Changes to how Disney takes payment? Woah...

metadog

Earning My Ears
Joined
Sep 30, 2009
Hello Disney people! We just got back from WDW and experienced a significant change in how we are able to pay for our trips. We thought we would post our experience and see if anyone else has experienced this, AND... Do you know a better way to do it?

Background info... We are DVC members and Annual Pass holders and we do our best to get down to visit The Mouse one to two times a year. One of the things we have been doing is buying Disney gift cards on a regular basis over the course of the year to spread out our cost. At this point in our Disney trips, most of our dollars spent are on sit-down restaurants. We try not to use gift cards for dining because it is very likely that you may not be able to use the full value of the card... Read the fine print on the back of the card... The restrictions are impressive.

The way we had been doing things, as was Disney's policy (as recent as January 2019), was to go down and take advantage of the $1500 credit line they advanced us, then in the middle of our trip, we would go down to the front desk and throw a stack of gift cards at them. Ultimately, by the time we left, the balance charged to our card on file was quite low. Nice, right? We did that for years...

But then things changed in May 2019 (or so we were told). I guess the old way was losing them some cash.

When we came down on July 19, 2019, we already had a pre-charge on our card of over $100. Then, each purchase we would make would trigger a larger hold on our card. $40 shirt purchase with a magic band would trigger a $200 hold on our card! One hold after another began to clog our card until we ultimately had $1500 blocked on our card even though we had only spent a fraction of that, only a few days into the trip!

Then we applied the gift cards... They did nothing to release the holds on our credit card even though they lowered our balance. Ultimately, we had to detach our our card from our Disney account! This triggered a "checkout" process for that card. It took days for the credit holds on our credit card to start to come off! They were still being released after we were off property. And we were heading to another destination after Disney where we needed the available credit!

We were lucky that we had an "emergency card" with us. If we hadn't, we would have been in BIG trouble!

So, either come down with an empty card (with a few grand available) and let Disney have their way with us for a week and trust that it will all come out in the wash... Eventually... Or what? Thoughts?
 

mrsswat

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 25, 2004
Is it me or is that just ridiculous?? But thanks for the heads up - heading down in 10 days
 

Wishfuiiy

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jan 3, 2019
I definitely heard they had changed their payment system. The first charge is a held $100 to cover up to that amount then one you spend over that $100, they charge another $100 until you meet that amount, etc. etc. It's their way of getting the incidental charges covered like other hotels in the industry that charge $100/n in incidentals but refund once you check out.
 
  • siren0119

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 26, 2018

    mrsswat

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 25, 2004
    I get the 100$ hold part - the part I don't get is the subsequent holds with each purchase, when you don't exceed the first 100$. Unless I'm misunderstanding the post?
     

    Master Fastpasser

    Registered
    Joined
    Jul 29, 2019
    I do believe that Disney disclosed this info in January and then put it into effect in February.

    I personally do not charge back to my room reservation so it doesn't have much of an effect on the way I vacation.
    Instead if I want to charge something I just take out my CC that I carry in my wallet anyways.
     

    Sandiz08

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Oct 15, 2017
    Im very surprised this is how it is now. What if your card does not have large credit availability. We always use an appropriate card, but oh my, for those that don't have that available.
     
  • Bjkandma

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 29, 2019
    Disney's policy changes in February. This trip to avoid the first $100 hold, we are skipping online check in. Supposively, if you do online check in they are processing the first $100 hold before you arrive. (Not sure how this will work for us because I used a credit card to reserve table service dining.)

    When we arrive we will use a combination of cash and Disney gift cards. We have never (10+ trips) not gotten the full value of our gift cards. Even if there was less than a dollar left, we've had the cashier use that gift card first, followed with another or cash.

    Disney does release the extra holds on your card immediately. Unfortunately each banking institutions their own requirements. Most banks take 3 to 10 business days to release a hold. I have a small home town bank that actually releases holds on statement date.
     

    loves to dive

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 21, 2011
    This is one of the reasons we don't charge back to the room. I just carry my CC and any gift cards I have with me and use those. I do on line check in but I also almost always go to the front desk and check in when we get there as our room is rarely ready. I usually call down to the front desk on check out day and say I'm checking out, sometimes they will tell me I have to go to the front desk and sometimes they will tell me have a nice day. I do keep the card I use to check in on file but we just don't use our MBs to charge. I've never had any problems using all of a gift card or had any issues buying prepaid Visa cards and using those.
     

    metadog

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Sep 30, 2009
    I get the 100$ hold part - the part I don't get is the subsequent holds with each purchase, when you don't exceed the first 100$. Unless I'm misunderstanding the post?
    Nope, you read it correctly. There wasn't a specific system that we could ascertain.
     

    MMSM

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jun 16, 2019
    Someone wrote earlier that when you used a gift card to pay for dinner you have to use the whole thing? I was hoping to buy a $500 gift card and use it on food, dinner, etc until the balance ran out. Are you saying it doesn't work like a normal gift card or pre-paid Visa?
     
  • starry_solo

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 19, 2010
    Someone wrote earlier that when you used a gift card to pay for dinner you have to use the whole thing? I was hoping to buy a $500 gift card and use it on food, dinner, etc until the balance ran out. Are you saying it doesn't work like a normal gift card or pre-paid Visa?
    It works like a normal gift card. Just remember when you leave a tip to include it on your copy of the receipt so that you don't spend all the GC the same day before the waiter takes the tip off the GC
     
    Last edited:

    DLgal

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 12, 2013
    Someone wrote earlier that when you used a gift card to pay for dinner you have to use the whole thing? I was hoping to buy a $500 gift card and use it on food, dinner, etc until the balance ran out. Are you saying it doesn't work like a normal gift card or pre-paid Visa?
    That is absolutely not true. Disney gift cards can be applied in any amount at any Disney owned restaurant. It certainly does work like any other type of gift card.
     

    MMSM

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jun 16, 2019
    Thanks so much! That is a relief! And the same applies if I use them to pay for park tickets? I can use a card that will still have a remaining balance?
     

    22Tink

    BC, Canada
    Joined
    Apr 25, 2015
    Someone wrote earlier that when you used a gift card to pay for dinner you have to use the whole thing? I was hoping to buy a $500 gift card and use it on food, dinner, etc until the balance ran out. Are you saying it doesn't work like a normal gift card or pre-paid Visa?
    I always use gift cards. You definitely don’t have to use the whole thing. It works just like normal gift cards!
     

    jbehr12

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 18, 2018
    Hello Disney people! We just got back from WDW and experienced a significant change in how we are able to pay for our trips. We thought we would post our experience and see if anyone else has experienced this, AND... Do you know a better way to do it?

    Background info... We are DVC members and Annual Pass holders and we do our best to get down to visit The Mouse one to two times a year. One of the things we have been doing is buying Disney gift cards on a regular basis over the course of the year to spread out our cost. At this point in our Disney trips, most of our dollars spent are on sit-down restaurants. We try not to use gift cards for dining because it is very likely that you may not be able to use the full value of the card... Read the fine print on the back of the card... The restrictions are impressive.

    The way we had been doing things, as was Disney's policy (as recent as January 2019), was to go down and take advantage of the $1500 credit line they advanced us, then in the middle of our trip, we would go down to the front desk and throw a stack of gift cards at them. Ultimately, by the time we left, the balance charged to our card on file was quite low. Nice, right? We did that for years...

    But then things changed in May 2019 (or so we were told). I guess the old way was losing them some cash.

    When we came down on July 19, 2019, we already had a pre-charge on our card of over $100. Then, each purchase we would make would trigger a larger hold on our card. $40 shirt purchase with a magic band would trigger a $200 hold on our card! One hold after another began to clog our card until we ultimately had $1500 blocked on our card even though we had only spent a fraction of that, only a few days into the trip!

    Then we applied the gift cards... They did nothing to release the holds on our credit card even though they lowered our balance. Ultimately, we had to detach our our card from our Disney account! This triggered a "checkout" process for that card. It took days for the credit holds on our credit card to start to come off! They were still being released after we were off property. And we were heading to another destination after Disney where we needed the available credit!

    We were lucky that we had an "emergency card" with us. If we hadn't, we would have been in BIG trouble!

    So, either come down with an empty card (with a few grand available) and let Disney have their way with us for a week and trust that it will all come out in the wash... Eventually... Or what? Thoughts?
    I just pay for everything out of pocket with my own card now. It does that if you charge things to your room via magic band.
     

    FrostyNaples

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Sep 23, 2017
    It's becoming more convenient to just pay per item each time, instead of charging to the room, in order to avoid any CC hold issues. The only thing we room charge now would be room service, parking fee's. Everything else we either use our CC or Cell Phone since most kiosks are NFC equipped. Since the DVC & AP discounts both require photo ID, can't go to the parks sans wallet, so we have a wallet at all times with a CC or gift card, and let's face it, like the rest of the world we have our cell phones on us too at all times, so we can use cell phone payments just as easy.
     


    Connect

    Disney News and Updates

    Get Daily Email Updates


    Top