Booking rooms for less

I used to book all my rooms through Disney. In all honesty, I didn’t even know that there was an option to book anywhere else. I was always watching to see when Disney would offer some amazing deal (which would only be so amazing). Then, I learned that you can book through Priceline or other e-travel sites.
Initially, I tried to use the “Express Deals” through Priceline, but I couldn’t match any of the cloaked descriptions with a Disney hotel. Magical Express, the included transportation from MCO (Orlando International Airport), will only take you to a WDW hotel. I didn’t want to take a chance and get something non-WDW, thus having to *gasp* rent a car or stuff us all into an uber. That would not be magical! Also,we love being trapped in the Disney bubble. The theming, the easy access to transport, the superior customer service – that is why we stay with Mickey each and every time.The other reason that Express Deals don’t work for our family is that most of the time they can only guarantee the room will fit 2 people. Scoring a king size bed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge for rock bottom prices is only so great when your children are left sleeping with the zebras and giraffes on the savanna… although don’t let my kids hear that. They would be climbing over the fence, with a pillow and a blanket, before I could even say stop!

I then started searching the regular Priceline deals. There are some amazing prices if you are willing to put the time into it. A few tips to help you on your search:

1. Search in Lake Buena Vista for rooms at WDW. To filter, choose Walt Disney World- Bonnet Springs and/ or Walt Disney World- Disney Springs.

2. You will have to pay for the entire stay up front. You are not able to use gift cards for your purchase. Make sure you compare the room price with Disney’s current sale to decide if you really are saving money – especially if you are using discount Disney Gift Cards (don’t forget to read our article in Gift Cards) .

3. Most rooms are refundable. If you find a better deal, you can cancel your current room and rebook. I keep checking back frequently to see if anything better has surfaced. On our last trip, I found the room I booked for $40 less per night just a few days after I purchased it. You can be certain I swapped out my reservation as fast as I could!

4. You may not be able to find a room for the entire length of your stay. Try breaking the stay into 2 pieces and check for rooms during both parts. You may or may not be able to find the same resort for both portions. If you can’t, you are able to do a “split stay”. Read our article on why we like staying at 2 resorts in one trip.

5. Once you have booked your stay, you will need to contact Priceline to have them add each person in your party to the reservation. You can’t do this yourself through the Disney app. You can’t call Disney and have the Cast Member add them for you. Priceline must do this and they may be confused about it, but they will get it done! They will need to know the name and age of each person in your party.

6. Once everyone is listed on your reservation, you can link your reservation to your MyDisney account, if you have one. If that sounds like a foreign language, there is another option. Call Disney and ask to speak to someone in the Wholesale division. They will be able to look up your reservation and get you linked.

7. You have all of the benefits of a vacation bought directly through Disney, but you have hopefully saved a significant amount of money.

Here we are, enjoying the pirate rooms at Disney’s Caribbean Beach for $112/ night through Priceline (Disney pricing: $256/ night)


If you would like more help planning your Disney vacation, contact our friend Audra, a travel agent with Travelmation LLC, which is an Authorized Disney Travel Planner. She can help you plan the vacation of your dreams at no cost to you!

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