Walt Disney World Resort Hotels to Implement New Credit Card Policy Starting in February

Walt Disney World Resorts will implement a new credit card payment policy on February 27, 2019. This new policy will “better align Disney’s practices with standard hotel industry practices,” according to Disney.

Under the new policy, Disney Resort hotels will place incremental authorization holds on your card for estimated incidental expenses, in addition to any balance due on the reservation.

What does this new policy mean?

According to Disney Destinations, on your day of arrival, the Resort hotel will place an authorization hold on your card for any balance due on the  reservation plus $100 for estimated incidental expenses.

If your spending exceeds the original $100 hold, additional incremental holds will be created automatically. The authorization holds on the card will not exceed the current balance due plus $100.

Can I opt-out of the authorization holds?

Yes, you will have the option of not putting a credit card on file. However, you will be unable to charge to your room or MagicBand if you do not put a credit card on file.

I already have a reservation. Will Disney alert me about this new policy?

Yes, you will be notified about the payment card policy during online check-in through your My Disney Experience account, or when you check in at the front desk.

If you have already completed online check-in for stays including or after February 27 you will be sent a letter later this month, which informs you of the new policy.

What do  you think of this new policy? Let us know in the comments below

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Sarah has built a career in communications and marketing that started when she was the editor of her high school newspaper. She has written for AllEars.net since 2018, and enjoys sharing Disney news and updates with the AllEars community. She's been a Disney fan ever since her first visit to Walt Disney World when she was 5, and has been known to arrange trips around visiting a Disney park!

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22 Replies to “Walt Disney World Resort Hotels to Implement New Credit Card Policy Starting in February”

  1. I don’t mind, but to be honest I’d prefer they make it $500 or $1000 at a time. I charge everything to my room and my CC sends me a notification every time a “hold” is put on my card. I’ll be getting anywhere from a few to dozens of notifications per day if it’s set at $100.

    My CC has no limit, it’s kind of a necessity to have notification of charges to catch CC theft and nip it in the bud.

    1. Monty, I am with you. I would much rather they put a hold of $1000 on my card rather than such a small amount. In previous trips there was never a hold but they would process a charge once I went over $1000. I wonder if it would be possible to request a higher hold when checking in?

  2. Cruise ships have done this for years. Hilton Properties regularly hold $50-$75 in the same manner. When we stayed at the DoubleTree in Times Square, they held two nights reservation (about $600). Hertz holds an extra $200 on every reservation and has the right to hold more on debit card transactions. They warn you when you make the reservation. Heck, the gas station across from my parent’s house holds $40 on your card! It happens all the time. If Disney wants to hold $100 on my card, they can have at it. It’s not going to change my travel plans at all.

    1. Amy, the children selling lemonade in their front yard do this. I am (almost) speechless as to how many people are completely unaware of this practice. The first time I can remember this happening on my card was way back in 1987. Thirty two years ago! Of course, the fact that they are unaware is proof that it’s has zero effect on their ability to make purchases.

  3. I have been screaming the loudest about how WDW is becoming an expensive, semi-private park for years and the future of WDW is going to be exclusively for Disney Vacation Club members.

    But, I cannot for the life of me , understand people’s outrage in this new policy. Can anybody please tell me how putting a temporary hold on a measly $100 of your credit limit is in any way an inconvenience? And for those that do not use a credit card for travel and entertainment, exactly what century do you think you are living in? Try walking up to an airline counter and ask to pay for a plane ticket with cash. They will laugh you out of the place.

    This short, seemingly innocuous article, on a virtually meaningless policy change was actually a brilliant way to flush out a lot people with years of pent up rage against the house of mouse. People that love WDW but have finally had their fill of limitless price increases, permanent overcrowding, insane planning requirements, and (most painful of all) the compete and total abandonment of the philosophy of Walt Disney. This is the greatest article ever written in the history of Allears!

    1. Actually, they wouldn’t laugh at the airline counter. Cash is legal tender and has to be accepted. I pay exclusively in cash most places sans a few debit card items here and there. It keeps us extremely well budgeted and I have a ridiculous amount of available credit. I don’t disagree with your sentiment about the authorization though.

      1. You sound like a Dave Ramsey guy. Cash will keep you grounded. It is sooo painful to hand over real money, isn’t it? And the larger the bills you carry, the less you want to spend them. I hope you are teaching your kids that “cash is king” too.

  4. For those that use Disney Gift Cards to pay toward their bill periodically during their stay, will we still be able to pay toward the balance with Disney Gift Cards, or will everything have to be paid with the credit card on file?

    1. Yes, you will be able to pay off your accrued balance every few days or so to prevent it from being charged to your credit card. The hold is just a hold to make sure you have enough credit to pay your bill if you do not pay it off through some other means.

  5. Disney used to be above the standard practices. They are certainly becoming a run of the mill resort. Bob Iger caters to the 1% but it will soon backfire. We are thinking, after years of being passholders, of not renewing and enjoying the rest of Florida

  6. I am glad you can OPT OUT because if you add 100.00 to my debit card I will not be able to stay on property ever again. First I don’t have a credit and second that 100.00 would be for my food during my stay, being passholders for over 20 years it’s getting harder to stay and renew passes as we normally just some for the week-end and few times for a week stay. Disney is pushing out the long time passholders and lower middle class that is a shame, since Disney is my second home and favorite place to go

    1. You do realize that they are not taking ANY money from you? They are simply putting a temporary hold of $100 of your total credit card spending limit to make sure they get paid if you charge any more expenditures on your card. Most hotels have been doing this for years without even telling you. At least WDW is letting you know right up front.

      1. You do realize that funds placed on hold subtract from the available balance on the account? This is particularly painful for those who use their debit card as they don’t have access to the funds sitting in their bank account. The best solution for debit card users or individuals concerned about the hold tying up their available credit is to NOT put the card on file. You will not be able to use your MagicBand for room-charges, so you will only spend your available balance any cash/gift cards on hand. The change in practice is preventing individuals from overspending at their resort and dealing with a declined card upon checkout. Moral of the story: Manage your money; manage your spending; be responsible people.

  7. “New policy more in line with industry practices”. Since when did we want to see a DisneyWorld that is more in line with the industry. What happened to Walt’s original ideas of being different?

    1. I don’t think getting stiffed on a credit card bill was Walt’s idea of being different. Its a necessary business practice today. And will have absolutely no impact on 99% of guests.

  8. Wyndham Bonnet Creek always puts a hold of $150 on a credit card for us. I budget for it and they always put it back. I don’t spend that and always know I will have $150 at the end of the trip to put towards the next one.

  9. You’ve got to wonder what the percentage of CC over limits they have to spur this decision. I was paid in full before I ever got on the plane for our last trip, so I’m not sure this is a policy that I would even notice.

    1. John, I have a relative that used to manage a chain hotel. He said that before they started the same policy almost every day a guest would reach their limit and have their card frozen. Then at checkout they were unable to pay for any extra charges like room service. It was a nightmare for them.

      1. If a $100 hold would shut down my credit card, I’d be haunted by my father telling me it’s a sign that I cannot afford WDW right now!