If there’s one thing that Disney World and the surrounding area isn’t lacking, it’s the amount of hotel and resort options available to travelers of all budgets.
In this guide, I’ll show you how to book Disney World hotels with loyalty and credit card points as well as give you some examples of the best hotels on and off-property that will give you the best bang for your bucks.
So with that being said, here’s a quick rundown on how you can easily pay for hotels and resorts near Disney World using only your point balance.
There are literally thousands of hotel options in the Orlando area.
But to keep things simple, we’ll just focus strictly on hotels that are on-property as well as within a couple miles.
Hotel Loyalty Programs with Properties in the Disney World Area
There are five major hotel loyalty programs that have properties in or near Disney World. Here are all the properties that are part of each loyalty program:
- Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress
- DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Orlando
- Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace
- Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista
- Waldorf Astoria Orlando
- Signia by Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek
- Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel
- Walt Disney World Swan Hotel
- Walt Disney World Swan Reserve
- JW Marriott Bonnet Creek
- Wyndham Garden Lake Buena Vista
- Wyndham Lake Buena Vista
- Wyndham Garden Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek
- Holiday Inn Orlando
How to Book Hotels in Orlando/Disney with Points
In order to book a hotel on or near Disney World property by using only points, you must first be a part of a hotel loyalty program (like the ones mentioned above).
Once you sign up for a free account, you can then start earning points.
You can earn points by staying at a hotel or by using a cobranded hotel credit card.
Using a credit card is the fastest way to earn points especially if you don’t stay in hotels often.
Here are the cobranded hotel credit cards available that will help you earn points quickly:
- Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant by American Express
- Marriott Bonvoy Boundless by Chase
- Marriott Bonvoy Bold by Chase
- Hilton Honors Card by American Express
- Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card
- Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card
- World of Hyatt Credit Card by Chase
- IHG Rewards Club Premier by Chase
- IHG Rewards Club Traveler by Chase
- Radisson Rewards Visa Card by US Bank
Also, here are the credit cards that you can apply for or use to earn points which can then be transferred to one of the five hotel programs.
- Chase Sapphire Preferred
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- American Express Gold Card
- American Express Platinum Card
- Capital One VentureOne
- Capital One Venture Rewards
- Capital One Venture X
Personally, I use the non-hotel branded cards like the American Express Platinum or Chase Sapphire Preferred because it gives you the ability to transfer your points to number travel and hotel partners.
By using a cobranded card, you are essentially stuck with that particular hotels loyalty points.
I also use the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire card because it gives you automatic Hilton Diamond which is their top tier membership, but I never use this card for everyday purchases as I do with the Platinum or Sapphire cards.
Walt Disney World Resorts
If you truly want an almost authentic Disney-owned resort type of stay, then the Walt Disney World Swan, Dolphin, and Swan Reserve are your best bets.
These category 6 Marriott-owned resorts are located right outside of Epcot’s World Showcase and have access to Disney World transportation including boats and buses.
In order to pay for these resorts using points, you must be part of Marriott Bonvoy.
Here are the average points per night you should expect to pay:
- Walt Disney World Swan = 50,000 points per night
- Walt Disney World Swan Reserve = 50,000 points per night
- Walt Disney World Dolphin = 50,000 points per night
One thing I’ve noticed about these three properties is that since they are all category 6, they cost the same amount of points. However, when you look at the nightly rate (I used October 11-12 as an example), the Dolphin costs $317, the Swan Reserve costs $352, and the Swan cost $396.
On paper, the best bang for your buck would be to stay at the Swan using your points since it’s the most expensive property.
But in all honesty, I recommend that you look at each hotels rooms, amenities, and even dining locations, before you make your decision.
Personally, even though the Swan Reserve is brand new with beautiful rooms, the location of the Swan and Dolphin is a little better.
There are also a few hotels located right on Disney World property in two separate areas, Bonnet Creek and Golden Oak.
Bonnet Creek is located in between Disney Springs and Hollywood Studios and is home to five resorts.
- JW Marriott Bonnet Creek = 50,000 points per night
- Waldorf Astoria Orlando = 80,000 points per night
- Signia by Hilton Bonnet Creek = 120,000 points per night
- Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek = 30,000 points per night
- Club Wyndham Bonnet Creek = 30,000 points per night
Located inside of Disney’s Golden Oak you’ll find the Four Seasons Orlando. Unfortunately this hotel is not part of any loyalty program, but you can book it using your American Express membership points.
On average, you can expect to pay $1,000 a night or 100,000+ AMEX points a night which is just an awful value.
That’s why I normally don’t recommend that you go this route unless the conversion works out in your favor.
Disney Spring Resorts
One perk of staying at a Disney Springs resort (as well as the other on-property hotels mentioned above) is that you can take advantage of a 30 minute early entry into Disney World theme parks as well as an earlier booking window for Lightning Lanes.
Here are all the hotels located in Disney Springs that can be booked using hotel loyalty reward points:
- Holiday Inn Orlando = 12,000 points per night plus cash for the resort fee.
- Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace = 50,000 points per night
- Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista = 50,000 points per night
- DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Orlando = 44,000 points per night
- Wyndham Garden Lake Buena Vista = 15,000 points per night
- Wyndham Lake Buena Vista = 30,000 points per night
Located a mere 2 minutes outside of Disney World’s main gates are two other mega resorts that I believe are worth staying at using points.
I also included two budget-friendly options – Country Inn & Suites which is about a 4 minute drive from Disney Springs, and Best Western Orlando Theme Parks which is right across the street from Sea World (I only included this for those who are loyal to Best Western).
World of Hyatt
- Hyatt Grand Cypress Orlando = 12,000 points per night
- Orlando World Center Marriott = 40,000 points per night
- Country Inn & Suites Orlando Lake Buena Vista = 30,000 points per night
Best Western Rewards
- Best Western Orlando Theme Parks = 8,000 points per night
How to Book Hotels in Disney World Using Credit Card Travel Portals
Using credit card points directly to book hotel rooms at Disney World is by far one of the worse ways to use your points mainly because you are not getting the most bang for your buck. This is normally the case, 99% of the time.
Let’s use the Waldorf Astoria Orlando on October 11-12 as an example.
On American Express travel, one night in a Deluxe Room with 1 King Bed will costs 87,717 American Express Membership points.
That same room only costs 80,000 points for one night via Hilton Honors.
However, if you happen to be using an American Express Gold or Platinum Card and have accrued membership points, you can transfer your points to your Hilton Honors account at a 1:2 ratio.
This means that you will only need 40,000 AMEX points to transfer to Hilton which will then convert to 80,000 Hilton Honors points.
You could literally get two nights for the price of one just by transferring your points.
But sometimes, using a credit card travel portal via Chase, Capital One, or American Express might actually be the better deal.
These portals include:
In order to book through one of these portals, you must first own one of the respective travel credit cards.
Once you’ve accumulated points through spending or signup bonus, you can then search for a hotel as you would on a normal travel website like Expedia or Booking.com
But instead of paying with a credit card, you can redeem your points for your stay.
Just note that you may have to pay cash at some Disney World resorts due to a resort fee which sometimes isn’t included in your point redemption.
Staying at a hotel located inside Walt Disney World on points can reduce your costs while allowing you to use that money on other aspects of your magical vacation.
No matter which loyalty program you use, you’ll find plenty of great options to redeem your points for hotels and resorts near Disney.
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