Using Hilton Free Nights at Walt Disney World

Hilton offers 3 Official Walt Disney World resorts:

All 3 of those resorts are located within walking distance of Disney Springs, and all offer free shuttle service to the Disney parks.  The Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace has a lazy river, but the Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Visa is preferred by TripAdvisor users.  Unfortunately, these 2 options both come with resort fees, noted above.

The DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Orlando – Disney Springs Area is a resort-fee-free option, with nightly rates starting at ~$125.

Disney World Hotel Discounts 2017

The DoubleTree Suites Is Located on Disney Property Right Near Disney Springs

The all-suites arrangement may make it more suitable for your family, but reviewers highlight some concerns about shuttle reliability.  If you’re willing to pay to Uber or drive, though, this will be of less concern.

Finally, the Homewood Suites Lake Buena Vista is a Good Neighbor hotel just 1 mile from Walt Disney World and offers a free, scheduled shuttle to Disney parks.   Nightly rates start at ~$89, and for that you’ll have a microwave, stove, and refrigerator, making this the perfect place to stay to save money on dining!

Hilton has even more properties near Disney property, including:

2.   Using Hilton Free Nights at Disneyland

Hilton has 2 hotels within walking distance of the Disneyland parks, the Hilton Anaheim and the Homewood Suites by Hilton Anaheim Resort – Convention Center.

Disney World Hotel Discounts 2017

The Hilton Anaheim Is Within Walking Distance of Disneyland

The Homewood Suites Anaheim, which starts at ~$139 per night, is closer to Disneyland and much more highly regarded by TripAdvisor reviewers, where it is the number 1 ranked hotel in Anaheim.  It comes with complimentary daily breakfast and an in-room microwave and mini-fridge.

If you don’t mind driving to the parks, you should also consider:

Using the Chase IHG Free Night for Free Hotels at Disney

Link:   Chase IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card

The Chase IHG has a $49 annual fee (waived the first year) and earns you an annual free night at any IHG hotel.

1.   Using the Chase IHG Free Night at Walt Disney World

IHG offers a large selection of hotels near Walt Disney World and Disneyland.  At Walt Disney World, there are 2 especially notable options:

The Holiday Inn Orlando Suites – Waterpark is a unique, all-suites hotel featuring a pool area that resembles a small waterpark.  While the hotel offers many other activities, like laser tag and an arcade, these are not included in the ~$28 nightly resort fee.  Nightly rates start at ~$149, including the resort fee.

Disney World Hotel Discounts 2017

The Holiday Inn Waterpark Is a Unique Option Near Walt Disney World, but it Comes With a ~$28 Nightly Resort Fee

TripAdvisor users greatly prefer the Holiday Inn Orlando-Disney Springs area, with rates starting at ~$90 (no resort fee).  That hotel is just a short walk from Disney Springs.  One reviewer, who previously had only stayed on Disney property, noted the reliability of the shuttle and the convenience of getting to Disney Springs.

IHG has a few other hotels near Walt Disney World, like:

2.   Using the Chase IHG Free Night at Disneyland

At Disneyland, IHG offers 2 good options, both without resort fees:

These hotels are ranked similarly at TripAdvisor, and both start at ~$117 per night.  The primary difference between them is location.  Both are walking distance to the parks, but the Holiday Inn Anaheim is closer to the Disneyland parks entrance, while the Holiday Inn and Suites Anaheim is closer to Downtown Disney.

There are more good options near Disneyland worth considering, like:

Bottom Line

If you’ve got a card that earns a free annual night, you won’t have to look far to use them for free nights at Disney!

If you and a partner both have the card, you could even book back-to-back free nights for even more free Disney!

A Disney trip can get pricey quick, so getting even one free night at a hotel can be a big deal.

Which hotels near Disney parks are your favorites for using free nights?

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4 responses to “Get Free Nights at Disney With Your Hotel Card

  1. I am considering using Hilton points for an upcoming Disney trip at one of the Hilton hotels you mentioned. However, I keep reading a lot about how the Disney packages are also a good money saver. My question is – can any of these packages be purchased without the hotel component and still save money? (I.e. Park admission and meals package only without hotel?). Also some of the shuttles’ earliest travel times are 9:30am which could be late for those wanting an early start to beat the lines. Anyone have thoughts on this for a first timer please? Thanks!

    • Mouse Hacking

      First, a 9:30 earliest shuttle would be a bit concerning, especially for anything earlier than a 10AM open. You’d miss the chance a few short lines, but with Fastpass+ you should still be able to get the major things in, plus you could consider uber (probably $10-$15) if you really wanted to make rope drop.

      The packages can’t be booked without a Disney resort, so my suggestion is pretty simply to put together a spreadsheet and get to work comparing your options. But, to go on a bit…

      To save in combination with a non-Disney resort, discounted tickets can be found at undercovertourist.com.

      The biggest package “saver” is usually the free dining package. People are a big fan of this one, but the math is more complicated than it seems. “Free” dining means paying full price for a WDW room and for your tickets. Since you can save on both of those if you don’t book a package, free dining isn’t always a great offer.

      Regarding packages where you pay for the dining plan, while some Disney fans swear by it, we’ve found it’s more hassle than it’s worth. You really need to work to actually maximize the value of the dining plan (thought it can be done), and for many the restrictions just aren’t worth it. Literally 2/3 of the time I’ve waited in line for food at WDW the past year, someone in front of me has needed the cast member to explain their dining plan options.

      My suggestion would be to make deciding on the dining plan a level 2 decision. IF you decide you’re going to do a Disney resort, THEN it might be time to think a little more about the dining plan.

      • Thanks! Another question (i think i know the answer) – can you redeem points for the hotel portion of a package? I.E. use Marriott/SPG points for the Dolphin or Swan and then pay for the rest of the food and admission?

  2. Very misleading headline. Not free nights at Disney. Free night NEAR Disney.