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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.
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!
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
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.
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.
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)
Marriott has other Good Neighbor locations close to Walt Disney World, so you could also consider:
- TownePlace Suites Orlando at Flamingo Crossings / Western Entrance
- SpringHill Suites Orlando Lake Buena Vista in Marriott Village
- Courtyard Orlando Lake Buena Vista in the Marriott Village
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.
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:
- Residence Inn Anaheim Placentia / Fullerton
- Fullerton Marriott at California State University
- Courtyard Anaheim Buena Park
Using the Chase Hyatt Free Night for Free Hotels at Disney
Link: The Hyatt Credit Card
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.
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.
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
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:
- Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace Disney Springs Area ($25 nightly resort fee)
- Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista – Disney Springs Area ($24 nightly resort fee)
- DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Orlando – Disney Springs Area (No resort fee)
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.
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:
- Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek
- Embassy Suites by Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista Resort
- Hilton Garden Inn Lake Buena Vista / Orlando
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.
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:
- DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Hotel Anaheim Resort – Convention Center
- Embassy Suites by Hilton Anaheim South
- Homewood Suites by Hilton Anaheim-Main Gate Area
Using the Chase IHG Free Night for Free Hotels at Disney
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
- Holiday Inn Orlando Suites – Waterpark (~$28 nightly resort fee)
- Holiday Inn Orlando – Disney Springs Area
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.
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:
- Staybridge Suites Lake Buena Vista
- Holiday Inn Club Vacations At Orange Lake Resort
- Holiday Inn Orlando SW – Celebration Area
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:
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?