Most people think there are only two options for booking a Disney vacation, a room-only booking or a package, but there’s one option you might want to try: A base package. A base package is essentially a room-only reservation, but unlike a room-only reservation, you’ll only pay a $200 deposit when you book. A base package is booked with the assumption that the guest will add tickets and dining later, but it’s not mandatory.
Who does a base package work for?
1. Guests who are booking an expensive room-only reservation. Why pay a $500 deposit when you can pay a more comfortable $200? Even if you have the money on hand, it’s nice to keep it a while longer.
2. Guests who plan on adding dining and tickets in the event that free dining is announced. If you already have a package, its easier to convert it to free dining and add your tickets. If you have a room-only reservation, you’ll need to cancel that and re-book a package, which means you can’t transfer the money from the room-only reservation to the package; you’ll receive a refund for that. With the base package, you won’t need to do all of that, you’ll just change to free dining, add your tickets, and be on your merry way, provided there’s availability.
How does it work?
All the same rules that apply to a regular package apply to a base package as well. You’ll receive a full refund if you cancel 45-days prior to travel. You’ll also have to pay for your trip in full at the 45-day mark. If you cancel after the 45-day mark, you’re out your $200 deposit, nothing more. As noted above, you are not obligated to buy tickets or dining.
One more huge advantage:
If you cancel a room-only reservation within five days of travel, you’ll lose night’s deposit. For a value or a moderate room, that’s probably under $200 depending on the time of the year. But if you’ve booked a deluxe room or villa, you could be out hundreds of dollars; many villas rent for $800 or more a night. A base package means you’ll only lose $200.
One final thing. Make sure you ask for this option if it looks like it will work for you. Disney doesn’t always offer it because it’s fairly uncommon.