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Disney World Hotels New Credit Card Policy Goes Into Effect Today.

Up until now guests staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel did not get holds placed on their credit cards.  But starting February 27, 2019 that is changing with a new credit card policy being applied to guests.

Disney World Hotels Changing Credit Card Policy

(UPDATE: February 27, 2019) The changes for Disney’s new credit card holding policy has now gone into effect today.

When a guest checks in, a $100 hold, plus whatever remaining balance they have on their reservation before checking in, will be placed on their credit card.

Besides that, Room and MagicBand charges will automatically be added to the guest’s credit card on file and additional holds will be put on that card until the balance is paid. Charges on the credit card will not exceed the current balance plus the initial $100.

This is a little different from what we heard 1 month ago when Disney told us that no additional holds would be put on the credit cards above the $100. Basically once you start charging to your room or on your MagicBand you need to have that money in your account because it’s being put on hold immediately.

For example, you arrive and you get the $100 hold on your card right away. Then you go to dinner and spend $200. Now your card is going to have holds for $300 on it. This is significant because it means you will need to have the funds available right away on your card when you charge something to your room and not at check-out.

Of course you can still pay off your room charges immediately if you want to. We’re looking into this situation and will continue to update you with more information…


(UPDATE: January 15, 2019)  Speaking with Disney they told me that the hold on a guest’s credit card won’t be more than $100.  Initially when the report came out it was understood that the total amount of money that Disney would place as a hold on a guest’s credit card was the current balance + $100.  So if you had a balance of $500, then it would be $500 + $100 = $600.

However having talked with Disney they told me that’s not the case and the max hold will be $100, which again will come off your card once you check out of the hotel and your balance of the room charges are paid.

I don’t know why there were conflicting reports and I hope this is indeed the case.  It seems more logical, but we won’t know for sure until guests start checking in imo.

They also did confirm to me that you can continue to use other forms of payment rather than credit cards to pay for your room bill (ex. gift cards), however once again they re-confirmed that if you don’t have a credit card on file for the room, you can’t make charges on your MagicBand.  They were pretty firm about that.

(Original Article). In order to cover possible damages incurred by guests, “incremental authorization holds on the card for estimated incidental expenses, in addition to any balance due on the reservation.”

However guests will still have the option to not give a credit card to keep on file for the room, but if they don’t they will be unable to charge to the room or use their MagicBands to charge.

Disney’s new policy is going to place $100 dollar holds more than what the charges accrued already on the guests’ room charges.  That means if you are just checking in you will have a $100 hold on your card.  If you spend $500 on your MagicBand for example, the total hold on your card will be $100.  Of course that initial $100 will come off your credit card as long as you don’t accrue any damages or incidentals.

Hotels putting credit cards on hold is not anything new and is quite common practice outside Walt Disney World.  I’m a bit surprised they haven’t made this switch even earlier.

Disney World Hotels Changing Credit Card Policy

I’m not sure how many people will be affected that much by this change.  The only thing I can think of is I have met a few guests who don’t use credit cards (don’t even own them) and pay everything in cash.  With this new policy they won’t be able to use their MagicBands without having a credit card on file.  I’m not sure it makes much difference to them honestly, but it might slightly as now they will have to always carry cash around instead of maybe leaving it in the room in the safe.

Really though I’d be curious to know what percentage do this and a lot are on the Disney Dining Plan which means they’ve already paid for food anyways.

Please let me know if you will be affected by this change in the comments below.

We’ll keep you updated as soon as we have more info…

Your Thoughts:

I want to know what you think about Disney World changing the credit card policy for hotel rooms…

  • Does this change affect you in any way?
  • Is it fair Disney puts holds on the cards?

Let us know in the comments section below!

If you enjoyed this article, as always I appreciate it if you’d share it with others via social media.  I work hard at making this website into a useful resource for you and your family to plan your visit to the Disney Parks and I hope it can help you! Thanks 🙂

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Jodi Kelly

Thursday 16th of May 2019

We just got back last week from a quick 2 night trip. We stayed in 2 different resorts. We ended up with $450 more in holds than was spent! IN 2 NIGHTS! Which is ridiculous! It took about 4 days after returning to see that drop off from my credit card. We are heading back for a weeks stay in june and I am thinking of not adding room charging because I do not want to lose access to my money like that because of holds!

Ziggy

Friday 24th of May 2019

Hi Jodi, thanks for sharing your story. Thats really crazy and I still can't believe some of the horror stories that people are dealing with because of this new CC change. I don't blame you for feeling that way. Let's hope Disney understands this eventually because it's insane

Sarah

Tuesday 14th of May 2019

I have my reply back from Disney!

"The hold for the incidental is per night of your visit and not for each transaction. These holds will then be removed after check out once the funds are collected for any actual charges that you incurred."

I have countered with an explanation of why a 2 week foreign visitor will not find it acceptable having to cough up $1,400 extra, plus the foreign exchange fees both to and from dollars, not even to be used - and possibly getting 28 lots of foreign exchange credit card fees on top....

Ziggy

Thursday 16th of May 2019

thanks for writing us Sarah! Yeah, this is really insane, $100 per night?? That's a ton of money and worse for foreign visitors as you said..

Sarah

Monday 13th of May 2019

This is going to affect foreign travellers - who often stay in Disney hotels - immensely. Not only do we have to pre-load dollars travellers cards (so know how much is going to be charged) but we pay foreign exchange charges and with some cards transaction fees EVERY time they're bouncing new holds on their! Even if it's $100 per day, a usual UK visitor spends 14 days - that's $140 or so in exchange fees and possibly another $100 or so in transaction charges even if you don't spend anything!

I've emailed to enquire and will let you know! Thanks for the info :)

Guest

Thursday 2nd of May 2019

Disney is full of poo. We just left a resort there on property. We were told that there would be a $100 hold (never told about any other holds daily). After a day or two my card kept dropping off my magic band and my card wouldn't work. At 3rd trip to front desk a manager came out to explain it was 100$ per day hold. AND... and here's the kicker...... even if you pay off your bill daily in cash or gift card... the hold still stays on your credit card until you check out of the resort. Even if you get the desk to release the hold, it takes 3-5 business days to call off your Disney Chase credit card. So once they begin this process, you are screwed. There is no way to back out of it even when you pay all that you owe up front in an effort to undo the damage. I intentionally put all out spending budget to our Disney Chase card expecting to spend it through the magic band. This included water park ticket plans. Of course with all these ridiculous holds, much of our spending budget was frozen and thus no water park tickets were purchased. This despite the fact that I came down to the front desk and paid off the room charges every evening. Everytime a disney staff member explained this, it was told to me differently. One staff member even told me that no on that works there understands it so it's hard to explain to the guests. One of the biggest perks of staying on disney property, was the ability to charge to the room using the magic band. "Set it and forget it" Now our trust in disney managing finances is destroyed. I will no longer allow them to attach themselves to my credit card. This means no more ease of shopping and dining with the magic band. This is stupid. As much money as I spent (nearly 10K ) for my family's trip, I expected better treatment. I have no words for how furious I am with them. I'm sure this is not helping their ratings for guest satisfaction.

Ziggy

Saturday 4th of May 2019

Thanks for the comment! I'm really sorry for your terrible experience, and I think Disney really dropped the ball with this whole credit card hold situation. I really hope they realize their mistake and change it up, but I'm afraid they won't unfortunately

Andrew Playle

Friday 19th of April 2019

We've just got back and when we were staying at Bay Lake and Vero Beach on DVC points, we were being hit with a $100 per day hold on our account. I have no issue with Disney if they do a $100 swipe when checking in, but not every day. I had to switch cards half way through our stay as the frozen holds were not being released after a couple of days as we are British and it takes them longer to release funds. So far, it has taken up to 2 weeks to release the funds. This is going to cause problems for overseas visitors who will run up to their credit limit half way through their holiday. We were lucky we noticed the daily hold otherwise we would have lost the use of $2000. I don't think this is impacting American guests who tend to go for shorter breaks than us Brits and as Disney can process the release much quicker, will probably not even notice. I tried pointing this out to WDW but got a standard 'in line with the industry' replies.

Ziggy

Tuesday 23rd of April 2019

Hi Andrew, thanks for the comment and experience! Wow, I was not aware that they are putting $100 hold on your card EVERY DAY!! So it wasn't just the one-time hold but $100 each day?? That is a big problem for sure and guests need to be aware of this...I'm going to look into it more, thanks again!!