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Scoring Cheaper Disney Hotels via Priceline
In this post, we’ll discuss using the site Priceline.com to find some of the cheapest prices you’ll see for Disney World Resorts. You’ll be able to get started immediately in looking for these and have a clear understanding of how to do so.
What are Priceline Express Deals?
Hotels contract with Priceline.com to sell excess inventory at very cheap rates – at least compared to the standard rate. The tradeoff with these great deals is that you’re booking a “hidden” hotel. This means that you can see things like ratings, amenities, and the hotel area – but you can’t see the specific hotel name. Which makes it seem risky if you’re wanting a specific hotel, especially when the goal is to stay on Disney property, or even at a specific Disney resort. But thanks to crazy technology, there are now tools to drastically reduce that risk.
Official Disney Resorts do contract with Priceline, usually during slower seasons. Think end of August/September; slower weeks throughout Fall/Winter, and slower weeks in between the Spring Break and summer season.
If you’re not particular about a specific resort but just wish to stay at a Disney resort, this may be a great option for you. I no longer travel to Disney World without checking for a Priceline deal multiple times before my trip. It doesn’t happen all the time, but you can get lucky during these slower periods.
Another thing to know is to try different length of stay variations when you search these Priceline Express deals. If I’m going to Disney for four nights, I’ll probably start with a search for that entire stay. If nothing comes up, I’ll then start doing searches for three, two, and sometimes just one night. I’ll personally take a partial stay deal over no deal and then make separate reservations. Just like I do when I’m searching official Disney discounts like Passholder room rates. I often can’t find availability for multiple consecutive nights – but I usually can for at least a few.
How to Use Priceline Express Deals to find discounted Walt Disney World Resort Hotels
While there are numerous sites that boast Priceline Express deals and how to use the free Hotel Canary browser extension, I wanted to do a video of a walkthrough for a successful booking for you readers. This stuff can be confusing if you’ve never done it. It’s also nerve-wracking the first few times you use Priceline Express deals, ESPECIALLY for your Disney World vacation. There is no turning back with refunds, changes, or anything when booking this way. So every bit of confidence helps.
In the video below, I walk you through exactly what the steps look like. It is well worth the watch to score a great deal and feel incredibly confident doing so.
The Hotel Canary Browser Extension
The extension is free and you’ll need Google Chrome as your browser. This also means you’ll need to be on a desktop and not a phone.
Do I get all the same benefits/amenities when booking through Priceline? FastPass, Magical Express, etc.?
Yes. You’re booking a Disney resort, it’s just through a third-party site. You’ll receive a confirmation code via email from Priceline. You’ll use this to “Link a Resort Reservation” in My Disney Experience. This can be done via phone or desktop. I’ve noticed it typically takes about 20-30 minutes to register the booking with the DisneyWorld.com site, otherwise, I’ve never run into any problems. It’s very easy.
Know that you will incur a fee if you want to list more than two adults in the hotel room. You’ll also need to call Disney directly to list your extra guests/kids on the reservation after the first two people. However, Disney and most hotels will also charge for this regardless, so you’d still run into this whether you booked through Priceline or any other site.
Deals for off-site hotels like Disney Springs Resorts (and everything else!)
Using Priceline Express deals certainly isn’t limited to Disney World Resort hotels. You can great deals for Disney Springs hotels and other off-site hotels for much better rates than you’d find elsewhere. I’m planning to review and stay at all of the Disney Springs Area resorts this next year, and I’ll likely be using Priceline each time.
The same applies to really any domestic hotel stays. I use Priceline Express deals almost any time I stay at a hotel in general. I recently got a very posh stay at a Hilton for $100/night when it was offered at $250 on the official Hilton website.
Another hack that isn’t discussed: How I stayed at The Dolphin for $131/night
While my brain didn’t create the Hotel Canary extension, I did discover another “hack” that I find super exciting as a frequent traveler.
For this most recent trip, I checked Priceline Express deals constantly. I knew because of the slower September month that most resorts weren’t sold out. And I had routinely been seeing the Swan and Dolphin resorts pop up for around $180-$190 as an Express Deal.
I also almost strictly use Priceline.com to book rental cars, as I find it consistently offers the lowest rates. I’ve also never had any problems, and you usually don’t have to pay for the rental car in advance. We needed a rental car for a personal trip to Detroit/Ohio, and I secured one on Priceline.com. The next day when doing a routine search for a Disney resort deal, this came up:
You can see that it’s not even an Express/hidden deal! The rate dropped significantly because I had just booked a rental car. We ended up booking this deal at the Dolphin for these two nights (and it’s one of our new favorite hotels).
I’m still seeing great VIP rates even after booking that deal for all kinds of other searches. So if you’re planning to rent a car for anything in the future, you may want to secure that on Priceline before doing your hotel search.
Use a coupon/promo code
I think you should always be looking for an applicable coupon or promo code anytime you’re online shopping. Many prices nowadays, in general, are hyper-inflated because they expect you to use coupons or promo codes (grocery stores, pizza delivery chains).
So make sure you search any promo codes, or signup for the email list and wait to get a 10% code or something before booking. RetailMeNot is my most trusted site for easy and valid coupon codes.
Questions about Priceline.com, Express Deals, or any sort of travel hacks? Let me know in the comments below!