One of the best ways to save on a Disney vacation is with Starwood & Marriott points. Now that Marriott owns Starwood, you can transfer points back and forth at a 3:1 rate (Marriott:Starwood). Here are our top 8 ways to use Marriott & Starwood points on a disney vacation.
1) 5 Nights at Courtyard Anaheim Theme Park Entrance
1,304 feet away from Sleeping Beauty’s Castle (we measured). That’s just under a quarter mile as the crow flies from the middle of Disneyland Park. The Courtyard Anaheim Theme Park Entrance is in a prime location just across the street from Disneyland.
PLUS, you get a room with two queen beds, two twin bunk beds, and a water park view on points. These rooms are 532 square feet. That’s literally twice the size of a room at Pop Century. Perfect for a family that needs a little extra space.
The Courtyard Anaheim Theme Park Entrance is 40,000 Marriott points per night (13,333 Starwood). As with all the hotels on this list, you get your 5th night free when using points.
The proximity to Disneyland, gigantic rooms on points, and reasonable cost on points, make this our favorite use of Marriott or Starwood points on a Disney vacation.
2) 5 Nights at Disney’s Dolphin
Stay in “the bubble” on points. For only 10,000 Starwood points (30,000 Marriott), you’ll get a King or 2 Double room right between Epcot and Hollywood Studios. Getting the 5th night free on points is a great to maximize the value.
Plus, when you stay at the Dolphin, you’ll get Extra Magic Hours, the 60-day FastPass+ window, and all the great transportation options around Disney World. The only reason it’s not #1 on our list is the $28 resort fee (plus tax) that isn’t waived on points and no Magical Express from the airport.
3) Fly to Aulani
Starwood partners with almost three dozen airlines. You can transfer your points to most of them at a 1:1 rate. Plus, if you transfer 20,000 Starwood points, they’ll give you a 5,000-point bonus, turning it into 25,000 airline miles. You can find the details on this program HERE.
There are several ways you can fly to Honolulu for your Aulani stay for relatively few points. We’ve highlighted how you can do it from the West Coast on Alaska or American using British Airways points HERE. We’ve also mapped out how you can use Korean Airlines points to fly on Delta to Hawaii HERE. Both of these options are only 25,000 miles roundtrip.
4) Club Level Room at Sheraton Park Hotel at the Anaheim
For only 1,000 additional points per night, you can upgrade to a Club Level room. This means a higher floor, special concierge service, and access to the club lounge. The biggest perks for the club lounge are a free continental breakfast and happy hour hors d’oeuvres.
The Sheraton Park Hotel at the Anaheim Resort is Category 4 Starwood Hotel, which is 10,000 points per night (30,000 Marriott). If you stay for five nights on points, getting your 5th night free, the free night includes the upgrade. So, five nights in a Club Level room is only 44,000 Starwood points.
5) Marriott Cash + Points
Maybe you don’t have enough points for your full stay, but you want to use some of your points to reduce the cost. Marriott Cash + Points is the way to go. You can choose which nights you want to pay with points and which nights you want to pay with cash. The beauty of this program is that you can pay with cash on the cheapest nights and pay with points on the most expensive nights. One more way to save money…
6) Laylow Autograph Collection
Heading to Aulani? The Laylow Autograph Collection is the perfect place to spend a few days seeing Oahu before your Aulani stay begins. It’s in a prime location amongst the best shopping on Waikiki and just a few blocks from the beach.
This brand new hotel is getting great reviews. Plus, for 40,000 Marriott points (13,333 Starwood), you get a 2 King Room with a Balcony.
7) 5 Nights at SpringHill Suites Orlando at Flamingo Crossings
This is the best economical choice for a Disney World vacation. The new SpringHill Suites Orlando at Flaming Crossing hotel is only 20,000 Marriott points. Plus, you can get a 5th night free when you use points, further lowering the cost per night.
Not only is this a new hotel, you get 410 square feet in a 2 Queen with a Sofa Bed room that sleeps five. Add a complimentary breakfast with hot options on top of it, and you’ve got a fantastic option for families.
8) Flights to Orlando & Anaheim
In most cases, using Southwest or JetBlue will be the cheapest ways to fly domestically on points. Unfortunately, Starwood does haven’t either of those as an airline partner.
However, you can transfer points to British Airways and use them to book flights on American. Flights of 1,150 miles or less cost on 7,500 points. More on this strategy HERE. If you transfer miles to Alaska Airlines, you can take flights of up to 1,400 miles for as little as 7,500 points (award chart link). Delta is a final option to consider, but it’s rarely the best.
If you don’t already have a card that earns Marriott or Starwood points OR you need a boost in points, we recommend the Starwood Preferred Guest Card. You’ll get 25,000 Starwood points (75,000 Marriott) after spending $3,000 in the first three months. Plus, applying for the card with this link supports the website which we appreciate.