We're big fans of the Citi Prestige's 4th Night Free benefit. That perk allows you to get 25% off your first four nights of any hotel stay four nights or longer. We previously used the 4th Night Free to save on two nights in a single Walt Disney World stay by splitting our nine nights across two resorts.
This past weekend we used 4th Night Free for another purpose - to save on flights. Here's how that worked...
Our Flight Options
I'm a bit of a nutcase when it comes to booking flights, so I won't go into all the details and if-thens I went through booking our flight. Suffice to say I was looking to book a nonstop flight from Chicago to Orlando in early July. I wanted to get in early to have a full Disney day. According to Google flights, my options were:
Google flights doesn't search Southwest, so I had to pull up those fares separately.
Now, because of my particular life circumstances, I can get to O'Hare (ORD) for an early flight no problem. Getting to Midway (MDW) early would probably cost extra money in an Uber or cab. Basically, $168 per person on the United flight or the later Southwest flight was my best option.
Enter 4th Night Free
These are not awful options that we're left with, but then I thought of one of the tricks I'd wanted to try. We were only planning to stay three nights and had no obvious way to make real use of a fourth. It's rare, but we've planned trips before where getting an extra hotel night after arriving late one day early was cheaper than other flight options.
In this case, with 4th Night Free, the extra night was free. So I looked at flights the day before and found this gem on Southwest.com:
I love this flight for a lot of reasons:
It's Southwest, which means I don't have to worry about bringing a carry-on
It departs at a decent time (so we can take the train to the airport)
It gets in at a decent time where we'll be able to get to bed at a reasonable hour and then have an entire next day of Disney!
We called the Citi Concierge to book our stay for four nights, and we're set! We're basically using 4th Night Free to save $100 on flights and make sure we have a full day of Disney on our first day.
Being realistic about your schedule is one of our top tips on how to save on your Disney vacation. Travel takes time, especially with a family. 4th Night Free isn't a perk that looks like it would be a way to save money on flights, but sometimes tinkering with your schedule works out. In this case, we got more Disney for less money, and that's a win.
All Your Other Disney World Planning Questions Answered
Don't be overwhelmed by Disney World planning! Take a second to check out our most important content and you'll not only be an expert, but you'll save big $$$ along the way.
Just starting out? Check out our Walt Disney World planning guide! If you're still picking dates, we've got everything you need to know about Disney crowd calendars. For picking your hotel, check out our Walt Disney World hotels guide.
When it comes time to book we’ll help you find discount Disney World tickets. Decide whether you need a dining plan in our Complete Guide to Disney World Dining Plans! And at 180 days out it's time to book those Disney World Advance Dining Reservations!
Don't forget to master your Disney World FastPass+ strategy a few months in advance. We'll keep you out of long lines so you can maximize the magical time in the parks! We've got park-specific guides as well: Magic Kingdom FastPass, Epcot FastPass, Animal Kingdom FastPass, and Hollywood Studios FastPass.
Know what to ride with our guides to: Magic Kingdom rides, Hollywood Studios rides, Epcot rides, and Animal Kingdom rides! Plus learn about the water parks with our guide to Blizzard Beach and our guide to Typhoon Lagoon! And for some some fun prep, check out our Ranking of Every Ride at Walt Disney World.
Finally, before you head out, be sure to check out our to-the-point packing list, 10 essentials you forget to pack for every Disney trip. And if you're interested in saving, there's no better list than our 53 Ways to Save on your Disney trip from start to finish.